By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Fred Hoiberg just got a little bit of frontcourt depth for 2011.
Bring on Anthony Booker, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, who is transferring to Ames from Southern Illinois.
“The Big 12 Conference really intrigued me. I am used to following teams like Missouri and Kansas,” Booker, who hails from Florissant, Mo. told CycloneFanatic.com on Thursday afternoon. “The final thing for me was basically Fred Hoiberg. It is very rare to be able to play for a guy who has been on both sides of the NBA. He’s been a player and been in the office as well. It was an opportunity that I needed to grasp.”
As a sophomore at Southern Illinois, Booker averaged 6.4 points per game and 4.1 rebounds. As the story normally reads with transfers, Booker said that a change of scenery is just what he needs.
“I just needed a fresh start,” Booker said. “Iowa State’s fans are known as some of the best in college basketball. They’ll allow me to have a fresh start and the coaches will as well. We can do something together and make something happen.”
Booker told CycloneFanatic.com that he chose Hoiberg and the Cyclones over offers from Boise State, Washington State and Oral Roberts. Out of high school, Booker committed to Southern Illinois early, right before he was tabbed as the 43rd best player in Rivals.com’s 2008 class.
“I am a really committed person. Once I gave those guys an oral commitment, I stayed with that no matter what happened after I became a top recruit,” Booker said. During my junior year, a lot of different offers started coming in from bigger schools.”
Schools like Kansas and Texas A&M are on the list of programs that Booker turned down due to his loyalty.
“A lot of schools that I thought I would never come into contact with started coming in,” Booker said. “I really just wanted to be a man of my word and go to SIU.”
But now, it is a done deal. Booker has already turned in his papers to attend Iowa State, where he will red-shirt before having two years of eligibility starting in 2011.
Booker joins Penn State transfer Chris Babb, who will also sit out next season, before taking the court in 2011. Having guys like Babb already on the future roster was a coup for Hoiberg in this recruitment.
“I just looked at all of those key components and I see the type of guys that coach is bringing in, guys like myself,” Booker said. “Chris Babb is coming. These guys know how to play. With the guys we are brining in and the type of reputation coach has, things are going to be special.”
T.J. Otzelberber led up Booker’s recruitment to Iowa State.
Hoiberg on Booker
“Anthony brings immediate size, strength and most of all experience to our front line. A year sitting out will really help the overall development of his game and we are looking forward to watching Anthony make an immediate impact the following season.”
Lutz makes it official
Former Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz has been linked with Iowa State for months now. Today, in a release sent out by Iowa State, Fred Hoiberg made it official.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Coach Lutz will be joining the Cyclone basketball family,” Hoiberg said. “Bobby is one of the most experienced and well-respected coaches in the nation. He will be a key member of our staff and I most definitely will rely on his knowledge and expertise. Anytime you add someone to your staff who has close to 400 wins as a head coach it’s a huge plus.”
Lutz has been the head coach at Charlotte for the last 12 seasons.
Read Iowa State’s complete release by CLICKING HERE.