Iowa State men's basketball coach Greg McDermott announced today that L.A. Pomlee, a first-team all-state selection and one of the top prep players in Iowa, and Jamie Vanderbeken, one of the best junior college post players, have signed national letters of intent to play basketball at ISU for the upcoming 2008-09 season.
McDermott also announced that Scott Christopherson, Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball Award winner in 2007, will transfer to Iowa State after playing one season at Marquette.
Pomlee, a 6-8, 230-pound power forward from Davenport, led his Central High School team to the Class 4A state championship game in 2008. A first-team all-state pick by both the Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) and the Des Moines Register, Pomlee averaged 15.4 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior. He led the Mississippi Athletic Conference in both rebounding (10.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (63.8 percent), guiding his Central team to an unblemished conference mark (16-0) and a 23-3 overall record.
"We are very excited to have L.A. join our program," McDermott said. "He has made great strides this past year in all areas. He is a versatile, athletic forward that can impact our program immediately. His ability to rebound and block shots will serve him well in the Big 12."
Vanderbeken, a 6-11, 240-pound forward from Belleville, Canada, averaged 14.1 points and 9.1 rebounds while leading his Tyler C.C. squad to a top 10 national ranking and a 25-3 overall mark in his sophomore season. Vanderbeken, who earned second-team all-Region XIV honors, led his team in field goal percentage (56.7 percent) and was second on the squad in 3-pointers made with 40. He was selected to play in the NJCAA All-Star game on April 20th and was ranked as one of the top 50 junior college players nationally at the beginning of the season.
"We are so excited to have Jamie join our Cyclone basketball program," said McDermott. "His versatility, skill and three point shooting will give us great spacing on the floor. Jamie brings size, a strong basketball IQ and a wealth of experience from Tyler Junior College, which will make him an immediate contributor for the Cyclones. At 6'11" he will be one of the best three point shooting big men in the country."
Vanderbeken originally signed with Iowa out of high school before going the JUCO route.
Christopherson, a 6-3, 200-pound guard from LaCrosse, was named Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball and was a first-team all-state selection after averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists for LaCrosse Aquinas High School in 2007. He played one season at Marquette, appearing in 18 games, scoring 1.3 points and shooting 6-of-15 from 3-point range as a true freshman in 2007-08. He will sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules and will begin competing for the Cyclones as a sophomore in 2009-10.
"Scott will bring leadership, toughness and shooting to our backcourt," McDermott said. "His ability to play multiple positions and strong work ethic will be a tremendous asset to our program in the coming years."
Iowa State will have a total of seven newcomers in its program for the 2008-09 season – five high schoolers, one JUCO and one transfer. The Cyclones signed four high school prospects in the early signing period back in November.