By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Three letters represent why Iowa State’s basketball program is so intriguing to a one and done guy like Korie Lucious.
Opportunity is what Lucious, a 5-foot-11 point guard who was recently dismissed from Michigan State saw when he officially visited Iowa State this past weekend. Like any hoopster, Lucious wants to play ball at the next level when his college years are done. Fred Hoiberg could be the guy to help get him there.
“For that to be my last year, I want to be able to show what I can do,” Lucious said. “It would be a great opportunity for me to go out there, put my name out there and give myself an opportunity to play at the next level. They’ve got a great style of play. It truly is an NBA style. They open up the court and put a lot of points on the board.”
The recent success of Diante Garrett gives Lucious hope. In his first three years at Iowa State, Garrett averaged 8.4 points and 4.3 assists per game. Through 24 games under Hoiberg’s guidance this season, Garrett is averaging 17.9 points and 5.94 assists per game. After Iowa State’s one-point loss to Kansas State on Saturday, Hoiberg told the Cyclone Radio Network that his phone has been busy with NBA executives wanting to learn more about Garrett, who was a Big 12 afterthought at the end of last season.
“They said that what Diante is doing this year is what I will be able to do,” Lucious said. “When I talked with Coach Hoiberg, he told me that what Diante is doing now is what he has planned for Chris (Allen).”
In the 18 games he played with Michigan State as a junior, Lucious averaged 6.5 points and 4.1 assists per contest. Lucious notably scored 20 points and dished out eight assists in a five-point loss to then top-ranked Duke on Dec. 1.
As for Iowa State, Lucious liked what he saw from Hoiberg and the Cyclones as a whole.
“They want to get that program to where it once was,” Lucious said. “I think that they have been things coming in the future. They’re trying to bring quality recruits in. They’ve got a good group of guys coming in next year. That should be a really good team.”
Lucious on reuniting with old friends
Diante Garrett is his old high school buddy. Chris Allen is his former teammate. Lucious officially visited Iowa State last weekend, but it was more of a reunion than anything.
“It was really good to see Chris. I saw DG over winter break but I hadn’t seen Chris since he left last year. We had a lot of fun,” Lucious said. “They told me about how much they like it and how much fun it is. They did a great job.”
“It was fun. It was a nice environment. There was a great atmosphere at the game. I got along with the guys really well. We had a good time watching the game.”
Up Next: A visit to Marquette
It looks like Lucious’ recruitment will come down to two schools. According to Lucious, Iowa State and Marquette are likely the only programs he will visit when trying to find his new home for the 2012-13 season.
“I’m going to go to Marquette probably in a week or two to see how it is,” Lucious said. “They play in the Big East. They have a fun style of play. They give guys freedom. I’m not sure if it is as much as Coach Hoiberg but it is good. I just want to see how it is and if I would like it.”
Marquette does have something that Iowa State can’t offer. Its campus is only 20 minutes from home for Lucious, who grew up in Milwaukee.
“They are a traditional winner,” Lucious said. “It would be a great opportunity for me to go home and play in front of friends and family.”
Lucious said that he still plans on making a decision sometime within the next few weeks. CycloneFanatic.com will keep you updated.