Iowa State continues to bring in talent this offseason. Oregon State transfer Hallice Cooke has officially committed to Iowa State, as has soon-to-be 18 year old Georgios Tsalmpouris from Greece.
Cooke is ineligible this upcoming season, but afterwards he will have three years of eligibility. Tsalmpouris, on the other hand, is ready to play right away.
Tsalmpouris is a towering 7’1″, and it looks like he could grab a starting spot and give coach Fred Hoiberg a much needed center presence.
This recruitment is an impressive one for Hoiberg and his staff, as Tsalmpouris had garnered plenty of interest from Greek professional teams. Hoiberg’s reputation and reach has now extended across the Atlantic Ocean, and it feels like Iowa State has become an alluring beacon for basketball players of all locations.
The signing of Tsalmpouris should play big dividends this season. While Melvin Ejim had good rebounding skills, his 6’7″ size kept him from being dominant under the rim. Crashing the boards is absolutely essential to Iowa State success, because Hoiberg’s squad puts up a lot of shots. When they didn’t fall last season, such as the road game at West Virginia, they got steamrolled. A 7 footer who was thought to be pro ready in Greece, paired with the 6’9″ forward Jameel McKay who transferred from Marquette, will help Iowa State get more second chance points.
I’m very intrigued by this lineup. Tsalmpouris, McKay, Georges Niang, and Monte Morris look like the frontrunners, with Dustin Hogue and Bryce Dejean-Jones vying for the fifth spot. Add to that the freshman from Kansas Clay Cluster, as well as sharpshooters Naz Long and Matt Thomas, and what Hoiberg has is a squad that will likely be better than this past season.
Tsalmpouris, according to Hoiberg, can run the floor and shoot. “He fits with how we want to play while giving us more length.”
Iowa State now looks extremely solid and could fight for a Big 12 Championship this season. They have the size now as well as the ball skills. If Tsalmpouris can dominate the glass, Iowa State could be unstoppable.
I don’t want to rush the summer, but I’m eager to see these recruits in action.