While Iowa State will lose much of its sharpshooting firepower following the 2016-17 season, the Cyclones have pinpointed a potential replacement.
Between camp sessions Tuesday, Iowa State coach Steve Prohm called 2017 Springfield (Mo.) wing Jared Ridder, who had already netted numerous major offers in recent months as his recruitment begins to heat up.
The message for Ridder is simple: Iowa State needs a shooter.
“I’ve really been talking to Coach [Daniyal] Robinson quite a bit lately. He knows one of my coaches from my AAU team. He’s been really talking to me a lot about coming on a visit to Iowa State and stuff,” Ridder said. “I knew they were really interested and Coach Prohm had talked to me quite a bit and he called me [Tuesday] and offered me a scholarship.
“He called and just said that he liked my shooting ability and all that and they think I can replace Matt Thomas. It felt great. I really like how Iowa State plays, so I’m definitely going to be looking into their program and will probably take a visit down the road.”
The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Ridder, who plays for Kickapoo High School as well as the loaded MoKan Elite AAU team in the EYBL, already held offers from Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Xavier, Wichita State and others before Iowa State joined the mix.
Iowa State especially likes Ridder’s size and ability to shoot in a similar way to the 6-foot-6 Thomas, who averaged 11 points per game while shooting 43 percent from beyond the arc (89-of-206) last season as a junior.
“That’s what I do best is shoot the ball,” Ridder said.
Ridder, who averaged 20.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a junior, while also hitting 55 3s, is a long and versatile wing in the 2017 class. He averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game while connecting on 42.9 percent of his 3s (21-of-49) this spring for MoKan Elite, which includes five-star prospects Trae Young and Michael Porter Jr. as well as 2018 four-star prospect Carte'Are Gordon.
Ridder is a key cog on that loaded roster, which will travel in July to play at Peach Jam, the Great American Shootout in Dallas, the KC Classic in Kansas City and at Chris Paul’s exclusive The8 tournament in Las Vegas.
“I would say my versatility really sticks out about my game, the ability to shoot the ball and rebound the ball, really,” Ridder said of his skillset. “I would say [schools] are going to use me as a three in college.”
Ridder, who has been on trips this year to Arkansas and Xavier, has scheduled a trip to Oklahoma State for June 20. Kansas State reached out Wednesday to set up a June visit and a trip to Iowa State for late June is in the works too.
Style will be one of multiple key facotrs in Ridder’s eventual decision.
“Really all of these schools that are recruiting me, I really like their campuses and stuff, so that doesn’t really matter to me,” Ridder said. “I would say [factors are] style of play, how the team plays and how they act around each other, and then coaching staff, how their coaching staff works with their players and development, and then obviously academics, if they have good academics, I really look at that too.”
For now, Ridder doesn’t have a clear timeline for a decision. He’ll use June to see more schools before returning to the hardwood in July.
“It just depends,” Ridder said of a decision. “If I find a place I love I’ll probably commit, but if I don’t really find a place I really like then I’ll probably wait it out.”