Iowa State basketball: Class of 2020 Recruiting Big Board, v2.0
We're officially neck-deep in 2020 recruitment.
This weekend is the first NCAA evaluation period this year, meaning Division I coaches can watch prospects compete at AAU tournaments across the country. Most staffs use the evaluation periods in two ways.
One: They'll proudly wear a polo shirt with their school logo and sit as close to games as possible, showing targets love without directly speaking to them.
Two: They'll evaluate other prospects who, after meeting with the full coaching staff, they may decide to offer later in the spring or summer.
Based on observations and conversations with recruiting and coaching contacts, this is the Register's Iowa State 2020 big board heading into the first evaluation period. We will release an updated version entering the second evaluation period in July.
1. Xavier Foster, PF (Oskaloosa)
247Sports: four stars, ranked No. 34 in 2020; Rivals: five stars, No. 24
Foster has been an Iowa State priority for two years, and it'll remain that way heading into the Oskaloosa 7-footer's final AAU season. The Cyclones' main competition is Iowa, USC and potentially Baylor right now, although new schools could enter the mix this spring and summer. Iowa State is set to visit with Foster on April 28.
2. Ben Carlson, PF (St. Paul, Minnesota)
247Sports: four stars, No. 69; Rivals: four stars, No. 84
Iowa State has treated Carlson like an in-state prospect since identifying him as a high-level target last spring, and they're set for a school visit next week. Carlson's dad played for Iowa State in the 1990s, and Ben has been on campus several times. Stanford, Iowa, Xavier, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue are also in the mix.
3. Dudley Blackwell, SF (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
247Sports: four stars, No. 84; Rivals: four stars, No. 113
Blackwell, who shares a home town with Iowa assistant James Kane, was another early high-level target for the Cyclones. He was slated to officially visit Ames in November, but he had to cancel due to schoolwork. He transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia this season; we'll see if that affects his Cyclones relationship at all.
4. Chris Moore, SF (West Memphis, Arkansas)
247Sports: three stars, No. 168; Rivals: three stars, No. 132
The Cyclones have visited Moore several times this past year, and they'll visit him again at school this week. A high-motor workhorse, Moore unofficially visited Ames last August with Cyclones signee Marcedus Leech. Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn and Memphis are among the other schools involved.
5. Ty Berry, PG (Newton, Kansas)
247Sports: three stars, No. 203; Rivals: three stars, No. 126
Berry told The Hoop Focus in January that Iowa State, Iowa, Wichita State and Purdue were the four schools recruiting him the hardest. The Cyclones offered in late October, about a month after he visited Ames for the Oklahoma football game. Kansas has been sniffing for a while, and it'd likely be the favorite if it offered.
6. Jamari Sibley, PF, (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
247Sports: four stars, No. 113; Rivals: four stars, No. 62
With his skills and long, 6-8 frame, Sibley may have as big an upside as anyone in the 2020 class. The Cyclones offered him this summer, kept an eye on him this winter and are thought to be heavily in the mix. Iowa State has a great reputation in Milwaukee, where former players such as Deonte Burton and Donovan Jackson came from.
7. Reece Beekman, PG (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
247Sports: four stars, No. 96; Rivals: four stars, No. 89
Another Milwaukee product ... kind of. Beekman goes to high school in Louisiana but he plays his AAU ball with Sibley on Milwaukee-based Phenom University. Beekman is one of 2020's most well-rounded point guards. Houston and Virginia, where he has officially visited, may be the early favorites.
8. Matthew Murrell, SG (Memphis, Tennessee)
247Sports: four stars, No. 79; Rivals: four stars, No. 110
Iowa State offered Murrell in January 2018, and it visited him this fall and winter. Penny Hardaway is trying to build a wall around Memphis and bring the city's top talent to the Tigers program. The Cyclones are among the many teams, including Tennessee, North Carolina State and Ole Miss, trying to prevent that.
9. Cam’Ron Fletcher, SF (St. Louis, Missouri)
247Sports: four stars, No. 42; Rivals: four stars, No. 38
Fletcher could be a breakout star this summer with Brad Beale Elite. He's an elite 6-6 wing who screams future pro. The Cyclones offered last August and visited with him in January. Iowa State likes Fletcher a whole lot and will keep its name in the hat, but it's looking like he could turn into a blue-blood recruit.
10. N’Faly Dante, C (Wichita, Kansas)
247Sports: five stars, No. 11; Rivals: five stars, No. 8
Talent-wise, Dante is arguably the best on this big board, but he's at No. 9 because of the relative odds that Iowa State will have a good shot. There is mutual interest here, as Dante has been on campus and was originally scheduled to visit for Iowa State's season finale against Texas Tech. But top-10 kids get top-10 suitors, like Kentucky and Kansas.
11. Desmond Polk, SG (New Berlin, Wisconsin)
247Sports: three stars, No. 222; Rivals: three stars, No. 137
Iowa State offered Polk when it offered his Phenom University teammates Sibley and Beekman. It liked what it saw from all three last summer. Polk, a lights-out shooter with good bounce and athleticism, visited the Cyclones in September. Iowa, DePaul and Marquette are among his other offers.
12. D.J. Steward, CG (Chicago, Illinois)
247Sports: four stars, No. 61; Rivals: four stars, No. 61
The Cyclones have not yet offered Steward, but they were impressed last summer and kept an eye on him this season. Don't be surprised to see Iowa State at Steward's games this spring and summer. He is a nimble scoring guard who's got some silky-smooth Dr. J flashes, and he'd fit in well in Ames.
13. Jayden Stone, SG (Wichita, Kansas)
247Sports: four stars, No. 49; Rivals: four stars, No. 49
Stone, an Australia native, was playing high school ball in Alabama this year, but he has transferred to prep powerhouse Sunrise Christian for his senior year. Time will tell if and how that impacts Iowa State's recruitment here. The Cyclones got involved early, and they've gained quite a bit of company — Oregon is his most recent offer.
14. Jalen Suggs, CG (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
247Sports: five stars, No. 10; Rivals: five stars, No. 14
Suggs is an elite prospect in basketball and football. There's still thought he'll try to play both in college. While that wouldn't happen at a blue-blood, there are some high-majors, including Iowa State, who have offered him in both sports. The Cyclones will stay involved because Suggs is a rare talent, but they're likely not holding their breath.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.