Meet Iowa State’s Newest Transfer Class

Posted by Brian Goodman on November 11th, 2014

There isn’t a single program in college basketball that has done more with high-impact transfers than Iowa State, and this season should be no different. For the fourth time in five seasons, Fred Hoibergs rotation will feature at least two players looking to revive their careers after things didn’t work out with their previous schools. While Hoiberg’s success is well-documented, this season’s new arrivals — Bryce Dejean-Jones, Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay — aren’t quite as well-known, at least not yet. To keep you from having to scramble to get familiar with the fresh faces after tip-off, we’re providing a primer on this year’s class of Iowa State transfers.

UNLV transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones looked ready to go in Iowa State's exhibition opener last week. (

He may not be The Mailman, but Bryce Dejean-Jones is ready to deliver for the Cyclones. (

Bryce Dejean-Jones (Sr., G/F)

  • Previous School: UNLV
  • Notable Stats From 2013-14: 27.4 MPG, 13.6 PPG, 42.7% FG, 32.3% 3FG, 64.3% FT
  • The Lowdown: Dejean-Jones was the Runnin’ Rebels’ leading scorer last season, due in large part to his dynamic start to conference play. He opened the Mountain West schedule averaging 22.5 points and 11.5 free throw attempts over his first four games, but was a wildcard from there. He’d put up 23 points on 12 shots one night and go 7-25 the next. Rightly or wrongly, Dejean-Jones developed a reputation as a bit of a loose cannon down the stretch; He was suspended for the Runnin’ Rebels’ regular season finale against Wyoming for a violation of team rules and reportedly yelled at teammates following UNLV’s season-ending loss to San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
  • What Fans Should Expect: Some are hopeful that Dejean-Jones will make the same kind of impact DeAndre Kane had last season, but while anything’s possible, that’s an awful lot to live up to. That’s not to say he won’t be very important to Iowa State’s success, though. As a fifth-year senior, Dejean-Jones will play on the wing and look to fill a big chunk of the scoring void left by Kane and Melvin Ejim’s graduations. The biggest knock on Dejean-Jones’ game is his poor shot selection and inconsistent jumper. Given what we know about Hoiberg’s disdain for long twos, however, those flaws will likely be hidden in the Cyclone offense.

Abdel Nader will look for a fresh start after a rocky tenure with Northern Illinois. (

Abdel Nader will look for a fresh start after a rocky tenure with Northern Illinois. (

Abdel Nader (Jr., F)

  • Previous School: Northern Illinois
  • Notable Stats From 2012-13: 25.4 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 33.7% FG, 27.7% 3FG, 77.2% FT, 5.7 RPG (19 games)
  • The Lowdown: Nader is another player who didn’t exactly leave his former team on the best of terms, but with a change of scenery, has the potential to make a positive impact.  It’s easy to look at his numbers with Northern Illinois and wonder what Hoiberg saw, but while some of Nader’s disappointing performance can be attributed to poor shot selection, the Huskies also lacked other scoring options, which allowed opposing defenses to swarm.
  • What Fans Should Expect: Now playing for a team with scoring threats that opponents will have to respect, it stands to reason that Nader should fare better than he did in DeKalb. Provided he stays out of trouble (he’s been suspended twice for alcohol-related incidents; once with Northern Illinois and once already with Iowa State), Nader can make a difference with his size and his shooting potential. He won’t be called on to lead his new team in scoring, but at 230 pounds, he should be able to convert close looks, set screens to open up his teammates and be an occasional long-range bomber.
At 6'9", Jameel McKay will add much-needed interior depth for Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones. (Des Moines Register)

At 6’9″, Jameel McKay will add much-needed interior depth. (Des Moines Register)

Jameel McKay (Jr., F)

  • Previous Schools: Indian Hills Community College; Marquette
  • Notable Stats From 2013-14: None (transferred before the start of the season)
  • The Lowdown: At Marquette, McKay was blocked on the depth chart by more experienced big men in Davante Gardner, Chris Otule and Jamil Wilson and decided to transfer before playing a single game with the Golden Eagles. It was a somewhat curious move because all three players were seniors last season, so McKay could have stuck it out in Milwaukee and been one of Steve Wojciechowski’s top big men this season, but transferring to Iowa State allowed him to extend his eligibility at the cost of playing a smaller role. While he doesn’t have a D-I track record yet, he was rated as the No. 3 junior college prospect in the country by Brad Winton of at the time of his transfer, so there’s a good deal of promise.
  • What Fans Should Expect: Measuring 6’9″ and 215 pounds, McKay will be called on to serve as a rim protector and help Hogue and Georges Niang on the glass, but he won’t be able to do so until December 20, as the NCAA denied his request for a waiver that would have granted him immediate eligibility. As a result, McKay will only be available to suit up for three non-conference games before the daunting conference slate begins: Against Drake in Des Moines, for a New Year’s Eve gimme against Mississippi Valley State and for a neutral court match-up against South Carolina in Brooklyn. That doesn’t give him much time to get acclimated to high-major college basketball, so he’ll have to catch up in a hurry if he’s going to be legit.
Brian Goodman (987 Posts)

Brian Goodman a Big 12 microsite writer. You can follow him on Twitter @BSGoodman.

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