AMES — The Iowa State men’s basketball team is still without spring-semester signee Cameron Lard, but second-year Coach Steve Prohm is confident his arrival is close to being solidified.
Lard has had a bevy of NCAA academic concerns throughout his recruitment, but is currently finishing up three core GPA classes at Pro Vision Academy in Houston with the expectation he will be a mid-year enrollee at Iowa State, Prohm said Tuesday.
Pending satisfactory completion of those courses, Prohm said Lard would be on target to arrive in Ames in December and would subsequently be redshirted this spring.
“The (NCAA eligibility) evaluation process took awhile with courses counting and courses not counting,” Prohm said. “He’s in good position where one more semester, he can be qualified. Talking with him and his family we decided to go that road.”
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from New Orleans was initially ruled a non-qualifier, but Prohm said the NCAA gave its ruling on the situation within the last couple weeks.
Should Lard complete his Pro Vision courses, he will be eligible to begin practicing with the team upon his arrival. After redshirting this spring, Lard would have four years of eligibility remaining, beginning in 2017-18.
“I’m not concerned (about Lard not arriving in December),” Prohm said. “He’s shown academic progress and has done a good job down there. He’s in the right courses. He doesn’t have to make five A’s or anything like that. He just has to do solid work, good work and I’m very confident he’ll be here in December.”
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Lard averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds as a junior at Natchitoches Central High School in New Orleans before transferring to Landry-Walker High School. He didn’t play at Landry-Walker and was ruled ineligible because of Louisiana transfer rules and then enrolled at Pro Vision Academy.
As a four-star recruit by 247 Sports and ESPN and a three-star by Scout, Lard was the fifth member of Iowa State’s 2016 recruiting class. Prohm said the coaching staff’s effort to sort through eligibility concerns stemmed from a strong foundational relationship with Lard.
“I think he’s got a chance to do good things for this program,” Lard said. “We want to help that kid, we were committed to that kid and we wanted to make sure he knew we were behind him 100 percent to try to help him. Long term, when he’s a redshirt junior, he may be looking back and (say) this is the best thing that ever happened.”
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