Iowa State was having their best season since the Larry Eustachy era; they were ranked in the top 25 since the first week of the season. Stars such as Georges Niang, Melvin Ejim, and Deandre Kane were leading the team. Fred Hoiberg was one of the hottest commodities in the country, and he was on fire on the recruiting trail. He had already landed Kansas’ Mr. Basketball, Clayton Custer, for the 2014 class and Hoiberg’s staff was looking to make another splash.
That splash was Rashad Vaughn, the 10th ranked prospect in the country by 247sports. The shooting guard from Minneapolis had blue bloods such as Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina after him. But even with these powerhouses after him, it seemed like loyalty mattered to Vaughn. Iowa State had been on him since the beginning, Rashad took several unofficial visits to Ames in 2012.
The commitment Iowa State had made early on the five star has seemed to pay off, as he kept cutting his list, Iowa State was still on it. In fact, the Cyclones were the favorite from October all the way until shortly before the decision.
What changed? The prep school that Vaughn played at for his senior season had a big connection to UNLV. The main assistant coach at UNLV had been an assistant and head coach at Findlay Prep, and he was the main coach pursuing Vaughn. Still, Iowa State was in second and was feeling decent about the decision until an hour before, when Iowa State was notified that they were no longer in the running. And just like that, it was over. He was a Runnin’ Rebel.
Vaughn ended up getting drafted 17th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks after averaging 17.8 points per game on a team that didn’t sniff the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile Iowa State went on to win a second straight Big 12 title. He could’ve been apart of that team and helped them avoid the disaster that ended the season, but he chose the Vegas night life over the Ames night life. I really hope you can forget what could’ve been with this guy in cardinal and gold.