Iowa State finally returns to the court Monday night after being away since Jan. 9, playing host to Oklahoma State on Monday night in its first game in more than two weeks.
The Cyclones had four straight games postponed because of COVID-19 protocols, three against ranked teams.
Oklahoma State (9-4, 3-4 Big 12) will travel to Ames, Iowa, after hanging with No. 2 Baylor for more than a half Saturday before falling 81-66. The Cowboys were without Cade Cunningham (COVID-19 protocols), who leads the Big 12 in scoring with 17.8 points per game.
Cunningham was cleared for activity prior to Saturday's game, but head coach Mike Boynton said his freshman guard was not ready to play. His status for Monday is not yet known.
Even without Cunningham, the Cowboys were able to lead Baylor 36-32 at halftime.
"There's no doubt that we were gassed," Boynton said after the game. "We weren't able to sustain it. That's not an excuse, it's reality."
After Cunningham, the only other Oklahoma State player averaging in double figures is Isaac Likekele at 11.8. Rondell Walker, who also missed the Baylor game, has averaged 9.1 points per game off the bench.
Iowa State (2-7, 0-5) has been beset with COVID-19 cases, prompting a pause of all team activities Jan. 15. Head coach Steve Prohm said it has been a challenge.
"I think it's just the landscape we're living in right now," he said. "Our training and medical staff have done a great job. And our guys have been resilient.
The Cyclones will have no idea how the break will affect them. They have a quartet of players averaging at least 12 points per game, led by Rasir Bolton at 14.8. Jalen Coleman-Lands (12.7), Javan Johnson (12.2) and Solomon Young (12.0) round out the group.
But any on-court continuity that was developed among the members of the roster might have to be rebuilt.
"We've got guys in very, very small groups, groups of two that have been in the gym all week," Prohm said about the practice situation. "The guys that have tested negative and that are healthy, have been on separate ends and getting some small workouts in to try to stay in shape and stay in tune until we can progress back together as a team.
"But obviously, things have to change. You got to adjust. You got to stay positive and you got to look at the bigger picture."
--Field Level Media