If you look at a scholarship chart for the 2016-2017 season, you may panic a bit when you see that Deonte Burton, Brady Ernst and Simeon Carter are the only returning players slotted for the front court positions. Fear not friends, as I'm here to tell you that Coach Prohm has a plan to replace the likes of Georges Niang, Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay. Here's a few of the targets that Iowa State is looking at when it comes to big men for the class of 2016.
SF Kostas Antetokounmpo (6'9", 190 lbs.)
247 Rankings: Overall #53, SF #12 | Twitter: @alexadetokoubo
This guy has the type of length and athleticism that NBA scouts salivate over. Brother of the budding NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is affectionately dubbed the "Greek Freak," the younger version shares that same "sky is the limit" type potential. I could compare the athleticism and length to former Iowa State players like Will Clyburn or Rahshon Clark, but you just need to watch the video for yourself.
You see the word 'raw' thrown around with Kostas quite a bit, but you're going to have that with almost any high school senior. He plays at the same school that Diamond Stone did, so he's played with top level talent. He'll need some time in the weight room and some polishing of his offensive skill set, but he's going to have flashes of brilliance almost immediately wherever he goes. We were first in on him, but Marquette may be the favorite with his brother playing for the Bucks for the foreseeable future. Never dismiss, however, the Otz/Milwaukee connections and charm.
PF Arlando Cook (6'8", 205 lbs.)
247 Rankings: Unavailable (JUCO) | Twitter: @____ballxbooks
Another JUCO target for the Cyclones, this versatile forward picked up a ton of offers after his performance in the top-80 camp in Atlanta. Iowa State was in on him early and it sounds like he'll make his way for a campus visit this fall, but there are way more high majors in the mix now than there were back when the good guys offered in June. Arlando averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds as a freshman at Connors State College, and has the body to bang down low in the Big 12 to couple with his great athleticism. He's solid in transition and can finish with both hands around the rim. Cook would be a solid fit in a Prohm system that I imagine will play a similar style of ball to his Murray State squads. This video is from back in his high school recruitment, but knowing he has two more years under his belt leads me to believe he could jump right in and be a key contributor on next year's team.
Arlando shows some good back to the basket presence in the video and while I don't think that will be a feature of Iowa State's offense going forward, it's a great tool to have when better defensive teams stall out our primary offense. It's always great to see big guys getting out, running the floor and finishing in transition, and we should expect to see a lot of that in the coming years. Maybe the best part of this video is how you can watch him create some space. He uses his body and arms to create finishing space for himself, and he has the court awareness to make himself available as an easy target for driving guards. That's such an underrated part of the free flowing offensive system and one of the reasons I think he would be a great fit at Iowa State.
PF Tyler Cook (6'8", 240 lbs.)
247 Rankings: Overall #112, PF #25 | Twitter: @KingCook_25
Fred Hoiberg and company made the initial contact here, but Tyler has made it clear that Iowa State is still in the mix even after the coaching change. Having already narrowed his choices to his top 6, Iowa State is in the running with Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Florida and Virginia. Coach Prohm has kept in contact with Tyler since the transition and seems to have picked up right where Fred left off. Getting him out of the Mizzou/Razorback grasp might prove to be difficult, but we know Prohm loves to recruit the southeast and if he can close the handoff from Hoiberg, this may open some doors in the region for future recruiting cycles.
Pretty fun video to watch here. I love the way he attacks the rim on his dunks. The fascinating part of this video to me is that almost the entire thing is left hand dominant...then he shoots his free throws right handed at the very end. Whether he's right or left handed, it's apparent that he's very capable with both hands. I would, however, like to see some of these post moves turned over the opposite shoulder. If he has that little right handed baby hook with his right like he does with his left, we could be in for some fun.
SF/PF Solomon Young (6'6", 215 lbs.)
247 Rankings: Overall #246, PF #57 | Twitter: @number33allstar
Solomon is taking his official visit to Iowa State this upcoming weekend (August 28th), and news on his recruitment has been pretty quiet outside of some high majors on the west coast. Normally I would be a little cautious if we're the only school outside of the region being considered, but getting him on campus is a huge step. Physically, Solomon looks like he's ready to contribute on a Big 12 roster and he's already got my vote to replace McKay's dreads. Hopefully his visit goes well and we have some positive news to report in the coming weeks.
Impressive to see the guy banging down low with some bigger bodies. Having that sort of a game in addition to wing skills would give us some versatility on both ends of the floor. He's not as much of a slasher as some other guys in the 6'6" range, but one thing that sticks out is his ability to handle the ball in the middle of the floor and make passes against a zone. We've obviously seen zone from Baylor and some other teams around the Big 12, and I think that number may increase with the new shot clock. So that skill becomes essential in those games, especially with the departure of Niang.
SF/PF Jeriah Horne (6'7", 210 lbs.)
247 Rankings: Unavailable | Twitter: @JeriahHorne1
Yes, this is the same Jeriah Horne from Part 1, but if you didn't read about him the first time, go back and check it out. I could see Iowa State really making a strong push for this guy in the coming weeks/months and he'll be on an official visit for the Iowa game on September 12th alongside Darrion Strong. With six scholarships open and so much production to replace all over the floor, a versatile, grit and grind player that can defend multiple positions would give the staff a lot of flexibility to fill out the rest of the class. Kansas State is still the team to beat in his recruitment, I believe, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Prohm make this guy an early priority before zeroing in on more position specific targets.
Other names to watch:
Willie Jackson - Offered in April with Cornell Mann heading the recruitment. Considering he's got four scheduled visits and we're not one, I think this ship has probably sailed.
Emmanuel Malou - Iowa State has been in contact with Emmanuel for some time and the new staff has kept in contact after the switch. He has been on campus and he's familiar with the area as he played for ABCD Prep in Des Moines. We're probably in a better position with this JUCO prospect than I'm giving us credit for, but Bill Self is involved, and it may come down to who KU loses from their front court to the League next year. So we'll keep a close eye on this, albeit from a safe distance after the Diallo saga this past year, and keep you all updated as we move forward.
Eric Curry - While he's one of the newer targets on the Iowa State recruiting trail, he recently listed the Cyclones in his top 6 with Arkansas, SMU, Minnesota, Alabama and Vanderbilt. Prohm has been hot on the trail of this target from the southeast, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if this recruitment heats up in the fall.