AMES – In his first two games at point guard, Iowa State’s Lindell Wigginton faced two unique defenses.
First it was the relentless pressure of West Virginia. Wigginton handled it well and had 22 points, five assists and just two turnovers.
The second game was against Baylor’s extended 1-3-1 zone, which gave Wigginton problems in the second half. He finished with 14 points and eight assists, but seven of those assists came in the first half when Baylor was playing more man-to-man defense.
Tonight in Lubbock, Texas, at 8 p.m. Wigginton will face a more traditional defense as Iowa State (12-10, 3-7 Big 12) travels to Texas Tech (19-4, 7-3 Big 12).
The Red Raiders’ defense is physical, but Wigginton has seen it before. Against Baylor, coach Steve Prohm said Wigginton got sped up at times and tried to force the action. Wigginton knows he needs to slow it down and work the ball around.
“I’m just trying to lead the team while Nick [Weiler-Babb’s] out and get my teammates involved,” Wigginton said. “I know what I can do on the offensive end so I’m just really trying to get my teammates involved.”
Wigginton was recruited as a point guard out of high school, but even then, he didn’t play much point guard. He mostly played off the ball.
He’s still trying to learn all of the ins and outs of his new role. Including a new mindset.
“[My mindset] changes a lot because you have to make your teammates happy and put them in the right positions to score the ball,” Wigginton said. “I also have to get going and score the ball too because I need to score also to help the team win. You definitely have to think about that.”
Prohm saw that attacking, scoring mindset in the first two games and it’s something he wants Wigginton to refine.
As a shooting guard, that mindset works, but as a point guard in the half-court, he needs to be more deliberate.
“He played at too fast of pace at times,” Prohm said. “One thing he needs to work on is hard-hedge ball screens. What’s he looking for, what’s his read? You don’t have to score on the first ball screen, have a ball reversal. Sometimes he tries to score too quick. In transition, it’s fine to do that, but in the half court, you want to get a ball reversal.”