Sherron Dorsey-Walker spent his redshirt year eating more than he was used to and pumping iron in a way he never had.
I ate a lot," he said Thursday. "I didn't eat a lot in high school. Drinking all the protein milks and eating a lot, coaches stayed on me with everything I did. Had a hard lift during the season. When the guys were out on the road, I here lifting."
The end result was a whopping gain of 28 pounds, which the 6-foot-4, 190-pound guard hopes will help in both facets of his game.
"Gaining 28 pounds gave me more confidence to know I could go to the rim and finish over bigger guys, check bigger guys," he said.
Dorsey-Walker was disappointed when a week before the season opener last fall head coach Fred Hoiberg approached him to discuss sitting out the year. He had come ready to contribute, a three-star who chose Iowa State over offers from locals like Michigan and Central Michigan and a Big 12 rival in Baylor. Dorsey-Walker could play if he wanted to, Hoiberg said, but the minutes wouldn't be big.
"I talked it over with Coach Hoiberg — I was frustrated the night of it happening but as the days went on I knew it was the best choice for me," Dorsey-Walker said.
The Detroit native spent his year adding weight to his frame and ink to his arms — two forearm sleeves of Latin tattoo art and a DC Comics logo on his right shoulder, the letters in this instance standing for "Detroit City."
Dorsey-Walker also honed a new understanding for the game, a psyche that, coupled with his skill set — 17 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a senior at Detroit Pershing High — will make him a valuable Cyclone off the bench.
"I'm a more confident player, more relaxed," he said. "A smarter player, stronger. I just know the game of basketball more [after] taking a year off."
Said Hoiberg of his reserves: "I'm comfortable putting anybody on our roster on the floor."