Steve Prohm added critical depth and a potential starter to his 2016-17 frontcourt on Saturday.
Merrill Holden, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound graduate transfer forward out of Louisiana Tech officially visited Iowa State on Friday where he ultimately committed and signed a financial aid agreement. Holden will have one year of eligibility in Ames.
“I picked Iowa State because every school that I met with presented a good opportunity and situation but really, Iowa State has a winning tradition,” Holden told CycloneFanatic.com on Saturday night. “Coach Prohm is a great guy. D-Rob (Daniyal Robinson) is a great dude. Everybody I am close to had great things to say about Coach Prohm and I love that style of play. It’s very similar to what I played here. I can see myself going there and it not really being a touch adjustment.”
Holden chose the Cyclones over additional offers from Illinois, West Virginia, Auburn, Alabama, Cincinnati and UNLV to name a few.
His reasoning for picking Iowa State is simple: The Cyclones lack many proven bodies at all in the frontcourt and significant playing time is almost a guarantee.
“They don’t have a lot of frontcourt guys,” Holden said. “I feel like I can come in and make a huge impact. With the resources there and the training facilities, I feel like I can improve myself and make a huge impact on that team.”
Also, Holden will join program a team that will be a favorite to play in its sixth straight NCAA Tournament.
“The team’s that I have been on in college, I have never been a part of a losing team,” Holden said. “Winning is huge to me. It seemed like the perfect fit.”
Holden averaged 8.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game at Louisiana Tech last year.
CycloneFanatic.com will have more analysis on this commitment later in the weekend.