Iowa State hosts Kansas for a rival Big 12 rematch

Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm waves to the crowd following Iowa State’s 75-65 win over Baylor at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 13, 2018.

Brian Mozey

It’s a quick turnaround for Iowa State as the Cyclones will play the Kansas Jayhawks Tuesday night at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State just finished winning its third top 25 game at home on Saturday afternoon against the Oklahoma Sooners with an 88-80 final score.

The transition from Saturday to today has been a bumpy one, but coach Steve Prohm understands that the Cyclones need to be focused on Tuesday night to win against a Kansas team that’s looking at a top spot in the Big 12 standings.

Here are some takeaways from Prohm’s press conference on Monday.

Cameron Lard wins Big 12 Newcomer of the Week

It’s no surprise that redshirt freshman forward Cameron Lard earned Big 12 honors this week after his performances at Texas Tech and against Oklahoma on Saturday.

Lard started the week with a 22-point performance against the Red Raiders that ended up in an Iowa State loss but finished the week with 19 points and 17 rebounds against the Sooners on Saturday.

He shot 77 percent from the field throughout those two games and combined for three assists, four blocks and three steals in those two games as well. He’s becoming a dominant force in the paint for the Cyclones and he continues to say that he comes in with the same mindset every game.

That mindset is to play his best game of basketball to give Iowa State a chance to win.

“He’s giving 100 percent when’s he’s out there,” said redshirt junior guard Nick Weiler-Babb. “None of the wins we would have this season would be possible if he wasn’t there.”

Injuries piling up for Iowa State

This past week, the attention has been focused on Weiler-Babb and Hans Brase and when they will be returning to the lineup. Prohm was able to give the media some updates on the progress of the two players.

Weiler-Babb has been cleared to practice and will practice today. As for his status for Tuesday’s game against Kansas, that’s still up in the air.

Prohm said he will talk to Weiler-Babb during practice and see how he feels before consulting with the team trainer. As of now, Prohm puts the redshirt junior guard as questionable for the Jayhawks game, but hopes to have him back for the road game against Kansas State this upcoming Saturday.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Weiler-Babb said. “Been doing rehab and stuff. That’s a possibility [playing tomorrow].”

Brase will definitely be out for Tuesday’s game as he’s still dealing with after-effects from his ACL injury. The senior forward was out for the two games last week and needed time to rest the knee.

Prohm said Brase will dress for the game against Kansas but doesn’t see him playing as the Cyclones wait for the big man to make his return against Kansas State.

Those two injuries are not the only injuries Prohm is facing on the team. It was brought up during today’s press conference that Solomon Young and Lard are facing minor injuries.

Lard is dealing with a shoulder injury, while Young is facing a knee injury. Prohm said neither of them should sit out for any games, but practices will be light just to give them some rest.

“We won’t have enough to go contact wise [in today’s practice],” Prohm said. “With all of these non-contact guys, I said ‘Hey, let’s just review some stuff, walk through on Kansas and get some shots.'”

Cyclones focused on stopping Jayhawks’ 3-point shooting

Kansas has been known to excel from the 3-point line with the amount of guards on its roster. That dominance showed in the last game between Iowa State and Kansas on Jan. 9 iat Allen Fieldhouse.

Svi Mykhailiuk started it off from behind the arc in the first half and Malik Newman finished it for the Jayhawks in the second half. Kansas had 36 attempts from the 3-point line and connected on 14 of them.

Newman finished with five 3-pointers and Mykhailiuk ended with six 3-pointers. The Jayhawks average 10.2 3-pointers and are currently shooting 39.4 percent as a team.

That 39.4 percent puts Kansas in 24th place in the NCAA for 3-point percentage, which is second in the Big 12 behind TCU at 41.5 percent.

Kansas has four guards shooting above a 35-percent from the 3-point line. Mykhailiuk leads the team with a 44.8 percent, while Devonte’ Graham shoots 42.5 percent. Lagerald Vick (37.4) and Newman (35) round out the four for the Jayhawks.

“[We just have to] try to run them off the line,” Wigginton said. “They’re a great 3-point shooting team so… just try to get them off the line.”

Kansas is also ranked 24th in the NCAA for field goal percentage with 48.9 percent. TCU is the only Big 12 team above the Jayhawks in that category as well with 50.2 percent.

Prohm knows that Kansas coach Bill Self is going to stick to a similar game plan as last game in early January, so it’s just going to be staying alert on every aspect of the game.

Prohm expecting best game from Kansas

Iowa State may be sitting in last place in the Big 12 standings, but Kansas is only one win away from tying Texas Tech for the top spot in the Big 12.

The Jayhawks have won the last 13 regular season Big 12 titles and have their eyes on continuing the streak. With only six games left to go in the regular season, Self and the Kansas team will be looking to win out and capture that title heading into the Big 12 tournament in mid-March.

Kansas’ last game was on the road against Baylor last Saturday and the Jayhawks fell 80-64 against the Bears. The Jayhawks have a tough stretch after the game against Iowa State as they play West Virginia, Oklahoma, at Texas Tech, Texas and at Oklahoma State.

Prohm knows that this Kansas team wants that Big 12 title and will be having a must-win mentality for the Cyclones on Tuesday.

“I would bet that they’re laser-focused tomorrow night at six o’clock,” Prohm said. “Because they still have an opportunity to win the league… we are going to get their A number one game.”

Iowa State will need to play its best game of basketball to match Kansas. That means all aspects of the game including pick and roll situations on the offense and playing close, tight defense on the Jayhawks guards.

The Cyclones will need to depend on a team performance similar to Saturday’s game against Oklahoma. Iowa State finished that game with five of its eight healthy players scoring in double digits.

Wigginton led the way with 26 points with Lard and Donovan Jackson finishing with 19 points each. Young (11 points) and Zoran Talley Jr. (10 points) rounded out the five players, but Prohm said he’ll need that type of game again on Tuesday.