Dec 12, 2019; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones head coach Steve Prohm watches his team play against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Hilton Coliseum. The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones 84 to 68.Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, the Iowa State men’s basketball team embarked on the journey that will be the 2020-21 season.
There’s only one problem…
The road map for that season has never been more unclear. As it currently stands, Iowa State has only three publicly known games scheduled and none of them appear on the program’s official schedule page on Cyclones.com.
One of those known contests was announced on Wednesday when the SEC and Big 12 released the matchups for their annual challenge with the Cyclones slated to go on the road (for what feels like the 10th year in a row but in reality only the fourth) to take on Mississippi State in Starkville.
The other two games, Big 12 matchups with West Virginia and Kansas State scheduled for December, have only been reported (and confirmed by Prohm on Wednesday) and not announced by the league.
“We got Mississippi State today so that just solidifies the SEC game. That will be a great opportunity for us down in Starkville against a really well-coached Ben Howland team. Excited about that. Obviously, the conference season I think it’s out that Kansas State and West Virginia December matchups that’s been out so we’ve got those games,” Prohm said of the program’s schedule during a Zoom call with the media on Wednesday. “The other 16 (Big 12) games, they’re still working on that. Whether we get that in the next week or two, hopefully. The non-conference, we’re not trying to play 27 games and (a multi-team even). We’d love to be at 25 games. We’re trying to finish up one game and if we can find one more game I think we’ll be in a good place from that standpoint. The schedule’s still a work in progress and ever-changing. Coach (Micah) Byars is on that daily. We’ll have that completed hopefully sometime here in the next couple of weeks.”
While some programs have opted to replace their originally schedule multi-team events with newly formed events in college towns across the country (including reportedly Lincoln, Neb. and Iowa City), Iowa State will instead opt to play only traditional single-games, making this the program’s first season without a regular season multi-team event since 1989-90.
So, this means the remaining unknown portion of Iowa State’s 2020-21 schedule should shake out as follows:
– Four “buy games” played at Hilton Coliseum
– Big East/Big 12 Challenge opponent (originally scheduled to be DePaul)
– 16 additional Big 12 games
– A rivalry game mentioned by Prohm (in the following quote) that we can speculate to be a matchup with the expected to be preseason top-10 (if not top-5) Iowa Hawkeyes
“We’re just going to play 25 games,” Prohm said. “Our goal is to get 25 games and then out of our games that aren’t already challenge wise, Big East, SEC, the rivalry game, the 18 league games, the other four games will hopefully four home buy games.”
Step one of getting the 2020-21 season started came last week when the Cyclones took the court together for the first time.
Now, we just need to find out when and where they will step on the court with an opponent.