Takeaways: A poor performance overshadows Xavier Foster’s best game yet

Iowa State freshman Xavier Foster shoots a 3-pointer against Kansas State in a 74-65 loss Dec. 15 at Hilton Coliseum. Foster finished with 10 points.

Zane Douglas

The Cyclones men’s basketball team suffered a 74-65 loss at the hands of Kansas State on Tuesday and while the team had some sloppy play, it wasn’t all bad for the Cyclones.

There were some things to like from Head Coach Steve Prohm’s end, despite the loss coming to one of the weaker teams in the conference at home.

First half turnovers

The Cyclones shot better than they had been shooting all season in the first half of Tuesday’s contest. Unfortunately for Prohm’s group, this came at the cost of ball security.

Prohm pointed to a couple separate things as the main culprits behind the increase in turnovers, but the Cyclones had a staggering 13 turnovers in the first half.

“A lot of travels, a lot of not being shot-ready off the drive and kick […] I think that was one and then just forcing things when things weren’t there,” Prohm said.

Three Cyclones had more than one turnover, with junior guard Rasir Bolton and redshirt senior forward Solomon Young leading the team with five and three turnovers respectively.

Of Iowa State’s returning players, Bolton and Young were the most integral to the 2019-20 team, so their struggles in the first half sunk the Cyclones in a deep hole.

Stop the clock

One thing that burdened Iowa State throughout the whole game and prevented the Cyclones from making a big comeback was the foul trouble that the team got in.

Three Cyclones, Bolton, freshman guard Darlinstone Dubar and junior forward Javan Johnson, had four fouls when the final whistle blew.

The team totaled 22 fouls in the game, sending the Wildcats to the free-throw line 29 times. The Wildcats took advantage, converting on 26-29 from the charity stripe.

The end of the game inflated these numbers a bit, but players like Kansas State guard DaJuan Gordon benefited.

Gordon had 15 points on 2-8 shooting with no 3-point makes on four attempts however, Gordon went 11-11 from the free-throw line, salvaging his poor shooting performance and adding value for the Wildcats on the perimeter.

15 of Iowa State’s 22 fouls came in the second half, giving Kansas State plenty of time in the bonus and double-bonus.

Foster impresses in limited time

Iowa State freshman forward Xavier Foster represents the good for Iowa State against Kansas State, as he played his best career game in cardinal and gold.

Foster only saw 13 minutes on the floor, but the freshman was everywhere in that time, going 3-3 on field goals, 1-1 on 3-point attempts and adding three free-throws on five attempts.

The Oskaloosa, Iowa, native also added a couple rebounds, a block and a pair of steals.

The first three games saw a taste of Foster and the freshman played fine, showing raw talent, but against the Wildcats he put some of it together to play a short but efficient length of time.

“The first two [games] were most definitely way way faster than I expected,” Foster said. “This game especially kind of slowed down for me.”