‘Play Cyclone basketball’: Otzelberger focused on building habits in 2022-23 season


Jacob Rice

T.J. Otzelberger speaks the media during Iowa State men’s basketball Media Day on Oct. 12.

Less than a month remains until the first game of the season for Iowa State men’s basketball, and the energy to get back on the court was felt from the coaches to the players Wednesday morning during media day. 

Head coach T.J. Otzelberger, who is in his second year at Iowa State, discussed his excitement and positivity about a variety of his players. 

Potential point guards for the 2022-2023 season consist of freshmen Tamin Lipsey and Eli King along with St. Bonaventure transfer, Jaren Holmes. 

Temple transfer Jeremiah Williams, who was also set to be in the point guard position, is now out for the season after suffering an Achilles injury. 

Nonetheless, Otzelberger has confidence in what the three, especially the freshmen, can bring to the team. 

“How we do things in our program and the belief that we have in those two [Lipsey and King] young men is that they’ll step up and answer the call,” Otzelberger said. 

The two freshmen have a close relationship as well. 

“I met [Lipsey] on my visit, and then when I got to campus I went to like five or six of his games,” King said. 

The Cyclone lineup is made up of various experienced players. From senior guard Gabe Kalscheur to Holmes, Otzelberger said those players are able to bring their experience and their leadership to the young players. 

“By a collective effort we can all work together to put those guys [freshman] in great positions and be successful,” Otzelberger said. 

Additionally, Otzelberger had nothing but highlights to say about the six-foot-four Holmes. 

“Jaren [Holmes] is a very complete basketball player,” Otzelberger said. “Even more than his basketball ability, it’s his effect on other people.” 

From his enthusiasm on and off the court, Otzelberger feels Holmes will continue to develop and grow as the season moves forward. 

Looking into the forward positions, senior Robert Jones has taken on a leadership role according to Otzelberger. As for Tre King, “he is a force,” Otzelberger said. 

King transferred to Iowa State from Eastern Kentucky after the 2020-2021 season and sat out the 2021-2022 season due to eligibility rules. 

Nonetheless, Otzelberger said he and his team are still working on trying out different combinations of players to see what will work best for success. 

The Cyclones made a run in the 2022 NCAA tournament, making it to the sweet 16 along with a 22-13 record after a 2-22 record in 2020. 

While it may seem like the pressure is on for Iowa State to have another successful season, that pressure is not felt for the Cyclones. 

“If you look at last year, what we set out to do was establish pride in our program, work hard every single day and play Cyclone basketball,” Otzelberger said. 

With that, Otzelberger said his team is committed to the same habits as last year and has continued to work hard. 

Kalscheur said he also feels no pressure riding on him and the team to have another big season. 

“It’s what we expect to do,” Kalscheur said. “We put in all this work, we put in all this time, all this chemistry and leave it up to God really.” 

Kalscheur has a strong relationship with God and said that he puts the outcomes of the season into God’s hands. 

“Continuing to have that faith helps me grow,” Kalscheur said.