Bolton cleared to play for Cyclones this season
By LUKE MEREDITH
AP Sports Writer
AMES — Iowa State guard Rasir Bolton will be eligible for the upcoming season, a move that should vastly improve the Cyclones’ chances of competing for an NCAA Tournament berth during the 2019-20 campaign.
The Cyclones announced Tuesday that Bolton, who averaged 11.6 points per game last season as a freshman at Penn State, was granted an NCAA waiver for immediate eligibility. Iowa State said the NCAA considered unspecified circumstances surrounding his transfer from the Nittany Lions.
Bolton played 32 games for Penn State in 2018-19, shooting 36.1 percent on 3s and 87.6 percent from the line.
“We certainly appreciate Penn State for their assistance during the process and are grateful that the NCAA considered all the facts in coming to this decision,” Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said.
The addition of Bolton should bolster a backcourt that was decimated by graduations and early departures.
Marial Shayok (18.7 points per game) and Nick Weiler-Babb (9.1 ppg) wrapped up their senior seasons in 2018-19 and underclassmen Talen Horton-Tucker and Lindell Wigginton, who combined to score 25.3 points a contest, left early for the NBA.
Bolton will likely start alongside graduate transfer Prentiss Nixon and ascending sophomore Tyrese Haliburton in the backcourt. Iowa State also returns senior forward Michael Jacobson, and center Solomon Young is expected to be healthy after battling injuries last year.
Iowa State went 23-12 overall and won the Big 12 Tournament in 2018-19 before losing to Ohio State as a No. 6 seed in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Cyclones open the 2019-20 season on Nov. 5 against Mississippi Valley State.