CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa went off the proverbial beaten path in its most recent search for frontcourt help.
Shandon Goldman, a 6-foot-9 forward from Panola College in Carthage, Texas, verbally committed to play for Ben Jacobson and the Panthers on Friday after receiving a scholarship offer during an unofficial visit Wednesday.
A native of Evansville, Ark., Goldman committed to Arkansas-Little Rock out of Tennessee Preparatory Academy, where he averaged 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a senior. Goldman transferred to Panola College after playing in only five games for Little Rock. Goldman told The Gazette he mutually parted with UALR on good terms.
Goldman held offers from nine other schools, including Washington State.
“The (unofficial) visit went so well,” Goldman said. “I worked out there. We had a good time and (Jacobson) was talking about the fit and everything and how I’d be used in the system. They’re looking for skilled forwards to stretch the floor out and add some more offense. I just knew it was going to be a great fit so that’s what drove my decision.”
As a junior college transfer, Goldman will be eligible to play for the Panthers immediately. After the graduations of Bennett Koch, Klint Carlson and Ted Friedman, Jacobson has seemingly made the frontcourt a priority on the recruiting trail. Before Goldman’s commitment, Jacobson’s three reported offers were all to forwards, however the other two were to high school players.
Given the severity of its need for help in the frontcourt, Jacobson and his staff chose to add a player with college experience that’s equipped to contribute immediately.
“(Jacobson) said there’s a lot of minutes available,” Goldman said. “Of course, you know, just like I did this year in junior college, you’ve got to go in there and earn it. I’m going to try and get as big of a role as I can. Got to work for it.”
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Goldman played in all 32 of Panola’s games this season, starting 25 and averaging 9.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. He made 52 of 128 3-point attempts, had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (55 to 50), and blocked nearly a shot per game.
His commitment leaves the Panthers with one available scholarship for 2018. Currently UNI has offered Sy Chatman and Parker Braun, 6-foot-7 forwards from St. Paul, Minn., and Overland Park, Kan.,, respectively.
After announcing his transfer to Panola College after playing in just five games at Arkansas Little Rock, a question remains on Goldman’s class. The junior-to-be at UNI has a case and intends to make it when the time is appropriate on getting his freshman year back for a potential three-year stay at UNI.
“That’s one thing Coach Jacobson and (assistant) coach (Kyle) Green were talking about — they’ll do their best to get that year back. If I get that third year back it’d be a huge blessing. If not, got to move on.”