Wide variety of lineups lead Cyclones past Sooners

Iowa State guard Terrence Lewis goes up for a layup against Oklahoma on Saturday. 

Matt Belinson

Coming into its matchup against Oklahoma, Steve Prohm knew change was needed.

After dropping three straight games, most recently a 26 point blowout in Hilton Coliseum from Kansas, the Cyclones had to try something different to fix the losing skid.

The first of many changes came before the game tipped-off, as Prohm switched George Conditt into the starting lineup for Solomon Young for the first start of Conditt’s career.

Conditt played with the starters the first five minutes of the game, collecting five points and a steal. 

But the change with the starting lineup was far from being the last one Prohm implemented Saturday night.

Bench players Tre Jackson, Terrence Lewis and Zion Griffin entered the first half at the 14:47 mark, with Solomon Young joining them two minutes later, for the start of what would be an impressive stretch of play.

The new-look lineup of Haliburton, Griffin, Jackson, Lewis and Young would provide a spark of efficient offense and defense, allowing Iowa State to grab a double-digit lead.

The lineup change from the 14:47 mark on led to an Iowa State 10-0 run for three minutes and 40 seconds, forcing three turnovers while holding Oklahoma scoreless for five minutes.

The lineup went 5-9 for 13 points, with Terrence Lewis finding his shot in the first half stretch.

Lewis shot 3-5 for 10 points during the first half run, one point shy of his season-high.

Prohm and company all agreed that having a reliable bench to turn to when situations require a change makes Iowa State much more comfortable.  

“I was gonna go deeper on my bench and trust those guys, see who could really give us the spark,” Prohm said. 

The Cyclones used seven lineup variations against the Sooners, making it difficult for Oklahoma to find a rhythm defensively to hone in on one lineup’s weaknesses.

Iowa State relied heavily on switching in-and-out bench players with Haliburton and Bolton throughout the night, with Jackson and Lewis each scoring in double figures. 

“Whoever is producing we gotta roll with them, it just continues to give you more confidence,” Prohm said. “We gotta trust these guys more [Lewis and Jackson], they played so well I didn’t really get a chance to get to Caleb [Grill].”

Besides the aforementioned lineup and the starting five, the Cyclones rolled out these new lineup looks against the Sooners:

Jackson, Conditt, Lewis, Haliburton and Bolton.

Haliburton, Young, Bolton, Lewis, Jackson.

Bolton, Conditt, Jacobson, Nixon, Jackson.

Young, Haliburton, Jackson, Bolton, Nixon.

Young, Haliburton, Bolton, Grill, Nixon.

Lewis said that Iowa State is a team that thrives off having lots of switches in lineup configurations, with the matchup against the Sooners offering the first glimpse as to how different Iowa State could look at any given moment.

“That’s the thing with our team, coach Prohm can bring up any lineup and we can adjust to it,” Lewis said. “We have guys that can do a lot of different things.”

Lewis said that in a game like this, where the bench of Iowa State got to mesh with the starters, it can only bring more confidence to a team that picked up its first conference win of the season.

Lewis’ teammate Rasir Bolton found his confidence from the offensive end as well, scoring a team-high 23 points on 10-17 shooting.

Bolton was on the floor with two different lineups that featured both himself, Jackson and Lewis — leaving Bolton impressed with how both Jackson and Lewis stepped in to a new lineup with little rust.

“You just gotta be ready when your number is called and they were tonight,” Bolton said.