AMES — Steve Prohm had a plan for the offseason after a disappointing 2019-2020 saw the Iowa State men’s basketball team go 12-20.
He wanted to be patient in the transfer market and get guys who had proven success against Power-5 teams or had success on a Power-5 team.
Early in the offseason, Iowa State was rumored to be a potential landing spot with just about every transfer who came on the market but most went elsewhere. Fans, as fans do, got antsy but Prohm wanted to stick to his plan.
He’s happy with the result.
Jalen Coleman-Lands is a graduate transfer from DePaul by way of Illinois, Tyler Harris is a junior transfer from Memphis and Blake Hinson is a junior transfer from Ole Miss.
Harris and Hinson are pursuing immediate eligibility waivers.
“We’re prepared to go on this season without them if that’s the hand that they’re dealt,” Prohm said. “Whether or not they’re eligible this year, or next year, we want guys who can make a difference at Iowa State. I think we did that. If the waiver process allows us to get one or both of them eligible, then does that change the landscape of our team? Yes.
“People are worried about us bringing a lot of new faces in but we brought six or seven new guys in, in 2018-19 and that season went well. I’m excited to go down that same avenue.”
Prohm mentioned the 2018-19 season numerous times during his Zoom news conference last week.
His plan during the traditional recruiting period was to get longer on the perimeter. During the aforementioned 2018-19 season, the Cyclones played four guards who were all 6-foot-5 or 6-6 and Prohm wants to get back to having that length on the perimeter.
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Iowa State’s 2020 class has three guard/wing prospects and all three are 6-5 or 6-6. Add in Hinson, who is 6-foot-7, Jalen Coleman-Lands, who is 6-4, and Rasir Bolton, who is 6-3, and Prohm has good size back on the perimeter.
The only one who doesn’t have length is Harris, who is 5-9.
“We got size back on the perimeter,” Prohm said. “Tyler Harris is obviously the exception but he can change the game with his speed, explosiveness, toughness and ability to shoot the ball. Jalen Coleman-Lands has had big moments in big games — Texas Tech, Iowa — teams we’re familiar with and teams we need to beat going forward. And then Blake Hinson is a big guard that can play some small forward and can play a small-ball four for us. He can switch one through four defensively and he brings that versatility to the offensive end as well.”
The area of the team where Prohm has some knowns is down on the block. Solomon Young had a minor offseason surgery, but Prohm said he’s back to 100 percent. Young came on strong at the end of the season and averaged 9.8 points on 54 percent shooting.
George Conditt showed flashes during the nonconference but wasn’t able to keep that going into the conference portion of the schedule. He averaged seven points while shooting 55 percent from the field and blocking 1.6 shots per game.
Now, the Cyclones are adding 7-foot freshman Xavier Foster, who Prohm is intrigued by given his ability to shoot the 3 and his potential as another shotblocker.
“After last year, obviously everybody knows that we have to get better,” Prohm said. “When you look at our roster now, we’ve put ourselves in a position to do that. Last year didn’t go according to script — you can talk about Haliburton getting injured and Rasir getting injured down the stretch. But we had to address some things and I think we did in recruiting.”
The basketball players should be returning to campus throughout the week and workouts are scheduled to start July 22.
“I’m excited to get all these guys on campus soon and get started on the process of building a basketball team that we can be really proud of,” Prohm said. “We’ve bounced back from a disappointing season before and I expect us to do the same in 2020-21.”