AMES — Iowa State men’s basketball coach Steve Prohm announced Saturday morning that embatlled top-100 guard Nick Noskowiak will not be rejoining the team.
Prohm said Friday he woud uphold Noskowiak’s indefinite suspension while he learned more about multiple charges the talented but troubled freshman-to-be from Sun Prairie, Wis., faces. He spoke to Noskowiak Friday night and the path forward became crystal clear.
“Nick informed us Friday night of his decision to step away from basketball and we agree that it is in his best interest and the best interest of Iowa State for us to mutually part,” Prohm said in a a statement this morning. “We appreciate his effort when he was with us and wish him and his family the best in the future.”
According to the Ames Tribune and several other outlets, Noskowiak, a freshman-to-be, faces multiple charges in his home state of Wisconsin, including felony first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Prohm said he found out about the arrests within the past two days.
"We’ll just deal with it," Prohm said Friday. "I want to help Nick. I want to help his family and go from there. That’s our job, is to try to help these kids."
The Tribune‘s Travis Hines first reported news of Noskowiak’s legal problems Thursday afternoon.
In a pre-Spain departure news conference, Prohm noted that Noskowiak would not make the trip, but remained on the team.
"He’s got to deal with a family situation,” Prohm said at the time. “Still with the team, he just won’t be with us on the trip.”
Noskowiak, who stands 6-feet 2-inches tall, originally signed with Marquette, but was granted a release because a coaching change occurred. He missed much of his senior season at Sun Prairie (Wis.) High School because of personal issues.
Prohm said he and Noskowiak had not spoken since news of the arrests came to light — until later Friday.
"Hopefully we’ll get ahold of him sometime today," Prohm said.
Noskowiak also was quoted in a statement:
"“I have decided to step away from the Iowa State men’s basketball program,” Noskowiak said. “I wish Coach Prohm, my former coaches and teammates the best of luck in the future and I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to be a part of their team.”
**Both Monté Morris and Georges Niang said the team grew during the trip, despite a loss and widespread bouts with illness.
The Cyclones fell, 82-77, to the Venezuelan National Team in the opener, but rebounded with convincing wins over the Valencia All-Stars (96-52) and the Barcelona All-Stars (88-70) before sickness struck at least two players and forced the cancellation of the planned overseas finale.
The loss hurt, but no one’s panicking about a loss in August to a team of seasoned pros.
"They were like 15 deep," Morris said of the Venezuelans. "So they subbed in three different point guards and they picked me up full court, you know, to try to get the ball out of my hands. I had to do a lot of work in that game and they’re rough out there. They play physical and the refs were kind of biased too."
Niang played some point forward on the trip, as well.
"I brought the ball up a good amount of times and we started working it into our 50 series and stuff like that, so it was a good mix," Niang said.
Jameel McKay had a topsy-turvy trip. After the initial loss, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Tweeted some nebulous things that seemed to indicate he was upset, but he posted a double-double (25 points, 10 rebounds) in the resounding win over Barcelona before being stricken by a stomach bug.
"Jameel played great," Prohm said.
As for the Tweets …
"I don’t know," Morris said of McKay’s, let’s say, eclectic mix of Tweets from time to time. "I’ll be right next to him sometimes and he’ll Tweet and I’ll be like, ‘Why did you say that? Because that’s not how he feels, or the way he’s acting,’ so I think he just Tweets sometimes for no reason, probably."
He had good reason later when the stomach bug hit.
McKay and walk-on guard Jordan Ashton were too sick to play the final game. Few Cyclones emerged from the trip sans some symptoms of illness (Niang said he steered clear of health issues because of dilligent hand-washing and use of hand sanitzer).
"Naz (Mitrou-Long) had flu-like symptoms," Prohm said. "Coach T.J. (Otzelberger) was sick during the trip. Coach Neill (Berry) just got sick. I don’t think it was the food. It was just maybe the wear and the tear of the travel and the longevity of the trip. Outside of the sickness the trip was really good."
**Prohm made sure to point out that Niang threw a costly interception during a spirited game of beach football off the Mediterranean coast. Director of Basketball Operations Micah Byars snared the pick and returned it for a decisive touchdown.
"(Byars) went 99 yards to the house and we won the game," Prohm said. "You can ask Georges about that interception when you talk to him. … And he may kill me, too, because I was the quarterback for the other team, so just putting it out there, I did throw a bunch of interceptions, but we won."
"Coach looked like Julius Peppers in the flesh and I had to get rid of that ball quick," Niang said with a smile. "Coach Micah Byars is a former Division I football player so obviously he made a brilliant play. I didn’t really try to chase him down, so he was lucky on that part, but they beat us. We had scored four touchdowns and they had scored one, so I don’t know — they claimed to beat us, but that’s how it went."