Tyrese Haliburton‘s ascent from mid-major prospect to potential NBA lottery pick has taken another step.
Iowa State’s sophomore point guard will be foregoing the remainder of his college eligibility and entering the NBA Draft, whenever it takes place, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Haliburton, a projected top-10 pick by ESPN, was considered the nation’s No. 172 recruit coming out of Oshkosh North in 2018. He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Wisconsin but still failed to garner major acclaim on the recruiting trail with only three Power Five offers at the time of his commitment to the Cyclones with Nebraska and Minnesota being the others.
He was the third-highest rated recruit in Iowa State’s four-man 2018 recruiting class, which also included 2018 second-round pick Talen Horton-Tucker. Center George Conditt will also be the only player remaining from that class when Iowa State’s 2020-21 season begins after the departures of Haliburton and Zion Griffin, who announced his intentions to transfer last week.
Despite coming in as one of the more unheralded members of the 2018 class, Haliburton burst onto the scene almost immediately, due in large part to a foot injury suffered by Lindell Wigginton in the 2018-19 season-opener. He went on to start 34 games for the Cyclones while helping the program win the 2019 Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City as he averaged 6.8 points, 3.6 assists, 3.4 rebounds, snagged 54 steals and shot 43.4 percent from 3-point range.
Haliburton’s star in NBA circles began to rise near the midpoint of that season, with some draft prognosticators considering him a first-round pick in the 2019 draft, but he truly became a household name in the NBA with his play during the FIBA U19 World Cup last summer, where won a gold medal and was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 7.9 points and a tournament-best 6.9 assists.
Despite Haliburton’s 2019-20 season coming to an end after just 22 games due to a wrist fracture, he averaged 15.2 points, 6.5 assists, 5.9 rebounds and shot almost 42 percent from 3-point range on his way to second-team All-Big 12 honors. He also posted the Big 12’s only double-double of the 2019-20 regular season.
He leaves the program second all-time in career assist-to-turnover ratio, behind only Monte Morris, third in career 3-point percentage (42.6 percent), 17th in career assists (267) and 20th in career steals (108). He also holds the program’s single-game record with 17 assists, recorded in 2018-19 against Southern.
This also pushes the program up to four available scholarships for the 2020 spring recruiting cycle, which the Cyclones have begun earnestly by offering both transfers and players on the JUCO circuit despite new recruiting restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay tuned to Cyclone Fanatic for more on this story.