It's been less than 48 hours since junior college transfer Marvin Clark shocked no one and committed to Michigan State, yet another name has already been thrown into the mix for Matt Abdelmassih & Co. to drool over -- in due time of course.
Temple forward Anthony Lee, a junior who made his decision to transfer from the school almost two weeks ago, said via Instagram today that he will be choosing between Iowa State, Louisville, Ohio State, Indiana and Notre Dame; no apparent timetable yet for a final decision. Lee will be taking advantage of the graduate transfer rule, allowing him to play immediately for his final year of eligibility (sound familiar?).
I have to say that Lee's decision to include Iowa State in his final five comes as a bit of a surprise, but at the same time it doesn't at all. On one hand you have Fred Hoiberg and his reputation for taking on guys for one year then releasing them back into the wild, frequently spurring everyone's favorite right way-wrong way debate.
Shove it. It's working.
On the other hand, however, Lee would make six forwards who could potentially see significant minutes for Iowa State should he decided to take his talents to Beach Ave. (I'm sorry). Dustin Hogue and Georges Niang return on the front line (and who knows how much Daniel Edozie will grow up in these final days of the NCAA Tournament?) and will be joined by transfers Jameel McKay (Marquette) and Abdel Nader (Northern Illinois) for 2014-15. It is worth mentioning that McKay will not be eligible until the upcoming fall semester has concluded.
Six big men. Hoiball could becomes very, very intriguing to say the least.
It's been said that McKay dismissed himself from Marquette to seek more playing time -- from a team not nearly as front court-heavy as these Cyclones would become with the addition of Lee. And it's not that Hoiberg lives to serve Jameel McKay and his minutes quota (or any other player for that matter) but it could be an interesting conundrum that, speculatively, could lead to a Jordan Railey-esque departure from a guy like Percy Gibson.
But back to what's important here: Anthony Lee is an incredibly long 6-9, 230 lb. forward who averaged about 14 points and nine rebounds for Temple in his junior year. He saved his most impressive performance for this past Mar. 4, when he went for 20-10-3 in a home win over Central Florida. Lee was a three-star center (23rd positionally) coming out of Eustis High School (FL) in 2010, when he was sporting a slender 6-8 185 lb. frame! That's correct: Anthony Lee is an inch taller and 45 pounds heavier than when he was being recruited.
This past season, according to kenpom.com, he spent well over half of Temple's possessions at the five (center), a likely landing spot in Hoiberg's offense for a guy who has no real perimeter game to speak of.
Indiana appears to be the frontrunner at this point, according to Lee himself, but we all know how quickly such a narrative can change when the right guys start nudging the right ribs and whispering in the right ears (I swear to God I have no qualms with Rashad Vaughn anymore -- but for real, you don't want any part of this program now?).
Lee has said he wants a school that will help take him to the next level. An NBA-style offense under an NBA-minded coach (drink) would seem to be a perfect fit if that is in fact his top priority. Take this with a grain of salt because it comes from an Indiana message board, but Lee apparently has family in Iowa, which could make for an uphill battle for the other four schools in his sweepstakes no matter how many Hoosier fans may be kissing his feet on Twitter.
Please, folks, put this on the back burner and enjoy basketball this weekend -- we're in the Sweet Friggin' Sixteen! But Anthony Lee will definitely be a name to frequent in your Twitter keyword searches this offseason. Hard to believe Abdelmassih will let this one slip away without a hell of a fight. For my money, I think he chooses Iowa State.