This time of the year is absolute chaos in the world of college basketball. Some coaches are getting fired, some are leaving for bigger jobs. Some players are transferring and everyone is declaring for the NBA Draft.
A lot of this is happening or will happen with Iowa State in the near future. We've heard of Monte Morris throwing his name in the NBA ring, which is absolutely the right decision with the new rules, and we're going to see some roster attrition in the near future, which is totally normal and shouldn't drive fan overreaction.
Fans are frequently told to not look at the scholarship situation because it will work itself out, and it always does. As of right now, if everyone returns and all the recruits make it to campus, Iowa State is on the hook for 15 scholarships with only 13 spots available. Simple math tells you that situation does not work. Additionally, Prohm and his staff are still actively recruiting additions for next year, which would lead you to believe that they're expecting more, or are at least covering their bases.
The nice part is, late additions can be more selective this year than last year due to improved quality depth of the roster. If the roster is already set and no new additions are announced, so be it. Iowa State doesn't need to find a late prospect to fill out practice teams. This is progress.
There are rumors of eligibility regarding some recruits and rumors of transfers, none of which I will discuss here because speculation is usually garbage, and wouldn't do anyone a bit of good. So instead, let's take a look at what the Cyclones have coming in and some possible additions we might see before Iowa State tips off its 2016-17 campaign.
Coach Prohm has six newcomers lined up for next year's class. In case you've missed any of the coverage here, let's get you caught up on the familiar faces.
Donovan Jackson: Jackson is a 6'1" point guard from Iowa Western Community College. You can watch his freshman season highlight tape here. Jackson was averaging 16.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists while making almost three 3-pointers per game at a 49.5% clip before breaking his right (non-shooting) wrist, which put an end to his sophomore season. He's a different point guard than Morris and has a little Kenny Chery in his game, for those that remember for former Baylor Bear standout.
Jackson is currently rated the 9th best 2016 JUCO recruit by 247Sports.
Emmanuel Malou: Emmanuel 'Manny' Malou is a 6'9" power forward who spent the last year and a half at Yuba College in California before transferring to DMACC for the spring semester to focus on academics before he makes his way to Iowa State. Malou was averaging 15.3 points per game before the transfer and you can find some highlights from a recent game this season here.
Malou is currently rated the 5th best 2016 JUCO recruit by 247Sports.
Jakolby Long: Long was a guy Prohm's staff was in on early and often before his recruiting really picked up steam. The 6'4" combo guard has a reputation for getting after it defensively and can certainly score the ball in bunches. Long just wrapped up a senior season at Mustang High School in Oklahoma and has a body build capable of competing immediately in the Big 12. You can catch some highlights here.
Long is currently rated the 26th best 2016 shooting guard by the 247Sports Composite.
Solomon Young: Young is another high school recruit with a Big 12 ready body that has the potential to fill spot minutes his freshmen year if called upon. At 6'6", there's a lot of Melvin Ejim in this young man, and he could prove to have some positional versatility down the road if the outside shot gets a little more consistent. If he can come in and be a defense, rebound and effort type guy, you could see Young on the floor in 2016-2017. Check out some highlights here.
Young is currently rated the 51st best 2016 power forward by the 247Sports Composite.
Cameron Lard: Lard was maybe the quietest commitment of the Steve Prohm era. Lard has been facing some high school eligibility issues after transferring from Natchitoches Central to Landry-Walker for the 2015-16 season. Lard is a stat sheet stuffer that can get his points in a variety of ways. He averaged 16 points and 10 boards while leading his Natchitoches team to a Louisiana State Title his junior season. You can find some Lard highlights here.
Lard is currently rated the 36th best 2016 power forward by the 247Sports Composite.
Sidebar: I'm really excited about these three high school prospects. While none are "blue chippers," they have solid builds and have the potential to develop into quality 4-year players. Here's some numbers for comparison. Georges Niang (72), Monte Morris (83), Cameron Lard (150), Jakolby Long (163), Melvin Ejim (182), Solomon Young (226), Naz Mitrou-Long (260). Those numbers reflect their 247Sports Composite ranking when they entered ISU. If they can develop on the same track as those players, the Cyclones are in a great position going forward.
Point being, as much as Iowa State has made its mark with graduate transfers, transfers, and junior college players, the foundation has been solidly built on developing quality 4-year players too. These three newcomers fit that mold.
Darrell Bowie: The next graduate transfer to make his way to Ames is 6'6" forward Darrell Bowie from Northern Illinois. Following in Abdel Nader's footsteps, Bowie was a 10 & 6 type of guy before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the 2015-16 season. Hopefully he can come in and fill a junior year Dustin Hogue type of role - defensive versatility, rebounding, effort and spot scoring. If he can do that, he'll help answer some of the questions regarding the Cyclones' front line. Here's some high school highlights to throw it back for you.
Names You May Hear Moving Forward
Here's some names that may be thrown around as the "Hoiberg list" starts to take shape in the coming weeks. Keep in mind that these aren't necessarily names I'm hearing, just possible names you may see pop up as attrition/addition starts happening.
Cheickna Dembele: Prohm's staff isn't done on the 2016 high school circuit yet. Coach Small was one of the first from the power conferences to start heavily recruiting the talented big man, and Coach Prohm has some ties with his current coach dating back to his days at Murray State. In my humble opinion, I think the Cyclones may be better off with Dembele than another graduate transfer in the long run. He's talented, raw, and gives Iowa State another long term development option as opposed to a one year rental. At 6'11" and 220 pounds, Dembele has the size and length capable of competing with Big 12 centers. Here's a practice video if you're into that sort of thing like me.
Some other programs showing interest are Syracuse, Arkansas, Providence and North Carolina State.
Marvin Clark: I'm sure you'll see the name Marvin Clark come up in transfer discussions as the sophomore is leaving Michigan State with two years of eligibility remaining. At 6'7", Clark has a game like a Raymar Morgan or Dustin Hogue, although he's a more capable outside shooter. A more common 'stretch-4' type.
Iowa State recruited Clark out of high school, but there are not as many connections as you think. That was Hoiberg's staff with Matt Abdelmassih as his primary recruiter. Coach Otz was at Washington during this time, so while he's familiar with the school, he's not necessarily as familiar with the staff currently in place. Here's some high school highlights to wet your palate.
Clark would give Iowa State another lefty, and some front court help down the road as he would have to sit a year. Clark averaged 4+ points and 2+ rebounds in about 10 minutes per game during his stay in East Lansing.
Stefan Jankovic: Jankovic is a 6'11" forward from Hawaii and the reigning Big West Player of the Year. While he hasn't declared he will transfer, due to Hawaii's sanctions for next season he could transfer and be immediately eligible elsewhere. I put his name here because he could be the biggest fish ISU could get in a one-year stopgap type of role. Jankovic originally started his career at Missouri under Frank Haith before leaving for Hawaii. He averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 boards en route to winning his conference accolades this season.
Here's a fun highlight video where the first dunk results in a technical foul.
Thik Bol (Update - Committed to Southern Illinois): A teammate of Donovan Jackson's at Iowa Western, Iowa State has been in contact with the 6'7" forward, but has not yet offered, though he recently visited. Leaders for Bol's services are Wichita State and Murray State, but Iowa State could swoop in if they decide to offer Bol. Not known for being an offensive threat, Bol is an aggressive rim protector and led the JUCO ranks in blocks (4.9/gm) during his freshmen campaign.
Here's a dunk and swat compilation.
Patrick Steeves: I have no reason to include him on this list except for the fact that he fits a need. As a 6'7" forward for the Harvard Crimson, Steeves averaged 9 points and 4 rebounds per game after a couple injury-riddled seasons in the Ivy League. Steeves has at least one season of eligibility left with a second pending a medical redshirt decision that is likely to go his way. The Harvard graduate has been quoted as saying his suitors have included "mostly mid major schools with a few power conference programs thrown in."
Here's some game highlights from a career night for Steeves. (#10).
Pick Your Buckeye: Just a little fun here, but the Ohio State Buckeyes have now lost four players from their top 5 recruiting class in 2015 due to transfer.
Of course other names will come and go throughout the process, and maybe Iowa State will just stand pat. Who really knows? Recruiting in and of itself is a crazy process and the transfer dynamic makes it even more wonky. Let us know what you think the Cyclones should do in the comments below.