Lewis ready to represent Milwaukee, earn playing time

By Connor Ferguson, [email protected], @cfchangs9
Terrence Lewis looks for a rebound during a YMCA Capital City League game.

Aaron Marner

Lindell Wigginton’s commitment last year made waves for Iowa State basketball, and for good reason.

He was highly rated. He’s been a winner. He has legitimate NBA aspirations.

But Wigginton isn’t the only big-name freshman who is expected to contribute at Iowa State this year.

Four-star guard Terrence Lewis might not be as well-known as Wigginton, but he’s looking to provide a different role and make an impact where he can. What can he bring to the team as an unproven true freshman?

“I just expect him to not get too high, not get too low,” said Donovan Jackson, senior point guard. “I think he just has to understand the system and stuff like that but I think he’s gonna be real good for us.”

At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Lewis can play guard or forward. His shooting ability, as coach Steve Prohm and others have noted, will help him get on the floor right away.

At the high-school level in Milwaukee, Lewis hit 55.8 percent of his three-point attempts over his final two years and totaled 120 made threes.

During the YMCA Capital City League in Des Moines this summer, Lewis and teammate Solomon Young routinely combined for 50 points or more, and the duo became the most consistent team in the league.

As far as this year goes? Lewis will be in a position he’s never been in before. He may not be a starter when the season rolls around.

“I’ve always been a starter at every level,” Lewis said. “If I have to come off the bench as a sixth man I’ll give it everything I’ve got.”

So while his role on the team may not be overwhelming, Lewis’ path to Ames has been unusual.

T.J. Otzelberger, who started as the primary recruiter for Lewis to Iowa State when Otzelberger was an assistant coach for the Cyclones, is now the head coach at South Dakota State.

Lots of players withdraw their commitment or transfer when their lead recruiter bolts for another program. But not Lewis, even though he said he still stays in contact with Otzelberger.

“I still contact him, he still contacts me,” Lewis said of his relationship with Otzelberger. “I’m still working as hard as I can right now to get some of his advice and bring it to this program.”

Lewis said he never really felt any doubt about Iowa State after Otzelberger left, even though other schools such as UNLV, Marquette and Illinois had offered him scholarships, too.

One of the reasons for that is assistant coach Daniyal Robinson, who helped fill in for Otzelberger when he left for South Dakota State. Robinson’s commitment to Lewis and Iowa State’s success with Milwaukee players made an impact on the decision, Lewis said.

Robinson and Lewis’ relationship was a big selling point as well.

“We kind of gang recruit,” Robinson said. “So when [Otzelberger] left, coach Prohm definitely was a huge part in it every day and I just recruited him like I would any other player … I’ve had a relationship with his dad, so I kinda already had an idea what the situation was.”

Lewis is also a part of the Milwaukee pipeline that has been so successful for Iowa State in recent years. The most recent one, and the only other Milwaukee native on this year’s roster, is Donovan Jackson.

“He’s been a good leader this year, just trying to help me get around the ropes,” Lewis said. “Donovan’s a good player, a good person.”

Jackson got to play alongside Deonte Burton last year, another Milwaukee native. Before that, Jameel McKay represented Milwaukee as a Cyclone.

That recent Milwaukee pipeline extends back from Diante Garrett through Terrence Lewis, and it’s become something of a recruiting hotbed for Iowa State.

“I think it all started with T.J. Otzelberger,” Jackson said. “I think it just keeps on forming. Everybody from Milwaukee kind of wants to come to Iowa State and play.”

For Lewis, being the next in line among the Milwaukee Cyclones was appealing, and considering how many of them have gone on to play in the NBA after Iowa State, it’s not hard to see why.

“I guess coach [Prohm] likes a lot of great, aggressive guys from Milwaukee,” Lewis said with a smile. “I’m glad he chose me to be a part of his program and I’m glad he chose Donovan Jackson.”