Q&A: JT Rock breaks down reclassification and more

Late last week, Iowa State’s men’s basketball roster got another big addition.

Four-star center JT Rock announced he was reclassifying from the 2024 class to join the program a year early. The decision boosted Iowa State’s 2023 recruiting class back into the top-10 nationally and rounded out one of the top classes in program history.

Cyclone Fanatic caught up with Rock on Monday to learn more about what went into the decision to reclassify, his conversations with the staff and more.

CF: What all went into your reclassification? How are you feeling about joining the program a year early?

Rock: “I’m really excited to join the program a year early. I think it’ll be a great opportunity for me to develop my game and develop my body to be more ready for the Big 12. There was a lot of things that went into this decision. It’s obviously not an easy decision to make by any stretch. I think all things considered once I found out that this was an opportunity that was available, I didn’t think I could pass on it.”

CF: What’s been Coach T.J. Otzelberger’s message to you throughout the process?

Rock: “His message to me was that he thinks it would be great for my development, and to grow as a player and a great opportunity to get further on my education, as well.”

CF: How many classes did you have to take this summer to graduate early?

Rock: “I’m taking three classes right now. I’m taking government, economics and creative writing online right now through my high school. I have to have those done by some sometime in mid-August.”

CF: What’s your mindset coming into the program? Are you thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going there to play,’ or you’ve talked about wanting to develop, are you considering taking a redshirt? How are you approaching the possibilities?

Rock: “I’m not sure how I’m gonna go in and what’s gonna quite happen with redshirting or not, but I am excited to learn from the guys and their experiences in basketball and in general, and also playing in the Big 12. Give it my best shot every day and just try and get that much better every day, and learn from the coaching staff, as well.”

CF: How would you describe your game to someone who has never seen you play?

Rock: “I’d probably say a stretch big, who can block shots on the defensive end. I like to stretch the floor out on the offensive end by shooting the ball from the outside, being able to put it on the floor a little bit.”

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.