Nevada transfer forward Cole Huff decided to continue his college career at Creighton. Huff announced his decision via Twitter on Sunday evening following his visit to Iowa, the other finalist for his services.
Clint Parks, Huff’s former AAU coach, told Scott Dochterman of The Gazette, that the 6-foot-8 forward was down to Iowa and Creighton. An announcement was expected shortly after his trip to Iowa City. That was the last stop on his visits. He spent the previous weekend in Omaha.
Huff was also being pursued by Michigan and Dayton.
Huff averaged 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in a breakout sophomore campaign. He left the program in early April, however it took several weeks for the two sides to comprise on his transfer restrictions. Huff is free to explore Pac-12 and West Coast programs located in Southern California, though, he is destined to become a member of the Bluejays, resuming his career at the start of the 2015-2016 season.
He becomes the second big-time transfer Greg McDermott has been able to land in the last three weeks. On April 13, former Boston University point guard Maurice Watson committed to Creighton. The duo will provide quality competition during practice as they both sit out the 2014-2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Huff made a noticeable jump from his freshman to sophomore season, and the additional year will give him time to continue to build on his 205-pound frame.
“He needs to develop strength,” Parks told The Gazette. “He needs to develop his body and get better in the weight room during his redshirt year.”
CBT listed Huff as the sixth best available transfer.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.