Cyclone Fanatic's Chris Williams first reported earlier Sunday afternoon that Iowa State junior, K.J. Bluford is transferring. Bluford came to Ames from Northeast Nebraska Community College and was expected to see immediate playing time as a 6th-man, gunner type in the mold of Tyrus McGee, but rarely saw the floor and only appeared in seven games, playing a measly 5.4 minutes per contest.
Iowa State sent out an official release with Fred Hoiberg elaborating on the reason for Bluford's decision and wishing him the best in his future endeavors.
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State junior K.J. Bluford has decided to transfer from the men's basketball team, head coach Fred Hoiberg announced Sunday.
"I appreciate the time and effort that K.J. gave to our program," Hoiberg said. "He has elected to transfer to find a program that will allow him more playing time. I wish him the best in the future and will assist him in any way I can."
Bluford joined the Cyclones this season after transferring from Northeast Community College in Nebraska. He played in seven games during the first semester, averaging 2.7 points in 5.4 minutes per contest.
"I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Hoiberg and Iowa State University provided me," Bluford said. "I wish the coaches and my teammates the best of luck the rest of the season."
With Bluford leaving the program, another scholarship opens up for the 2014-2015 season. Provided there are no other defections, Iowa State looks to return a deeper and more experienced team that won't be lacking for talent. Iowa State had thrown all of their eggs into the basket that is the Rashad Vaughn sweepstakes as that was the only open scholarship after Jameel McKay committed, but now this allows Iowa State a little more flexibility on the recruiting trail.
It's too early to know what Hoiberg will do with the open scholarship and who he'll pursue, but if I had to speculate, I can see Iowa State pursuing a younger post player or wing. Regardless of whether or not Vaughn commits, I see Iowa State using at least one of the scholarships on an impact guard that can contribute right away. Now with that second scholarship and a roster that will feature potentially six forwards that are juniors or seniors, it would make sense to target a young post player that can be stashed away for a year. Chicago prep, Josh Cunningham, will be the first name that comes to mind, but it's unclear if Iowa State is still involved in his recruitment.
As for Bluford, we at WRNL wish him the best and hope he finds a place that can utilize his talents. He can create his own shots, handle the ball and has explosive scoring ability. I wouldn't imagine him having too tough of a time finding a new home.