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Iowa State transfer to join Rockets

Tod Kowalczyk's rebuilt roster at the University of Toledo is slowly but surely beginning to take shape.

Kowalczyk announced yesterday that Iowa State guard Dominique Buckley is transferring to UT. Last week Rockford (Mich.) junior Ryan Majerle said he had given Kowalczyk a verbal commitment to join the Rockets.

A native of Romulus, Mich., Buckley played in 27 games last season for the Cyclones and averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 assists per game. He also shot 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from 3-point range in 7.4 minutes per contest.

Per NCAA rules, Buckley will sit out the upcoming 2010-11 season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

"Every team at every level runs into a minutes problem and a rotations issue," Kowalczyk said. "He had a couple guys in front of him, so that's why he decided to transfer. That happens at every program. We're going to give him a second opportunity, and he'll be a big part of our future and our future success."

Buckley (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) was ranked the 124th-best senior in the nation according to ESPN 150 prep rankings while at Romulus High, where he averaged 15.2 point, 6.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game.

Buckley was named an All-Michigan first-team selection after leading the Eagles to a 22-4 overall record and an appearance in the Class A state semifinals in 2008.

Kowalczyk first developed a relationship with Buckley when he was still the head coach at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

"I remember him from high school," Kowalczyk said. "At that time, we tried to get involved, but he was being recruited by Michigan and Iowa State and schools like that.

"Obviously, once we got to Toledo and he became available as a transfer, we wanted to reach out to him, especially with him being somewhat of a local recruit. It worked out great for him and tremendously for us."

Kowalczyk sees Buckley making a huge impact on the Rockets' program once he's able to get on the floor.

"He's a very versatile guard," Kowalczyk said. "He's a strong, physical defensive player. And offensively, I love his ability to score. He can step out and shoot, he can go off the dribble, and he's a guy that can play multiple positions."

RECRUITING: Kowalczyk confirmed that UT recruit Chris Anderson of Muskegon, Mich., is an academic nonqualifier, meaning he still has work to do in the classroom before he's eligible to join the Rockets next season.

Because of federal privacy laws, Kowalczyk was not able to discuss Anderson's specific academic circumstances, but a person with knowledge of the situation said there's very little chance Anderson will end up on UT's campus in the fall.

Contact Zach Silka at: zsilka@theblade.com

or 419-724-6084.

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