Jan 20, 2018; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Cameron Lard (2) looks to drive against Texas Tech Red Raiders center Norense Odiase (32) during the first half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Iowa State sophomore center Cameron Lard will not be with the team this summer, but that is not stopping him from drawing attention for his on-court abilities.
Rivals.com analyst Corey Evans has listed Lard as one of his seven 2019 NBA Draft first-round sleepers. The 6-foot-9 forward is one of three Big 12 players on Evans’ list.
“Lindell Wigginton was the Iowa State name to know for most NBA personnel in recent times,” Evans wrote. “But could Cam Lard actually be the best pro prospect in Ames? That could definitely be the case, as he was a sneaky-but-dominant force toward the latter part of his freshman season. Before all is said and done, Lard might be in line to finish as one of the top frontcourt producers in the sport next season. He does have to get things in line off the floor, as he recently enrolled at a wellness center, but big men built like Lard are hard to come by.”
Lard, who averaged 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18, was joined by Texas’ Jericho Sims and Kansas State’s Barry Brown on the list. He was an honorable mention All-Big 12 player in his first season with the Cyclones plus earning two Big 12 Newcomer of the Week awards and a USBWA National Freshman of the Week award.
While Lard certainly has the talent and potential needed for a bright future on the hardwood, he has been hampered by incidents off of it in recent months. He was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia following a traffic stop in February and then was cited for being underage in a bar earlier this summer before entering the wellness program.
He is expected to complete the program and rejoin the team in time for the fall semester.
“While he is more of a throwback in the post and someone that needs the proper role to flourish at the next level, Lard is an interior force that finished with 19 points and 17 rebounds against a Trae Young-led Oklahoma unit,” Evans wrote. “Just three days later, he produced a stat line of 19 points, 11 rebounds and two assists against Big 12 champ Kansas. His sophomore season could be his time to break out and emerge as a worthy first-round draft selection.”