Power forward becomes Steve Prohm’s first commitment at Iowa State

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Steve Prohm landed in a very good spot earlier this month, as he was tabbed by Iowa State to replace the departed Fred Hoiberg to lead a veteran team capable of contending both in the Big 12 and nationally in 2015-16. With players such as Georges Niang and Monte’ Morris returning to Ames, Prohm can hit the ground running in his first season as head coach.

Thursday the former Murray State head coach landed his first commitment at Iowa State in the form of 6-foot-8 forward Brady Ernst.

Ernst is a 2015 prospect whose recruitment took a hit when he suffered a torn ACL in late February. However with front court options such as Niang, Jameel McKay, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton, Iowa State has enough depth and can also give Ernst the competition he needs to be a factor moving forward.

“Brady is an intriguing late grab for Steve Prohm,” NBC Sports recruiting insider Scott Phillips said of the newest Cyclone. “He tore his ACL in February, but when healthy Ernst was a tough and active interior player who showed some ability to stretch the floor with the jumper.

“If he regains the bounciness he had before the injury, he could be a nice long-term pickup for Iowa State.”

Ernst hails from Clinton, Iowa and played for the Iowa Barnstormers grassroots program. For that reason this is a key commitment for Prohm, as Iowa State didn’t make much of a dent recruiting in-state talent under Hoiberg. During the prior era Iowa State was able to take advantage of the transfer market, with talented freshmen such as Morris (from Michigan) and Niang (from Massachusetts) making their mark as well.

How Prohm and his staff recruit will be interesting to watch in the coming years, especially when considering how many veterans are on the 2015-16 roster. Adding an in-state player can’t hurt matters for a new head coach looking to establish inroads within his new home state.