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Basketball

WILLIAMS: What will Iowa State’s roster look like in November?

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What will Iowa State’s roster look like in November? I’m don’t really know. I’m not sure that Steve Prohm does at this hour either. Here’s what we do know as of now…

— Welcome to a new normal in college basketball, when guys like Deonte Burton are declaring themselves eligible for the NBA Draft. We all know that Burton, who averaged 9.7 points and 3.9 rebounds during his junior season at Iowa State, isn’t going to get drafted. It’s just not happening.

But sources within the program tell me that the defending Big 12 Newcomer of the Year is simply taking advantage of a new rule and wants to gather feedback from scouts before his senior season. These same sources are also happy with Deonte’s decision, telling me that he’s showing offseason dedication to a successful 2016-17 campaign.

— I can also confidently write for you guys today that I do believe Donovan Jackson will be at Iowa State next year.

Put yourself in this young man’s Nike’s for a second: When he committed to Iowa State, Monte Morris was more than likely going pro and Naz Mitrou-Long was going to graduate. Jackson was recruited to be THE MAN in the backcourt at Iowa State next year.

So when Jackson comes on his official visit this weekend, Iowa State will explain his role on next year’s team, which I’m hearing will be as a “second point guard” beside Morris, who is widely considered to be one of the best in all of college basketball.

This could be the best scenario ever for Jackson (a 50 percent 3-point shooter), who will see all sorts of open looks playing next to Morris, Long and Matt Thomas. The four-guard lineup is very realistic too considering Iowa State’s questions in the frontcourt heading into next season.

Jackson is really good, guys. He is very capable of jumping in and immediately being an impact guy in the Big 12.

— Emmanuel Malou’s situation is more of a question. The thing is, this has been the case from the day that he signed with Iowa State. Academics have always been an issue but now, we are learning that the NCAA is looking into his eligibility.

Malou, who on Tuesday clarified via Twitter that he plans on attending Iowa State if the NBA doesn’t work out, recently told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register that he expects Iowa State to get his eligibility worked out with the NCAA. 

Let’s hope that is the case because like Jackson, Malou is a legitimate Big 12 frontcourt man and NBA prospect. Losing him would be a very big deal.

One more note, Travis Hines from the Ames Tribune reported on Monday that Jordan Ashton will graduate in the summer and transfer somewhere else for his senior season. Ashton is a good clubhouse guy but with Iowa State’s depth in the backcourt, this really won’t affect the 2016-17 roster much at all (and this frees up a much-needed scholarship).

Best of luck to Ashton in the future.

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