Kansas transfer Tristan Enaruna makes a name for himself in Iowa State

The Dutch striker has had 2 recent breakout games

Iowa State goalie Tristan Enaruna celebrates after Iowa State scores in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa on Thursday, December 9, 2021, in Ames, Iowa . (AP Photo / Matthew Putney)

AMES – Almere is considered the newest city in the Netherlands.

It is known for its natural beauty and is home to a population roughly equivalent to that of Des Moines.

The 45-year-old town’s Wikipedia page includes a short list of “notable residents” – and Iowa state forward Tristan Enaruna is not listed.

Again.

“It’s not really a place that tourists could just go,” said Enaruna, who will make his 13th straight start for the No.11 Cyclones in Wednesday’s Big 12 game at 8 p.m. with Texas Tech No.25. at the Hilton Coliseum (ESPNU). “I feel like it’s kind of a growing city.

If and / or when Enaruna were to make his hometown luminous list, he would be the first basketball player to be honored.

The Netherlands are hardly a hotbed of hoop activity, but Enaruna caught the attention of Kansas head coach Bill Self via international competition and played sparingly for the Jayhawks in his first two seasons. before moving on to ISU.

Now he thrives under the leadership of TJ Otzelberger in Ames. Enaruna just won his first career double-double against Chicago State (19 points, 10 rebounds) on December 21 and his career best score (23 points) in the Cyclones’ first loss of the season on January 1 against the best. Baylor. .

“I’m having a lot of fun,” said Enaruna, who posted a team-high four offensive rebounds in the 77-72 loss to the Bears. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a team, as a big factor and as a person the coach can trust to play in the big moments. So I’m having a lot of fun and j I feel like my teammates are really uplifting me, I really feed off their energy too.

Enaruna has been and could continue to be the Cyclones’ X factor (12-1, 0-1). His 6-foot-8 frame, instincts and athleticism make him a force around the rim at all times, and his quick, smooth movements have made him a powerful finisher in paint.

It will have to be all of these and more if ISU is to fend off the Red Raiders (10-2, 0-0), who have won five straight wins – including three back-to-back at Hilton – in the series.

“If you watch Tristan when the game starts and you watch his bouncing energy then you will know how the game is going to go for him that night,” Otzelberger said. “We’ve seen these games – and again Saturday was one – where he starts and that’s how we score. He’s on the offensive glass and then he cuts hard. So I would say that in order for Tristan to continue to climb and play at the level he has been playing he has to stay focused on how well he has played. It’s an offensive rebound effort. It is the physicality (and) the cup. It wraps around the rim with force.

Enaruna is the Cyclones’ third-best offensive rebounder and is second on the team in blocked shots. He’s exhausted 16 of his last 21 shots after enduring a five-game streak in which he failed to score more than six points in any of them.

In short, he’s a booming player – and maybe one day he’ll be on that list of ‘notable residents’ of the Amsterdam suburbs. In the meantime, many people in Almere support him.

“It also motivates me to keep growing and improving,” Enaruna said. “And just put the country on the map for real, because basketball isn’t really big at home. So I hope what I’m doing is sort of making traces that the younger generation can follow.

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