STANZ: Taking a look at Iowa State’s 2023-24 men’s basketball roster

Feb 21, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Tamin Lipsey (3) shoots over Texas Longhorns guard Arterio Morris (2) during the second half at Moody Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State’s 2023-24 men’s basketball roster is set.

The group was finalized on Monday when Buffalo guard Curtis Jones announced his pledge to T.J. Otzelberger’s program, completing a three-man transfer recruiting class that brings scoring, playmaking and versatility to Iowa State’s program.

Let’s take a look at the 13 scholarship names that will make up the Cyclones’ 2023-24 roster, how they’ll fit into their role and what can be expected of them going into the season.


Tamin Lipsey – When you’re thinking of Lipsey’s development track at Iowa State, think of Kansas point guard Dajuan Harris, who might be the favorite for preseason Big 12 Player of the Year.

Harris is the quintessential floor general. Lipsey has the potential to be that kind of player as his career progresses.

He needs to improve as a jump shooter, but his improvement doesn’t necessarily need to be drastic in year two. Just keep getting better.

Jeremiah Williams – What can be expected from the 6-foot-4 Temple transfer as he works back from an Achilles injury that cost him all of last season?

At the very least, he’ll be a steady, experienced back-up point guard. In a best-case scenario, he pushes Lipsey for the starting job and gives Iowa State two really solid primary ball-handlers who could even play together. Williams is the type of player who personifies what Iowa State’s team appears to be going into next season.

He’s versatile in that he can score (averaged 9.5 per game at Temple in 2021-22) and he can make plays for others (averaged a team-high 4.3 assists per game in 21-22).

Dec 20, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; Wofford Terriers guard Jackson Paveletzke (1) drives to the basket against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Reed Arena. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson Paveletzke – More offensive versatility on display. Iowa State’s staff located a need this offseason and Paveletzke was a big piece in filling that need.

The Wisconsin native and Southern Conference Freshman of the Year is a capable scorer at all three levels of the floor, is a proven 3-point shooter and is capable of making plays for others. He’ll have the ability to be a solid secondary ball-handler alongside Williams or Lipsey, and probably could take over the primary role in a pinch.

When I watch Iowa State’s three transfers, versatility is just what screams at me. They’re all capable of doing different things in different ways and don’t feel like players who are one-dimensional.

Keshon Gilbert – Gilbert brings an element of speed and strength that was missing for Iowa State’s team this past season. He’s fast with the ball in his hands, fast on the defensive end and fast in the open floor. His ability to turn the corner offensively is dangerous and he’s got the potential to be one of the biggest match-up nightmares on the roster.

Plus, he’s another proven 3-point shooter and is capable of making plays for others. All three of Iowa State’s transfer additions averaged three or more assists this past season.

Curtis Jones – The thing I like most about Jones’ game is his craftiness in getting to the rim and being able to finish. He’s tough with a myriad of floaters and runners to combat the fact he isn’t he fastest or most athletic player. He reminds me a little bit of Jaren Holmes in that sense.

He’s another smooth shooter with the ability to knock down from well behind the 3-point line. He’s also effective with the ball in his hands off the ball-screen and has a strong pull-up game from deep and the mid-range.

Jelani Hamilton – I hope the 6-foot-6 three-star guard is ready for a challenge. Working with this group of guards on a daily basis is going to make someone a lot better, at the very least. If Hamilton is able to carve himself a role in this group, then Iowa State will probably have a pretty special player on its hands. There’s nothing wrong with a year to develop alongside this group, though, with the idea of taking over Jeremiah Williams’ role in 2024-25.


Omaha Biliew – Is the second McDonald’s All-American in Iowa State history a big man or a wing? The fun thing about Biliew’s game is there is no answer.

Offensively, he’s capable of playing around the perimeter and can knock down shots from deep while also being a ferocious finisher around the rim. Defensively, he can guard players on the perimeter and can anchor a defense as a rim protector.

He’ll be the most versatile and dynamic player on Iowa State’s roster with the ability to impact everything on both ends of the floor.

Pewaukee’s Milan Momcilovic (22) gets inside for two during the WIAA Division 2 state boys basketball championship against La Crosse Central at the Kohl Center in Madison on Saturday, March 19, 2022. Mjs Bball State Semifinal 4711

Milan Momcilovic – The 6-foot-8 four-star forward from Wisconsin is one of the smoothest scorers in the 2023 recruiting class. He has the ability to score all over the court, including a dynamic post game with an elite fading jumper.

He’s also long, which should give him the ability to make some impact defensively. He’s the type of scorer who will draw a lot of attention from opposing defenses, creating openings for everyone. I call that a player who takes up airspace. You always have to be mindful of where they are on the floor as a defender.

Demarion Watson – What Biliew projects to be as a freshman is what Watson could become with development. He’s still slight after his first year with the program, but I’d expect that to change significantly in the not so distant future.

Watson needs to continue developing his jumper, but he was the best off-ball cutter on Iowa State’s roster last season. Defensively, he projects as a true 3 and D wing with the ability to guard players all over the court and the length to impact shots on the perimeter and inside the painted area.

Kayden Fish – The 6-foot-6 forward from Kansas City caught T.J. Otzelberger’s eye while helping Omaha Biliew and MoKan Elite win Peach Jam last summer. He projects as a Melvin Ejim type as he develops and, much like his classmate Hamilton, will likely have to really make a splash this summer to carve out a major role next season.


Tre King – If you’re looking for someone from Iowa State’s last team to make a major leap for its next one, look no further than the likely starting big man. King was just working his way back into things as he improved on a nightly basis for the Cyclones in 2022-23. He seems poised to have a big season next year after getting his feet wet.

Fran Fraschilla says he’s the type of guy who could average 12 points and eight rebounds in the Big 12. Those are the type of numbers that put you on the All-Big 12 radar.

Mar 4, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Robert Jones (12) reacts after a made basket against the Baylor Bears during the first half at Ferrell Center. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Jones – Love or hate him, Big Rob Energy will be one of the best back-up big men in the Big 12 next season. That’s a more important job than people probably realize. He brings physicality, toughness and energy off of the bench. Somebody has to do it, and he does it as well as just about anybody even if he does have his shortcomings.

Hason Ward – He’s great at what he’s great at. Get Ward the ball around the rim and it is a near guaranteed bucket as he shot 80 percent on his close two-pointers last season while finishing second on the team in dunks. Can Iowa State find more from him?

If they’re able to, he could carve out significant minutes for himself off the bench. We know how disruptive he can be defensively, but limiting fouls will be key to fully unlocking that disruptiveness.

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.