Iowa State lands Washington State transfer Aljaž Kunc


T.J. Otzelberger speaks with the media in his introductory press conference as he became the 21st head men’s basketball coach at Iowa State on March 19. (Screenshot from Zoom)

Matt Belinson

The transfer portal is open for business like never before in college basketball and new Iowa State men’s basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger has already brought in a veteran piece to his roster.

Iowa State announced the signing of Washington State transfer Aljaž Kunc, a 6-foot-8 forward from Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Wednesday.

Kunc is the first to sign under Otzelberger, who was named the Cyclones’ head coach last Thursday. He is a graduate transfer and will have two years to play in Ames if he chooses.

“Jaz is a skilled frontline player, who has proven at the Power-5 level to have the ability to knock down threes and stretch opposing defenses,” Otzelberger said in the press release. “Defensively, he competes and has a high activity level and is able to rebound outside his area.”

Kunc averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 23 games last season while battling through injury. Once healthy, Kunc saw his minutes increase to 30 per game and averaged 8.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, reaching double figures in five of the season’s final eight contests.

Kunc scored 15 points in the regular-season finale at Arizona State and had a career-high 14 boards in a win at Arizona late in the season for the Cougars.