TJ Otzelberger has wasted no time bringing in talent to the Iowa State basketball program since he took over the program in early 2021. Whether it's been via the transfer portal, or the traditional route of recruiting kids out of high school, the head man in Ames has done plenty of work to once again establish the Cyclones as one of the premier programs in the country.

The most recent addition to the program is from right here in the state of Iowa -- Omaha Biliew.


The No. 14 ranked player in the 2023 class according to 247Sports, Biliew was highly-coveted by some of the best college basketball programs in the country. He held offers from Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Michigan, Arkansas, Texas Tech, Oregon, and others.

Ultimately, his choice came down to the Cyclones, Ducks, or going pro and playing for the G-League Ignite.

He elaborated on his decision, telling 247Sports why Iowa State was his choice:

I’m going to stay home It just feels super special to me and it’s a surreal moment for me. Coming back to the state that the majority of the time in my life basically raised me. To come back to represent the state and play in front of the people that have been supporting me my whole life, it just means the world to me.

He continued, lauding Otzelberger and the rest of the Cyclone staff:

Throughout the entire recruiting process, they always kept it 100% honest with me. I’ve been able to trust them on the day-to-day basis about their commitment to me. They didn’t sugar coat anything; they didn’t suck up to me or anything like that. They kept it real with me. They gave me the vision of what I could be if all goes as planned and I just felt really attracted and I felt really at peace with this decision.

Though Biliew spent last season at Branson Link Academy in Missouri, he is expected to return and play for Waukee this season, as he did when he was a sophomore and the Warriors won the state championship.

Over the spring and summer, he's played for the MoKan Elite program on the Nike EYBL circuit where he averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks over 19 games. The team won the Peach Jam championship last week.

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