Iowa State Cyclones

Tyrese Haliburton confident shots will start falling for Iowa State men's basketball

Cyclones open Battle 4 Atlantis tournament Wednesday against Michigan

Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton defends Southern Miss' Auston Leslie in a game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)
Iowa State's Tyrese Haliburton defends Southern Miss' Auston Leslie in a game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

AMES — After every game, Tyrese Haliburton sits down with Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm to chart 3-point shots — whether they were good or bad.

Of the 69 3-point attempts that Haliburton, Prentiss Nixon, Rasir Bolton and Tre Jackson have attempted, only 10 were deemed bad shots.

The few bad shots Haliburton has taken were because he was too deep.

Despite that, Haliburton is shooting just 29 percent on 3-point shots after hitting 43 percent last season. As a team, Iowa State is shooting 27 percent from deep.

Prohm isn’t worried about the shots not falling because they are good looks and he believes they’ll start falling sooner rather than later.

On Wednesday in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Nassau, Bahamas, Iowa State will try to turn around its poor 3-point shooting, starting with Michigan at 11 a.m.

“Looking at them, I don’t think they’re truly awful shots — we’re getting a lot of good looks — they’re just not going in,” Haliburton said. “But with time and patience, they’ll start to fall. I’m not too concerned about it, just waiting for the day they finally start to go in.

“To be honest, I don’t even know I’m that deep when I shoot it. It just looks good when I see the hoop. But then coaches show me film and say, ‘You’re shooting on the Pioneer logo.’ I don’t even think about it in the game, it’s just in the flow of the game. I’m just trying to put the ball in the hoop however I can, if that’s moving in, then that’s what I’ll do.”

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While Haliburton’s shot isn’t falling yet, he’s still impacting Iowa State in a positive way. His 10.25 assists per game lead the nation.

“The great thing about Tyrese is he’s a willing passer,” Prohm said. “He’s 6-to-1 assist to turnover ratio which is incredible, but it’s early so he has to try and sustain that. He has an infectious personality and a winning spirit and we’re going to need that this week.”

Michigan’s Zavier Simpson is cut out of the same cloth as Haliburton. He’s third in the nation in assists per game with 9.0.

“Zavier Simpson, we recruited him really hard — I was really impressed with him,” Prohm said. “He’s a winning player. You can talk a lot about his game, but the bottom line is the dude’s a winner. I’ve been really impressed watching him.”

While Prohm’s focus is on Michigan, he said his main goal is to get his team better. The Battle 4 Atlantis has a stacked field with the likes of No. 6 North Carolina, No. 8 Gonzaga, No. 11 Oregon and No. 13 Seton Hall.

“We have to get ourselves better,” Prohm said. “It’s November. You have to turn the page really quick — win or lose. We lost a tough game last year to Arizona in Maui and we bounced back and won two really big games and that catapulted us. That’s where people noticed that we were good.

“At the same time, you have to recognize that you’re still building and trying to get better but obviously the tournament lends itself to some really good resumé wins.”

The Cyclones will face either North Carolina or Alabama on Thursday, then Gonzaga, Southern Miss, Seton Hall or Oregon on Friday.

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