In this article, I dive into the top 10 best Rated Iowa State Basketball Recruits of the Decade. I used many sources, the top 2 being ESPN and 247 Sports. I looked at many factors including each players scouting grade, number of stars, and their recruitment level throughout ALL of their high school careers. I also took into account top recruit camps they were invited to, etc.
(Photos via 247 Sports)
G/F Dudley Blackwell (FL)
Fort Lauderdale Native Dudley Blackwell is another strong Cyclone in the class of 2020. A top 10 rated recruit during this decade for Cyclone Basketball, Dudley chose the Cyclones over many offers, including schools like Ohio State, Florida State and Marquette. The 6-5 Blackwell is ranked a 4 star recruit by both ESPN and 247 Sports. Dudley got lots of recruiting attention by putting up some big numbers in Nike EYBL League. He was also invited to the NBPA top 100 camp, showing how highly he is valued as a recruit nation wide. He will look to get some minutes early in his career for Iowa State. Click here to learn more about Blackwell and the entire Cyclone Basketball Recruiting Class of 2020. He transferred away from ISU in 2021, and is currently at Clayton State.
G Jakolby Long (OK)
Jakolby Long was well sought after coming out of high school, boasting a 4 star recruiting rating from ESPN and was ranked one of the top 3 star recruits by 247 Sports. The 6-4 guard had offers Houston, Kansas State, Missouri, Illinois State to go along with his offer from the Cyclones. Things did not pan out for Long in Ames, however, he never averaged more than 2 points per game in his time with the Clones and decided to transfer to Southern Utah. He had a bit more success in the Big Sky conference, averaging 6 PPG, while starting 17 games.. He transferred around and played the 2022 season for Bethune-Cookman. He averaged 4 points per game.
G ZIon Griffin (IL)
Griffin, a 4 star guard from Hinsdale South High School, nearly made the 247 Sports top 100 players in his Class of 2018. He was also the 4th ranked player in Illinois and received top offers from schools including Kansas and Illinois. The 6-6 player was never able to make quite the impact that Cyclone fans were hoping for, only averaging 3 PPG and 1.9 RPG this past season for Iowa State. He transferred to UIC a couple years ago(a team who originally targeted Griffin), and will play his final season this year for Tennessee State.
10. G terrence Lewis (WI)
Lewis, a top recruit from Riverside University High School, played multiple years for the Cyclones. As a recruit, he was ranked as the #61 overall recruit by ESPN while given a 4 star rating. 247 Sports ranked Lewis as their #125 player and the number 1 player from Wisconsin in the class of 2017. The 6-6 guard major offers from Illinois, Georgia Tech, Auburn and many more. Lewis showed that he could score for the Cyclones, scoring 6 PPG this latest season while shooting over 50% from the field in very limited minutes. Even with this efficient scoring, Lewis was not given many chances during this recent rebuilding season for the Clones and decided to transfer. He transferred away to South Alabama.
9. PG Monte Morris (MI)
Monte Morris was one of the greatest to ever put on a Cyclone Basketball Jersey. Before his Cyclone Heroics, Morris was ranked as a 4 star recruit out of Beecher High School in Mount Morris, Michigan. He was ranked 83rd nationally in his class by 247 Sports while also being ranked as the 17th point guard in the class as well as the 4th best player in Michigan. The class of 2013 prospect received lots of major offers, some of them being from Arizona State, Marquette, Virginia and Georgia Tech. After Morris chose ISU, he led the Cyclones to multiple Big 12 Tournament Championships and NCAA Tourney bids. After his great collegiate career, Morris was selected by the Nuggets in the 2017 NBA Draft where he plays a major role for the Nuggets. He currently leads the NBA in Assist-to-turnover ratio, after leading the NCAA in the same stat for multiple years. Check out this Highlight Tape I made for Morris (I do not own clips or music):
8. PF/C Xavier Foster (IA)
Xavier Foster had been a target of ISU’s for multiple years, and Foster choosing the Cyclones over Iowa in 2020 was huge for Iowa State’s basketball Program. He is a top 5 rated Cyclone basketball recruit of the decade and is ranked a top 4 star by both ESPN and 247 Sports. 247 Sports ranks him 68th nationally and the 12th best center in the class of 2020. In high school, he 7 footer showed his ability to stretch the floor and also showed an insane ability to protect the rim. His pogo stick leaping ability also creates an ability for him to dunk on opponents. After some unfortunate events, Foster decided to leave Ames and transfer to SMU. Foster High School Highlights:
7. SG Matt Thomas (WI)
Cyclone great sharpshooter Matt Thomas comes in at number 4 on this list. Thomas was ranked top 60 in his class of 2013 by ESPN and 247 Sports. 247 also ranked Thomas the top player in 2013 from Wisconsin and the 17th best shooting guard. Thomas chose the Cyclones over Creighton, Marquette, Boston College, Minnesota, and many others. The 6-4 guard would go on to be named to a Big-12 All-Tournament team and multiple All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Awards during his time at Iowa State. After his Cyclone career, he played with the Lakers in the NBA Summer League before going overseas. In 2019, Thomas was signed by the Toronto Raptors, where he plays today. Here are some Matt Thomas NBA Highlights:
6. PF Georges Niang (NH)
Georges Niang was one of the greatest Cyclones ever. Before Niang’s legendary Cyclone career, the 6-7 forward was ranked as a 4 star recruit out of Tilton School in New Hampshire. He was ranked in the top 75 in the class of 2012 by both 247 Sports and ESPN. Niang committed to the Cyclones early before too many offers flowed in. After Niang chose ISU, he led the Cyclones for four years. During this time, the Cyclones earned multiple Big 12 Tournament Championships and NCAA Tourney bids. Niang earned countless awards, including All American awards, and the Karl Malone Award, going to the nation’s best power forward, After his great collegiate career, Georges Niang was selected by the Pacers in the 2016 NBA Draft. He played for the Utah Jazz where he earned the Nickname Minivan. He now carries on that nickname where he currently plays for the 76ers. Heres Highlights from a career best night in the NBA for Niang:
5. G/f Talen Horton-Tucker (IL)
Talen Horton-Tucker was ranked as a 4 star by all top recruiting services and fell inside the top 60 recruits in the class of 2018 for 247 Sports and Rivals. The 6-5 small forward at Simeon High School in Chicago had offers from top schools that included Dayton, Xavier Georgia Tech, Illinois and others to go along with an offer from the Cyclones. After selecting ISU, Horton Tucker had one of the best freshman seasons in ISU history, averaging nearly 12 PPG and 5 RPG. After his time with the Cyclones, he was selected with the 46th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. During his professional rookie year, he bounced between the Lakers G-League affiliate and the Los Angeles Lakers roster. He signed a big deal with the Lakers last year and is one of their key pieces. Here are some highlights from Talen’s time with the Cyclones that I created (I do not own the clips):
4. F Milan Momcilovic (WI)
Pewaukee, Wisconsin star Milan Momcilovic chose Iowa State on July 16th of 2022 to join the class of 2023. He chose the Cyclones over MSU, UCLA, Virginia, Minnesota and Louisville. Momcilovic is the top player in Wisconsin and a top 50 player nationally for the class of 2023. He ranks in the top 50 on ESPN and On3 recruits and is top 35 ranked on 247 Sports. Click here for Milan Momcilovic's commitment post.
3. PG Tyrese Hunter (IL)
Top 4 Star Point Guard Tyrese Hunter committed to the Cyclones even through the coaching change. The 6-1 Wisconson native boasted 25 offers including Arizona State, Georgia, Georgia Tech and others. He was the Big 12 Freshman of the year and a huge part of Iowa State’s Sweet 16 run this last season. He averaged 11 points per game and 4.9 assists per game with his season for the Cyclones and had one of the most iconic game winning shots against LSU to send ISU to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He has recently transferred to Texas. Here is his shot against LSU:
2. PG/SG Lindell Wigginton (Canada)
Lindell Wigginton was ranked as a 4 or 5 star recruit by all top recruiting services and fell inside the top 35 recruits in the class of 2017 for 247 Sports Recruiting. The 6-2 guard from Canada had offers from top schools that included Oregon, Arizona State, Arizona, Arkansas and others to go along with an offer from the Cyclones. After selecting the Cyclones, Wigginton had one of the best freshman seasons in ISU history, averaging nearly 17 PPG. His sophomore season was up and down, but still managed to score 13.5 PPG off the bench, earning himself the Big 12 6th man of the year award in 2019. After his sophomore season, Wigginton went pro and did not get drafted. He signed with the Raptors Summer League team and played well, earning himself a contract with the Timberwolves, where he played for their G-league affiliate the Iowa Wolves. He recently signed with the Milwaukee Bucks and played in his first few NBA games where he did well, scoring in double figures. Here are some highlights from Lindell’s time with the Cyclones that I created (I do not own the clips):
1. PF Omaha Biliew (Waukee)
One of the top players in the class of 2023 and five star recruit Omaha Biliew chose the Cyclones on July 26th, 2022. The High School Phenom chose Iowa State over Kansas and Oregon. He also chose the Cyclones over the G-League Ignite team. He is a 6-8 forward and has tremendous size and a great build to go along with his versatile skillset. Biliew has been on the radar nationally while playing for both Dowling Catholic and Waukee High School in Iowa where he won a state title with Waukee. He then moved to a prep school before deciding he will return to Waukee for his senior year this upcoming school year. There is a good chance Omaha may only stay for a short time in Ames before entering his name into the NBA Draft, however, he will have a huge impact for the Cyclones no matter how long he is in Ames. Here is Omaha dunking on Chet Holmgren: