How do you feel about the 2016 class? Great job by my staff. I’m really excited about those four guys. Good balance with the two junior college kids, two high school kids. Point guard play was huge, to get a kid like Manny with his talent level and skill level was great and then to get two high school kids who I think can step in physically and play right away but are going to be great four-year guys for us.
Who is the highlight of the class? Emmanuel Malou probably has the most hype, Donovan Jackson I think is a super point guard that I’m really excited about, I think Solomon Young brings a toughness to our team that we’ll need coming into next year and then Jakolby brings a toughness on the perimeter. I don’t want to put one in front of the other because then they come on campus thinking a little bit differently than they need to be.
What do you see in Donovan Jackson as a point guard? He’s one we wanted for sure. T.J. [Otzelberger] did a great job, knew him, had a relationship with him. I just had to see him play when I got here and really liked him. I think he can do great things for us next year.
How have your past point guards helped in recruiting? If I’m a point guard I’d want to come play at Iowa State. You’re going to get a lot of freedom, I’m going to put you in a position to be successful, you’ve got two guys playing in the NBA right now in the last four years. If I’m a point guard I want to come play at Iowa State.
How important is perimeter shooting in recruits? I love guards who can shoot and that’s the one thing that’ll stay the same. They’ve been able to shoot the basketball well, teams of mine in the past have been able to shoot the basketball well. The strength of this year's team — 16-of-32 the other night [from 3]. I don’t want a lot of guys out there that can’t make decisions on the perimeter and can’t make shots because it just suffocates your offense and kills your spacing.
What are you expectation's for Emmanuel Malou's eligbility? As of right now our intention is he plays from Day 1 but we’ll deal with that throughout the year and continue to get with compliance and work hand in hand with them. He’s a guy, regardless, you’ve got to get him in your program. We had to get him done and we did.
Do you expect Malou to have two years? That’s the hope. Two years and then we’ll see what happens. The best thing for his situation is signing early so now we can get to work on all that stuff so we can probably have a decision or know hopefully by the end of the spring or early summer.
How does having two-third of the class filled help, and what's left? It’s good because at some point you’d like to coach your team and get your team better and really focus on that. We still have to address some needs. If Monte has a great year and he leaves we need another point guard and then we need some bigs. Point guard — another point guard or just a scoring kind of combo guard — and then a couple bigs.
Are you done in the early signing period? I would think so unless something… We’ve got a couple things you’re always trying to mess around with. Would love to get a mid-year [transfer] guy though.