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Basketball

Wilkins commits!

By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher With all of the negativity that has been swirling around the Iowa State basketball program over the last week, it was nice for Cyclone basketball fans to receive a bit of good news on Wednesday night. That’s when CycloneFanatic.com learned that John Wilkins, 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward out of Southeastern Iowa Community College had committed to the Cyclones.

Wilkins chose Iowa State over offers from Indiana, Providence, Bradley and Illinois State. Kansas State was also showing heavy interest in the prospect.

Wilkins unofficially visited Iowa State back on March 2, when Missouri came to town.

Back on March 1, CycloneFanatic.com spoke with his Southeastern assistant coach Brian Turner, to get a scouting report on Wilkins.

“He can handle the ball. He can shoot it. He has 3-point range and can shoot the ball very well. He is super-athletic,” Turner said. “He has a high basketball IQ. He can block shots and do all of that. He has a skill set that is really advanced. He has a lot of potential and a chance to be very good someday.”

Wilkins will have three years of eligibility when he gets to Ames. Wilkins is originally from France. Wilkins committed to play at Bradley out of high school. Clearinghouse issues kept him from doing so. Because of that, Wilkins went the JUCO route. That was a messy situation as well.

“With his junior club team (in Belgium) that he was playing on, they moved some kids up just to sit on the bench with the top team,” said Turner. “They put their junior players in when it was a blowout or something. The NCAA ruled that he had to sit out five games, for the five games that he got in. The NJCAA rule was vague. They said that he cannot play junior college basketball so he can’t play for us but he just has to sit out five games in the NCAA.”

Wilkins will have to sit out five games next season for the Cyclones. Daniyal Robinson was Wilkins’ primary recruiter for Iowa State.

Chris’ Take

After Justin Hamilton transferred last week, John Wilkins quickly became Iowa State’s most important recruit during the spring of 2010. Wilkins doesn’t replace Hamilton but this addition to the frontcourt will certainly help keep Iowa State competitive in the coming year. As of now, I’d project Wilkins to start at the four next season with LaRon Dendy at center. That would certainly make for an athletic Iowa State frontcourt. How they’ll do in the Big 12? That’s to be determined.

After Wilkins’ decision, Iowa State still has two scholarships to dish out in the spring signing period.

We’ll have more on this commitment on Thursday at CycloneFanatic.com.