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Lipsey ready for momentum to carry into Cy-Hawk game

Jacob Rice
Tamin Lipsey moves the ball up the court during the ISU vs. Grambling State men’s basketball game, Hilton Coliseum, Nov. 19, 2023.

AMES — As the Cy-Hawk game approaches, the Iowa State men’s basketball team is ready to lock in and continue rolling through the season.

The one player that has gathered momentum throughout the season, especially with the competition steadily increasing, has been Tamin Lipsey. The Ames native will have a lot on his plate against Iowa, as he is coming off an impressive outing against DePaul.

Lipsey recorded a triple-double, scoring 15 points while securing 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Lipsey became just the seventh player in Iowa State history to record a triple-double.

With the pace Lipsey has been playing, it was bound to come sooner than later. Not only has he been proficient at scoring and moving the ball around, but his rebound numbers shot up since the start of the ESPN Events Invitational, as he continues to dominate on both ends of the floor.

“Man, he does a whole lot on both sides of the basketball, and he does it playing heavy minutes,” Iowa State head coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

However, the triple-double almost did not come to fruition.

With time running out against DePaul, Lipsey thought about waving off his teammates so he could get the last rebound but decided to let it happen naturally. If it was meant to happen, it would happen.

“I was thinking about it, but I was like, ‘If it happens, it will happen. I was able to tip that last one away from Keshon [Gilbert],’” Lipsey said.

Lipsey secured the rebound to make history. His triple-double etched him onto an exclusive list next to Cyclone greats.

“I had no clue how many people had gotten it or anything until after. That’s really cool to hear, and hopefully I’ll get more,” Lipsey said.

Although Lipsey would love to get more triple-doubles and continue filling the stat sheet, that is not what he tends to go for. He is a team player at the end of the day and will do anything to help the team win.

If getting a triple-double means filling out the stat sheet, then Lipsey would be more than happy to do so. Recently, filling out the stat sheet has just come with the wins, as his impact on the floor continues to translate to impressive performances.

“Filling up the stat sheet just comes with winning. Winning is most important,” Lipsey said.

Lipsey has taken massive strides since the end of last season, which has shown in the team’s early success. The work Lipsey put in during the offseason is starting to show, as his triple-double was the culmination of his efforts.

“It speaks volumes to just who he is and how hard he works every single day because we’ve seen it,” Otzelberger said. “You see every single game for those of us who are living it with him, and you kinda expect his greatness. It really is not even fair to him because of the progress he keeps making is phenomenal.”

Going forward, the Cyclones will need Lipsey to stay red hot, especially as they welcome Iowa in the annual Cy-Hawk matchup.

With the game at Hilton Coliseum, the Cyclones will have a home-court advantage in what might prove to be a tough challenge. With a good chunk of the team new to Iowa State basketball—or in Lipsey’s case, new to playing at Hilton in the Cy-Hawk atmosphere—the game will be a unique experience for the team.

“We’re fortunate to be at home [and] to have the best fan base and a rowdy fan base and one that will be highly engaged in this game,” Otzelberger said. “So, the great part is if you’re new to it, whether you’re a transfer or a freshman, you’ve got 14,500 people that are behind you every play, which is a great thing to have.”

Senior Robert Jones experienced his first Cy-Hawk matchup at Hilton the same time that T.J. Otzelberger got to town. The Cyclones came out on top in dominant fashion en route to an undefeated non-conference season.

Although Iowa got the better of the Cyclones in last season’s matchup, the atmosphere at Hilton will provide an energy boost unlike anything the team has experienced yet, similar to Jones’ first Cy-Hawk game.

“I expect it to be kinda like my first year. Being on the court my first year, I think my ears popped in the middle of the game just because of how loud it was,” Jones said.

Although it is Lipsey’s second year with the team, which means this will be his first Cy-Hawk matchup at Hilton, he was supposed to go to the game Jones was referring to.

Lipsey was set to visit Hilton as a recruit but could not make it.

“I think I might have had the flu or something,” Lipsey said.

Lipsey felt so bad and was bedridden the entire day. He even slept through the first half due to his illness. When he woke up, he was in for a pleasant surprise as Iowa State was already in full control of the game.

“I slept through the first half and woke up for the second half. I remember that,” Lipsey said. “It was good to see the score.”

Even though he could not be there in person, Lipsey was happy to see his future team take control of a matchup that big. Now, Lipsey is even more motivated to make the most of his first home Cy-Hawk game.

Growing up in Ames and experiencing the game every year, the rivalry means a lot to Lipsey. After traveling into Hawkeye territory and coming out unsuccessful last season, Lipsey is even more motivated now to put on a show in front of a packed Hilton crowd.

If Lipsey can string together another efficient game on both ends of the court, the Cyclones have a chance to shine at Hilton.

“It’s obviously one of the biggest rivalries in college sports I would say, so there’s a lot of passion that goes into it on both sides—just a lot of competitiveness and wanting to win more than that other team,” Lipsey said. “It’s gonna be one of the best games of the year.”

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Jacob Rice, Visual Editor
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