Cyclones focus on bonding for upcoming Spain trip


Korrie Bysted/Iowa State Daily

Steve Prohm talks with ISU basketball players at his press conference on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at the Sukup Basketball Complex.

Chris Wolff

When the ISU men’s basketball team travels to Spain later this month, it will put basketball on the back burner.

Although the Cyclones will play four games during the 10-day trip, game strategies and results will take a back seat to team bonding.

“It’s not really about winning games and playing, it’s about the time together — the camaraderie,” ISU coach Steve Prohm said.

That camaraderie will begin right away, especially for Prohm and senior Georges Niang, who will sit next to each other on the long flight to Spain.

“We’ve got eight hours,” Prohm joked. “We can figure it all out by the time we get there.”

The trip will allow plenty of time for the players and coaches to learn about one another and bond together as a team.

“It’ll be a good time for us to get to know each other a little bit more, see new things together,” junior point guard Monte Morris said.

For Niang, the value of the trip will be getting the chance to strengthen relationships with the new coaching staff.

“The biggest thing is continue to gain in our relationships with the coaching staff … when you can trust someone and you have respect for someone, you want to play even harder for them,” Niang said.

While team bonding and off-the-court activities are most important to the team, on-the-court play is still significant.

The team is allowed 10 days of practice leading up to the trip and live games throughout the trip.

The extra practices will allow the players more tim to learn Prohm’s offensive and defensives schemes and implement them quickly.

“I feel like this trip couldn’t have been a better trip to take because [we] actually get to play games with a new coach,” Morris said. “We’re just happy we get a chance to play for coach before the big lights come on.”

Hallice Cooke will get to play with the team in a live situation for the first time. The amount of game time he receives will depend on how his body holds as he continues to recover from two hip surgeries.

Fellow newcomer Deonte Burton will also go on the trip, but will not be allowed to play because of NCAA transfer rules. Burton has to sit out the beginning of the season after transferring from Marquette.

Even though it isn’t all about winning and losing, Morris made it clear that he doesn’t plan on losing.

“I don’t want to lose over there,” he said. “I feel like we’re all on the same page, hoping we come back victorious.”