By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher Guard play has been an issue in Ames all season long. There is no doubt about that. The good news is that help is on the way for Iowa State’s 2011 backcourt.
Meet DeMarcus Phillips, a 6-foot-3 guard out of Marshalltown Community College. Phillips signed with Iowa State this fall. He’s recently been injured with a broken hand. Phillips was in Ames for last weekend’s loss to Kansas State CycloneFanatic.com recently caught up with Marshalltown Community College head coach Brynjar Brynjarsson to get a scouting report.
Who is DeMarcus Phillips? “First and foremost, what Iowa State is getting is a great competitor. He’s somebody who has a passion for winning,” Brynjarsson said. “He lets his teammates know when things are not going right. I wouldn’t say that he is a leader in that sense, but he wants to win and he makes it clear that this is how things are going to go in order for us to win. With that being said, he is a gamer. When the lights come on, he has the ability to make tough shots. He has the ability to make plays. He doesn’t look like he is moving very fast but for some reason, he is going left and the defenders go right. He is very unselfish. He is a great passer. He has the ability to make shots in transition. He has the ability to make plays driving to the basket in the half court set. He has a great step-back, when he is driving, he just steps back from the defender. He has the ability to knock down the three. When he is making shots, I really think that he is close to impossible to guard. In the games that he has done that, he has been very hard to deal with.”
Phillips’ strength is? “Wherever he has been, it has been about winning. Since he has been here at Marshalltown, he has been our poster child. He was the guy who kind of put us on the map. Once we got him, it was kind of like everybody else who we were recruiting knew who he was. So if it was good enough for DeMarcus, it was good enough for everyone else. Do I think that he can make a difference at Iowa State? Absolutely.”
“Because of him, our practices are about as competitive as we’ve ever had it. I have been around the division one level. He gets after it and loves to compete. I think that is the biggest thing that he brings to the table. He hates to lose. He hates it with a passion. With that being said, he just kind of wills everybody around him to go their winning ways.”
Can he shoot? “He is a streaky shooter. Over the last two years, he has gotten better. When he gets going, he gets going. He can really make shots once he gets going. One night, we were at Kirkwood. He put on a clinic. Once he gets that shot going along with his drive, it is really hard to choose how you’re going to guard him. He is in the low 30’s to mid 30’s as far as 3-point percentage goes. He has the ability to make them. It isn’t his strength but when the game is on the line, I don’t mind him shooting. He wants the ball in that situation.”
Future challenges for Phillips… “I don’t know if you can ever say that somebody is Big 12 ready,” Brynjarsson said. “Night in and night out, the people you are playing against are NBA caliber players. Overseas, pros, whatever. DeMarcus is going to be ready. He is going to have his bumps along the way but at the same time, mentally, he is a gamer. He truly believes in his heart that he is the best one out there. That makes him good. He isn’t going to back down from anybody, I can tell you that.”
“The biggest adjustment that he needs to make is the grind of the year. The non-stop conditioning, the playing, everything. The academic tutoring that he is going to go through. The hours of the day are going to be a little bit different for him than he is used to. That will be his biggest obstacle.”
Chris’ take: If only Phillips was on campus, playing for Iowa State this season. He’s very good. He’s exactly what this current Iowa State team needs. Phillips is athletic. He can shoot and most importantly, he is tough. He has a Curtis Stinson sort of mentality that this team is severely lacking. This addition alone will make Iowa State’s guard-court better in 2011.
Also: Above is a YouTube video posted by the Ames Tribune earlier this year. In the piece, head coach Greg McDermott talks about Phillips as a player.