June 12, 2024

No, not the Jefferson from the Vikings, that’s the one we’re talking about. Setting aside the humor, the acquisition of Rising Sophomore Joshua Jefferson from the transfer portal is a significant win for the Iowa State Cyclones.

Standing at 6’8″, hailing from Las Vegas, Joshua Jefferson immediately strengthens the Iowa State Men’s Basketball team for the 2024-25 season. While some may view this as a replacement for the departing Tre King, I see it as an upgrade.

Jefferson possesses a polished skill set as a 6’8″ wing, capable of handling the ball, playing stout defense, and providing offensive versatility when necessary. One potential concern is his three-point shooting percentage, although the disparity between his numbers (26.7% on 2.3 attempts per game) and Tre’s (27.7% on 1.3 attempts per game) from last season is minimal. Moreover, the spacing at Iowa State is expected to be superior to that of St. Mary’s.

With five returning players on the ISU roster shooting above 35% from beyond the arc last season, opposing teams may underestimate Jefferson’s shooting ability. This underscores the depth and versatility of the roster constructed by Coach Otzelberger. Teams will inevitably have to make defensive concessions, and having Jefferson, a potential fourth or fifth offensive option, develop into a reliable 35+% three-point shooter, adds a new dimension to the Cyclones’ offense.

Reflecting on recent national title-winning or contending teams, it’s evident that experience and big men who can stretch the floor are crucial. Players like Brady Manek, Christian Braun/Jalen Wilson, Matthew Mayer, Alex Karaban, and Mason Gillis exemplify this trend.

St. Mary's forward Joshua Jefferson sidelined with knee injury

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