AMES — Jalen Coleman-Lands never took an official visit to Iowa State.
He couldn’t. His recruitment happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DePaul transfer had to do everything through Zoom.
Coleman-Lands was out for a few practices with a minor hamstring injury — he was back at practice Wednesday — and he joked with head coach Steve Prohm about doing his official visit while he was unable to practice.
“I went over to him during practice to check on him to make sure he was doing all right and I was just messing with him and he said, ‘Yeah, Coach, I’m on my official visit. I never took an official visit here so I get these two days where I don’t have to do anything and y’all have to treat me really well and take me out to dinner,’” Prohm said. “We were laughing about that.
“You have to think about the uniqueness with a guy like Jalen. He didn’t see the campus in person, we recruited him through Zoom but all the feedback we got on him is that he’s a great, great competitor. I’ve been really impressed with his leadership abilities and his intangibles. You have energy givers and energy takers and he’s an energy giver.”
Prohm was watching film Wednesday night when he realized that Coleman-Lands has a similar personality to, and plays like, former Iowa State guard Naz Mitrou-Long.
Mitrou-Long was a fan favorite during his five years in Ames because of his infectious personality, his leadership and his 3-point shooting.
Coleman-Lands is cut out of a similar mold.
“He’s older, he has a really engaging personality, he’s been productive at two high-major programs,” Prohm said. “The biggest thing we need from him is his energy every day. We need his leadership, energy, shot making — he’s a guy who, if he takes great shots, can be a 40-percent 3-point shooter.”
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Coleman-Lands was a 40-percent 3-point shooter at Illinois during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He transferred to DePaul after Illinois fired coach John Groce.
At DePaul, Coleman-Lands struggled shooting with the same efficiency. He shot just 32 percent from 3-point range last season. Coleman-Lands credited the dip to his own shot selection as well as the lack of spacing on the floor around him.
While Iowa State desperately needs improved 3-point shooting, which is something Coleman-Lands should bring — the Cyclones shot just 31 percent as a team last season — the Cyclones also need the senior’s leadership and energy.
“He just brings a different mindset to the practice,” Prohm said. “Even when he’s out of practice, he’s really engaged.”
Iowa State has seven new players, including Coleman-Lands. Leadership and getting everybody together and on the same page is critical.
Coleman-Lands he can help.
“It starts with preparation when it comes to bringing energy,” Coleman-Lands said. “It’s leading by example — getting there before practice starts and after practice you’re there to talk to players if they need help understanding knowing how to do things. These are things that play a major role in leadership and it’s stuff I’ve learned through the years.
“Energy is what wins games and creates synergy, especially now with the expected attendance to be less than 10 percent. You have to bring your own energy and it’s not going to be something that miraculously shows up during game time. It’s something that has to be created in practice and throughout practice.”