As Iowa State moves towards putting the finishing touches on its 2020-21 men’s basketball roster, let’s turn our attention to the 2021 cycle. The Cyclones will likely have three or four scholarships to work with during a recruiting cycle that could be unlike any before without much of a live period for evaluation, if there is one at all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obviously, it is still pretty early for this cycle, but the following names are some early targets that are worth keeping an eye on heading into the summer months.

Note: This list is in alphabetical order by last name and does not reflect any sort of ranking system, priority level, etc.

Jaden Akins, Farmington, Mich., Point Guard

One of the nation’s top point guards, Akins holds offers from Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Xavier, DePaul, Louisville and a few other major programs. The 6-foot-3, 160-pound four-star is considered the No. 95 player in the country, No. 13 point guard and No. 3 player in Michigan by 247Composite

Alden Applewhite, Memphis, Tenn., Small Forward

Iowa State is the most recent school to offer the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Houston High School product. The Cyclones offered the No. 138 player in the class and No. 6 player from Tennessee on May 9, joining an offer list that already included Ole Miss, St. John’s, TCU, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Xavier.

Isaiah Barnes, Oak Park, Ill., Small Forward

The 6-foot-6, 180-pound prospect has been one of the nation’s biggest risers this spring, landing a handful of offers from high-major programs, including Iowa State, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan and a host of others. He currently does not have a rating from 247.

Tamar Bates, Kansas City, KS, Combo Guard

Another of Iowa State’s most recent offers, the four-star prospect is considered the No. 97 player in the country, No. 7 combo guard and No. 9 player from Kansas by 247Composite. The 6-foot-4, 175-pound guard, who will continue his high school career at IMG Academy after spending three years at Piper High School, also holds offers from Creighton, Colorado, Alabama, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wichita State and a few other Division I schools.

Wes Cardet, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Combo Guard

A long-time Iowa State target, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound four-star rated as the No. 43 player in the class by 247 picked up an offer from the Cyclones all the way back in June of 2018. Since then, the nation’s No. 5 combo guard has seen his recruitment grow to include Alabama, Clemson, Kansas State, Maryland, Miami, USC and a handful of other major schools.

El Ellis, Durham, N.C., Point Guard

One of the nation’s top JUCO point guards, Ellis averaged 14.3 points and 4.5 assists per game this past season for Tallahassee Community College while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from 3-point range. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound prospect has 20 offers, including Iowa State, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Texas, Louisville, NC State, Arizona State and Ole Miss.

Alex Fudge, Jacksonville, Fla., Small Forward

The 6-foot-6, 175-pound four-star holds offers from Iowa State, Alabama, Arizona State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and a host of other Division I programs. He’s considered the No. 71 player in the country, No. 14 small forward and No. 5 player in Florida by 247Composite.

Tyrese Hunter, Racine, Wis., Point Guard

Similar to another one-time point guard prospect from Wisconsin named Tyrese, the Cyclones were one of the first Power 5 programs to offer the 6-foot-1, 160-pound prospect when they did so last month. Since then, the four-star rated as the No. 16 point guard in the country and No. 2 player in Wisconsin has added offers from Louisville, Creighton, Marquette, Northwestern, Florida and a handful of others.

Jonathan Lawson, Memphis, Tenn., Small Forward

Yep, another Lawson brother. The 6-foot-6, 165-pound Gatorade Player of the Year in Tennessee, Lawson is considered a four-star prospect by 247Composite and holds offers from Iowa State, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Nebraska, Syracuse, USC, Oregon, Memphis and others. According to Stockrisers, Iowa State has hosted Lawson for a “virtual visit” this spring.

Jordan Nesbitt, Saint Louis, Mo., Small Forward

Considered the No. 136 player in the country, No. 30 small forward and No. 3 prospect in Missouri, the 6-foot-6, 180-pound three-star currently holds offers from Nebraska, Illinois, Alabama, Iowa, Ole Miss and Tulane.

Efton Reid, Richmond, Va., Center

The 6-foot-11, 225-pound Steward School product is one of the nation’s top centers, coming in at No. 21 overall and No. 3 positionally in the 247Composite. He holds offers from Louisville, Virginia, Georgetown, NC State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Drake, Kansas, Maryland, Old Dominion, Rutgers, VCU and Virginia Tech.

Hunter Sallis, Omaha, Neb., Combo Guard

The 6-foot-3, 165-pound five-star prospect has solidified himself as one of the nation’s top prospects, and has the offer list to back that up, but the Cyclones have put themselves in a solid position with a long-standing relationship going back almost two years. Sallis is rated as the No. 20 player in the class, No. 2 combo guard and No. 1 player in Nebraska. While on the outside this looks like a steep climb for Iowa State, those close to the program feel good about their chances against competition such as Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Oregon and home-state school Nebraska.

Andrew Williams, Scotland, Penn., Small Forward

Iowa State offered the 6-foot-6 three-star forward last month. He’s also got offers from South Carolina, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State, La Salle, Pacific, South Alabama and Stetson.

Demari Williams, Fulshear, Texas, Point Guard

One of the top guards in Texas, Williams holds offers from Baylor, TCU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Buffalo and Oral Roberts. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound prospect does not have a rating from 247.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.