In Iowa State’s quest to add frontcourt depth, it stumbled upon a gem.
The Cyclones picked up a late commitment to their 2015 class Thursday when West Charlotte (N.C.) forward Simeon Carter committed to Steve Prohm and Iowa State, just months after he was set to head to SMU.
“We hit a homerun there. That was a huge for us,” Prohm said of Carter’s addition Friday. “He’s really raw but he’s got some pretty good skill, he’s an awesome kid, a really humble kid. Once he gets in here and gets to work and is eating, and lifting and conditioning, his best basketball is ahead of him. To play with Jameel [McKay] and Georges [Niang] for a year and then come back as a sophomore, that’s huge.”
Carter, who averaged 14.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and four blocks per game last season at West Charlotte, is a well-regarded 6-foot-9 forward who waited until the spring to commit to SMU and coach Larry Brown. He was later informed that despite qualifying by NCAA standards he hadn’t been admitted to SMU.
The search for a new school carried into the summer, and ultimately Iowa State, Illinois and Oregon showed the most interest. Prohm had recruited Carter when he was at Murray State and his staff had connections to SMU.
Iowa State touched base, and hosted Carter on a visit in July.
“We came off the road to visit him because it was the only time we were allowed to get him in,” Prohm said. “We knew about him just because of relationships with some of the people on the SMU staff, we knew that he probably wasn’t going to end up going there and like I said, Coach Brown was terrific in the process and I can’t say enough how thankful we are to him.”
Carter will immediately bolster a frontcourt that was searching for depth ahead of Prohm’s first season at the helm. Iowa State added forward Brady Ernst in the 2015 class in June, but he’s still recovering from an ACL tear.
Where Carter fits in the rotation remains uncertain, but he is expected to be a role player come November.
“I think it all depends game to game,” Prohm said when asked how many minutes Carter might play. “Is Jameel in foul trouble? Is Georges in foul trouble? Are we playing a team that’s big? Are we playing a team that’s small? You hope he can play anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. There’s not really a number you can put on it because there are so many scenarios.”
Carter will arrive in Ames the weekend before classes start August 24 when the Cyclones return from their 10-day trip to Spain.
”Iowa State is a great situation for Simeon,” Jacoby Davis, Carter’s travel team coach told Scout.com on Thursday. “He doesn’t have to come in and be the man, but he’ll have an opportunity and he can learn from some other guys who will help him get better.”