When all was said and done, Emmanuel Malou rewarded loyalty.
The highly-regarded 6-foot-9 JUCO forward from Yuba College (Calif.) told AllCyclones.com on Friday he had decided to end his recruitment, choosing Iowa State over offers from the likes of Kansas, Arizona, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Oregon among others.
“Obviously me and Iowa State have a lot of history,” Malou said. “Fred Hoiberg was recruiting me back when I was at ABCD Prep [in Des Moines] and I fell in love with the program and I was ready to commit to him. I fell in love with the city, I fell in love with the place, I fell in love with the school. I’m hoping Steve Prohm runs the same offense or something similar, and that’s just what I’m looking for.”
Malou burst onto the scene following his freshman season at Yuba College in which he averaged 14.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game while shooting 47.3 percent from 3-point range (26-of-55).
While the high-major offers rolled in during recent months, along with visits just this week from Kansas coach Bill Self and Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith, Malou had his eyes set on Iowa State. Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzelberger visited Malou each of the last two Wednesdays in California, and Friday the Australian native called to commit.
Malou took one visit: An unofficial trip to Iowa State from Aug. 6-8.
“A lot of people are probably going to think, ‘Why not take these visits?’ but I have personal reasons for that,” Malou said. “I just feel like I took an unofficial to Iowa State, I know what it’s about. I’ve been following these guys for the last three years. I’m excited. It was difficult [to decide], especially having these special, legendary coaches like Tubby Smith and Bill Self [come visit], it’s a whole different recruitment level. I realized where my game has got me to and I just felt like I had to make the right decision for myself and where I feel comfortable, and that was Iowa State.”
It was in early 2013 that Hoiberg arrived at ABCD Prep to watch one of Malou’s teammates play, only to be impressed by Malou.
“Fred just fell in love with my game and he came over the next day and watched me play again and they offered me after that,” Malou said.
When Hoiberg left this summer, the recruitment didn’t stop. Steve Prohm and Co., with Otzelberger as the lead recruiter, ramped up their recruitment of Malou, getting him to Ames for a visit while also stopping in California.
“That made me want to go there even more, just the consistency they’ve been recruiting me,” Malou said. “I feel like it was meant to be.”
Iowa State now has three commits in the 2016 class, which now includes one of its most-prized recruits in some time.
“I feel like I’ll be really exciting to watch for the fans and I guess they have their own little idea of what type of player I am. I feel like I’m just going to get better and better,” Malou said. “I feel like it’s really a bright future for Iowa State.”