Lard rejoins Cyclones after wellness center
ANKENY — Forward Cameron Lard is back in Iowa State’s good graces and coach Steve Prohm is hopeful things will stay that way.
Prohm said Thursday that Lard, who enrolled at a wellness center in early June instead of joining his teammates for summer workouts, rejoined the Cyclones earlier this month.
Lard, who will be a sophomore this season, had a drug paraphernalia charge dismissed during a pretrial hearing in April. He was stopped by Ames police on Feb. 4 for speeding, and an officer smelled marijuana coming from the car. Lard pleaded guilty to speeding.
Lard, 20, was also cited for being underage at an Ames bar this offseason. Prohm said all the issues pushed Lard to spend time at a wellness center and away from Ames in an effort to make better decisions. Prohm met with Lard on Wednesday and said he was in “really good spirits.”
“He’s done some things that he doesn’t need to be doing. We handled that internally,” said Prohm, who met with reporters before a charity golf event outside of Des Moines. “My goal, and my prayer, is that he continues to grow and get better.”
The 6-foot-9, 225-pound Lard didn’t arrive at Iowa State until midway through his freshman season, but he was considered so talented that there was talk that Lard might immediately join a team that went on to win the Big 12 Tournament. Prohm instead redshirted him. Last year, Lard showed in his first season that he has the potential to be one of the better big men in America.
Lard averaged 12.6 points and was fourth in the Big 12 with 8.1 rebounds per game in 2017-18, even though he made just 16 starts. Lard also ranked second in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage at .601 and third in blocks per game at 2.2.
Lard was inconsistent as a freshman, but he also took games over more than once. He scored 22 points against Texas Tech on 10 of 11 shooting, had 21 points and 16 rebounds against Texas and scored 19 points with 17 boards in a win over Oklahoma. Lard has not spoken to the media since last season.
“If we can get (his habits) lined up with his abilities, I think he’s got a chance to be a terrific frontcourt player in (the Big 12),” Prohm said. “He really runs the floor well, really chases down on the offensive glass…and hopefully we can continue to develop his offensive, low-post game. But it’s about habits for him. And he knows that, and I think he took a big step this summer.”