Pewaukee’s Milan Momcilovic (22) gets inside for two during the WIAA Division 2 state boys basketball championship against La Crosse Central at the Kohl Center in Madison on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Syndication: Journal Sentinel
Cyclone Fanatic managing editor Jared Stansbury caught up with new Iowa State commit Milan Momcilovic on Saturday after the four-star power forward arrived in Georgia for the EYBL Peach Jam event this week in Atlanta.
That conversation is below in Q&A form. It has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
Q: Why Iowa State?
Milan Momcilovic: First thing is my relationship with the coaching staff. TJ (Otzelberger), JR (Blount), the strength coach, and the rest of the people. I just think the relationship there was one of the biggest factors for me. They came to see me five or six times at Pewaukee, or even my house. That just kind of showed how much they were invested in and how much they wanted me. So, that was probably one of the biggest things. Number two was probably opportunity and fit. The opportunity will be there if you look at the roster makeup. I’m gonna come in and hopefully have a big impact right away. Obviously, I need to earn it, work hard and be humble, but the opportunity is there to play right away.
Q: What has been the staff’s pitch to you?
Momcilovic: They kind of showed me a couple of videos, clips of Matt Thomas, George Niang and kind of how I fit in there. They also just kind of show me I can really do whatever. I can bring the ball up on the break, catch and shoot, catch and drive, I can really just do whatever, pass, dribble, shoot. I mean, pretty simple, I guess. But they’re gonna use me in a lot of different ways. I believe in TJ and their staff to use me the correct way.
Q: I think the Georges Niang comparison is an interesting one because I definitely see some similarities in your games with how you can score all over the floor. Are you familiar with Georges at all? Did you watch him in college or anything?
Momcilovic: I definitely see some similarities, but I actually never really grew up watching him at all. I didn’t know who he was until he was on the 76ers. That’s when I kind of started following him a little bit then the kind of last year a little bit when I knew he went to Iowa State. That’s when I kind of followed him because I really didn’t know a whole lot about him coming up.
Q: What are some areas you want to keep cleaning up in your game before you get to the collegiate level?
Momcilovic: So I think, obviously, number one is definitely the strength and athleticism piece. I think I just got to get stronger, more athletic, just increase my vertical and my lateral quickness, just those things that are going to help me on the court, whether it’s rebounding, defense, offense, I think that’s just obviously the biggest thing I need to work on. Just keep staying in the weight room and grinding.
I think on the offensive side of the ball, I think it’s more of the ball handling. Just being tight with the ball. More going off the dribble a little bit, beating my guys off the dribble, creating a little more for my teammates and myself. I think that’s something I can improve on the offensive side.
I think one of my biggest weaknesses that I need to improve on is my defense. You obviously have to play defense at all levels, especially in the NBA. That’s how you get there is playing defense. So, that’s something I need to believe in. Something I need to work on. I think TJ will really help me with that so that I can become a way better defender.
Q: What are you most excited about when you get to Ames?
Momcilovic: Obviously, it’s closer to home, the opportunities there, I love the coaching staff. Everything’s kind of perfect. I just got to work hard, be humble, stay on the grind, and I think at the end of the day, it’s going to work out.
Q: Have you been to a game in Hilton Coliseum? If so, what did you think of the atmosphere?
Momcilovic: I have. I went there on my official. It was pretty good for a winter break game with no students there. They were playing against a mid-major team and it was still pretty good so I think the atmosphere there on a regular basis is pretty damn good.