Feb 24, 2018; Morgantown, WV, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Terrence Lewis (24) dribbles up the floor during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
It is difficult to find many positives from a seven game losing streak to end the 2017-18 Iowa State basketball, but more playing time for guys like Zoran Talley and Terrence Lewis will certainly be a plus come next year.
As for Lewis, the freshman out of Milwaukee went from barely playing to seeing nearly 25 minutes per game down the stretch. The guy who Iowa State hopes will develop into its next Naz Mitrou-Long type of sharp shooter made 10 threes in his last five games. It is very notable that Lewis only made seven in the 26 games prior to that.
Shortly after the conclusion of Iowa State’s Big 12 Tournament loss to Texas last week, Cyclone Fanatic caught up with Lewis in the locker room and had the following conversation.
Is your confidence going into the offseason higher now that you’re entering it on a high note, individually?
TL: Most definitely. Coach Prohm gave me a lot of opportunities. I took some opportunities and I’m going to try to use them in my best interests so I can use them next year.
What are the biggest things that you need to work on this offseason?
TL: Working on ball handling, mostly. Getting to the paint too. The Big 12 is a physical conference so you have to be strong and well rounded with the ball. I need to work on my size and just being prepared.
What’s the process like when you go from being a star in high school to being a guy who isn’t playing much and then finally seeing the ball go in the hoop again towards the end of the season?
TL: It felt great. Every time the ball went in the basket it was like a big relief on my shoulders. The Big 12 was full of a lot of ups and downs this year. I wish I could take some of the games that I didn’t play or did play and just given it my all.
How did you stay sane during that time that you weren’t playing?
TL: It hurt me but at the same time, I talked to my parents, Coach Prohm, Coach Robinson. I just kept trying to be positive every day. I worked every day on my craft and just tried to be me.
Your dad is a coach, right?
TL: Yes sir.
Did you lean on him a lot?
TL: We always have conversations after games. He tells me it is going to be rough but I have to stick through it. My time is going to come. Be ready when I am called. I can say half of the times I was ready when my number was called.
How excited are you to get the ball rolling for next year?
TL: We are going to have a good team next year. Marial Shayok, who didn’t play this year, is going to be a big help. Lindell Wigginton will keep being aggressive with the ball. Cameron Lard, up and down the court, running the floor at 6-9. Me, I just need to hit open shots, make tough plays and keep playing hard. It’s going to be very scary next year.