To put a bow on this college basketball season, we’re resurrecting a once-dormant series of ours where we ask each returning Cyclone to “step into our office” to review the season that was, and take a shot at what next season could look like for them.
Up next is sophomore-to-be big man George Conditt, who should be in line to play a much bigger role next season.
Season at a Glance
George came into his freshman season as a talented 3-star recruit out of Chicago with a family legacy to uphold. His father, George III, was an offensive lineman at Iowa State. At best, he was expected to be the 4th big man in Iowa State’s rotation behind Michael Jacobson, Cameron Lard, and Solomon Young. After Young’s injury and Lard’s suspension in the non-conference, there was an expectation that Conditt could see more time. His best performance came in the home loss to Kansas State, where he brought energy defensively and made all 4 of his shots from the floor.
His status seemed to be in limbo from there. After playing 14 minutes at Texas Tech, he didn’t see double digit minutes again until the last 3 games of the regular season, 2 of which were blowout losses. The Cyclones faced plenty of struggles defensively at the end of the regular season, but Conditt couldn’t quite crack the regular rotation.
His advanced metrics are tough to take a lot from since the sample size was so small, but a couple of things that stand out are his proficiency as a shot blocker, and a high field goal percentage. His block rate would’ve placed him in the top 5 of all players in the country. He did turn the ball over quite a bit, but probably didn’t dribble more than a couple of times per game. Shooting 72% from the free throw line is also very encouraging.
His player profile checked out as a classic defensive big man. He was fantastic as a shot blocker, an average rebounder, and made most of his field goals from close range. He showed good defensive instincts and timing as a rim protector. For a true freshman that wasn’t expected to play a ton of minutes, it was hard to ask for much more.
2019-2020 Season Outlook
The Iowa State frontcourt is about to go through some huge changes. Cameron Lard has already announced that he’ll be transferring and Solomon Young will be returning from injury. Part of any optimism for 2020 is from expected improvement from Conditt and fellow sophomore Tyrese Haliburton. While there is still time for the roster to change, George should slide into a starting role or be the first player off the bench, depending on how Coach Prohm wants to structure his lineups.
George should be the key piece to improving this team’s defense. Iowa State hasn’t had a true rim protector since Jameel McKay in 2015, and Conditt is a candidate to fill that role. His main focus should be getting stronger to handle the physical post play in the Big 12. Offensively, the key will be improving as an offensive rebounder and cutting down on turnovers. At 6’10” with a 7 foot + wingspan and hopefully some added strength, he should be able to finish lobs at the rim and grab or tap out offensive boards. A great season for George would be something around 10 points, 6-7 rebounds, and 2-3 blocks per game. I’m extremely optimistic that he can make that leap and give Iowa State another key rotation piece in the post.