Before the 2016-17 season starts, Iowa State will lock in some new pieces for the future as Terrence Lewis, Darius McNeill and Lindell Wigginton are expected to sign with the Cyclones as the early signing period begins today. The trio puts Iowa State’s 2017 class in the top 20 nationally at the midway point of the recruiting cycle. So just what are the Cyclones getting in these three prospects?
Lewis is a 4-star, 6’-6” small forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While he’s not as highly rated as Wigginton, Lewis likely possesses the game that translates easiest to college ball. What do I mean by that? Simply put, he has the physical tools and the skills that allow him to be more prepared to contribute earlier in his career.
Lewis has great length and should be a solid defender on the wing for Coach Prohm. While he isn’t the most explosive athlete, he has great rebounding instincts and a soft touch around the rim, allowing him to excel in similar ways to how Melvin Ejim contributed earlier in his career. He does have a better shot than Ejim when he came in, but his early career contributions may resemble Melvin in the defensive, rebounding and hustle elements.
You could almost take everything I just said about Terrence Lewis and flip it for McNeill. Darius is a 3-star guard from Houston. At 6’2”, he could realistically play either guard spot, and has the athleticism and quickness that would allow him to defend either position.
He’s great with the ball in his hands and has a sweet lefty stroke, but he doesn’t possess the physicality to compete right away in the Big 12. While I do think he is underrated nationally, his recruitment certainly heated up this summer before he committed to Iowa State. The sky is the limit for Darius. He has all of the athletic tools necessary to be a star at ISU, and if Prohm can polish some of the rougher edges of his game, we could be in for a real treat down the line.
The crown jewel of the 2017 class. The point guard of the future. Whatever praise you want to heap on Lindell, it’s warranted. He’s really good. Wigginton is a 4-star, 6’1” point guard from Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. As with McNeill, Wigginton could play either guard spot, and the nice part about that is that Donovan Jackson can too. So while these young guys are getting acclimated, there’s a veteran point guard to help ease them into the system.
Lindell is an extremely well-rounded player who can defend, create shots for himself and create shots for others. He’s physically ready to compete, although with almost every young point guard, there will inevitably be some growing pains. Wigginton is a very much in the build of Isaiah Canaan, and if that pans out, we should have another fan favorite in Ames.
Where does ISU go from here?
The biggest fish, and really only other fish from the high school ranks out there that Iowa State is eyeing, is Isaiah Stokes. The 4-star forward out of Tennessee is rumored to be down to Iowa State and Florida, but no timetable is set for his decision. If he were to choose the Cyclones, Coach Prohm would likely finish with a top 15 class nationally, regardless of any other additions.
I would also expect to see Iowa State scout the JUCO ranks for another forward, similar to what they did with Eden Ewing. Iowa State’s front court will be young next year with Carter, Lard and Young, and potentially Stokes. I would anticipate that they will also look for a graduate transfer along the lines of Holden/Bowie to bolster the depth up front next season.
Keep your fingers crossed for a Stokes commitment to tie a bow on this already stellar 2017 class.