LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 15: Chris Allen #4 of the Iowa State Cyclones attempts a shot in the second half against the Connecticut Huskies during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 15, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Since Fred Hoiberg took the Iowa State job in April 2010, he has brought in seven transfers to finish their collegiate careers in Ames. Those transfers, Darion "Jake" Anderson, Chris Babb, Anthony Booker, Chris Allen, Royce White, Korie Lucious and Will Clyburn, all had their reasons for leaving their prior schools, but they've been united in their reasons for coming to Ames - The Mayor gave them a second chance.
Several months before Hoiberg was hired, ironically, ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard was critical of the transfer epidemic in college basketball, responding to yet another defection under prior coach Greg McDermott. What everyone else saw as a problem in the game, Hoiberg saw as a solution to building a winner.
Two years later, Hoiberg's gamble has paid off. "Transfer U", as Iowa State came to be called went from a last place Big 12 finish in Hoiberg's initial season, to third place in year two and an appearance in the NCAA tournament as a #8 seed, where they knocked off defending national champion Connecticut before succumbing to #1 overall seed Kentucky.
Many were critical of Hoiberg's plan, citing off-court problems that several transfers had endured, a potential lack of chemistry, and a prevailing thought that this wasn't the "right way" to re-build a program.
Zero. One. One.
Zero off-court arrests or issues in two years from these transfers. One Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. One NCAA tournament appearance.
Of the five transfers that have been eligible to play (Lucious and Clyburn sat out 2011-2012), all have been major contributors and all have been embraced by the Cyclone fan base.
Looking at the Transfers:
Darion "Jake" Anderson
Prior School: Northern Illinois
Started 31-32 games in 2010-2011 and averaged 12.8 points per game while pulling down 7.2 rebounds.
Prior School: Minnesota
Named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and to the All Big 12 First team, White led ISU in scoring, rebounding assists, blocks and steals.
Prior School: Michigan State
Allen led the Cyclones with 20 points in the victory over Connecticut and finished the year as the third leading scorer at 12.3 points per game and led the team in made three point baskets.
Prior School: Penn State
Babb became the Cyclone's defensive stopper, holding some of the best scorers in the country to uncharacteristic off nights, including Jeremy Lamb (6-15), Marcus Denmon (1-5) and Rodney McGruder (10-29 in two games).
Prior School: Southern Illinois
Booker's athleticism and size proved valuable off the bench and at 6'9" he also showed he was an adept outside shooter, draining 42% of of three point attempts.