Tyrese Haliburton did not need to step inside Hilton Coliseum to know people in Ames, Iowa love Iowa State basketball. Obviously, he had seen Hilton Magic on TV, but it did not take getting in the arena to truly feel it.
The 6-foot-5 point guard from Oshkosh, Wis. could feel it just walking around during an unofficial visit to Ames in August. The No. 177 prospect in the country could feel the love Iowa State fans have for their school.
That love was one of the big reasons the No. 5 prospect in Wisconsin chose the Cyclones when he announced his college decision Monday night via his Twitter account.
“I definitely saw how just walking around how into Iowa State everybody was. I think that was big,” Haliburton told Cyclone Fanatic in a phone interview shortly after his announcement. “You see on TV how great of fans Iowa State has but even just seeing people walk around interact with Coach (Neil) Berry, he was on the tour with me most of the time, I could definitely see how much they love their basketball there. I just love campus and I know I’m going to love going there.”
Haliburton joins four-star Illinois forward Zion Griffin as commits in Iowa State’s 2018 recruiting class. Like Griffin, his commitment to the Cyclones brings an official end to a recruiting process that also included Cincinnati, Nebraska, Minnesota and Northern Iowa.
Also like Griffin, a large part of Haliburton’s decision to commit was the relationships he had built with head coach Steve Prohm and assistants Berry and Daniyal Robinson.
“Those are my guys,” Haliburton said. “Coach Prohm, he’s preached to me since day one he’s had great experience with point guards in the past. He thinks I can just add on to that so I hope that’s what I can do.”
Haliburton will take an official visit to Iowa State later this month when the Cyclone football team hosts Texas. He is expecting to be hosted by fellow Wisconsin native Terrence Lewis, someone the Oshkosh North product has built a friendship with over the years.
He has also started the process of building a relationship with Griffin, including talking to him Monday morning before publicly announcing his decision to become a Cyclone. Now, Haliburton has turned his attention to trying to add three-star Illinois forward George Conditt into the Iowa State fold.
“I talked to George Conditt, texted him last night,” Haliburton said. “Hopefully we can get him as well.”
Haliburton will join a talented Iowa State backcourt in 2018-19 that is expected to be anchored by former five-star prospect Lindell Wigginton. Iowa State’s newest commit said he has not had an opportunity to talk to Wigginton yet, but is looking forward to getting the chance when he comes to Ames for his visit.
For now, Haliburton is content with officially being a member of Iowa State’s class.
“I’m 100 percent a Cyclone,” Haliburton said. “And I couldn’t be more excited.”