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May 2, 2005

Iowa State announces men's basketball class

Theo Davis, a 6-10, 225 center from Toronto, Canada who was ranked in the top-50 in virtually every recruiting service, was the seventh and final Cyclone men's basketball player to sign a letter of intent for the upcoming 2005-06 season.

"We are very happy that Theo will join us at Iowa State," ISU head coach Wayne Morgan said. "He is one of many players in this class that will certainly provide immediate help for us next season. We felt we had to recruit size with the loss of our two best post players last season (Jared Homan and Damion Staple). We have a big job ahead of us to teach these young players how to be a successful player in the Big 12 Conference. However, we know we have excellent players with great potential to work with."

Davis and Shawn Taggart were considered two of the best post players in the nation in 2004-05. Taggart, a 6-9 forward who prepped at Mt. Zion Academy in North Carolina, was ranked as the 35th-best player in the nation in the final Rivals.com rankings. Davis is one of four players to sign with ISU in the Spring.

Mike Evanovich, 6-8, 215, Freshman, Mansfield Center, Conn. (E.O. Smith/South Kent Prep), Jessan Gray, 6-10, 220, Junior, Davenport, Iowa (Central/Indiana/Tyler Junior College) and Jiri Hubalek, 6-11, 220, Sophomore, Prague, Czech Republic (Marshalltown Community College) also were inked by the Cyclones during the recent signing period.

Taggart signed in the Fall with Farnold Degand, 6-3, 165, Freshman, Boston, Mass. (O'Bryant) and Ross Marsden, 6-10, 215, Freshman, Ames, Iowa (Ames).

Iowa State Men's Basketball 2005 Recruits
Farnold Degand, G, 6-3, 165, Freshman, Boston, Mass. (O'Bryant)
Ross Marsden, C, 6-10, 215, Freshman, Ames, Iowa (Ames)
Shawn Taggart, C-F, 6-9, 215, Freshman, Richmond, Va. (George Wythe/Mt. Zion {N.C.} Academy)
Mike Evanovich, F, 6-8, 215, Freshman, Mansfield Center, Conn. (E.O. Smith/South Kent {Conn.} Prep)
Jiri Hubalek, C, 6-11, 220, Sophomore, Prague, Czech Republic (Marshalltown Community College)
Jessan Gray, F, 6-10, 220, Junior, Davenport, Iowa (Central/Indiana/Tyler Junior College)
Theo Davis, C, 6-10, 225, Freshman, Toronto, Canada (Father Henry Carr/Cardozo {Bayside, N.Y.})

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

High School: A rising point guard who is just 17 years old...an excellent shooter and ballhandler who can play either guard position...one of the top players in Massachusetts...capped off his career with an outstanding senior season, averaging 17.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists...was a Boston City All-Star and a Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic team member, which rates the best 12 players in Massachusetts...team won the Boston City League South Championship all four years...as a four-year starter, team was one of three in the state to make the Elite Eight in three of four years...was a 1,000-point scorer in his career...was a U.S. Marine leadership recipient winner...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.

Ross Marsden
C, 6-10, 215, Freshman
Ames, Iowa (Ames)

High School: A post player who runs the court extremely well...has good hands and a soft touch...named 2005 Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year....Des Moines Register First-Team Class 4-A selection...all-CIML Elite pick...averaged 13.5 points and 8.6 rebounds as a senior...averaged two blocks and shot 62.1 percent from the field...team finished 18-4 and shared the CIML Iowa Conference title...scored 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting in win over Des Moines North...tallied 23 points in win over Johnston...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.

Shawn Taggart
C, 6-9, 215, Freshman
Richmond, Va. (George Wythe/Mt. Zion [N.C.] Christian 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 35th-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...averaged 20.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and four blocks as a senior, helping Mt. Zion to a prep school national championship...Taggart and Brandon Rush formed one of the best two-man games in prep school in 2005...was teammates in his junior season with Cyclone Tasheed Carr...averaged 10.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 2.2 bpg as a junior, 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.

Mike Evanovich
F, 6-8, 215, Freshman
Mansfield Center, Conn. (E.O. Smith/South Kent {Conn.} Prep)

High School: An outstanding shooter who chose a year of prep school to hone his skills...played on one of the best prep school teams in the nation in South Kent (Conn.)...was a teammate at South Kent with Audray Blatche, one of the top-10 recruits in the nation...averaged 9.8 points and 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as a senior...his South Kent team was 32-9 and lost in the championship game of the New England Class "A" Finals...six of the teams in South Kent's prep league were ranked in the nation's top-10 according to Scout.com...made the all-star game
at the Eastern Invitational Camp in July of 2004...averaged 15.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in his final year at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, Conn...earned Hartford Courant honorable mention all-state honors in 2004...older brother, Justin, was a member of the 2004 Connecticut national championship basketball team...he played for UConn for two seasons (2003, 2004).

Jiri Hubalek
C, 6-11, 220, Sophomore
Prague, Czech Republic (Marshalltown Community College)

Junior College: Redshirted his first season and competed just one year at Marshalltown C.C...a good shooter from the outside and can score in the low post...had an outstanding first year at MCC, earning first-team all-Region XI honors, one of three freshmen on the first team...averaged 12.4 points and 8.6 rebounds...was second in the ICCAC in rebounds and fourth in blocked shots with 31...team finished 25-9...shot 61.4 percent from the field...led the ICCAC in player efficiency rating at 20.906...scored 21 points against Iowa Western in the Region IX championship game...was named MVP at the 2002 European Holland Nordic Basketball Tournament.


Jessan Gray
F, 6-10, 220, Junior
Davenport, Iowa (Central/Indiana/Tyler Junior College {Texas})

Tyler JC: A gifted player who can post up and play on the perimeter...played one year at Tyler JC after transferring from Indiana...averaged 10.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 48.8 percent from the field (122-250 FG) as a sophomore...ranked 28th in Region XIV in scoring and eighth in 3-point field goal percentage (40-113 3FG)...scored a career-high 26 points in Tyler's win over Kilgore College...had 18 points in a win over Blinn JC...was rated as the sixth-best power forward in the nation by Lindy's at the beginning of the season...chose Iowa State over Tennessee and DePaul...coached by Mike Marquis.
Indiana: appeared in seven games in his only season with Indiana (2003-04), scoring four points.
High School: earned all-conference honors after averaging 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds as a senior...played for the Martin Brothers AAU team.

Theo Davis
C, 6-10, 225, Freshman
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Father Henry Carr/Cardozo H.S. {Bayside, N.Y.})

High School: One of the best post players in the class of 2005...an athletic force who can block shots and score in the post and on the perimeter...ranked as the 22nd-best prospect in the nation by HoopScoop...rated No. 55 nationally by scout.com...did not play his senior season at Cardozo High School in Bayside, N.Y...was rated as high as No. 23 in Rivals.com top-150...scout.com ranks him as the seventh-best center prospect in the class of 2005...was one of the top-35 players at the 2003 ABCD Camp...ranked as the seventh-best center at the camp...averaged 17.2 points, 15.3 rebounds and 7.7 blocks as a junior...posted nine triple-doubles during the season...had 24 points, 15 rebounds and 16 blocks vs. Bayside H.S...also had a 31-point, 14-board and 12-block game during the season...averaged 18.1 points, 13.2 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a sophomore at Father Henry Carr in Toronto, Ontario...was recruited by Texas, Florida State, UCLA, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Arizona, Oklahoma, Illinois, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia Tech...coached in Canada by Ro Russell and coached at Cardozo by Ron Naclerio.


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