Harrington: What the future holds for Iowa State men’s basketball


Owen Aanestad

T.J. Otzelberger calls out a play from the sideline against K-State on Jan. 24.

Andrew Harrington, Sports Editor

Since T.J. Otzelberger took over as head coach of the men’s basketball team, the team has valued building work habits. The hope for the team is that when the games start, the work habits will push them over the edge for a win.

The one reason that men’s basketball has been and will be able to set itself apart as one of the top programs in the nation is because of recruiting.

The 2023 and 2024 recruiting classes are set to be the two best in school history for the Cyclones, currently holding the No. 7 class in 2023 and the No. 3 class in 2024, according to 247 Sports.

The team rankings definitely speak for themselves, but when taking a deeper dive, you can truly see how much potential this team has in the future.

2023 Class

It is worth noting that Otzelberger bases a lot of recruiting on which players fit his scheme, so when the top players join Iowa State, you can still expect the same defensive intensity as everyone else.

The 2023 class for the Cyclones involves two of the top three recruits the school has ever brought in. 

Five-star prospect Omaha Biliew out of Waukee, Iowa, is the lone five-star recruit Iowa State has ever had. The nation’s No. 14 recruit was selected to be a McDonald’s All-American and has been a dominant force in Iowa high school basketball all year long. 

The six-foot-eight senior has the incredible athletic ability and more importantly has the drive to win on both ends of the floor.

Iowa is not the only state the Cyclones snatched the top-ranked recruit from, as the Cyclones picked up the No. 1 Wisconsin recruit in Milan Momcilovic.

Momcilovic also stands at six-foot-eight and is skilled in both inside and outside scoring.

In addition to the pair of nationally-acclaimed recruits, three-star recruits Jelani Hamilton and Kayden Fish have also signed with the Cyclones.

2024 Class

While there is still time for a lot of players in the 2024 recruiting class to find a home, the Cyclones have already built up a stellar class.

Nojus Indrusaitis is at the top of the class currently, landing as the No. 81 recruit nationally from 247 Sports. Indrusaitis is a lengthy shooting guard out of Illinois, getting offers from plenty of other major schools, including Iowa.

The Cyclones’ most recent commitment was six-foot-five small forward Dwayne Pierce. Announcing his commitment at halftime of a game that was broadcasted on ESPN, Pierce has shown prowess on both ends of the floor.

The final recruit of the class for the Cyclones is three-star JT Rock. While Rock is not quite a four-star, he is the top recruit in South Dakota and stands at seven feet tall. Rock can both spread the floor with his outside shooting and get the job done inside.

With these two classes, the ceiling for these upcoming men’s basketball teams could be astronomical.