By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Iowa State had a busy weekend on the men’s basketball recruiting trail. CycloneFanatic.com has been able to track down four new offers that have been extended for the class of 2011.
The first two come from the west coast.
We’ll start with Westview High School (Portland, Ore.) big man Austin Kuemper. His high school coach, Pat Coons, told CycloneFanatic.com on Sunday night that Iowa State recently jumped into the mix.
“I talked to the assistant (T.J. Otzelberger) yesterday who called,” Coons said. “He is an assistant I have dealt with for a little over a year and a half now as he has looked at several of our kids over the years. He said that they are prepared to offer Austin.”
Kuemper is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound center who is a strong shooter.
“Leon Rice is an assistant at Boise State. I know that he would love to have him, Coons said. “Washington State has been after him hard for a long time. Steve Fischer (San Diego St. head coach) called yesterday. He has been tracking Austin. It sounds like he would love to have him.”
“As far as official offers, there are only a few schools but I know that a bunch are coming.”
As of now, Iowa State is the only non-west coast school that is currently recruiting Kuemper. I asked Coons if Kuemper will want to stay on that side of the country or if he’d consider going to school in the heartland.
“I think it does matter somewhat. He is somebody who would like to stay on the west coast but he has not ruled out anybody,” Coons said. “He has really remained low key over this. I think that he wants to wait until the end of the summer to take a very serious look at his options.”
Add 6-foot-11, Sacramento, Calif. Center Robert Garrett into the Iowa State recruiting mix. Garrett’s AAU coach Brian Hamilton told CF that Iowa State offered Garrett a few weeks ago.
“They (Iowa State) did offer,” Hamilton said. “His offers are kind of all over the board right now.”
Hamilton said that Garrett’s official offers at this time come from: Iowa State, Santa Clara, USC, UCONN, TCU and San Diego State. Garrett also has interest in California.
“He is a good defender,” Hamilton said. “He can rebound the ball well. He has a great attitude and always plays extremely hard. He’s a strong kid that has some work to do on the offensive end.”
As far as making a commitment, that seems to be a ways away.
“He is wide open,” Hamilton said. “He doesn’t really have a preference at this time. This is all new and is kind of up in the air.”
“He may make a decision by November but if not, he could wait until the late signing period.”
Two Michigan prospects offered
“LaDontae just got his offer a couple of days ago where as I think Trey got his offer before we came out to Las Vegas,” Watts said.
Henton is a 6-foot-5 small forward out of Lansing, Mich.
“I am still open right now. Wide open,” Henton told CycloneFanatic.com on Sunday night. “I don’t know too much about the program (Iowa State). I know that it is in a great conference. They play a lot of really good teams.”
Henton claims other offers from Penn State, Utah, South Florida, Duquesne, South Alabama, Marquette, Colorado, Missouri State, Michigan and Providence. His profile at Rivals.com also mentions schools like Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin among others.
Henton’s Michigan Mustangs teammate, Trey McDonald is a 6-foot-9 power forward out of Battle Creek Central in Michigan. According to McDonald’s Rivals.com profile, he holds offers from Arkansas, DePaul, Iowa, Marquette Wake Forest and other mid-major schools, along with Iowa State.
“He is a big with a nice touch from about 12 to 15 feet. He averages about nine rebounds a game,” Watts said. “He was invited to the Amare Staudemire camp. That right there says a lot about him. From there, he was invited to Lebron James’ camp. He is probably a power forward more than a center at the next level because of his ability to face the basket.”
As for where Iowa State sits with these two Michigan prospects, Watts has no idea.
“We are still out in Las Vegas so when we get back, we need to sit down and digest all of the offers,” Watts said. “We’ll take a look at what each situation looks like. Right now, they are trying to enjoy their last day out in Vegas.”
The latest on Naadir Tharpe
Over the past few weeks, Iowa State has been hot on the trail of Brewster Academy point guard Naadir Tharpe. Remember that Tharpe is a good friend and former roommate of Iowa State freshman Melvin Ejim.
This has been a tough recruitment to get a handle on. Take THIS STORY that we written by a Minnesota website just three days ago. In the interview, Tharpe doesn’t even mention Iowa State.
CycloneFanatic.com talked to the point guard last night and straigt up asked if Iowa State was still in the mix.
“Yes, definitely,” Tharpe said. “I like their coaching staff. Also, my former teammate Melvin Ejim from the Brewster Academy is there. That would be cool playing with him. They also don’t have many guards so that puts them high on my list.”
In addition to Iowa State, Tharpe currently claims offers and is interested in Minnesota, Marquette, Rutgers, Boston College, Seton Hall, Providence and UNC-Charlotte. Tharpe also said that Wake Forest and Indiana are showing heavy interest in him as well.