As Iowa State adds “bigs,” don’t expect change in style of play

Iowa State’s men’s basketball roster is set to look considerably different when the Cyclones take the floor for the 2017-18 season. At least five new players (with two scholarships still open) will suit up for Iowa State when it visits Missouri for the season opener.

There will also be two new additions, forward Michael Jacobson and guard Marial Shayok, sitting out due to transfer rules. Once they are eligible in 2018-19, the roster will have essentially gone through a complete overhaul in Steve Prohm‘s four years at the helm.

Iowa State will enter that season with three big-men, Solomon Young, Cameron Lard and Jacobson, expected to make solid contributions to the team, but don’t expect that to have much effect on the way the team plays.

“We’re not going to change how we play,” Prohm said during the Cyclone Tailgate Tour stop in Iowa Falls on Wednesday. “I’ve played the same way my whole college coaching career. It won’t change at all. We’re recruiting some guys in ’18 with skill upfront to go along with the rest of the guys we have returning and then get a couple more guards.”

None of those three guys mentioned previously are going to wow anybody with their offensive abilities or skill-sets. Sure, they could grow over the next two years, but few people would expect any of them to ever become 20-point scorers.

Young’s game will probably expand from being an occasional offensive threat to someone opponents truly have to game plan against, but it seems unlikely he will be the next Georges Niang.

It is hard to believe that Lard will be capable of shouldering a major offensive load, as well.

Even though Jacobson will have a full year to develop his offensive skills while he sits out, he still seems like someone who will mainly be relied on to rebound, defend and bring added toughness to the court.

If any “big” is going to really change the way Iowa State plays in 2018-19, it will be highly-skilled four-star forward Race Thompson. The Minneapolis native has been on Iowa State’s radar for months and will likely be someone Prohm and his staff pursues heavily until he ends his recruitment.

At this point, there is no way to know definitely how any of those scenarios will play out, but don’t expect Iowa State’s game to change much even as the roster changes in the next two seasons.

“We’re not going to change the way we play,” Prohm said. “We’ll never do that.”

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.