George a Cyclone Afterall

After committing and de-committing to the Cyclones after a November official visit to campus, it turns out Notre Dame Prep post man Reggie George never really was out of the picture for head coach Larry Eustachy. The 6-foot-9, 230-pounder followed through with his initial decision and signed with Iowa State earlier this week.

George, who averaged 7.1 points and 5.2 rebounds for the prep school in Fitchburg, Mass., flirted with recruiting interest from Texas Christian, Mississippi State, Fresno State and George Washington, but didn't really consider any program other than ISU.

"I think he opened his options, but he was never really into the recruiting thing," said Notre Dame prep coach Bill Barton. "I believe his mother wanted him to see what was out there, but he didn't do much and didn't take any visits. Not a lot of people were after him until after the season, when there was (push for) big men. His stock sort of skyrocketed and people were calling about him. But he didn't seem that interested, so I guess he liked Iowa State all along."

Barton sent two players to the Cyclones this season, as his starting point guard Will Blalock signed during the fall. George, however, could face more of an uphill battle in getting playing time early in his career. He played a reserve role for much of the season for 30-9 Notre Dame Prep.

The challenge for Eustachy is to get George to realize his true potential.

"He's athletic, can run the floor and has tremendous upside," Barton said. "I don't know if he's going to contribute right away for Iowa State, but in time he will. It's going to take a lot of hard work, but his potential is unlimited. He's had some tremendous workouts in the gym these past couple weeks.

"He had a couple great weekends in December, but he was a very inconsistent performer overall. He's got to decide if he wants it or not, because the potential is there. God has blessed him with a fabulous basketball body, but he has to want to put it all together now."

But Barton says one thing is for sure – George will not be a problem off the court in Ames.

"He's an incredibly nice and articulate young man that's intelligent," his coach said. "He's going to be a pleasure to have at the campus for four or five years. In this day and age you can't have too many players like him on your team. He's never going to make headlines by beating somebody up or doing something stupid."

George is one of two post players signed by Eustachy this spring, joining Southeastern (Ill.) Community College standout Damion Staple.

The 6-foot-8, 230-pounder earned second-team All-American honors this season after averaging 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds as a sophomore. Staple, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, is a former teammate of Cyclone point guard Tim Barnes.

"Time will tell in determining how great this class will be, but we feel very good about the players we have coming in," ISU head coach Larry Eustachy said in a release announcing the spring signings. "With Staple and George it gives us what we needed, size and depth.

"I definitely feel Blalock and (Curtis) Stinson will fit in at Iowa State as well and will be instrumental in our team's success. Both had tremendous senior seasons and both are ranked in the top-75 in a number of recruiting services. We are losing a number of great players after this season, so we feel confident that we are building a strong base for the future with this class."

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