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3 takeaways from ISU's first game

Posted on: November 8, 2018 at 10:54:39 CT
FIJItiger MU
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1. Improved ball movement already evident
One thing quickly became evident Tuesday night as the first half wore along: Iowa State’s ball movement is much improved from one season ago. By the end of the first half, the Cyclones had assisted on 10 of 15 baskets, a ratio that ended up at 20 of 32 when all was said and done. That assist rate of 62.5 percent was something coach Steve Prohm entered the night keyed in on.

“That’s the biggest thing I was wanting to watch tonight is are we sharing the ball,” Prohm said. “If you watched our team a year ago right now the ball movement was nowhere near what it was tonight.”

There were missed shots at times even when Iowa State did share the ball. The Cyclones ended the night with a 48 percent clip from the field, but Prohm noted misses by Talen Horton-Tucker (who has shot 40 percent from 3 in practice), Terrence Lewis and others on open looks.

“But we were sharing the ball and that’s the biggest thing,” Prohm said.

Indeed, four of the Cyclones’ five starters plus reserve Tyrese Haliburton ended the opening night with either three or four assists to their name.

2. Haliburton makes an early impression
There has been a buzz about freshman point guard Tyrese Haliburton in recent weeks as Iowa State has ramped up preparation for the season, a sign that the rookie might be squarely in the team’s early-season rotation.

Haliburton showcased why Tuesday.

In his Iowa State debut, Haliburton was logged 29 minutes, second on the night to only senior point guard Nick Weiler-Babb. Haliburton ended the night with 12 points (on 5-of-6), four assists and three rebounds. He finished strong once with a sidestep and layup and showed an ability to attack the rim.

“I thought he was good. He did some things actually out there tonight I hadn’t seen before, whether it was in the recruiting process or in practice,” Prohm said. “I just thought a couple things in transition, those were high-level plays. I’ve seen good guards, those were high-level plays just the way he stepped through in transition and got to the rim. He’s got good length and size for that position, he can make people better and he was really good. But this is Game 1 and now he’s got to be good tomorrow, he’s got to watch tape, he’s got to understand where he’s got to grow, because now people have film on him, now they’re going to scout him.”

Haliburton, who was the No. 173 overall player in last year's class according to the 247Sports Composite, including the No. 4 player in Wisconsin, finished with a plus/minus of plus-23.

3. Unique lineup sparks big run
There were times in Tuesday’s opener that Prohm played with some random lineups, which made some sense in hindsight after the fourth-year coach revealed the team’s two suspensions. Given that Iowa State will be playing with nine players for the next month, it needs to see what it has.

Right before the under-12 media timeout in the second half, with 12:34 remaining in the game, an especially unique lineup emerged for the Cyclones, one that included three of the team’s four freshmen and two sophomores:

1: Tyrese Haliburton

2: Lindell Wigginton

3: Terrence Lewis

4: Zion Griffin

5: George Conditt

“The plan just developed. I was looking trying to get a spark and I just kind of looked at my assistants and I said, ‘We’ve got four freshmen out there.’ Three freshmen and Terrance didn’t play a lot last year. Then Lindell,” Prohm said. “I said, ‘Let’s see how this goes, make sure we keep an eye on it and if they cut it to seven or eight make sure we need to go right back.’”

Instead, Iowa State would stick with that group for 7 minutes, 12 seconds while the youthful bunch went on a 19-5 run to extend the team’s lead.

“I thought their energy was really good, I thought defensively they got better, they played together, they shared the ball and it was a really good stretch,” Prohm said. “I thought Tyrese was really instrumental in leading that.”
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3 takeaways from ISU's first game - FIJItiger MU - 11/8 10:54:39

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