Leading up to the opening of the 2022-23 Big 12 Men’s basketball season Heartland College Sports will analyze each of the Big 12 men’s basketball rosters. Today it’s the Iowa State Cyclones.
2021-22 Season-Ending Roster: F Tre King, G Izaiah Brockington, G Caleb Grill, G Tre Jackson, F George Conditt IV, F Aljaž Kunc, G Tyrese Hunter, F Robert Jones, G Carter Boothe, G Jaden Walker, G Gabe Kalscheur, G/F Tristan Enaruna, G Eric Steyer.
No longer at Iowa State: Brockington (pro basketball), Jackson (transferred to Western Carolina), Conditt (pro basketball), Hunter (transferred to Texas), Boothe (eligibility), Walker (transferred to East Carolina), Enaruna (transferred to Cleveland State), Steyer (eligibility).
2022-23 Season-Opening Roster: F Tre King (6-7, Sr.), G Eli King (6-3, Fr.), G Caleb Grill (6-3, Sr.), G Tamin Lipsey (6-1, Fr.), G Demarion Watson (6-6, Fr.), F Aljaž Kunc (6-8, Sr.), F Robert Jones (6-10, Sr.), G Jaren Holmes (6-4, Sr.), C Osun Osunniyi (6-10, Sr.), G Gabe Kalscheur (6-4, Sr.), F Conrad Hawley (6-5, So.), F Hason Ward (6-9, Sr.), G Jeremiah Williams (6-4, Jr.).
How The Cyclones Are Built
Returning Players (4): Grill, Kunc, Jones, Kalscheur.
Transfers (6): Tre King (transferred from Eastern Kentucky), Holmes (transferred from St. Bonaventure), Osunniyi (transferred from St. Bonaventure), Conrad Hawley (transferred from Kansas football), Ward (transferred from Virginia Commonwealth), Williams (transferred from Temple).
Freshman/Recruiting Class (3): Eli King, Lipsey, Watson
Potential starting lineup: Grill, Holmes, Tre King, Kalscheur, Osunniyi.
Why?: This is one of the most wide-open starting five races in the conference, especially after Hunter decided to transfer to Texas. It’s so wide open that only two holdovers make the lineup. Grill works the point and should be improved from the 3-point arc. Kalscheur was one of Iowa State’s steadiest players last season, but the Cyclones need him to be more of an ‘alpha’ this season. King was a player the Cyclones hoped could play last year as a late transfer, but the NCAA said no. He averaged about 13 points a game in his final two seasons at EKU. Holmes was a quality scorer with the Bonnies, averaging 13.5 points last season. Osunniyi brings the Cyclones defense. He was the two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year. He’s an above-average shot-blocker who has more than 1,000 career points and more than 800 career rebounds.
The bench: Kunc, Jones, Ward, Williams
Why? This is it when it comes down to college experience. Kunc and Jones are holdovers. Both bring that lunch-pail, defensive-minded mentality that head coach T.J. Otzelberger loves. Ward and Williams put up solid numbers at their respective schools. They could challenge for starting roles if someone gets hurt or falters.
The wild card: Lipsey. He went to Ames High School. He’s a hometown boy. He would love to make a great first impression on Cyclone Nation. How much of a chance will Otz give him, and can he quickly make the transition to college basketball in a way that will allow him to make an impact?
Note: After this piece was published, Iowa State announced that Jeremiah Williams would miss the 2022-23 season due to injury.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.