NCB On The Trail: Iowa State Cyclones

In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at Iowa State and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Possible starting five:
G: Monte Morris
G: Matt Thomas
F: Dustin Hogue
F: Georges Niang
C: Percy Gibson


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Healthy Rashad Vaughn gaining momentum

January, 22, 2014
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- It appeared as if nobody would stop Theo Pinson (Greensboro, N.C./Wesleyan Christian) on Monday afternoon. In a highly anticipated matchup between Wesleyan Christian and Findlay Prep at the Spalding HoopHall Classic, the No. 13-ranked player in the Class of 2014 scored in every manner possible. Pinson scored his team’s first 11 points and entered the locker room at halftime with a game-high 18.

Then Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Las Vegas Findlay Prep) took over.

[+] EnlargeRashad Vaughn
Courtesy of Kelly Kline/Under ArmourRashad Vaughn (right), a top-10 recruit in the 2014 class, has done well to come back from his knee injury.
Begging for the defensive assignment, Vaughn convinced Findlay head coach Jerome Williams to let him guard the North Carolina commit for the game’s final 20 minutes.

“Theo came out hot -- red hot -- in the first half,” Williams said. “In the locker room, Rashad was mad. He was the first one saying, ‘I want to guard him, coach. Give him to me. I don’t want to look at this no more.’ That’s why he started the second half, and rightfully so.”

It paid major dividends as Vaughn’s defensive prowess limited Pinson to five second-half points en route to a lopsided 73-44 Findlay win. Pinson appeared flustered down the stretch as the long-armed Vaughn wouldn’t allow any easy looks or drives to the hoop.

“I just put the handcuffs on him,” Vaughn said after the game. Vaughn, the No. 17 player in the Class of 2014, scored 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting in 22 minutes of action. He showed the long range coveted by many high-major programs and explosiveness to get to the basket.

The performance was particularly impressive considering the circumstances. It was Vaughn’s first game back from a knee injury that kept him out of the last six games. According to Williams, Vaughn had missed nearly two months and just returned to practice this week.

The initial plan was to ease him into a game environment, but when Pinson started heating up, Vaughn decided there was no time to tiptoe back into action.

"I felt a little winded, but not like I should have been,” he said. “Coach put us through a hard practice yesterday. I felt like I got a lot of my wind back. I thought I played well on the defensive end, shot well … I just felt the confidence coming back more and more.”

While Vaughn’s game returns to form, his recruitment continues to heat up.

Vaughn is currently the second-highest ranked uncommitted prospect in the 2014 class behind Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity). He said he’s considering Iowa State, Kansas, North Carolina, UNLV and Kentucky. Wildcats head coach John Calipari and assistant Orlando Antigua watched much of Monday’s game from seats behind one of the hoops, and Vaughn admitted he noticed their presence.

He said he has a visit for North Carolina already set for next month. A trip to Kentucky, while not 100 percent, is also in the works. He hopes to make a college decision by late February or early March.

“I’ve got relationships with all the coaches,” Vaughn said. “It’s really about where I fit in and where I can get better as a player.”
Shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay College Prep), the No. 17 player in the ESPN 100, is being hotly pursued by several programs. The 6-foot-6, 200-pound prospect already has made two official visits (to Iowa State and UNLV) and recently set up a visit to North Carolina for Feb. 15, when the Tar Heels play Pittsburgh. For his final two visits, he is likely to choose among Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Kentucky and Minnesota.

Let's break down the game of one of the top shooting guards in the country:


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USA developmental team camp recap 

October, 6, 2013
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The USA Basketball Developmental National Team minicamp featured some of the nation's best high school talent representing the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Head coach Don Showalter and his staff put the players through numerous intense and competitive drills, controlled scrimmages and game situations in this four-workout, two-day minicamp.

Note: ESPN 100 No. 1 overall player Jahlil Okafor didn't play on Day 1 after rolling his ankle during a one-on-one in the post drill.

Here are a few players who were impressive this weekend from the ESPN 100, 60 and 25 rankings.

ESPN 100 Standouts

Best Motor
Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity)
C, 6-foot-11, 225 pounds
Considering: Kansas, Ohio State, Texas, Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Oklahoma State

Turner's talent and shot blocking is well-documented, but his consistent motor also makes the big fella special. Regardless of the outcome of the possession, Turner never stops playing. He runs, jumps and competes at a high level, which makes him stand out.


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ESPN 100 SG Rashad Vaughn names 11

July, 31, 2013
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Shooting guard Rashad Vaughn (Golden Valley, Minn./Findlay Prep) has narrowed his school list down to 11, according to a tweet from the ESPN 100 prospect.

Vaughn will decide among Baylor, Iowa State, Kentucky, North Carolina, Connecticut, Kansas, UNLV, Arizona, Georgetown, UCLA and Minnesota.

The senior is currently ranked No. 11 overall in the 2014 class.

ESPNU's RecruitingNation to look at surprise classes 

February, 21, 2013
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ESPNU's RecruitingNation program on Thursday will take a look at some of the surprise recruiting classes in 2013.

ESPN's Director of Recruiting Paul Biancardi will break down the hauls of LSU, Memphis, Connecticut, Iowa State and Butler. The former coach will also look at the games of the top two players in the 2013 class, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, and where each could improve.

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Cyclones land junior PG Clay Custer 

November, 19, 2012
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Iowa State nabbed its first 2014 recruit on Monday night when point guard Clay Custer (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest) announced his verbal commitment.

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Cyclones add four for Top 25 class 

November, 14, 2012
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Iowa State announced four signees on Wednesday giving the Cyclones the No. 24 ranked class on ESPN.com.

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Forward Javion Ogunyemi picks Siena 

November, 9, 2012
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Small forward Javion Ogunyemi gave Siena a verbal commitment on Friday, according to the Albany Times Union.

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South Florida lands SF Byron Zeigler 

October, 13, 2012
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Three star small forward Byron Zeigler (Detroit/Community) verbally committed to South Florida on Saturday while on his official visit to the campus, according to sources.

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Shamiek Sheppard is headed to Towson 

September, 28, 2012
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Multiple sources reported Thursday that small forward Shamiek Sheppard (Brooklyn, N.Y./South Shore) verbally committed to Towson.

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PF Isaiah Watkins commits to Duquesne 

September, 28, 2012
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6-foot-8 forward Isaiah Watkins (Toronto, Ont./St. Benedict's Prep) pledged to Duquesne on Thursday night, multiple sources are reporting.

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Iowa gets first 2013 commitment in SF Jok 

September, 23, 2012
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Small forward Peter Jok (Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) verbally committed to Iowa on Sunday, giving the Hawkeyes their first commitment from the class of 2013, mulitple sources are reporting.

"[Coach] Fran McCaffery continues to build his Iowa program," said ESPN.com's Paul Biancardi. "Jok is a big guard who at 6-5 can make 3s well beyond the arc. With [current freshmen] Adam Woodbury inside and Mike Gesell outside at the point, Jok is someone who will create space for other teammates with his sharpshooting."

"The big picure here is that since McCaffery took over at Iowa, he and his staff have dug their heels into protecting the state of Iowa and surrounding areas to secure talent."

Jok, a native of the Sudan, held offers from Creighton, Clemson, Illinois and Iowa State.

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Rhode Island adds PF Hassan Martin 

September, 23, 2012
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Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley landed his second recruit of the weekend on Sunday with a pledge from power forward Hassan Martin (Staten Island, N.Y./Curtis), sources have confirmed. Hurley nabbed ESPN 100 point guard E.C. Matthews (Romulus, Mich./Romulus) on Saturday night.

Martin chose the Rams over Creighton, Fordham, Iowa State, Kansas State and Providence.

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Kyle Washington commits to Wolfpack 

September, 23, 2012
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ESPN 100 power forward Kyle Washington (Champlin, Minn./Brewster Acasdemy) ended his recruitment while on his official visit to N.C. State with a commitment to the Wolfpack on Sunday.

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