Basketball

Rasir Bolton commits to Iowa State, is optimistic about NCAA waiver

Mar 6, 2019; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions guard Rasir Bolton (13) reacts after making a three point shot against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half at Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The final piece of Iowa State men’s basketball’s 2019-20 puzzle has fallen into place.

After more than a week of speculation, Penn State transfer Rasir Bolton will be a Cyclone. The news was first reported on Tuesday evening by Jon Rothstein of CBS.

Bolton, a 6-foot-1 guard is currently considered a sit-out transfer with three years of eligibility remaining, but there is thought he could receive an NCAA waiver to make him eligible immediately.

“Me and my family feel pretty good about getting a waiver and being able to play immediately. I don’t really want to say too much about it,” Bolton told Cyclone Fanatic over the phone shortly after committing. “On my visit (to Ames last month), we went out to eat and you could really see the community was really behind the school and the basketball program. Me and all the coaches really built a great relationship, especially me and Coach (Steve) Prohm. We talk every day about anything. Basketball, life, we’ve really built a great relationship.”

Bolton, a former three-star recruit out of Virginia, averaged 11.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game last season for the Nittany Lions. He shot 38 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point range and 87.6 percent from the free throw line as a true freshman.

The Bolton addition completes Iowa State’s 2019-20 roster that had serious questions after the graduations of Nick Weiler-Babb and Marial Shayok compounded with the professional defections of Lindell Wigginton and Talen Horton-Tucker. If he is able to become immediately eligible, Bolton will likely be looked upon to be one of the team’s primary scorers in his first year as a Cyclone.

“(Prohm) sees me coming in and helping out with the scoring load. A guy who can come in and put the ball in the basket. I already have a year of college under my belt. Just really come in and really help where I can,” Bolton said. “Create on offense, play defense, be another guard. He loves guards in his system so just come in and try to score and help the team win. That’s the biggest thing really. They won the Big 12 (Tournament) title last year so we’re trying to repeat that.”

Bolton joins Kansas high school prospect Caleb Grill and Troy sit-out transfer Javan Johnson as players to join the program this spring. The Cyclones have now filled their 13 scholarships for the 2019-20 season.

Assuming Bolton is able to be eligible next season, he will join Tyrese Haliburton and Colorado State transfer Prentiss Nixon as the cornerstones of the Iowa State backcourt, the latter of which he was able to create a solid bond with during his visit to Ames.

“I talked to Prentiss a lot. He was great. He’s going into his senior year so he’s basically an older brother just letting me know what it’s like and how he likes it,” Bolton said. “Coach really lets his guys go so just work hard and assimilate into their culture of working hard and being in the gym then everything should work itself out.”

Jared Stansbury

administrator

Jared is in his sixth year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He's the site's lead reporter for ISU recruiting. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as the full-time staff writer in May 2016. Jared spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI.