Iowa State is ready to be tested by South Dakota State


Wesley Winterink

Iowa State guard Tyler Harris fights through a ball screen in a game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 29.

Matt Belinson

A win is a win if you’re Iowa State men’s basketball, but after a 80-63 comeback win over Arkansas Pine-Bluff to start the season, the team is expecting more of itself as the nonconference portion of its 2020-21 schedule continues.

Iowa State will return to Hilton Coliseum to take on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on Wednesday, a team Iowa State Head Coach Steve Prohm said is playing with a lot of intensity, swagger and the confidence that it can beat anyone it plays on a given night.

With the basketball season in constant flux and confusion, having confidence and scrappy mentality gives any team the chance to win this year.

“They’re gonna test us in a lot of ways this early in the year,” Prohm said.

For Prohm, the biggest challenge the Jackrabbits will give the Cyclones will come in the post, an area that saw low production in the Cyclones’ season opener Sunday.

Iowa State was out-rebounded by Arkansas Pine-Bluff 36-31 and was out-scored in the paint 38-34. Solomon Young and George Conditt IV, Iowa State’s two primary forwards, combined for 4 points and four rebounds Sunday.

The Jackrabbits bring veteran players into its front court like Iowa State, with senior Douglas Wilson and junior forward Matt Dentlinger, making the post the main priority for Iowa State on Wednesday.

South Dakota State likes to space the floor and use ball screen action to get its bigs in position to score, so Prohm is expecting to get better production in the post.

“Post play is probably going to be the biggest piece of the game, that and the 3-point line, I think that’s where they really hurt you,” Prohm said. “We gotta get Young rebounding, 20 minutes-no rebounds, we gotta get him rebounding. George had four in 13 minutes.”

Tipoff between Iowa State and South Dakota State will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum and streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.