Jessan Gray Post-Signing Q&A

Spring signee Jessan Gray has traveled a long road to Iowa State, signing with Indiana out of high school and then transferring to Tyler Junior College. But now he's looking forward to helping Wayne Morgan's Cyclone team. Gray shared some thoughts after signing in a question-and-answer session with

CN: What were some of your thoughts of your official visit to Iowa State that led to your signing?

Jessan Gray: Everything went great. I got there and had a lot of fun and got to hang out with some of the guys. I talked with Coach Morgan a lot and had dinner with him. My mom came up and she got to talk to him and felt real comfortable. I felt things went real well, as far as the questions I had to ask and answers they came up with. They were to the point and knew what they were talking about.

CN: Did the Cyclones have that some of the other programs didn't?

Gray: I don't think they necessarily had anything the others didn't. The guards are very talented. The up and down style of offense I like to play is something Iowa State does very well. With Curtis Stinson, Will Blalock, Tasheed Carr, and the other guys love to push it. I love to run. I thought that was a good fit.

CN: What type of role do you anticipate playing at ISU?

Gray: I'll do whatever the coach needs me to do. I've been known throughout high school as someone who could shoot the ball. That's what my coach down here has me doing now. I'm shooting a couple hundred jump shots a day and working on getting it up and hitting it. I've been getting some good feedback from coach. I just want to come in and make an impact in the Big 12.

CN: Are you more of a small forward or power forward?

Gray: I'm a three/four and can play either. You can't really put a big guy on me, because I can come off screens and score. Now at junior college I've done a lot of it. But you can't put the smaller player on me, either, because I can post up and score. I've always been pretty versatile.

CN: Run through a few areas of your game you'd like to improve between now and this fall?

Gray: My main thing is just to get stronger. I know the Big 12 is a very physical conference, so I look forward to the challenge to get bigger and work on my defense. A lot of my defense will come with getting stronger.

CN: Tell us about the path you've followed since leaving Davenport Central High School all the way up through your signing with the Cyclones.

Gray: I ended up signing with Indiana out of my junior year and coming into my senior year. I got to go up there and had a lot of fun and decided to commit. I had a pretty good senior year and decided to go to Indiana. I played a little bit and just didn't think it was the right style of play. I didn't get as many minutes as I wanted.

I knew Coach Marquis was down here at Tyler and he had been watching me grow up and play through Future Stars. He's good friends with my AAU coach. I told my coach that I needed a school and didn't want to go to another Division I and sit a year. He made a couple of calls and said he had a perfect fit for me at Tyler. I just fell in love with it.

Now it's great for me to be coming back to Iowa. I have a lot of family up there and my mom is a couple hours away. One of her main things was to see me play. She didn't get a chance to do a whole lot of that at Indiana, because it was six hours and she had to go to work. That was real good for her.

CN: What's next for you, as far as graduation and moving to Ames?

Gray: I'm going to take a summer class down here and should be able to graduate during the summer program down here. Then I'll be up at Iowa for the second summer session, lifting and working out four days a week. I'll be ready to go.

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