With a glaring need for an impact forward in 2016-17, Iowa State has already pinpointed a key graduate transfer who could fill that void immediately.
While March Madness has yet to arrive, the Cyclones are wasting no time in preparing for life without Georges Niang, Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay, three forwards who have combined for 20 rebounds per game. Iowa State, as CycloneFanatic.com first reported, has identified Northern Illinois’s Darrell Bowie as a primary immediately eligible transfer target.
The 6-foot-7 Bowie, who will be a fifth-year senior in 2016-17, signed his release papers last Wednesday. Iowa State’s T.J. Otzelberger called Sunday and head coach Steve Prohm on Monday to extend an offer.
“They said what they like about me most is my versatility and how I can fit well into the offense and how everything is run there,” Bowie said. “They like how I can take my defender outside with the jumper or if I have a small defender on me I can go inside the post or go off the dribble also.”
Bowie has also heard from TCU, Drake, Creighton, Marquette, Loyola (Chicago) and Nevada in the week and a half since signing his release forms. He was scheduled to visit Iowa State on Saturday before a family emergency.
As a junior at Northern Illinois in 2014-15, Bowie averaged 9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game (he averaged 9.6 and 6.5 in 2013-14). In early January of his junior season, Bowie dislocated his shoulder. A comeback attempt later that season proved unsuccessful and he had surgery late last March.
“When I dislocated my shoulder I tore my [muscle] in my right shoulder,” Bowie said. “I came back and tried to play and it just sucked because it was pulling my arm down."
Bowie, who is originally from the Milwaukee area, was still finishing rehab last fall and didn’t want to rush things ahead of his senior season. He finally decided to transfer for his fifth season around Thanksgiving.
Given Iowa State’s need, the Cyclones’ offer is enticing.
“The main thing [coach] said was them losing Niang, Nader and McKay, they’re losing [some] top scorers,” Bowie said. “So he said they’re going to need me to come in and fill that role scoring also. I haven’t really talked to them about [minutes], but I hope I could come in and start and be able to make an impact.”
Bowie would likely be a key factor in Iowa State’s 2016-17 plans alongside the likes of Deonte Burton (who is also from Milwaukee), Emmanuel Malou and others.
As for his game, Bowie is comfortable providing whatever the staff wants.
"I can bring a lot of versatility,” Bowie said. “If coach wants me to go in there and get 10 rebounds or double-figure rebounds in that game, I can do that. If he wants me to go be aggressive and score, I can do that. But also I bring leadership. I’m a guy who communicates with players and lets them know if they’re messing up and I’m a guy who just keeps everybody focused and comes and shows up every day ready to work hard.”
Bowie, who has already talked to his friend and former Northern Illinois teammate Nader, hopes to visit Iowa State soon, though a trip may not happen until sometime after Northern Illinois finishes its season March 4.
That visit however, could help Bowie’s recruitment move forward quickly.
“I would like to get a visit to Iowa State soon and get a feel for things. The coaches want me to come up and meet the players,” Bowie said. “As far as my decision, it’s going to be between the middle of March and toward the end just so I can get it out of the way and then continue finishing up with graduation and everything so I can stay focused on that.”