To expect Cameron Lard and Zoran Talley to immediately be in game shape is a stretch
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With most college programs’ 2019 recruiting classes signed, it’s full-steam ahead with 2020 recruitment. Iowa State’s 2020 class is currently projected to have three open slots, and that’s assuming it fills Lindell Wigginton’s scholarship in 2019.
Of course, things can change.
Based on observations and conversations with recruiting and coaching contacts, this is the Register’s initial Iowa State 2020 recruiting big board.
1. Xavier Foster, PF (Oskaloosa)
247Sports: four stars, ranked No. 31; Rivals: four stars, No. 26
Iowa State offered the Oskaloosa forward before he ever played a high school game, and he has lived up to the hype. The Cyclones hosted Foster for an official visit in October. That, plus the many other times Foster has been on campus unofficially, helps leave this staff feeling good about where they stand with the 7-footer. Iowa, USC, UCLA and Kansas are the other programs to watch right now.
2. Ben Carlson, PF (St. Paul, Minnesota)
247Sports: four stars, No. 71; Rivals: four stars, No. 53
Coaches think very, very highly of Carlson. They circled his name early in the recruiting process and are courting him as if he were an in-state prospect. The 6-9 forward has Cyclone ties — his dad played for Iowa State in the 1990s. He’s visited campus several times, and Iowa State has paid him a few visits this fall, too.
3. Jalen Terry, PG (Mount Morris, Michigan)
247Sports: four stars, No. 28; Rivals: four stars, No. 47
A supremely talented, smart point guard from Flint Beecher High up in Michigan. Sound familiar? Yep, Terry hails from the alma mater of Monte Morris. Iowa State hosted Terry for an official visit last month. There’s no shortage of competition, including from Michigan State, Louisville and Iowa, but the Cyclones hope Morris’ collegiate and professional success speaks volumes to Terry.
4. Dudley Blackwell, SF (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
247Sports: four stars, No. 77; Rivals: four stars, No. 109
The Cyclones are looking to increase their footprint in Florida, and you could say Blackwell is the de facto face of that movement right now. Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, the same hometown as assistant coach James Kane, Blackwell has become a major target for the Cyclones. The 6-6 small forward was scheduled to officially visit in November, but it had to be rescheduled — likely to sometime in the new year.
5. Chris Moore, SF (West Memphis, Arkansas)
247Sports: three stars, No. 119; Rivals: three stars, No. 126
Iowa State offered Moore back in June, and he took an unofficial visit in August — the same weekend as Marcedus Leech’s official. Steve Prohm and William Small have visited him this fall, too. Moore plays his high school ball just about an hour from Leech’s high school in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He also visited Ole Miss in September.
6. Desmond Polk, PG (New Berlin, Wisconsin)
247Sports: unrated; Rivals: three stars, No. 131
One of the best shooters in 2020 … and one of the best athletes in 2020. Polk will be a sought-after prospect in the Midwest, and the Cyclones are positioned well early. They hosted him for an unofficial visit in September, a few days after paying him a visit at school. Polk will play at Indiana prep academy La Lumiere this season, but the 6-3 prospect is from Milwaukee — a Cyclones pipeline. He is one of three 2020 prospects on Phenom University, a Milwaukee-based AAU squad, Iowa State has offered.
7. Jamari Sibley, SF/PF (Milwaukee)
247Sports: three stars, No. 123; Rivals: four stars, No. 107
The second Phenom U/Milwaukee product Iowa State has offered, Sibley is a lanky, 6-7 forward who can do a little of everything. The Cyclones were just in Milwaukee to watch him this past Friday.
8. Ty Berry, PG (Newton, Kansas)
247Sports: unrated; Rivals: three stars, No. 120
One of Iowa State’s more recent offers, Berry is a 6-2 prospect who’s starting to catch some recruiting steam. He visited Ames in September. The Kansas native is already being recruited by Wichita State, and the Jayhawks have their eyes on him, too.
9. Jayden Stone, CG (Birmingham, Alabama)
247Sports: four stars, No. 49; Rivals: four stars, No. 49
One of Small’s main targets, Stone received his Iowa State offer back in April. The Cyclones have gone to Alabama to watch him this fall. Georgetown, Auburn and Kansas State are among the other schools involved with the 6-3 Australian prospect.
10. N’Faly Dante, PF (Wichita, Kansas)
247Sports: five stars, No. 14; Rivals: five stars, No. 7
The Cyclones were just in Chicago last weekend to watch Dante, among several other prospects/targets. Dante is a five-star, top-10 forward who already holds offers from Kentucky and Kansas. But he visited Iowa State in August alongside Jalen Terry. There are other, more realistic targets on this board, but Iowa State is going to shoot its shot.
11. Jalen Suggs, PG (Minneapolis)
247Sports: five stars, No. 7; Rivals: five stars, No. 17
Another not-as-realistic target, Suggs is also a five-star, top-10 guy. His recruitment is interesting, because he’s also a high-level quarterback prospect — the Cyclones have offered him in both sports. Suggs’ camp still thinks he can play both sports in college, but on the outside, most think he’ll wind up playing only basketball at an elite program. Bottom line: Iowa State loves Suggs’ game and will keep its hand in the fight.
12. Cam’Ron Fletcher, SF (St. Louis)
247Sports: four stars, No. 51; Rivals: four stars, No. 54
Iowa State watched Fletcher and his Vashon team last weekend in Chicago, and it’s gone to St. Louis to watch him this fall, too. This will be an uphill battle for the Cyclones. Fletcher is top-60 for now, but he’ll rise in the rankings. Kentucky’s John Calipari watched him in November. He also officially visited Michigan State in November.
13. Matthew Murrell, CG (Memphis, Tennessee)
247Sports: four stars, No. 82; Rivals: four stars, No. 90
Iowa State was Murrell’s first offer, even before hometown Memphis. Since then, he’s picked up eight offers and has become a four-star, top-100 prospect. The Cyclones are hoping the early offer pays off. Penny Hardaway is trying to build a giant wall around Memphis and keep the city’s top talent home.
14. Reece Beekman, PG (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
247Sports: four stars, No. 104; Rivals: three stars, No. 119
The third Phenom U prospect Iowa State has offered, Beekman actually hails from Louisiana. Iowa State likes Beekman, and he’d be higher on this list if he hadn’t already taken officials to Houston and Virginia and not one visit to Ames.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
Source: Des Moines Register