Mar 4, 2020; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels guard Blake Hinson (0) celebrates during the final seconds during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at The Pavilion at Ole Miss. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Blake Hinson‘s name sat in the NCAA Transfer Portal for just more than a week.
In the days since he hit the portal on June 16, the Ole Miss sophomore fielded calls from more than a handful of major programs, but there was one that jumped out almost immediately due to their playing style — Iowa State.
So, on Wednesday, Hinson made the decision on the new home for his hardcourt talents by committing to the Cyclones and head coach Steve Prohm.
“There wasn’t really any super pitch, you know what I mean? To be honest, I was kind of a fan of their playing style and how they like to play,” Hinson told Cyclone Fanatic in a phone interview early Wednesday afternoon. “They pitched to me, ‘Well, if you like it, then why not come?’”
Hinson, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound wing, was already familiar with Iowa State assistant coach James Kane after the two had developed a prior relationship. Kane tried to recruit Hinson, who was pegged as a three-star recruit by 247Composite out of Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas in the 2018 class, to Dayton prior to joining the staff in Ames.
Kane’s attempts to land Hinson the first time around were futile as high-major offers from schools such as Ole Miss, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and a host of others started to roll in for the Deltona, Fla. native.
But, the second time around, was a different story.
“He’s been after me for a long time. This was his second time recruiting me and this time it happened to just work,” Hinson said. “It feels good. I had a lot of good choices on the table and I feel like this was the best choice, by far.”
Hinson averaged 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this past season for Kermit Davis’ squad while starting 27 out of 28 games. That followed up a freshman year that saw Hinson score 8.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 32 appearances with 31 starts, including the Rebels’ 87-73 loss to Iowa State in Oxford, in which Hinson scored 13 points and snagged five rebounds.
A career 40 percent scorer from the field and 33.3 percent shooter from behind the 3-point arc, Hinson sees an opportunity to slide smoothly into Iowa State’s playing structure and current roster.
“They see me fitting like just a good piece of the puzzle,” Hinson said. “They like my playmaking skills. They’re looking for someone who can pass, dribble and shoot. They feel like I can fit right in. That’s all they really asked for… (I see myself as) a good offensive threat and somebody that can make good basketball plays on each end of the court, both offensively and defensively, and I’m good team guy, I feel like.”
Hinson is Iowa State’s third transfer addition of the 2020 spring recruiting cycle, joining DePaul graduate transfer guard Jalen Coleman-Lands and Memphis traditional transfer Tyler Harris, leaving the program with one more open scholarship for the 2020-21 season, which is likely to go unfilled.
Like Coleman-Lands, Hinson fits the lengthy, versatile player that Iowa State has strived to find in attempts to build a roster similar to the 2018-19 squad that won the Big 12 Tournament. Like Harris, the program plans to pursue a waiver that would grant him immediate eligibility this winter.
The thing that ties them all together is the hope to make an immediate impact on an Iowa State basketball program that finished 12-20 last season.
“(I plan to) get to Ames, try to make an impact on that program and that city, you feel what I’m saying? I love being in a place that represents me,” Hinson said. “I’m ready to lay it all on the line for Ames and Cyclone Nation.”