Malou heading to NBA draft without playing for Iowa St

May 11, 2016 - 5:21 PM AMES, Iowa (AP) One of the most hyped recruits in Iowa State history is heading to the NBA without ever playing for the Cyclones.

Iowa State announced Wednesday that Emmanuel Malou will skip his remaining college eligibility and enter the NBA draft. Malou, a 6-foot-9 forward from Melbourne, Australia, was one of the nation's top junior college prospects when he signed with Iowa State in November.

Malou, who turned down Arizona, Kansas and Oregon in favor of the Cyclones, transferred to a local community college and sat out the 2015-16 in hopes of getting his academics in order. But Malou has signed with an agent and will pursue a professional career.

''I know that it is going to require a huge amount of work, but I am motivated and excited for the challenges that lie ahead. I would like to thank all the staff at Iowa State for all that they have done for me,'' Malou said Wednesday.

Though the loss of Malou will leave Iowa State's frontcourt unsettled, the Cyclones have plenty of options in the post.

Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Deonte Burton will likely slide into the starting lineup at power forward. Iowa State also brought in a pair of graduate transfers in Darrell Bowie (Northern Illinois) and Merrill Holden (Louisiana Tech). They should compete for the center spot vacated when Malou decided to turn pro.

Sophomore forward Simeon Carter rarely played last season. But Carter was considered a top-100 player coming out of high school, and his minutes were scarce because Iowa State was so deep and experienced in the frontcourt a year ago.

The Cyclones also signed 6-foot-9 forward Cameron Lard, a four-star recruit, and 6-foot-6 California native Solomon Young.

All-Big 12 point guard Monte Morris, starting shooting guard Naz Mitrou-Long and swingman Matt Thomas will headline of the nation's top backcourts - and junior college transfer Donovan Jackson was 49.5 percent from 3-point range last season.

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