Now that Iowa State has introduced Steve Prohm as its new men's basketball coach, all eyes are turning to what will come for the Iowa State program in the weeks, months and years ahead with Prohm at the helm.
The Cyclones are widely expected to be a top-10 preseason team this fall, but the outlook for 2016-17 and beyond is filled with open scholarships and uncertainty. Recruiting will be as important as ever for Prohm and the staff he constructs.
To take a look at Prohm the recruiter, AllCyclones.com caught up with Scout.com Director of Basketball Recruiting, Evan Daniels.
AllCyclones: When you hear the name Steve Prohm, what comes to mind based off the things you’ve heard around the business?
Evan Daniels: I think from dealing with Steve and knowing Steve and following his teams, he’s prepared. He’s a young, energetic guy who has had a lot of success. I think this is a move he was ready for and I think he was ready for this job and I think he’s going to do extremely well there.
AC: One of the biggest curiosities from Iowa State fans is how he can recruit. Obviously he was really successful at Murray State. How can you translate recruiting at Murray State to Iowa State and the Big 12?
Daniels: I think he’s going to have to reevaluate things. First, it’s going to start with his coaching staff and we don’t fully know what’s going to happen there and how that’s going to be compiled. At Murray State he did a great job of recruiting guards and developing guards. If you look at some of the guys over the past couple of years he’s had some really gifted guys, Cameron Payne this year and Isaiah Canaan before. The team he built at Murray State this past year, while they didn’t make the NCAA tournament, they were a ridiculously talented OVC team. They were a last-second shot away from making the tournament.
Obviously he’s going to have to look at the blueprint that Fred Hoiberg and his staff left but also put his own stamp on it. You mentioned that he’s recruited junior college players in the past and I’m sure he’ll still dabble in that area, but he’s got strong ties to the south and I think depending on who he hires as assistant coaches I’m sure that they’ll mine certain areas.
AC: You’ve obviously covered recruiting for some time. When you see someone jump from a mid-major to a Power 5 conference, are there any keys in the difference between ones who have had success recruiting and ones who has struggled?
Daniels: I think the biggest factor is building your coaching staff and building your coaching staff with guys who are good recruiters, who are knowledgeable, that have good relationships. Recruiting is about relationships.
AC: How important is getting geographically located coaches?
Daniels: There’s some value in it. It’s hard for me to answer that question until we fully know what he’s going to do. I don’t think he’s just going to abandon his roots. He’s certainly still going to recruit the south, that’s an area he’s had a lot of success in and built a lot of relationships. I’m sure he’s going to have a Midwest guy on his staff and he’s going to have guys who can fill other needs.
AC: Iowa State is still a finalist for five-star Miles Bridges and four-star Tyler Cook despite Hoiberg’s departure. What’s a key to coming into a situation like this and trying to maintain those relationships and still have a chance?
Daniels: It’s going to depend on if you keep certain assistant coaches that may have relationships with those kids. Obviously he’s going to come in and he’s also going to put his imprint on the program and recruit kids that he wants to recruit and build relationships with guys he wants to build relationships with. He probably will dabble with guys they have recruited in the past, who Fred recruited, but I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of others too. I’m sure he’s going to build the relationships and give them his pitch and tell them about who he is and what he’s done.
AC: From your sense around the recruiting industry, have you gotten the sense that Iowa State has more of a national appeal given Fred’s success? Is so, how does Prohm capitalize on that past success?
Daniels: Iowa State, with their success recently, has built a brand. They are a brand. I’m sure it’s something that Steve is going to try to build off of. There’s not an exact recipe for success. There’s different ways to skin a cat and there’s different ways to recruit and there’s different ways to continue to build the brand.
I’m sure he’s going to try to pick up where Fred left off, but at the same time he’s going to do things his way.