Jacobson and Young duo carry Cyclones over Texas

Solomon Young handles the ball against Kansas State on Feb. 8 at Hilton Coliseum.

Matt Belinson

After winning the opening tip, Iowa State got right to work feeding one of its big men, with Solomon Young scoring the first points of the game by backing down his defender with ease and letting the ball angle off the backboard into the basket for his first points of the game.

On the very next Cyclone possession, it would be Michael Jacobson who found the bucket with a layup on a fast break pass from Rasir Bolton. Iowa State led 4-0 with less than a minute gone by.

Those first two baskets would prove to be more than just the four points of the game for the Cyclones but rather, would be the start of the “Young and Jacobson Experience” that occurred in Iowa State’s 81-52 beatdown of Texas.

Young had eight of Iowa State’s first 10 points, shimmying his way around his defenders in the post all game who matched up smaller compared to Young’s 6-foot-8-inch frame. 

Jacobson would be right with Young for most of the first half, even launching a rare three through the hoop. It would be Jacobson’s first made three since Jan. 12 against Oklahoma.

The two upperclassmen combined to shoot 8-10 from the field with 24 of Iowa State’s 37 first half points.

Shaka Smart, head coach of the Texas Longhorns, said right from the start that Young and Jacobson’s presence would be hard to manage. Smart said he wanted his team to understand that Iowa State would be looking to throw it inside all game — and with good reason.

Texas got the Jacobson and Young treatment in large part because of the absence of one of its best players in Jericho Sims. Sims missed Saturday’s game with back issues that have been bothering Sims for over the course of the last several weeks. Sims was averaging 9.7 ppg and 8.2 rebounds before he missed Saturday’s matchup.

“I thought we would understand with Jericho out they were gonna try and go inside and counter act in there and we didn’t do that either,” Smart said. “Jacobson and Young were terrific for Iowa State.”

The duo of Young and Jacobson would end up combining for 40 of Iowa State’s 81 points against the Longhorns.

Jacobson would have a season-best in many stats against the Longhorns, ending with a season high 21 points and 13 rebounds. He would also finish with a season-high three assists in his 36 minutes of action.

The 21 points and 13 rebounds gave Jacobson his first double-double of the season.

Young ended his day with 17 points, going 9-10 from the foul line. Young also tacked on four rebounds, two blocks and a steal to his busy stat line.

With Sims in action the last time the Cyclones faced the Longhorns on Feb. 1, Young and Jacobson were kept in relative check with Young ending with 13 points while Jacobson had seven.

“It was a huge thing to establish the front-court and get some decent buckets inside and play inside-out, Jacobson said.

Jacobson said that the Cyclones knew with Tyrese Haliburton being out for the rest of the season, it would take an aggressive style of play to gather more wins on the season. 

The solid performances from both Young and Jacobson were good in their own right but that fact that the two played well in the same game is something that hasn’t happened often this season.

In Young’s big 27 point outing against Oklahoma State, Jacobson could only muster three points. After Young put up 20 points against Kansas State, Jacobson had just two points of his own.

When Jacobson found minimal success scoring 10 points against Kansas and Texas Tech, Young had four points against the Jayhawks and two against the Red Raiders.

The only other instance besides Saturday’s game of the two forwards playing well together happened in the season opener against Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 5. Jacobson scored 20 points while Young ended with 12 points respectively.

Steve Prohm, head coach of the Cyclones, said the play of two of his experienced upperclassmen were deciding factors of the blowout win.

Prohm said that with Sims out for the Longhorns, establishing the post identity in the game would lead to good things for the Cyclones. In most of Iowa State’s wins this season, Prohm said post play has made the Cyclones able to create better looks and force the defense to crumble.

“Not having Sims changes them from a standpoint of rim protection activity but we had success in the post in Austin,” Prohm said. “The think the teams in our league that we have been able to establish post play and get a post identity with, we’ve don that and we’ve had success and those are the games we’ve won.”

The other upperclassmen that got it going on offense was Prentiss Nixon, who scored 17 points of his own. 

Nixon said the play of Jacobson and Young showed that even without Haliburton, plenty of players for the Cyclones can step in and take over games when they need to.

Going forward Nixon said the rest of the Cyclones know that the dominant play they saw on Saturday will have to translate going forward, with the end of the season coming down to the wire.

“We gotta lay out on the line every game and every time we step out there, I mean if we step out there like we did tonight, I like our chances going forward,” Nixon said.