AMES — Steve Prohm’s time at Iowa State has looked a lot like a sinusoidal wave.
The first two with Prohm at the helm, Iowa State made the NCAA Tournament — including making the Sweet 16 in the 2015-16 season. The third year was when things started to get bumpy for Prohm.
The Cyclones went just 13-18 overall and 4-14 in conference. Iowa State was a young team and had just graduated two classes that currently have six players in the NBA — a drop off was expected.
Last season, Iowa State bounced back up and the Cyclones went 23-12 and made the NCAA Tournament once again.
But this season, after four key players graduated or left early, Iowa State had another down season.
Iowa State’s season ended in Kansas City on Wednesday with a 72-71 loss to Oklahoma State. The Cyclones finished just 12-20 overall and 5-13 in conference.
Prohm knows things have to change.
“Like I told the guys in the locker room, ‘I’ve got to change in some ways and you’ve got to change,’” Prohm said. “It starts in the spring when we get back on campus and start our spring and summer workouts. Our mental and physical toughness has to get better and there are a lot of little detailed stuff we gotta clean up.”
Prohm believes it starts with him.
“I think I just have to change,” Prohm said. “I have to be a little bit more aggressive in a lot of different areas. That can go in a lot of different directions but I think I have to be aggressive and I have to continue to be myself, but the areas that I need to improve in and get better in, I’ve got to challenge myself to do that.”
Senior Michael Jacobson said the season was “unacceptable.’
He won’t get a chance to help turn it around on the court but he hopes the returning players have learned a valuable lesson.
“You’ve got to find some consistency and just make sure you’re competing every day, competing in the games,” Jacobson said. “Just understanding that the biggest thing is what it takes to win at a high level. This year we didn’t have a ton of guys that had that experience. They need to realize what that takes and everything that goes into it and not to take anything for granted.”
Iowa State will lose seniors Jacobson and Nixon and could lose Tyrese Haliburton to the NBA Draft.
Prohm said he’ll meet with Haliburton after spring break to discuss Haliburton’s future.
Whether or not he returns, Prohm is still focused on the team he has.