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November 18, 2004

Iowa State signs four for '05 recruiting class

The Iowa State men's basketball program has signed four players to its 2005 recruiting class during the early signing period, Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan has announced.

Shawn Taggart (6-9, 215, Fr.), a top 50 player from Mt. Zion Academy, Kellen Lee (7-0, 200, Fr.), an athletic big man from Laurinburg Academy, Farnold Degand (6-3, 165, Fr.), one of Massachusetts' best guards and Ames native Ross Marsden (6-10, 215, Fr.), the top prep player in the state, round out this year's recruiting class.

"We are excited about this year's class," ISU head coach Wayne Morgan said. "Signing three guys 6-9 or taller will give us great size for the future. As this class matures, our program will continue to grow."


Iowa State Signee Capsules

Ross Marsden, C, 6-foot-10, 215 Pounds, Ames (Iowa)
High School: A post player who runs the court extremely well...has good hands and a soft touch...averaged 11.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg as a junior...shot 62.8 percent from the field and 77.0 percent from the free-throw line...was named as one of the top 50 players at the 2004 Nike All-American Camp...was a high honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith's...a three-star recruit from Rivals.com...ranked No. 200 in HoopScoop's Class of 2005 high school seniors and 251 by Athlon...his AAU team (Martin Brothers) advanced to the Finals of the AAU Showcase in Orlando, Fla...Marsden scored 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting to help his squad defeat the New York Gauchos...chose Iowa State over Wisconsin, Nebraska, Creighton and Indiana State.

Coach Morgan on Marsden:
"We feel fortunate to be able to get Ross to join our program. It is always a nice accomplishment to sign the No. 1 player in the state. Once he gets stronger and gets used to our system, we feel he will add some great benefits to our program."


Farnold Degand, G, 6-foot-3, 165 Pounds,
Boston (Mass.) O'Bryant

High School: A rising point guard who is just 16 years old...an excellent shooter and ballhandler who can play either guard position...one of the top players in Massachusetts...averaged 18.1 points and 6.2 rebounds as a junior...played AAU basketball for Leo Papile's BABC squad, the same team that produced current Cyclone Will Blalock...averaged 10.1 points and shot 63.3 percent from the field at the 2004 Peach Jam Tournament...coached in high school by Juan Figueroa...chose Iowa State over Northeastern, Boston University, Ohio State and Nebraska.

Coach Morgan on Degand:
"Farnold is an extremely talented young guard who we feel has an extremely bright future a head of him. We are really happy to be able to sign him."


Kellen Lee, C, 7-foot-0, 200 Pounds, Laurinburg (N.C.) Laurinburg Charter
High School: An athletic center who will be playing high school basketball competition for the first time this year at Laurinburg Academy, one of the top prep schools in the nation...a native of Denver, Colo. who attended George Washington High School there...a gifted player who can play the 3 to 5 positions...gained some national attention this summer playing for the Tru Playaz AAU team out of Denver...made the all-tournament team at the 2004 Pangos Summer Shootout...chose ISU over Michigan, Arkansas and Cincinnati.

Coach Morgan on Lee:
"At 7-0 and having the ability to play the 3 position, Lee will bring us size and versatility to our frontcourt."


Shawn Taggart, F/C, 6-foot-9, 215 Pounds, Durham (N.C.) Mount Zion Academy
High School: One of the top big men in the class of 2005, Taggart can block shots, rebound and score in a variety ways around the basket...well known for his strong defensive skills...ranked as the 48th-best player in the nation according to Rivals.com...Rivals.com also lists him as the third-best center in this year's class...ranked as the 24th-best prep player in HoopScoop's ratings...rated No. 72 by Sporting News and No. 85 by Basketball News...Lindy's rates him as the 94th-best player in the nation...a native of Richmond, Va., where he attended George Wythe High School...is in his second year at Mt. Zion Christian Academy, one of the best prep schools in the nation...was teammates last season with Cyclone Tasheed Carr...averaged 10.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 2.2 bpg last season, helping Mt. Zion to a 30-1 mark...was one of the best players at the ABCD Camp in the summer of 2004...tallied 16 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals in one game...coached in prep school by Antonio Fozard...chose ISU over Memphis, Virginia Tech, Florida State and St. John's.

Coach Morgan on Taggart:
"An extremely versatile forward who I feel will have an immediate positive impact on our program."


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