Iowa State was able to grab its third conference win of the season on Saturday against Kansas State and it was led by Solomon Young.
However, despite the win, the Cyclones will have to face the reality that its best player could be out for an extended amount of time and the continuation of giving up big chunks of runs against the Wildcats shows why concerns could grow moving forward.
A star is injured
Walking away with a win is always a positive, unless of course it also accompanies losing your best player to injury.
This of course is the situation Iowa State finds itself in after Tyrese Haliburton injured his left wrist after going up for a block and then falling hard to the floor, landing on his already injured wrist.
While the injury forced Haliburton into enough pain that he had to ask for a sub to replace him the remaining 13 minutes of the second half, the pain he had in his wrist is nothing new.
Haliburton injured his wrist earlier in the season before Iowa State would play host to Florida A&M on Dec. 31 but Coach Steve Prohm said he told Haliburton at the time that playing would only make his situation worse for not only himself, but for the team.
Haliburton would injure the same wrist Saturday, but made the decision himself to try and start the second half. Haliburton would not end up attempting a shot with his left side in the brief time he saw in the second half and his dribbling didn't make up for it.
After about six minutes of play, Prohm could see Haliburton could not execute and perform at the high level he normally gets out of him.
“He couldn’t dribble with his left hand so he needed to get out,” Prohm said. “What’s cool about him is how invested he is on the sidelines when he stopped playing.”
Prohm and other medical officials for the Cyclones said no official word will come out until Monday, but Haliburton said after the win that he be receiving an MRI on Sunday.
The original plan was to have Haliburton get an MRI after the rematch with Kansas on 2/17 for a check up on how the wrist was healing, but now with the wrist being reaggravated, he will likely be sidelined for the time being, possibly missing Wednesday's matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners. Haliburton's presence will be missed if he does end up sitting out games for the Cyclones, as the sophomore's stat line is usually full in most categories.
Another run makes it a close one
The terrible rhyming aside, Iowa State seemed to be on its way to a massive blowout of the Wildcats, until another batch of runs by its opponent made the game closer than it ever should have been.
Kansas State found itself down by as much as 21 in the first half, after shooting 0-11 to start the game off. But the poor offense wouldn't last the whole way, as the Wildcats ended the first half on a 12-0 run in the final 5:38 of the first period.
With Haliburton going out, the game began to switch toward the Wildcats taking control in mini stretches. It would become a 49-40 game with 12:22 left in second half, including an 11-3 run right after Haliburton sat down on the bench that spanned over six minutes.
Kansas State would cut it to as little as a four point lead for Iowa State thanks to rushed offense by the Cyclones who seemed to be searching for a replacement for Haliburton's ability to ball handle and facilitate the offense.
Prentiss Nixon and Terrence Lewis would end up leading the charge on offense, holding off a Kansas State comeback attempt.
Iowa State will have to find a way to contain the bursts from its opponents if it wants to walk away comfortably in wins.
Young bounces back
After being thrust back into the starting lineup in place of George Conditt against West Virginia on Feb. 5, Solomon Young struggled, to say the least.
The junior forward shot 0-8 from the field with no points and only two rebounds in his 20 minutes of action.
A different tune would be played Saturday night against the Wildcats, where Young would not only lead the team in scoring, but would also tie a career high on the defensive end to add to his impressive night.
Young ended with 20 points on 7-9 shooting, including 6-7 from the free-throw- line. The redshirt junior's offensive production was just a slice of the impact he made against Kansas State. Young added three rebounds, two blocks and four steals.
The four steals ties a career high Young previously set against Oklahoma on Feb. 10, 2018.
We are four minutes in and Solomon Young has all six of Iowa State's points.— Matt Belinson (@BelinsonMatt) February 9, 2020
With Haliburton playing a limited role for much of the night, Young knew he had to be the one to step up, with his team needing a spark without its leader.
“It’s a difference because [Haliburton] usually plays like 40 minutes a game, but when a guy goes down, I gotta step up so just gotta roll with it,” Young said.
In the upcoming matchup against the Sooners, Young will be looking for another bounce back after scoring two points on 1-4 shooting on Jan. 11.