Steve Prohm talks about new recruit Caleb Grill and other recruiting topics Monday in Audubon
Randy Peterson, email@example.com
AUDUBON, Ia. — Steve Prohm says he’s looking for one more player to add onto his Iowa State men’s basketball roster.
A dandy 3-point, difference-making shooter. Someone who’s immediately eligible.
So if you still, for some reason, continue to hold out desperate hope that Lindell Wigginton and Talen Horton-Tucker could return for the 2019-20 season …
Forget it. It isn’t happening.
That’s the insinuation from Prohm when he was asked Monday afternoon how he plans to fill the one scholarship remaining, in the wake of the official weekend signings of high school recruit Caleb Grill and Javan Johnson.
Johnson is a sit-out transfer from Troy, which means there’s room for someone who can shoot 40 percent from 3-point range, handle the ball at a high-major level, successfully handle academics and play between 25 to 30 minutes a game right away.
And it’s not going to be Iowa graduate transfer Isaiah Moss, whose father told 247sports.com that his son will choose among Arkansas, Arizona State, Kansas and Oregon.
“He really wanted to stay close to home,” Isaiah’s father, Mike, told the website. “But he didn’t want to disrespect Iowa fans by getting back in the Big Ten. … Iowa State was the same.
“He couldn’t go there, either, because of that.”
Iowa State was never in the mix for Moss, anyway, knowledgeable sources have said.
So what’s Prohm going to do with the remaining scholarship? High school recruit, graduate transfer, junior college transfer or sit-out transfer?
Penn State transfer Rasir Bolton is a 6-foot-2 guard who averaged 11.6 points, two rebounds and 1.5 assists per game during his freshman season. He played in all 32 games, including nine starts. By the way, he’s a 36.1 percent 3-point shooter.
He presumably must sit out a season after transferring — unless the NCAA grants an immediately-eligible waiver, for which there’s been some speculation.
Whoever joins Iowa State’s next, think “immediately” and “eligible.”
“I think it has to be,” Prohm said at a Cyclone Tailgate Tour stop at the Feed Mill Restaurant in Audubon. “First priority is a player that can help us next year.”
One more recruit brings Prohm’s roster to the allotted 13 scholarships the NCAA allows for men’s basketball. It would bring the upcoming roster’s scholarship availability, considering Johnson is sitting out, to a dozen. Prohm, by the way, generally plays only seven or eight players a game, anyway.
One more recruit also emphasizes that Wigginton and Horton-Tucker won’t return. And if you thought one or both might withdraw from the NBA Draft — forget it.
NBA scouts predict Horton-Tucker to be a first-rounder come June 20. He’s at the NBA Draft Combine this week, most likely just testing and interviewing. There’s talk that he might not play in the Thursday-Friday games, and really, why would he?
His appeal, besides his physical stature, is that he’s just 18.
So, Prohm adding an immediately-eligible guard on the next Iowa State roster who can shoot a decent percentage from deep, and who can handle the ball against Big 12 competition, could be the difference between a second NCAA Tournament in a row and being on the wrong side of the bubble.
That’s how important it is to quickly find a perimeter scorer.
“We need somebody that can score,” Prohm said. “We lose four guys that are double-figure scorers, so we need one more scoring punch on the perimeter.”
Marial Shayok and Nick Weiler-Babb were seniors on last season’s team. Cam Lard and Wigginton have said they’re thinking about turning pro and not maintaining amateur status. Horton-Tucker, everyone’s saying, is a first-rounder. There’s also Zoran Talley, a senior reserve last season, who must be replaced.
So far, four players are signed for the 2019-20 class. Another, guard Prentiss Nixon, will be eligible after sitting out a year following his Colorado State transfer.
And that’s why Prohm needs another shooting guard who can play now.
“The spring is different recruiting,” Prohm said. “With your fall guys, you know who you’re recruiting, and you’re going after them. In the spring, everybody just waits to see who gets out of letters of intent and what grad transfers are out there.”
News and notes
- Solomon Young is full-go after recovering from groin surgery. “He’s at home in Sacramento right now,” Prohm said. “He’s 100 percent healthy when he gets back.”
- Prohm said Iowa State is close to announcing a seventh high-major opponent on its 2019-2020 nonconference schedule. Oregon State, by the way, is the social media rumor du jour. Other high-major non-league opponents for the Cyclones are three in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, Nov. 27-29 in Paradise Island, Bahamas; Iowa; Seton Hall, in the Big 12-Big East scheduling alliance; and someone in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.
Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been with the Register for parts of five decades. Randy writes opinion and analysis of Iowa State football and basketball. You can reach Randy at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @RandyPete.
Source: Des Moines Register