Notebook: Prohm talks postponements and the Big 12 tournament amidst COVID pause

Hilton Coliseum sits empty ahead of Iowa State men’s basketball vs Baylor on Jan 2. (Photo courtesy Wesley Winterink)

Zane Douglas

Iowa State men’s basketball hasn’t played a game since Jan. 9, with its next game scheduled for Monday after four postponements due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Cyclones are feeling the effects of the weird year and Head Coach Steve Prohm delivered a press conference Friday to discuss those issues while the program adjusts to its ongoing COVID pause.

Navigating the break

The extended break for Iowa State came at an interesting time, where the Cyclones were on a losing streak, but also putting up decent fights against all but one Big 12 opponent.

They’re close to returning now and Prohm said the players have been handling the shift as well as possible for such short notice.

“They’re doing the best they possibly can,” Prohm said. “[…] Guys have been around obviously in a different circumstance and a different settings where it’s been limited numbers in the gym.”

Prohm declined to comment on how many players contracted COVID-19, but at least some players have had the chance to go in and out of the gym or resume some regular activities.

Update for Monday

Iowa State its scheduled to play Oklahoma State on Monday with Prohm’s group not having too much time to prepare.

Prohm isn’t too worried about this though and while the game isn’t for sure going to happen, he said that the goal is to resume the season against the Cowboys.

“Hopefully we can get together tomorrow and Sunday as a team and prepare and hopefully we’re fortunate to be able to play Monday night against a good Oklahoma State team that’s playing really well right now.” Prohm said.

It’s been a bumpy road for Iowa State this season with conference play resulting in no wins so far, but multiple weeks of no basketball is not something it was likely hoping for with its team still working through the growing pains of losing a good chunk of its regular rotation from the season before.

Monday will have more issues with the roster as well.

“I don’t foresee us having our full roster Monday,” Prohm said.

Prohm also didn’t say who would or wouldn’t be available Monday.

Cancelations moving forward

There has been discussion around the college basketball community about canceling games, canceling end of the year tournaments or perhaps canceling seasons as COVID-19 issue arise around the league, but none of those discussions have taken place for Prohm.

Prohm said that he hasn’t had one discussion about whether the season should be shut down and hasn’t really thought into the future about end of the year tournaments.

“Not one second,” Prohm said when asked if Iowa State discussed ending its season given all of the news during its COVID pause.

“At the end of the day, you gotta do what’s best for these kids.” “I think these kids want to play and I’m excited to get these guys back out there and practice tomorrow and that’s really my focus.”