Oh, you just got settled in to baseball season? Tough shit, here's a basketball update.
Seriously though, before we get too deep into MLB, the Iowa Cubs, spring football, the NBA and NHL playoffs, vacations and everything else that accompanies these next few glorious months of warm weather and leisure, I thought it to be beneficial to provide a quick update on where everything stands for Iowa State basketball (specifically recruiting) as we transition into the offseason.
If you follow any college hoops pundits on Twitter at all, you surely know by now that it is officially transfer season, and it was brought to the forefront in pretty shocking fashion yesterday when Maryland announced the mass exodus of three players (most notably Nick Faust) who were among the Terrapins' top-eight in points and minutes per game. I didn't think the Big Ten was that frightening but godspeed finding new homes nonetheless, boys.
At any rate, there are several names floating around out there that have been tied -- or are currently tied -- to the Iowa State basketball program, and with the scholarships and roster spots that are clearly available, this entire muddled mess could use a little clearing up. What we know for sure is that incoming freshman Clayton Custer is a Cyclone.
Otherwise, here's where we stand...
Anthony Lee is heading to Ohio State
Clearly not everyone's afraid of playing in the B1G Bad Big Ten. After what seemed like a impending addition to either Tom Crean's or Fred Hoiberg's programs (according to, well, myself but also Lee), he took one visit to Columbus and basically committed on the spot. It was an intriguingly hasty decision when you consider the other schools in play. Not only were Rick Pitino and Louisville very much in the mix, but when you notice the NBA Draft departures and numerous transfers taking place in Bloomington, it really did seem like Indiana had the upper hand in offering Lee immediate playing time. Oh well.
So without getting too windy here, Anthony Lee is out.
Josh Cunningham, Travon Bunch and Kaison Randolph
If ESPN is your hub of choice for basketball recruiting updates (and I hope it's not -- 247Sports is A1 in that department) then you've seen these three names on Iowa State's radar for some time now.
Simply, none of them are coming to Ames.
Josh Cunningham, as I'm writing this article, has not yet committed but plans to do so later today after pushing back his announcement last week. 247Sports' "crystal ball" projection has Cunningham bound for either Indiana (hey, there ya go!) or Bradley, though ESPN would have you believe that Iowa State is in the thick of it along with Creighton, Minnesota, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Not the case.
Racine, WI, center Travon Bunch -- after receiving offers from home state Marquette and Iowa State -- recently announced his transfer to Mount Zion Academy in Durham, NC, where he will reclassify with the recruiting class of 2015 (and OBVIOUSLY be committed to either Duke or North Carolina by this time next year). To be honest, I didn't know reclassifying with another class was possible. He basically held himself back a year. Cool.
Finally, Kaison Randolph. It's been a couple of months, but the New Jersey combo guard is headed to D-II Philadelphia University. Playing time was obviously an enormous determining factor here, considering there were offers on the table from a number of D-I schools including St. Joseph's and Seton Hall.
The Junior College Pool
As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, it's basically tapped.
Of 247Sports' top-50 JuCo transfers just six have yet to commit, and even worse, none of them are even sniffing at Iowa State.
In other in-state news, Connors State College (OK) forward Willie Atwood's updated crystal ball projection has now shifted Arkansas out of the picture and has Florida State and Iowa in a dead heat at 50/50. He visits Tallahassee tomorrow, where I have a feeling he'll commit soon after. There's a lot to be said about recency bias in recruiting -- more often than not, you want to be last on a player's visit schedule.
That being said, it certainly won't be for lack of trying on Iowa's part if he does end up choosing FSU. Their Twitter-based campaign to get Atwood to Iowa City has been simultaneously sad and hilarious to watch unfold. But as Rashad Vaughn's No. 1 fan for longer than I care to admit, I understand I have absolutely no room to talk.
Filling in the Gaps
So, from here on out it's transfer season. Barring any de-commitments from prep or JuCo players, the talent has basically all been spoken for.
It's game time for Hoiberg and Matty A.
If you haven't yet looked at what CanAzn has so perfectly dubbed "The Fred List," I encourage you to do so -- over a hundred names of college basketball transfers that seemingly expands exponentially by the day. If I were a betting man (and I don't claim to be after laying $100 in Vegas on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl last year), I say three guys will ditch their old jerseys for the cardinal and gold this summer.
Certainly none are more notable than former UNLV (HAHAHAHAHA) guard Bryce Dejean-Jones, who will have narrowly missed the VEISHEA riots*** when he pays a visit to Ames this weekend (also, the timing of this article -- or maybe just the headline -- is perfect).
***Get your shit together, Ames. I've never been more embarrassed -- and this is coming from someone who once, in the same day, pooped his pants in kindergarten then went to Hy-Vee with his mom and asked a black guy in the produce section if he was Michael Jordan.
As a gigantic combo guard standing at 6-5, Dejean-Jones in all likelihood would be an immediate starter next season (yep, graduate transfer rule), putting to bed the "Naz Long or Matt Thomas" debate for the backcourt spot alongside Monté Morris.
I think we're all aware that I can drone on for hours about which other transfers could fit the Hoiberg mold in the coming weeks, so again, I encourage you to take a good look at the aforementioned Fred's List and keep your ear to the ground. And I will definitely do the same.
Gun to my head, I'd say watch for Dejean-Jones, Kale Abrahamson (Northwestern, via West Des Moines Valley), Ian Chiles (IUPUI) and Spencer Llewellyn (Pacific), the latter two of which would be eligible immediately. Of course, anything can happen.
All right, back to not-basketball. If you're a Cubs fan, my condolences. There's always (never) next year.