Dec 17, 2016; Des Moines, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Steve Prohm talks with guard Nick Weiler-Babb (1) during the first half against the Drake Bulldogs at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
AMES — ISU coach Steve Prohm met with his team Sunday — and the topics for discussion weren’t entirely based on basketball.
Forward Darrell Bowie‘s post-game comments following the Cyclones’ closer- than-expected 97-80 win over Drake helped spur the meeting.
“Obviously, everybody saw Darrell’s quote,” Prohm said.
Bowie, who scored 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds, was asked after the game about how ISU forged a 21-4 run to pull away late. According to The Des Moines Register, ISU’s second-leading rebounder recounted a pep talk guard Naz Mitrou-Long delivered before the Cyclones revived:
“He just brought us together and told us, ‘This is (the) final stretch and step it up,'” Bowie said in The Register. “That just showed why they don’t deserve to be on the court with us and we really feel like they don’t deserve to.”
Bowie — who later apologized on Twitter — was not available for interviews Monday, but Prohm said he was proud of him for how he handled the situation.
“The only thing I told Darrell was I wanted him to call Coach Rutter,” said Prohm, whose team (7-3) closes it’s non-conference slate Tuessday at 7 p.m. against winless Mississippi Valley State. “That’s as far as I wanted it to go. Later that night, I saw that he did that, which, I texted him and told him that was nice gesture.”
Mitrou-Long — who scored a career-high 37 points in the win over Drake — said Prohm’s message to the team Sunday was direct and well-received.
“In regards to some comments that were made after the game, it was wrong, it was addressed and coach hit it right on the head as to what he said in the locker room,” Mitrou-Long said. “Any opponent that we go after on the court, we’re going to everything we can to win, but you’ve got to respect your opponent. Drake’s a great program, (it’s) run by a great coach (former ISU assistant Jeff Rutter) and they have great players over there. Great people and great players. I know a bunch of them: they’re great dudes who work hard. So some things were said that shouldn’t have been and we’re going to do a couple things in regards to making sure that doesn’t happen again because that’s not what we’re about. That’s not what this program’s about and what anybody that represents this place is about.”
Prohm and Mitrou-Long both stressed it’s not what Bowie’s about, either.
“I read the article,” Prohm said. “Darrell’s a great kid. That’s one thing — I really wanted to message him to understand is, whether you play at Iowa State for one year, you play for me one year, you’re on of my players, you’re an Iowa State basketball player and this is how we want to represent ourselves. Win, lose or draw, we’re going to do things the right way and I won’t say — you read the whole article, it’s a little bit different. When you just read that one quote, it just sticks out and you’re like, ‘Holy smokes.’ I think our whole team understood that it was wrong and I think Darrell handled it professionally. So I’m proud of him for doing that and moving forward.”
Added Mitrou-Long: “Every team says little things at halftime and inside the locker room that if it got out, people could take it in a bigger, a different type of context. With that being said, Darrell’s friends with a bunch of guys over there, too, and he didn’t mean and disrespect by it. But those are things you say to your teammate or your buddy to get some motivation going.”
Prohm said he asked Bowie to reach out to Rutter on Sunday and he did so.
“That was a nice gesture,” Prohm said.