AMES — For the first time in six seasons, the Iowa State men’s basketball team will be out of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cyclones (13-18, 4-14 Big 12) showed flashes of being a tournament team, beating teams like Texas Tech and West Virginia, but they weren’t able to put everything together consistently.
“I just didn’t do a good enough job,” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm said. “That’s the bottom line. It’s unacceptable, it’s sickening and we have to get to work. We have to understand what we have to do to get better. At the end of the day, I wasn’t able to get everybody playing together the right way for the right reasons. And that’s the toughest thing.”
Prohm believes his team underachieved this season. A big reason for that was all the injuries Iowa State suffered throughout the season.
“I don’t want to go through another season like this,” Prohm said.
The quest to make sure Iowa State continues to be a perineal NCAA Tournament team starts next week.
The team will take spring break to rest and recover, then they’ll be back in the gym.
But some guys probably won’t take the whole week of spring break to rest.
“I don’t think I’m going to take a week off,” freshman star Lindell Wigginton said. “Maybe a couple of days. Really, just stay in the gym and keep working.”
When the team gets back from break, Prohm already has his plan laid out.
“We have to get a defensive culture and we have to get our skill level better and then we have to get our leadership better. If we do that, we’ll be good. I’m excited about the future, no question.”
Individually, Prohm also has a plan to make sure Iowa State doesn’t have another season like this.
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He already has clips cut up for each player, and he wants to sit down and go through them with all of his guys.
He believes this will be especially important for Wigginton who had some “wow” moments, but also made his fair share of freshman mistakes.
In the post, freshman Cameron Lard also showed flashes of greatness, but he’s still very raw.
Lard has a plan to become more polished in the post.
“Being more patient on the offensive end, post moves around the basket, work on my perimeter game on the outside and being more aggressive on defense,” Lard said. “Just try to get more mature every day and build good habits.”
The Cyclones also add a number of players that should make an impact for next year’s team. Virginia transfer Marial Shayok and Nebraska transfer Michael Jacobson will both be available to Prohm next season.
Prohm had said during the season that Shayok could be the best player on the team if he was able to play. Jacobson adds depth and shooting at the forward spot, which Iowa State lacked this seaseason.
Iowa State also adds the No. 26 recruiting class in the nation according to 247Sports, highlighted by Chicago standout Talen Horton-Tucker.
“I’m excited about the future, no question,” Prohm said.
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