Tag:Iowa State
Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:11 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2011 9:44 pm

Iowa State goes into Canada for Naz Long

By Jeff Borzello

Iowa State dipped into New York, New England and stayed in the Midwest for its first three commitments in 2012.

Now, Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones have gone into Canada for their fourth recruit. Naz Long, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Findlay Prep (Nev.), popped for Iowa State on Saturday night.

“I’ve officially committed to Iowa State University,” Long tweeted, also changing his avatar picture to him in an ISU sweatshirt.

With the ability to play both guard positions, Long will be a nice asset in the Big 12. He doesn’t look for his own shot very often, but he is a savvy passer and can run an offense effectively.

Long chose the Cyclones over Dayton, Creighton, Miami (Fl.), Missouri, Western Kentucky and Rice. 

Commitment Catch-up:

  • Troy Spears, New Mexico
  • Kyle Francis, Central Michigan (JUCO)
  • Tevin Calhoun, Creighton (JUCO)
  • Phillip Lawrence, Marist
  • Corbin Byford, Oral Roberts
  • Camryn Moye, Georgia Southern (2014)
  • Rashun Davis, Radford
  • Atif Russell, Pepperdine
  • Nick Stover, Loyola Marymount
  • Taj Adams, Loyola Marymount
  • Charles Harris, Western Michigan
  • Brian Pegg, Stetson

Photo: Phase 1 Basketball

Posted on: September 20, 2011 1:25 pm

Two schools on top for Negus Webster-Chan


Jeff Borzello

Since Louisville and Negus Webster-Chan parted ways back in April, it’s been pretty quiet on the recruiting front for the Canada native.

That will change soon, as Webster-Chan is in the process of taking visits and hopes to make a decision by November.

He has taken trips to Missouri and Iowa State, and those two Big 12 (for now) schools sit as the favorites.

“They recruit me the hardest out of all,” Webster-Chan said. “Both have really great coaching staffs. They both had in-home visits with my family over in Canada so that showed me how interested they were.”

So far, Missouri and Iowa State are the only two schools to conduct in-home visits with Webster-Chan, with no further in-homes on the horizon.

There were rumors that Webster-Chan had trimmed his list to just those two schools, but he denied those reports.

“Those are just the two schools at the top of my list,” he said.

Webster-Chan is planning an official visit to Clemson “probably next weekend,” while USC, Texas, Oregon State and Marquette are also in pursuit.

Webster-Chan is a 6-foot-7 small forward from Huntington Prep (W.Va.) who uses his length and athleticism to score effectively on drives to the rim. His shooting is getting more consistent, but he needs to add weight and bulk in order to better absorb contact on his finishes. Webster-Chan is also a capable passer and an aggressive defender.

Posted on: August 22, 2011 10:49 am

Recruiting picks up for Torren Jones

By Jeff Borzello

Since the end of his high school season, Torren Jones made an effort to expand his game. Instead of being just a run and jump big man who scored in transition, Jones began to make plays on his own.

“I played really well this summer,” Jones said. “I started to use the 15-foot jump shot, along with some more post moves.”

With the development in his game, recruiting has also picked up for the 6-foot-8 power forward from Basha (Ariz.). Jones said Florida State, West Virginia, Georgetown, San Jose State and Kansas have started to show interest after his play with California Supreme during the summer.

Moreover, he currently holds offers from Arizona and Colorado, with interest coming from Oregon State, Washington State, UCLA, USC, Iowa State and DePaul.

“The process is going great,” Jones said.

He did say Arizona, UCLA, USC, Kansas and Iowa State were the five schools currently standing out. UCLA and USC are the two he’s visited the most due to playing with Cal Supreme on the AAU circuit.

“I’m looking for good academics, style of play and location,” Jones said.

Being from Arizona and playing with a California-based travel team, he is more interested in West Coast teams. However, he’s not afraid to go away for school, either.

“I would like to stay close to home,” Jones said. “But if a good East Coast school offers, I will go there.”

Despite the recent uptick in recruiting, Jones – ranked No. 81 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 for 2013 – is in no hurry to make a decision.

“I am going to hold out until my senior year,” he said. “Make sure I make the right choice.”

Photo: Five-Star Basketball

Posted on: August 4, 2011 2:20 pm

Sherron Dorsey-Walker waiting out the process


By Jeff Borzello

August is always a busy month for commitments – and 2012 scorer Sherron Dorsey-Walker has been one of the players mentioned as nearing a decision.

In reality, Dorsey-Walker will likely take his time going through the process.

“Right now, I plan to make [my commitment] in October or November,” he told CBSSports.com on Thursday.

Dorsey-Walker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Pershing (Mich.), holds offers from Boston College, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Temple, Florida State, Minnesota, Providence and Iowa State.

He plans on taking his visits before making a decision – and he knows three of the schools he wants to take trips to in the fall.

“I know I’m going to take visits to Boston College and Virginia Tech, and Baylor too,” Dorsey-Walker said. “Those are the three I know right now.”

He did say that those three are not favorites right now, just schools he wants to check out.

The most important factors in Dorsey-Walker’s decision will be his comfort level and familiarity with the coaching staff.

“Trust in the coaches,” he said. “Somewhere I’m comfortable at, somewhere I can win and make an impact. Somewhere I can get better at, but also help the team get better too.”

Dorsey-Walker is a lanky scorer who can get to the basket and finish against bigger players due to his body control and length. He plays very well in transition and he has a nice stroke from long range. Dorsey-Walker is a savvy perimeter player who can find teammates and also rebound at both ends.

“I can shoot, I can drive to the hole, get my teammates involved,” he said. “A little bit of everything.”

Whichever school gets his commitment will be getting a big-time scorer. We just won’t know the destination anytime soon.

Photo: UMHoops.com

Posted on: August 1, 2011 2:49 pm

Javonte Hawkins backs up top-100 ranking

By Jeff Borzello

One of the last players in the pre-July CBSSports.com Top 100 rankings was Javonte Hawkins, a 6-foot-5 wing from Powers Catholic (Mich.).

After his performance with the Michigan Mustangs on the AAU circuit, though, it’s clear Hawkins isn’t content with his standing.

“I want to show that I’m a player,” he said. “I wanted to come out and play defense. I can shoot, I can get to the hole.”

More on Recruiting

Hawkins is a big-time athlete who uses his length and leaping ability to make plays off the bounce and in transition. He can knock down 3-pointers with consistency, and is not afraid to elevate in traffic around the goal. Defensively, he is aggressive and looks to force turnovers.

Michigan, Cincinnati, USC, Miami (Fl.), South Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, West Virginia, Marquette, Colorado and Providence are all showing interest in the Flint, Mich. product.

Hawkins said Iowa, Iowa State, West Virginia, Colorado and Marquette are showing the most interest at this point.

“A place that likes to run,” he said when asked what he is looking for in a school. “A team that plays hard, plays defense and runs the floor.”

His mindset is certainly that of a top-100 player; after July, he has the game to back it up. 

Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 10:20 am

Marcus Smart gets defensive


By Jeff Borzello

In a camp setting or on the AAU circuit, the mindset of several players revolves around impressing scouts and coaches with offense.

For Marcus Smart, he is far more likely to garner attention for being arguably the best perimeter defender in his class.

“With my school team, we’ve been the No. 1 defense for the last few years,” Smart said. “Defense wins games; you have to be able to play defense.

Smart is a 6-foot-4 swingman from Marcus, Texas, with a strong build and a physical brand of basketball. At the NBPA Top 100 camp last week, Smart took Duke-commit Rasheed Sulaimon completely off his game by bodying him throughout the contest.

He is not all defense, though. Smart is a big-time athlete who can finish in transition and even showed some perimeter skills by knocking down 3-point shots. He has a non-stop motor and is one of the fiercest competitors in the country. Smart can also rebound fairly well and is capable of handling the ball.

While Smart is going to be an immediate fan favorite at whichever school he attends, the Gatorade Player of the Year in Texas isn’t too far along in his recruitment.

He listed offers from the entire Big 12, and he also recently picked up an offer from North Carolina.

Smart also added that North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma were the three schools standing out.

“I don’t know when I want to decide,” he said. “It depends on school.”

Smart, who hasn't taken many visits, knows what he is looking for in a school.

“It has to have a good educational program, first,” Smart said. “And how I get along with the players and coaches.”

Photo: The News Connection

Posted on: June 20, 2011 8:50 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 4:06 pm

NYC wing Nkereuwem Okoro commits to Iowa State

By Jeff Borzello

One of the more interesting recruiting pipelines that has developed over the past year is the one that extends from New York City to Ames, Iowa.

It started in September, when Tavon Sledge pledged to the Cyclones. On Monday morning, Fred Hoiberg and co. picked up another NYC prospect, as rising senior Nkereuwem Okoro committed to Iowa State.

“I chose Iowa State because I love the coaching staff, the Big 12 is one of the best conferences in college basketball and I have an opportunity to make an impact my freshman year,” Okoro told CBSSports.com in an interview Sunday night. “Plus, they’re also bringing in a lot of good recruits.”

Okoro, a 6-foot-4 wing from St. Raymond’s (N.Y.), picked Iowa State over Seton Hall. He also held offers from Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Arizona. Okoro is the second New York player to commit to the Cyclones since Brooklyn native Matt Abdelmassih joined Hoiberg’s staff. Abdelmassih played a major role in landing Sledge and Minnesota transfer Royce White while in recruiting positions.

While Iowa State seems like a strange destination for a New York player, Okoro said Sledge signing there for 2011 and several other NYC recruits considering the Cyclones played a role in his decision.

“It feels good to have players from my state that I know be at school with me,” he said. “Helps me feel more at home.”

There were reports in late May that Okoro was ready to commit to Iowa State, but he quickly squashed those rumors and said he was unsure of his next destination. It turned out that Okoro knew all along that Ames was the spot for him.

“I just had to review some things with my coaches and my family,” Okoro said, adding that he is “very confident” in his decision.

Okoro is the Cyclones’ second commitment in the class of 2012, joining New England prep school forward Georges Niang.

Naturally, the Iowa State coaching staff was excited about Okoro’s pledge.

“Coach Hoiberg sounded very happy in my decision,” he said. “It was great news to them.”

Most observers will immediately notice Okoro’s strong body and non-stop motor. He never takes a play off and loves bringing it on the defensive end, bodying up opponents and racking up steals and deflections. Offensively, he is still developing his all-around game, but Okoro has the ability to score in the mid-range effectively.

His energy level and defensive ability will be an asset right off the bat.

“I’m considered a big guard and the Big 12 is flooded with big guards,” he said. “I’m going to bring the most I can offensively, but I’m going to defend all the time and continue to work hard.”

Okoro has been on the recruiting scene for several years in the New York City area, so the process has lasted quite awhile for him. With a commitment he feels comfortable with, it’s as if a weight has been lifted off Okoro’s shoulders.

“It feels very good to come to the conclusion and know where I’m playing college basketball,” he said. “Next year, I can just focus on winning championships. I’m looking forward to the future.”

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com