Iowa State Basketball will mark the third home for guard Jalen Coleman-Lands, who is still looking for his first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Iowa State Basketball added to their ranks, landing Jalen Coleman-Lands (pun intended) from the graduate transfer market. He’ll immediately be eligible to play for the Big 12 squad and has one year of eligibility remaining after securing a sixth year from the NCAA in April, largely due to a broken hand he suffered with DePaul during the 2018-19 season.
Coleman-Lands wasn’t one of the biggest stars on the transfer market, but he is still going to be a solid contributor for Iowa State next season. He chose the Cyclones over Cal, NC State, Michigan and USC.
Iowa State missed out on many of the transfers they were itching for during the offseason. They did land Tyler Harris from Memphis, but he’s a sit-out transfer who won’t be taking the court until the 2021-22 season. More importantly, they lost Tyrese Haliburton to the NBA, one of the most impactful players in recent program history.
Coleman-Lands can help make up for some of the issues associated with the program’s myriad losses this spring. He averaged 11.1 points per game for DePaul last season, displaying his durability by playing in 32 games. He struggled from three, shooting 32.1 percent from three-point range, but that appears to be a fluke, as he shot at least 38.0 percent from three during his first two seasons, which came with the Illinois Fighting Illini.
There’s a good chance Coleman-Lands will be a starter from Day 1 for the Cyclones. The team’s best returning player is rising junior guard Rasir Bolton, who averaged 14.7 points per game last season. Together, they have the makings of a formidable backcourt, particularly on the defensive end, where Coleman-Lands is a solid, though not an elite option.
Where Coleman-Lands doesn’t help the Cyclones is facilitating. Coleman-Lands has been a lackluster facilitator throughout his collegiate career, never averaging more than 1.3 assists per game over the course of a season. Iowa State had just one player who averaged more than 3.0 assists per game last season and he isn’t coming back. Bolton is the next best player in that category, averaging just 2.8 assists per game last season.
Unless Iowa State pulls another graduate transfer off the market, it’s going to be difficult to build an offense that isn’t based around isolation scoring from Bolton. Incoming freshman Jaden Walker has potential, but he’s just a three-star prospect according to 247 Sports, receiving major offers from only the Cyclones, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State and Wake Forest. He has the potential to develop into a good point guard for Iowa State, but it’s a lot to ask him to carry the burden next season (especially with reports that he’s currently rehabbing his knee).
Steve Prohm’s team is in the midst of a rebuild and could linger towards the bottom of the Big 12 next season. Jalen Coleman-Lands will increase the respectability of the team, but it seems unlikely the guard will be making his first (and only) NCAA Tournament appearance next season.