Iowa State begins final week of the regular season with No. 15 Texas

Tyler Harris plays defense against TCU on Feb. 27 in a 76-72 loss. 

Zane Douglas

A tough week ending in two close losses has left Iowa State men’s basketball without a conference win for yet another week. There’s only one week left before the Big 12 Tournament now and the Cyclones will be looking to end that habit with another ranked opponent on deck.

It starts with a date against the No. 15 Texas Longhorns down in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday.

“[Texas has] a phenomenal team, a team that can make a deep run in the postseason,” Head Coach Steve Prohm said. “I’m sure we’ll get their best shot and a sense of urgency.”

The last game between Iowa State and Texas was similar to Iowa State’s last loss against TCU: The Cyclones were right there in the game, but never really found enough of a footing to close it out and win.

Texas beat the Cyclones 78-72 on Jan. 5 in just the fourth conference game of the year for Iowa State.

Prohm’s lineup has gone through a number of changes since then, but thanks to recent events, the lineup may not be all that different.

Sophomore guard Tre Jackson has only started three games for Iowa State this season, but one of those was against the Longhorns back on Jan. 5. He’s now coming off his best performance of the year where he scored 14 points against TCU on Saturday.

Jackson will be among the Cyclones asked to do more after an in-game injury to Iowa State’s leading scorer Rasir Bolton on Saturday.

Prohm said Bolton would be questionable for Tuesday after spraining his ankle against the Horned Frogs. Javan Johnson would take his place in the starting lineup with Tyler Harris seeing point guard minutes.

While Jackson, Harris and Johnson could see more usage, the Cyclones were gifted against TCU in their last game with a red-hot Jalen Coleman-Lands.

After being honored on Senior Night, Coleman-Lands played one of his best games as a Cyclone, hitting his first seven shots from the floor, four of which were 3-pointers.

He finished the day 8-11, with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists, which were all best on the team.

His contributions staved off a few momentum-shifting runs from TCU and also helped keep the Cyclones in the game in the early minutes.

Against Texas however, it was another 21-point performance that kept the Cyclones close.

Johnson’s tough season has seen him move to the bench, miss time due to COVID-19 protocols and struggle to stay consistent.

He played his best game of the year Jan. 5 against the Longhorns where he put up 21 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Johnson and Coleman-Lands will be key players, especially if Bolton doesn’t return against Texas on Tuesday, but that won’t be all for the Cyclones during the week.

“It’ll be more so about review and being mentally locked in on what we’re trying to do than more so just on the floor,” Prohm said about playing three games in a week. “[…] three games in five-six days is a lot, so we’ve gotta be dialed in.”

Along with Texas, the Cyclones will also play Texas Tech and Kansas State — all games that had to be rescheduled for after the original date for the end of the season.

Iowa State and Texas will play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The game is being broadcasted on ESPN+.