Ames’ Tamin Lipsey (left) goes down the court during 4A quarterfinals between Ames and Council Bluffs Lincoln on March 10, 2021. Mandatory Credit: © Olivia Sun/The Register via Imagn Content Services, LLC
Several days after three big recruiting wins, T.J. Otzelberger and his staff have landed perhaps their biggest victory yet.
Ames High star guard Tamin Lipsey has announced his pledge to the Cyclones as a member of the 2022 recruiting class. He is Iowa State’s first commit in the next recruiting cycle and is another symbol of the staff’s commitment to recruiting in-state and in the Upper Midwest region.
He will also be the Cyclones’ first scholarship player from Ames High since Bubu Palo was placed on scholarship as a sophomore in 2011-12.
Lipsey, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound three-star prospect, is considered the No. 1 player in the state of Iowa and is the No. 172 player in the class overall, according to 247Composite. Lipsey’s overall ranking was hurt significantly by missing all of his sophomore season and will likely improve in the months ahead as evaluators get another chance to watch him on the AAU circuit.
The commitment to Iowa State comes over offers from Minnesota and Nebraska, which is led by fellow former Ames High star Fred Hoiberg, plus interest from a handful of programs, including Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Stanford and Virginia Tech.
Lipsey has long been considered a Cyclone priority as the previous staff was the first to offer him ahead of his freshman year at Ames High. He’s gone on to solidify himself as one of the state’s most dynamic players, averaging 16.3 points, 5.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game as a junior this past season while leading the Little Cyclones to the Class 4A state semifinals.
Lipsey and Cyclone signee Tyrese Hunter, who reaffirmed his commitment to the program on Saturday, project as the program’s backcourt of the future and will be two cornerstones, along with Oskaloosa native forward Xavier Foster, of the program’s rebuild efforts in the coming years.
In Lipsey, the Cyclones land another dynamic and lengthy athlete, much like Hunter. He is considered one of the state’s best perimeter defenders, in addition to being a high-level decision-maker offensively with the ability to score from every level of the floor.
The program currently has two scholarships open for the 2022 recruiting class. However, those numbers are all in flux as we still learn about the eligibility fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’ll impact roster sizes in the coming years.
The future of Iowa State men’s basketball is starting to become clear, and Otzelberger has followed through on the promises he made in his opening press conference last month. The Cyclones are owning the region they plan to place most of their focus.
Otzelberger and his staff have now landed their top two priorities for the spring cycle and can turn their attention towards bolstering their first roster with a high-level transfer or two.
Stay tuned to Cyclone Fanatic for more on this story.