RECRUITING: Iowa State lands UNLV transfer Keshon Gilbert

Feb 14, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; San Jose State Spartans guard Alvaro Cardenas (13) guards UNLV Runnin’ Rebels guard Keshon Gilbert (10) in the first half at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State has landed the first major piece of its 2023 transfer recruiting class.

UNLV guard Keshon Gilbert has announced his pledge to T.J. Otzelberger’s program after a visit to Ames late this week. He will have two years of eligibility remaining upon transferring to Iowa State.

“First of all, when I got in the portal, T.J. was one of the first coaches to call,” Gilbert told Cyclone Fanatic. “Of course, I was hearing the same thing every call I got. For me, it was just being consistent and I was really just trying to see who was going to stay consistent in what they were saying. Keep calling me, doing the little things.”

“When I got in the portal, T.J. was there in Vegas to see me in the next couple days. The assistant was there in the next couple days to see me. That played a big part. Their coaches got on the horse that fast. Really, that and I feel Ames is the perfect place for me to lock in and work on myself and work on my game.”

This is actually Gilbert’s second time committing to Otzelberger. He did so as a three-star member of Otzelberger’s UNLV 2021 recruiting class before going on to average 6.9 points per game in 63 appearances across two seasons for the Rebels.

Gilbert, a 6-foot-4 combo guard from Las Vegas, averaged 11.4 points and shot 38.4 percent from 3-point range this past season while adding 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

“The part of it is just his energy,” Gilbert said about Otzelberger. “I’m big on energy. I like being around people that like the game. I like being around people who say, ‘We get to go to practice,’ and not, ‘We gotta go to practice.’ I like people like that. He’s been like that from the first day I met him. He’s been an upbeat guy. You can tell he’s really passionate about what he does. I feel like that’s real because I feel like I’m the same way and a lot of people don’t have that.”

Gilbert will slide into an important role in the Iowa State backcourt alongside returning starting point guard Tamin Lipsey, who burst onto the scene as one of the best freshmen guards in the country this season.

“Being a person that does it all,” Gilbert said when asked about Iowa State’s pitch from a basketball standpoint. “Playmake, defend, get downhill, make open shots, I’m just going to be a do-it-all guy.”

For now, Gilbert is glad to be done with an overwhelming transfer process by linking back up with an old connection.

“It was really kind of annoying because every coach is saying the same things every call,” Gilbert said. “It’s kind of hard to figure out who’s being real or not. Me and T.J. already had a relationship before I even hit the portal so that played a big part in it.”

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.