Racine St. Catherine’s bench watches on as Tyrese Hunter launches a three-pointer against Martin Luther during a game on December 11, 2020. Mandatory Credit: © Curt Hogg / Now News Group via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Iowa State men’s basketball’s big Saturday continues, and the top priority of T.J. Otzelberger’s first spring in Ames is locked in.
Four-star Wisconsin point guard Tyrese Hunter has reaffirmed his commitment to Iowa State basketball, according to an announcement on his personal Twitter account. It could go without saying, but keeping the explosive 6-foot-1 floor general in the fold is perhaps the biggest recruiting victory thus far for Otzelberger and his staff.
Hunter originally committed to Iowa State and previous head coach Steve Prohm last August over offers from 24 other schools, including Arizona State, UConn, Creighton, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Miami (FL), Northwestern, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech.
The Racine, Wis. native signed with the Cyclones during the fall signing period, but Prohm’s firing and Otzelberger’s hiring created questions as to whether the No. 2 player in the state of Wisconsin, according to 247Composite, would ask out of his letter of intent and look elsewhere.
As a senior, Hunter led Racine St. Catherine’s to a 28-1 overall record and Division 3 state title while averaging 18.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game on shooting splits of 53 percent from the floor, 62 percent from the free-throw line and 34 percent from 3-point range.
Hunter’s performance as a senior led to him being named Metro Classic Conference Player of the Year for the second-straight season, and he was a first-team all-conference pick for the third year in a row.
A finalist for this year’s Wisconsin Mr. Basketball award, Hunter finished his illustrious high school career with 1,589 points, 503 rebounds, 337 assists and 233 steals while appearing in 95 games, starting 93 of them, across four seasons.
The Hunter news comes on the heels of Iowa State landing a commitment from Minnesota transfer Gabe Kalscheur, who was a three-year starter for the Golden Gophers and has been considered one of the Big Ten’s best defenders over the last several seasons. Kalscheur has two years of eligibility remaining.
Locking in Hunter and Kalscheur leaves Otzelberger and his staff three scholarships left to fill in the 2021 spring recruiting cycle as they look to continue their rebuild of the Cyclone program that went 2-22 overall this past season and 0-18 in Big 12 regular season play.
On the high school recruiting front, the staff’s attention will now turn heavily towards Ames High guard Tamin Lipsey, who is considered the No. 1 player in the state’s 2022 recruiting class by 247Composite.
Lipsey would be the next biggest domino in Otzelberger, forming his core of the future around Hunter, plus Cyclone redshirt freshman center Xavier Foster from Oskaloosa. It would further solidify the staff’s claims of building a roster leaning heavily into recruiting the Upper Midwest.
There is the potential for further Iowa State men’s basketball roster movement this weekend so stay tuned to Cyclone Fanatic in the coming hours.