AMES — Iowa State basketball players Lindell Wigginton and Solomon Young should reenter the lineup Friday against Eastern Illinois (6 p.m., Cyclones.TV).
Young dressed Saturday against Drake but didn’t see any time. Iowa State (8-2) coach Steve Prohm said Young could have played if needed or if the opportunity presented itself.
Young started running up and down the court last week and Prohm said Wigginton should start running Tuesday.
“He hasn’t gone up and down the court yet — everything he’s done has been in the halfcourt,” Prohm said. “I would love to have the opportunity for us to play well and get him some extended minutes and let him get the rust off a little bit and have one game under his belt before Big 12 play.”
Prohm doesn’t believe it will take long for Wigginton to get his conditioning back after injuring his foot in the first game of the season.
“It’s obviously not been great to have Lindell out, but the positive you take from it is I think he’s been able to sit back and look at the game a little bit different,” Prohm said. “We’ve asked him at times, ‘Hey, what have you seen, what have you learned?’ I think he’s learned a lot from sitting out. He’s used it to his benefit. He’s a great athlete so his stamina and conditioning will come back quick.
“He just hasn’t played in a while so he has to get the rust off and we’ll let him play through some mistakes out there so he stays confident. He’s seen the pace of play and he’s seen what we’re doing on the defensive end, so I think at the end of the day, this will make him a better player. We’re looking forward to getting him back. He was in there on (Sunday) working out, so he’s doing good.”
Young, on the other hand, could have a bit of a different curve than Wigginton. The junior forward has been out since the summer when he had surgery on his groin.
He’ll need some time to get his conditioning back to where it needs to be.
“He was in there working (Monday) and I think he’s champing at the bit to get back,” Prohm said. “He just has to stay patient and get himself back into game shape and learn what we’ve been doing offensively.”
Injuries aren’t anything new to Young, who has had one every season he’s been at Iowa State, but he said Monday this one has been by far the toughest. He said he’s feeling close to 100 percent again.
“Freshman year, he breaks the hand and he’s out for a while, last year he was out with the knee injury and then this summer he had the abdomen and the groin,” Prohm said. “He’s a resilient, high-character kid. He brings a physicality and toughness up front that can change the game.”
Prohm wants to ease both Wigginton and Young back into the lineup for multiple reasons. No. 1 is Iowa State is playing quite well right now and Prohm wants to make sure Wigginton and Young adapt to what the team is doing, not have the team adapt to what Wigginton and Young do.
Wigginton is obviously a special player who is a legitimate NBA prospect and Young has been a very good role player, so the other reason he wants to ease them back in is so they don’t have any setbacks and stay healthy for Big 12 play.
Wigginton led all Big 12 freshmen in scoring last year, averaging 16.7 points per game. He also pulled down 3.7 rebounds and dished out 2.8 assists per game.
They’ll both likely get minutes Friday, but how many will probably depend on if Iowa State is winning and the margin.
l Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org