Iowa State landed its fourth commitment in the Class of 2016 Sunday afternoon, as 6-foot-9 power forward Cameron Lard verbally committed to Steve Prohm’s program according to multiple outlets. Lard joins guard Jakolby Long and forwards Emmanuel Malou and Solomon Young in Iowa State’s 2016 class, with Malou being a junior college transfer and all three having officially signed a National Letter of Intent.
Lard’s a native of Louisiana, and his decision comes on the heels of a visit he took to Iowa State last week. Lard attends Landry-Walker HS in New Orleans, and this summer he played for the New Orleans Elite grassroots program on the adidas Uprising Gauntlet circuit.
Lard averaged 14.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game at the adidas Uprising Summer Championships in Las Vegas, shooting 79.4 percent from the field. Throughout the entire circuit Lard averaged 13.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, and he’ll give Iowa State a front court option who’s most comfortable in and around the paint.
Iowa State will lose three seniors from its front court at the end of the 2015-16 season in Abdel Nader, Georges Niang and Jameel McKay, so there will be opportunities for their newcomers to compete for playing time in 2016-17.
While freshman forward Cheick Diallo will get to make the trip west for the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, one of his teammates will not.
Friday morning head coach Bill Self announced that junior wing Brannen Greene has been suspended six games for “conduct detrimental to the team.” That rules him out for the Jayhawks’ three games in Maui, beginning with their matchup with hosts Chaminade on Monday.
Greene will be allowed to practice with the team upon their return, but he’ll miss games against Loyola (MD), Harvard and Holy Cross. The first game Greene, who’s averaging 12.0 points per game and hasn’t missed a shot from the field (6-for-6 FG, 5-for-5 3PT), will be available for is the Jayhawks’ game against Oregon State December 12.
Not having Greene in Maui means that Kansas will be short a perimeter shooter, which is important when considering the fact that Wayne Selden Jr. is 5-for-12 from three through two games and Devonte’ Graham is just 2-for-10. Already important scoring options, those two will need to be even better from a perimeter shooting standpoint in order to give Kansas the offensive spacing they need for their big men to be successful in the post.
With No. 4 Kansas headed to Maui to participate in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, the status of impact freshman forward Cheick Diallo remains up in the air.
Diallo has yet to be cleared for competition by the NCAA, so while he can help the Jayhawks in practices he’s yet to take the floor in game action for head coach Bill Self. Friday morning the school announced that Diallo has been granted a waiver to travel with the team to Maui.
The question: what does this mean with regards to the possibility of Diallo being cleared at some point in the near future? That is anyone’s guess at this point. While it can be viewed as a positive that Diallo is being allowed to travel, when it comes to such investigations so little information is made public that it’s tough to tell.
And while it isn’t a perfect comparison since Marquette was on its summer trip to Italy, the NCAA allowed Haanif Cheatham to travel despite being in eligibility limbo. Cheatham would eventually be cleared but it was too late for him to play in any of Marquette’s exhibitions in Italy, with the good news breaking while the Golden Eagles were playing their final exhibition of the trip.
Diallo’s a high-energy power forward who would have a significant impact once on the floor. But even with Friday’s piece of good news, we still have no indication of how much longer he’ll have to sit out.