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Basketball

WILLIAMS: How Solomon Young changes Iowa State’s outlook

Feb 15, 2017; Manhattan, KS, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Solomon Young (33) dribbles the ball as Kansas State Wildcats forward Dean Wade (32) defends during the first half at Fred Bramlage Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

No big deal.

That was essentially Solomon Young’s response after an 18 point, 12 rebound outburst that came in the first road start of his career on Wednesday night. Of course, Iowa State (16-9, 8-5) picked up the 87-79 victory over Kansas State (16-10, 5-8).

“It felt like any other night,” a mild-mannered Young told the Cyclone Radio Network’s Eric Heft afterwards. “I go into every game with the same mentality so it doesn’t really change much.”

There were a lot of great aspects to this win and we will get to those later here on Cyclone Fanatic, but Young was obviously the standout.

Eight of his 12 rebounds were on the offensive end. The rest of the team combined for one offensive board.

That is an incredible stat.

“He is going to the glass and he is finishing plays at the rim,” Steve Prohm said. “That’s the one thing that we have been struggling with is finishing at the rim.”

INSTANT REACTION PODCAST: Iowa State 87, Kansas State 79

Young, a true freshman, finished 8-of-10 from the floor but the most encouraging thing to come from his performance has less to do with this specific win and more to do with the future.

Iowa State appears to have finally found some legitimate consistency at the five.

“He really seized the moment and didn’t look like a freshman. We really needed his presence,” Naz Mitrou-Long said. “It’s huge. You want to play your best basketball now. That’s what we needed because we were missing that piece of consistency and he brought it.”

The next game on Iowa State’s schedule is a perfect example to show the importance of Young’s emergence. When TCU beat Iowa State 84-77 on Jan. 14, Vladimir Brodziansky had 25 points and 14 rebounds.

However, Young only played three minutes in that game. Darrell Bowie, who did not play against Kansas State on Wednesday, started at the five and had one rebound in 16 minutes. Merrill Holden did not play in the first game against TCU.

Point is, Young being the guy we saw on Wednesday makes Iowa State a vastly different, and much more dangerous basketball team that is able to adapt to multiple matchups.

That’ll be big come March.

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