May 26, 2024

Always A Cyclone: Your Guide to Former ISU Players in the NCAA

When Fred Hoiberg was hired at Iowa State in 2010, the practice of players transferring schools in college athletics was fairly rare and heavily stigmatized. It wasn’t easy to do—there were plenty of hoops to jump through and the player was almost never immediately eligible to play at the new school, and players asking for transfers were often labeled quitters or troubled student-athletes.

Hoiberg almost single-handedly changed that narrative.

Over his six years in Ames, he pieced together teams with a smattering of high-profile transfers that would elevate the program to one of the most consistent contenders in the nation’s best conference. Other programs scrambled to follow the same model, tossing their hats in the ring for talented transfers. More than a decade and one pandemic later, the transfer market has blossomed into an entirely new form of recruiting as the “Transfer Portal” now offers players and coaches a streamlined system to connect and eligibility rules have softened to allow more immediate playing time.

A lot has changed since Hoiberg left Iowa State, but one thing hasn’t—transfers are the name of the game in Ames. New head coach T.J. Otzelberger has six new transfers set to contribute significant minutes this season (including a former Iowa State transfer who has transferred back to Iowa State), but as Cyclone fans try to learn the new faces, you might be wondering where some former Cyclones landed. Here is the list of new destinations for some familiar faces that are finishing up their collegiate basketball careers:

Rasir Bolton (G): Gonzaga

Bolton is a multi-school transfer, starting his career at Penn State before transferring to Iowa State and being the team’s second-leading scorer his first season and leading scorer last season. Bolton is a projected starter for the preseason #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, who finished last season as the runner-up in the national championship game.

Jalen Coleman-Lands (G): Kansas

Coleman-Lands is the front-runner for the Perry Ellis Old Man Award this season, being the oldest player in college basketball. JCL played his first season of basketball at Illinois all the way back in 2015, transferring to DePaul to play in 2018-19, then to Iowa State for the 2020-21 season where he was the team’s second-leading scorer and top three-point shooter. With the extra COVID year of eligibility, he lands at Kansas for one final go-around on the nation’s preseason #3 team. The Cyclones play Kansas on January 11 in Lawrence and February 1 in Hilton.

Tyler Harris (G): Memphis

Harris returns to his original school, Memphis, where he played two seasons before transferring to Iowa State. The senior played in every game for the Cyclones last season, averaging 7.5 points per game. He’s expected to come off the bench for a talented Memphis squad that starts the season ranked #12.

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Darlinstone Dubar (F): Hofstra

Dubar started seven games for the Cyclones early last season before seeing his minutes fall off and he decided to transfer. He’s expected to be a bench contributor for a Hofstra team that is hoping to compete for the Colonial Athletic conference title.

Terrence Lewis (G): Grambling State

Lewis was a contributor on Iowa State’s basketball teams from 2017-20, transferring after his junior season to South Alabama (did not play) before transferring again this past offseason to Grambling State. Grambling State will travel to Hilton Coliseum to play the Cyclones on November 21.

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Zion Griffin (G): UIC

Griffin played for the Cyclones from 2018-20, being mostly a bench contributor. The now-senior plays for his hometown team in Chicago, where he battled injuries much of last season. He started six of 10 games last season and hopes to improve on his 7.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Nate Jenkins (G): Green Bay

Jenkins was a walk-on at Iowa State and has chosen to walk on at Green Bay.

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Alex Gookin
Alex Gookin 65 Articles
Staff Writer

Gookin is an Iowa State graduate with a degree in journalism, but decided writing professionally wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Instead, he took an unpaid position to write content for this blog, which seems counter-intuitive, but he enjoys it, nonetheless. Gookin was voted male with the “Most School Spirit,” and 2nd most flirtatious in his senior class. He enjoys statistics no one else has the patience to look up and enjoys Iowa State athletics more than he’s willing to admit. A closet Hawkeye fan (false), you can find Alex being harassed by at least one bad Twitter troll and winning nearly all of his online fights (less false, but false).

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