ISU Welcomes George to Class

Iowa State picked the perfect time to secure a commitment from prep school standout Reggie George, who combined for 30 points and 14 rebounds over the weekend to help his team to a championship in the MCI Classic.

The 6-foot-9, 230-pound product of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., put together his most productive stretch of games, and has decided to join point guard teammate Will Blalock in the Cyclones' class of newcomers for next season.

"He had his best weekend of the season this past weekend," said Notre Dame Prep coach Bill Barton, who watched George tally 15 points and eight rebounds in the title game against Winchenden Prep and fellow ISU commit Curtis Stinson. "It was far and away his best weekend of the year, consistency-wise and getting things done.

"He still had some defensive lapses and has to get tougher on the defensive end. But it was encouraging that he came along. He had to play bigger minutes because we had an injury."

Unheralded coming out of Chicago's Shepherd High, George is gradually finding his game at Notre Dame Prep. A late-bloomer of sorts, he has started to gain more attention from D-I programs this season.

"He has blossomed on a national level," Barton said. "He wasn't really recruited much coming out of high school. When he got here he sort of took off. He's always had the ability, but he's just had to work hard. I think he was a little bit of a lazy kid, didn't want to use all his ability and do the things that he needed to do. I sense the Reggie George in high school wanted to hang around the perimeter and shoot jump shots."

"We told him that in order to play he's got to play inside-out. He's got to defend inside and rebound, then he can step out and take his man off the dribble and hit the 15-footer if he wants. He sat and watched long stretches this year. We've had guys that have outplayed him."

George has the prototype frame to become a power forward in the Big 12. Barton believes he can gradually put on some more weight and play effectively at 250 pounds.

"He's a four-five type of player," Barton said. "I see him as a power forward who can create some mismatches because he is very athletic, agile and can put the ball on the floor, especially in transition."

Barton admits to being caught off guard by the timing of George's commitment, especially since his player won't be able to sign until the spring period.

But he suspects friend and teammate Blalock's signing during the fall could have played a role in George's doing so.

"It came as kind of a surprise, because I was under the impression he was going to wait to see what was out there during the course of the season," Barton said. "Then just out of the blue he committed. I was a little surprised that he had. I know he visited Iowa State and liked it from the beginning. I'm glad he's committed and found the school he liked.

"(Will and Reggie) get along very well and I think that played a factor. He likes Will a lot and they're very good friends. That had to play into it."

George had a scholarship offer and visited George Washington. St. Joseph's and Wichita State had also offered.

He will be given the opportunity to compete right away for playing time, but his coach believes some work needs to be done beforehand.

"I think he could play right away and I'm sure they want him to play right away. He's very agile, athletic and has very good leaping ability. He had his best weekend of the season this past weekend, consistency-wise and getting things done. But he still had some defensive lapses and has to get tougher on the defensive end."

George is the first known commitment for ISU's spring signing class and would be joining fall signees Blalock, Stinson and Tacoma (Wash.) Community College transfer Justin Holt.


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