QUICK PROGRAMMING NOTE: Do you hate politics? We all do! Do you like sports? Probably! Read a totally fictional story about politics and sports!
We're happy to report that the Hawkeye basketball team will be one stronger next season, as the Hawkeyes picked up a commitment from juco shooting guard Devan Bawinkel. I guess that's his real name, even though he clearly and obviously lifted it from Saturday morning cartoons. What's next? Steve Moosansquirrel? Anyhoo, Bawinkel was originally a John Beilein recruit at WFVU and played nine minutes a game as a true freshman, but fled Morgantown after a giant brick of gold usurped power. After a year at Highland Community College (school motto: "There can be only One"), he chose Iowa after longtime friend and Butler sophomore Willie Veasley told him he'd be a good fit in Lickliter's offense. Is that even legal? Who cares!
Bawinkel is tall (6'5"), scored over 14 points a game at Highland, and was named the conference MVP, which is all very, very good. Further, his junior status will help balance the scholarships by class more than adding another freshman would; Iowa now has four committed/signed freshmen, while the only players that will be juniors next season are Dan Bohall and David Palmer, neither of whom are likely to be on scholarship next season.
Here, then, is an absurdly early look at the depth chart for next season. Note that the 2 and 3 spots are virtually identical, both in the types of players on them and in the way they're used in Lickliter's offense. Gatens is, of course, not actually "more of a forward than a guard," but he's more of a forward than Kelly is.
C: Jarryd Cole (Soph., 6'7", 250), Andrew Brommer (Fr., 6'9", 215)
PF: Cyrus Tate (Sr., 6'8", 240)
SF: Matt Gatens (Fr., 6'5", 201), Aaron Fuller (Fr., 6'7", 185), Jermain Davis (Jr., 6'4", 200)
SG: Jake Kelly (Soph., 6'6", 180), Devan Bawinkel (Jr., 6'5", 205) Anthony Tucker (Fr., 6'4", 175)
PG: Tony Freeman (Sr., 6'1", 190), Jeff Peterson (So., 6'0", 185)
Obviously, the Hawks are in dire need of help on the inside, and that's even considering the best-case scenario in which Jarryd Cole is able to play a full season on a surgically repaired knee. Talk continues about adding another big body from the juco ranks before next season (Sioux City Heelan commit and Casey McMillan doppelganger Brennan Cougill won't be around until 2009-10). Who that extra body might be, of course, we don't know, and there aren't many promising leads on the recruiting sites. Then again, it's not as if big men are nearly as much a part of Lickliter's offense as athletic wing players are, and Iowa's got a fuckton of those now. It's far, far too early to speculate about redshirting, except that Gatens won't, but we probably won't see much of Tucker in '08-'09, and Fuller may or may not be an immediate contributor. Still, it's all better than using a scholarship on Dan Bohall.
BALLIN OUT OF CONTROL