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.
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10. G/F Dudley Blackwell (FL)
9. 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.. In April of 2020, the former Cyclones has re-entered the transfer portal once more.
8. 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 recently transferred to UIC (a team who originally targeted Griffin), where he has a great chance to star for the Flames in Chicago.
7. 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 a couple months ago.
6. 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):
5. 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. Foster should get a good amount of playing time for the Cyclones as a freshman. Foster High School Highlights:
4. 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:
3. 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 now plays a major role for the Utah Jazz where he has earned the Nickname Minivan. Heres Highlights from a career best night in the NBA for Niang:
2. 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. Here are some highlights from Talen's time with the Cyclones that I created (I do not own the clips):
1. Lindell Wigginton
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. Here are some highlights from Lindell's time with the Cyclones that I created (I do not own the clips):