It is the offseason for the Iowa State Cyclones men’s basketball team, but some nuggets of news have revealed themselves. Some of it is disappointing, while some is exciting. Let’s get the bad news out of the way (and maybe see how it can be molded into some good news).
First, 6’9″ forward and Marquette transfer Jameel McKay will still be unavailable to play in Iowa State colors until December 20. McKay had attempted to file a request with the NCAA to try to be eligible right away, but the NCAA denied the waiver request. I didn’t think McKay would gain eligibility in the first place, but it’s not like he’ll be missing much. McKay will get to be available for Fred Hoiberg for all of Big 12 conference play, and I believe Iowa State can handle the meat of the non-conference schedule without him.
Now, McKay’s ineligibility for the first couple months makes it look more and more like Georgios Tsalmpouris, the seven foot youngster from Greece, could grab a starting job. Monte Morris, Bryce Dejean-Jones, Georges Niang, and Dustin Hogue are already locks to be part of Hoiberg’s starting group, so McKay’s ineligibility could give Tsalmpouris a great opportunity to impress early and retain his spot for conference play.
Now for the exciting news.
As if Fred Hoiberg hasn’t already impressed with his recruitment since taking the helm at Iowa State, there’s another high-quality recruit planning to visit Ames this fall.
Cheick Diallo is a 6’9″, 220 pound power forward from New York, and he also happens to be the fifth best prospect in the entire country, according to Rivals.com.
His visit will be on September 26, but he has many other major programs on his radar. Diallo has quite the list of schools extending offers to him. In addition to Iowa State, schools looking at him include Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Oregon, Pittsburg, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, Syracuse, Texas, and Villanova. It’s definitely a slim chance that he chooses Iowa State, but there’s still a chance.
In the coming years, it’s very possible that all the best prospects will be compelled to add Iowa State to their possibles list.
It’d be especially likely if Iowa State can make yearly trips to the Sweet 16 or further.