Will-ing To Play at Iowa State

Seeking to re-establish the solid backcourt that helped him win Big 12 Championships in two of the past three seasons, Iowa State head coach Larry Eustachy secured a commitment from yet another talented prep school point guard.

Will Blalock of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., made his decision after an official visit to Ames this past weekend. Blaylock is in his first year at the prep school after averaging 20 points and eight assists at East Boston High last winter.

"He had a great visit and really saw where he would fit in with the program," said Van Coleman of Future Stars. "He likened himself to some of the guards that have been there before and knew that guards have been successful in the program. That was a big plus for him.

"The thing about him is he defends people. He can lock people down for 94 feet. If a guard fits Larry's system, it's a guy who first of all uses his defense to create his offense. This is the kind of player Blalock is. His AAU coach and Coach Barton at Notre Dame Prep really love this about him. He gets after it every minute and goes 94 feet with everybody."

Eustachy and his coaching staff came across Blalock while scouting the summer AAU circuit. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound point guard, who had decided to leave East Boston (Mass.) High to attend Notre Dame Prep in order to improve his stock, got high marks for his play on Leo Papile's BABC summer team.

The timing could not have been better for Eustachy's discovering Blalock, since Mike Henderson's de-commitment left the Cyclones without a point guard.

"Larry was looking for a hard-nosed tough point guard that fit into the things he likes to do," Coleman said. "They've zeroed in on him since the end of summer. This has been their number one point guard recruit, as far as high school kids, since Mike Henderson de-committed to them.

"Blalock is a young man who's got cat quickness and is a tremendous floor leader. You see him taking the tutelage of a Tim Barnes next year and developing into a guy who could run the show for three years for them. He's a borderline top-100 prospect when you look at the overall class, but he might be one of the three or four best point guards left unsigned. They've got a gem here."

Blalock still has to achieve a qualifying test score, said Coleman.

"He's a talent, but he's got to get his academics in line," Coleman said. "He seems to be on pace to do that. He will be a heck of an addition to them."

Blalock's commitment gives the Cyclones four newcomers for the 2003-04 team. ISU now has three point guards in the mix, as Blalock joins DMACC's Imari Sawyer, a transfer from DePaul, and Winchenden (Mass.) Prep's Curtis Stinson. Tacoma (Wash.) Community College swingman Justin Holt has also made a commitment.

Coleman said ISU's depth should be bolstered even further by the commitments of those four.

"The one thing that it does is solidify their backcourt and wing," Coleman said. "It's given them the kind of depth that they need being two-deep all across, especially if Sawyer makes his grades. That's still an uphill battle and he has to graduate. If they get both Sawyer and Blalock together, that's going to give them the depth at point that they've lacked. It looked like they were going to have that depth this year, but now Ricky (Morgan) is re-evaluating everything."

Coleman publishes a recruiting magazine and website entitled ‘Future Stars Magazine.' For more information or a sample copy, go to www.futurestarsonline.com. He also hosts ‘Talkin Future Stars' on KXNO in Des Moines and KXIC in Iowa City.

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