Steve Prohm’s 2017 recruiting class is off to a huge start. At a press conference today at Milwaukee (Riverside), four-star forward Terrence Lewis chose the Cyclones over Illinois, Marquette and UNLV.
This all started back in the Hoiberg years when current South Dakota State head coach T.J. Otzelberger was at Washington. While protecting his home turf (Milwaukee), Otzelberger started courting Lewis to eventually become a Husky.
“That’s my guy,” Terrence said of Otzelberger. “He was the first one to offer me.”
Then, of course, Otzelberger returned to Iowa State and was a key part of Prohm’s inaugural staff. It was a year ago from now when Iowa State formally offered Lewis, an adaptable 6-foot-6 forward, who averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior.
“He told me that they had a scholarship for a 2017 shooting guard, with three people in mind and Terrence was one of them,” Terrance’s father and high school coach Tyrone, nicknamed “Rock,” said. “He said, ‘Let’s try to make this happen.’”
It was last winter when Otzlelberger left to take his first head coaching job in the Black Hills, which left Iowa State in a situation with one of its highest-priority pieces of a 2017 class that includes six open scholarships (that’s almost half of the roster).
“Coach Prohm called me at about 10 o’clock that night,” Tyrone said. “At that time, I didn’t know T.J. had a head coaching job.”
Prohm assured Tyrone that despite Otzelberger’s departure, his son was still a priority for the Cyclones. Shortly after that conversation, Otzleberger called the family and encouraged them to stick with Iowa State.
“If T.J. was there, we would have committed earlier, but Coach Prohm just stepped right in,” Tyrone said. “He gave us a lot of advice and did a really good job. He’s got a great program at Iowa State.”
Iowa State assistant coach Daniyal Robinson was a key contributor in securing Lewis’ commitment as well.
In addition to being named the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Player of the Year, Lewis shot 62 percent from the field (52.1 percent from three) while averaging just below 14 shots per game last season. Lewis notably averaged 19 points per game as a sophomore as well. He has over 1,000 points and rebounds in his high school career while Riverside (while returning its core roster) is looking to make a state tournament run in 2017.
“Terrence is a great transition finisher,” Tyrone said. “He’s 6-6 but really long. He can post up. We play the same style that Iowa State plays with some pick-and-roll and pop-out. He is an outstanding athlete who can play the two or the three.”
Lewis is a serious “Mr. Basketball” candidate in Milwaukee for the upcoming season.
Looking ahead to his freshman campaign at Iowa State, with the majority of the roster set to graduate after the 2016-17 season, Prohm will need bodies to immediately play.
“He has to keep working on his body,” Tyrone said. “He has already improved 110 percent but he will keep working on that.”
Lewis is currently listed at 6-foot-6, 195-pounds.
Iowa State was initially drawn to Lewis because of his versatility and the ability to play both the two and the three. He will have the ball in his hands a lot at the next level so improved ball handling is something the family is concentrating on as well.
“That’s one thing that he can’t overlook,” Tyrone said. “He just has to get a little stronger, the ball handling stuff and keep working on the jump shot.”
This leaves Iowa State with five scholarships available in 2017 (check out our updated scholarship chart here). If the class ends as well as it has started, the future will look very bright for Cyclone basketball.