So far, so good for Iowa State freshman point guard Tamin Lipsey.
On Wednesday, Lipsey gets another new challenge as the No. 25 Cyclones (10-2, 1-0 Big 12) play their first conference road game, taking on Oklahoma at Norman, Okla.
“If you were watching, you wouldn’t know he was a freshman,” Iowa State senior Gabe Kalscheur said after the Cyclones opened conference play with a 77-62 victory over Baylor on Saturday. “He looks so calm, cool and collected. He doesn’t try to do too much.”
Lipsey had eight points, tied his season high with eight assists, and added five rebounds against the Bears.
“I just go out there and do it,” Lipsey said. “I don’t know any different. I’m not going to back down from anyone.”
Lipsey is averaging 6.3 points, 4.7 assists and 1.8 turnovers per game.
“You see that poise. You watch him out there, and, man, this guy can’t be a freshman. No way,” Cyclones coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “That’s his character. That’s how he prepares. That’s how he works.
“I don’t think he’s a freshman anymore. He’s doing great.”
Iowa State comes into Wednesday’s game on a three-game winning streak. The Cyclones are allowing just 57.3 points per game, in the top 10 nationally, and are forcing 20.8 turnovers per game, the most among major-conference teams.
The Sooners turn the ball over 12.6 times per game.
While only three teams in the Big 12 average fewer turnovers, Oklahoma’s minus-1.9 turnover margin is worst in the conference. Iowa State leads the league and is No. 2 nationally with a plus-7.8 turnover margin.
The Cyclones have three players averaging at least 10 points per game, led by Jaren Holmes at 13.5 points. Caleb Grill and Kalscheur are at 10.7 per game.
The Sooners (9-4, 0-1) are coming off a 70-69 home loss to Texas in Saturday’s Big 12 opener.
While Iowa State’s offensive success has largely fallen on the shoulders of a freshman point guard, the Sooners have relied on a veteran at the position.
Senior Grant Sherfield, a Nevada transfer, leads the Sooners with 18.3 points and 3.8 assists per game.
Sherfield has scored 21 points or more in five of Oklahoma’s last six games, including 22 in each of the last two.
“He’s willing to share it and he can score, and it’s a great combination,” Sooners coach Porter Moser said of Sherfield. “Sometimes you get guys that are scorers and they’re looking so much to score they find the open guy late. … And Grant’s not that guy. He finds guys when they’re open.
“He’s willing to share it and get it to them when they’re open. It isn’t like, ‘Oh, last resort, he’s finally open and I’ll hit him.’ Meanwhile, that guy’s window has closed. He’s an opportune, very good passer, and he’s an efficient scorer. That’s what makes him dangerous.”
The teams split their games last season. Oklahoma has beaten the Cyclones three consecutive times at Norman.
–Field Level Media