Although Iowa State hasn't officially announced it, Abdel Nader, a 6'7" 225-pound forward who played the last two years at Northern Illinois, will be transferring to Iowa State, becoming the next in line of Fred Hoiberg's Second Chance program. Several media outlets, including Chris Williams from Cyclone Fanatic have confirmed that Nader will be a Cyclone and Williams even got a chance to hold a brief interview with Nader.
After leading the Huskies in scoring as a freshman and sophomore, Nader opted for a change of scenery and Iowa State's success with transfers was a major draw according to Williams' interview. Nader will sit out this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility left, beginning with the '14-'15 season, putting him in the same class as Georges Niang.
With Nader on board, expect Iowa State to announce the transfer of a current member of the team at some point over the next day or two. It's been widely speculated that Nkereuwem Okoro will be transferring, thus scholarship for Nader.
Although it will be bittersweet to bid adieu to Okoro, who appeared to be the consummate teammate, Nader will fill a need once he's eligible as he'll join a front court that will need to replace a four-year starter in Melvin Ejim and outgoing senior, Richard Amardi after this upcoming season. Nader is somewhat of a combo forward and possesses the ability to play both inside and out, making him appear to be a nice fit for Hoiberg's offensive approach.
A year of development could do a world of good for Nader. On the surface, averaging 13.1 points as a sophomore sounds promising, but Nader was not particularly efficient, as he shot 33.7% from the fielf and 27.7% from three. According to Kenpom.com, Nader had the highest usage rate and took the greatest percentage of his team's shots in the country. Given how deplorable Northern Illinois was (5-25), this would suggest that Nader was really all they had. I wouldn't let those numbers scare you too much, though. If you remember, Korie Lucious was not a good shooter at Michigan State and early into his Iowa State tenure, it didn't appear his reputation had changed, but Lucious rebounded and ended up shooting 38.3% from three during conference play and became arguably one of Iowa State's most clutch shooters down the stretch.
Furthermore, with Iowa State Nader will be a complimentary player. Projecting two years out can be difficult, but one has to assume that going into the '14-'15 season, Niang will be the focal point of the Iowa State offense and there should be plenty of help on the perimeter from Matt Thomas and Monte Morris, who will be rising sophomores, not to mention a host of other perimeter threats.
Nader may not move the needle like a Chris Allen, Royce White or Will Clyburn did, but it does look like Iowa State landed a quality athlete, who's versatility and skill set could potentially make him a nice piece of what could be an exciting two years of Iowa State basketball once he's eligible. Like many of you, I'll look forward to seeing him in the Capitol City League and on behalf of WRNL, welcome to Iowa State Abdel Nader.