Iowa State men’s basketball has officially signed a pair of athletes for its 2024 recruiting class Wednesday in Nojus Indrusaitis and Dwayne Pierce.
Both players are rated in the top 150 of the 247 Sports class rankings.
“More than anything it’s continuing to find guys that want to come in here and be Cyclones (and) know the work ethic and what they’ve signed up for to be here,” Otzelberger said. “(We’re) fortunate that (the) two guards are both bigger in size; very smart basketball players, guys that make great decisions with the ball in their hands. So for us, it’s continuing to elevate our program. As much as we want great individuals, it’s guys that can bring and pour into our program and help us elevate. Both guys are tremendous character guys. They’re workers. They’re production-driven and I just really feel like they’re gonna give us that impact right away in those areas and (I’m) excited those guys getting here.”
Indrusaitis is a four-star, 6-foot-5, 185-pound prospect out of Chicago, and will play at a shooting guard spot for the Cyclones.
He’s rated as the No. 10 prospect in program history and is the No. 77 overall prospect in the country in 247Sports’ composite model.
He played for both the Lithuania U18 FIBA team and the EYBL’s Nike Meanstreets over the summer. He also was named MVP of the Basketball Without Borders Europe Camp.
“I would say this: Nojus (Indrusaitis) is a really good playmaker (and) decision-maker,” Otzelberger said. “A guy that’s skilled, scores the ball easily, but just a really good — like, sees it a possession ahead offensively. Someone that can play either guard position. I’d say even seeing from him, the ability of moving off the basketball to make shots, make plays has been really good.”
Pierce, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound, three-star prospect out of Middle Village, New York and is rated as the No. 135 prospect in the class by 247Sports.
He led his Christ the King Regional team to a Brooklyn-Queens championship, tallying 22 points, five rebounds, five steals and two assists in a win over St. Francis prep.
He also played for the New York Gauchos on the Adidas 3SSB circuit and for the New York Renaissance in the EYBL.
“With Dwayne (Pierce), his ability to get the ball downhill and drive into the paint, whether it’s off a pick and roll, in transition, he’s really tough to guard one-on-one in space,” Otzelberger said. “So he gets into the paint and then he sprays the ball (and) makes plays for himself and his teammates. With taller guards like both of them are, it gives you the ability to play over the top of the defense, so when smaller guards are defending you, there (are) certain plays they can make. Skip passes on the backside — things that can expose other teams’ defenses. And I just think with both guys’ ability to knock down a shot and drive the ball to the rim, (that) creates stress for the defense.”