When last we left, Steven Leath was preparing to put the kibosh on VEISHEA (although he has nothing on my favorite hammer-wielding son of a bitch these days, Adam Silver), Anthony Lee committed to Ohio State basically the second his plane landed in Columbus, Josh Cunningham was probably going to Indiana (whoops), and Bryce Dejean-Jones was still very much up for grabs.
Needless to say, times around these parts were, well...
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But things are looking up on the recruiting front, and here's what you need to know:
1. Dejean-Jones is a Cyclone
Old news but still fun to say. I've been tossing around apparel ideas in my head and would absolutely kill to see "I did it for the pound cake" on a t-shirt. Someone more talented me, make that happen.
His commitment now leaves two scholarships open and because I'm awesome at segues...
2. Hallice Cooke and Ryan Anderson are visiting Iowa State this weekend
Cooke (a sophomore-to-be guard from Oregon State) and Anderson (a senior-to-be forward from Boston College) bring two different styles of play from two different ends of the country and two different levels of experience to the table, and there's plenty of room for both. What they share, fortunately for Iowa State, is a desire to ditch a culture of losing that shows no signs of improving anytime soon. Cooke leaves an Oregon State team that will now be without all five of its starters from last season (though Maryland transfer Nick Faust announced he's heading to Corvallis today). Anderson, in tandem with teammate Olivier Hanlan have bid adieu to BC for greener pastures, leaving an already dismal team to dry up and die at the bottom of the ACC yet again next season.
There isn't a ton of recent game footage for Cooke out there, but you can check him out a little bit here in some highlights of Oregon State's near-win over Arizona late last season. He's not a point guard but he'll remind you a lot of Antonio Barton (Tennessee) and Gary Bell (Gonzaga), if you're looking for a college comparison. His best game was incidentally his last at OSU -- a 23-point performance in a close postseason loss at home to Radford. Yeesh.
It's the future of Iowa State's frontcourt that has seemed to garner the most praise lately but Cooke could supplant Dejean-Jones nicely with three years of eligibility remaining after he sits out next season. He'd join Matt Thomas, Sherron Dorsey-Walker, Clayton Custer and SENIOR NAZ LONG (I cried) alongside Monté Morris in the backcourt in 2015-16.
Ryan Anderson is a versatile big man at 6-9 that got touches in a ton of different ways at Boston College and would be a fantastic fit in Fred Hoiberg's offense. For his size he's got great ball-handling skills, which is obviously conducive to attacking other bigs off the dribble -- something we've known guys like Royce White, Georges Niang, Melvin Ejim and Dustin Hogue to do time and time again.
I don't have to say it because you're already thinking it, but Anderson would join Jameel McKay, Abdel Nader and Georges Niang in what looks at first glance to be the most lethal frontcourt Iowa State has ever had.
And because I'm still kind of awesome at segues...
3. Darien Williams is part of that frontcourt too!
It's been said he's the best junior college prospect in next year's class, and he's a Cyclone. The 6-8 forward out of Iowa Western Community College will have three years of eligibility remaining when he joins the team, but it will be after he returns from dual shoulder surgery this summer (which unfortunately means it will be quite awhile before he picks up a basketball). Williams shoots a silly clip from deep for a guy his size and averaged 16 & 7 in his one season at IWCC. It seemed like mere moments after Dejean-Jones' announcement that Williams made one of his own, telling the Ames Tribune, "To be honest, I probably would have committed even if I didn't come to campus."
It's a year and a half away, but the potential of this 2015-16 basketball team already blows me away.
4. Dreamy and Matt are hard at work
Cheick Diallo (2015, #3), Derrick Jones (2015, #16), Henry Ellenson (2015, #28) and Esa Ahmad (2015, #74) -- just go here for their pages -- have all been mentioned in the same breath with Iowa State lately so we will keep you up to date on those situations as much as possible. Hoiberg visited Diallo and Ahmad last week.
As of now, there are four open scholarships for 2015-16 with the fates of Cooke and Anderson still unknown. There could likely only be room for two recruits from that class.
The most intriguing of the bunch is Derrick Jones, a 6-7 wing from Pennsylvania (and thought by some to be the most athletically gifted in the 2015 class), who will take a visit to Connecticut this weekend. When asked by SNY.tv, Jones' father said they are "definitely going to Syracuse" and would like Derrick "to get to Kentucky, Indiana and Iowa State" in the coming months. It's early and still unofficial at this point, but it appears a top-20 recruit already has the Cyclones penciled into his top-five.
1. Willie Atwood committed to Arizona State last week. Unless Trey Dickerson can duplicate all of the good things that Devyn Marble brought to the table last season -- off the bench -- it's hard to see Iowa climbing back into the NCAA Tournament picture in 2015. But I've been very wrong before, especially about the Hawkeyes.
2. Today is FINALLY Myles Friggin' Turner Day. If you're a praying person, it's going to take a miracle to keep him out of the Big 12 so do your best. The latest 247Sports Crystal Ball projection has home state Texas and Kansas in a dead heat for the 6-10 center. His announcement will be made at 3 p.m. this afternoon on ESPNU.
Maybe. If he feels like it.