When Iowa State coach Steve Prohm arrived in June he faced an uphill recruiting challenge with six open scholarships and five months to begin to fill out the 2016 class ahead of the early signing period.
Wednesday, much of that work will have been completed.
The Cyclones will sign four players in the early portion of the 2016 recruiting process Wednesday, inking two JUCO prospects and two high school prospects.
Let’s take a deeper look at the newest Cyclones.
Emmanuel Malou | SF/PF | Yuba College (Calif.)
The Lowdown: The 6-foot-9 Malou, who arrived in the United States from Melbourne, Australia, had a connection to Iowa State dating back to his time at ABCD Prep in Des Moines. Former Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg offered Malou in early 2013 and his name has been connected with the Cyclones since.
Malou went the JUCO route, going to Yuba College (Calif.), where he averaged 14.7 points and 8.5 rebounds as a freshman while shooting 47.3 percent from 3-point range (26-of-55) to become one of the top JUCO forwards. Iowa State got involved when T.J. Otzelberger returned and ultimately beat out offers from the likes of Kansas, Arizona, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Oregon among others.
Scouting Report: Malou is a versatile forward capable of playing both the three and four positions, and Iowa State plans to use him at both. His height and unusual quickness for his size makes Malou a mismatch for many forwards and he can handle the ball and shoot from the perimeter. Malou’s key focuses for improvement are on developing his mid-range shot and getting stronger.
Why he chose Iowa State: “It’s like another form of going home, really, just being with good people and people that you’ve known for a long time and people that are always there to support you. It’s just a good feeling. It’s like whenever I go home to Australia, it’s just a good feel as soon as I touch down on Australian soil. I kind of get that feeling when I get to Iowa. Just the culture, the good people there, the connections I have there and I’m sure everybody knows, it’s like a second home to me. Just being comfortable really and I always wanted to play for Fred Hoiberg, but Steve Prohm has been the same type of intensity with his offense and his style of play so that’s also something I’m interested in.”
Donovan Jackson | PG | Iowa Western C.C.
The Lowdown: Jackson didn’t have any major offers out of high school and instead went the JUCO route at Iowa Western C.C. Originally hailing from Milwaukee, Jackson had a connection to Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzelberger and the Cyclones got involved when he broke out as a freshman.
The 6-foot-2 left-handed guard — Steve Prohm’s two NBA guards Isaiah Canaan and Cameron Payne are both left-handed — averaged 13.6 points as a freshman on 46 percent from the field (66-of-164 from 3). He chose Iowa State over offers from Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Iowa and Wichita State among others.
Scouting Report: Jackson is a quick guard who can shoot from anywhere on the court. While more of a scoring point guard, Jackson is working on his facilitation during his final season at Iowa Western. He’s capable and experienced as a two-guard if Monte Morris stays but will otherwise likely become Iowa State’s primary point guard in 2016-17.
Why he chose Iowa State: “I always wanted to be part of that tradition and that program. Hilton, that’s just something you can only dream about. They’ve been having a great [stretch] at point guard, so I might as well join the greatness and just see if I can win a championship myself.”
Solomon Young | PF | Sacramento HS (Calif.)
The Lowdown: The best analogy for Young’s recruitment is a rollercoaster. The 6-foot-7 forward burst onto the scene as a sophomore before tearing his ACL and watching two of his Pac-12 offers — USC and Washington — basically disappear. He garnered other smaller interest until a strong showing this July.
Iowa State has had a connection with Young due to the arrival of T.J. Otzelberger from Washington and offered him early in the summer. He ultimately committed to Iowa State even when other schools — including Texas and others — began showing interest late.
Scouting Report: Young is a pretty good shooter who can shoot from the perimeter and handle the ball despite his size. The Cyclones could use him in a Georges Niang-like role and could use him at both the three and four. Young is aggressive, a tough defender and his versatility allows him to guard multiple positions.
Why he chose Iowa State: “After going down I felt really comfortable with the situation I’m coming into, the seniors leaving and me coming in as a freshman having to play big minutes and having big shoes to fill. Also, the supporting system at Iowa State is really strong, a lot of fan support, a lot of good people. I felt like going there will be a really good fit for me.”
Jakolby Long | SG | Mustang HS (Okla.)
The Lowdown: Long is regarded as the top shooting guard in the 2016 class from Oklahoma and held a number of Power 5 offers before committing to Iowa State. The 6-foot-5 guard from Mustang (Okla.) had his breakthrough in the EBYL this summer where he averaged 15.9 points per game and saw interest flood in.
Ultimately, Long committed to Iowa State over offers from Georgia, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, SMU, Ole Miss, Kansas State, Missouri and Texas Tech among others.
Scouting Report: Long is a versatile 6-foot-5 athlete who is capable of playing anywhere from the one through three positions (Florida recruited him as a point guard), but Iowa State likes Long at the two-guard spot. Long is a self-described streaky shooter and is capable of scoring from outside. The biggest attribute of Long’s game is defense and he is regarded as one of the better defensive wings in the class who Iowa State things can play in the Big 12 immediately thanks to his physical nature and ability to guard multiple positions.
Why he chose Iowa State: “It just felt like home with Iowa State. I understand what they want from me and I love the way they told me they want me to play and contribute to the team. I feel like I fit the most there.”