Tyrese Haliburton was a star in Iowa State opener
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Chris Chaney has known Iowa State assistant coach William Small for a long time. So Small often calls Chaney, the head coach of powerhouse prep Scotland Campus Sports in Pennsylvania, to see if Scotland has anyone the Cyclones should recruit.
Last year, that was Clarence Nadolny, who wound up picking Texas Tech over Iowa State and West Virginia.
This year, it was three-star, 6-foot-5 shooting guard/wing/do-it-all guy Darlinstone Dubar, who became Iowa State’s third 2020 recruit following an official visit to Ames this past weekend.
Thanks to established relationships with critical pieces of Dubar’s inner circle, an ideal marriage of fit and need and a childhood watching Iowa State basketball, the Cyclones were able to offer and land a prospect who Chaney said will be one of the country’s best prep basketball players in a span of three weeks.
“He definitely fell in love with the coaches right away,” Chaney said. “Once he got a feel for the team and the campus and all of that, you kind of knew … that he thought it was the right place for him.”
It all started with the phone call from Small to Chaney during the summer. Chaney said Dubar would be worth monitoring, so Small did just that as Dubar led his AAU team, B. Maze Elite, to the Under Armour Finals championship game without their best player, Tennessee recruit Jaden Springer.
“I thought he was the most underrated player in the country,” said Dubar’s AAU coach, former Tennessee great Bobby Maze.
Eventually, as Iowa State’s big board took final shape, the staff offered and Small visited Dubar at Scotland in October.
Dubar said he was immediately interested when Iowa State came to see him. Schools such as Auburn, Maryland, Seton Hall, Wichita State and Notre Dame wanted him. But the Charlotte product grew up watching Big 12 games — especially the Cyclones.
“And when I used to watch Iowa State, I would say, ‘Oh, I could play there,'” Dubar said.
A week after offering on Oct. 16, Small visited with Dubar’s parents to set up last weekend’s official visit.
It didn’t take long to set up. Nothing in this recruitment took very long, actually.
Dubar had a long-standing interest in Iowa State. But this process took only three weeks largely because he felt he could trust the Cyclones’ coaches quickly, and the staff’s relationship with Chaney and Maze helped facilitate that.
“(Dubar) respects everybody, but he doesn’t get close to people until he really gets a good feeling about them, and I think that started really quick with (Iowa State),” Chaney said. “It’s just a combination of everything. Again, from what coach Small did, to us talking (Dubar) up all the time, to us just having a really good feel for them after what they did last year with Clarence, I think it was a combination of everything.
“I’ve been around for a long time and I’ve got a lot of respect for Coach (Prohm) and his staff. Again, it’s a great fit because he’s his type of player and person, and I know what he’s looking for. I just think it’s going to be a great fit.”
Beyond relationships, Maze said Iowa State was also the best fit for Dubar because it has a clear need for him, compared with some of the other schools that were recruiting him. The Cyclones prioritized finding athletic perimeter length in the 2020 class.
That’s what Dubar epitomizes, Maze said. He compares him to Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who played his college ball at Marquette.
“(Dubar) had a ton of schools that loved him and wanted him,” Maze said. “But what it boiled down to was that coaching staff did a great job of recruiting him and presenting him the best opportunity. And I felt like, looking at their roster, they don’t have a wing of his size.
“The coaching staff, the system that they run, it fits and caters to D-Stone. And he was a player that they were looking for. And, at the end of the day, they recruited him harder than the other schools did. And they had a need for him. When you look at the roster and you look at everything, we agreed that this was the best fit for him.”
Dubar said he felt prioritized by Iowa State in this rapid recruitment. That meant a lot to him, he said. He didn’t even need to finish his official visit to realize he wanted to be a Cyclone. He told Prohm and the staff the good news in the middle of his visit.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
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Source: Des Moines Register