I THINK I CRAPPED MY PANTS. Jacobi left yesterday afternoon on his lawnmower to go down to the oyster shack. We haven't seen him since, but the police sent along this squad car video (language NSFW):
The Battle Has Been Joined, Part 1. In the immediate aftermath of yesterday's official announcement of Ben Brust's decommitment, many took comfort in Brust's statement that he was still strongly considering Iowa but merely wanted to consider his other options. When Brust initially signed, his other offers were primarily from mid-major programs (Butler, Southern Illinois, Northwestern), with big-conference attention from just Iowa and Boston College; of course Iowa looked good to the 6'1" shooting guard.
But now it's the spring signing period, and Brust's potential suitors are lining up like they never did before:
Brust, a 6-foot-2 guard, received 18 scholarship offers Monday, according to Rising Stars CEO Mike Weinstein, Brust's AAU coach. Weinstein said they were going to wait to name those schools, but he did divulge that the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East and Pac-10 all were represented.
The new suitors, along with Iowa, are all expected to get a fair shot in Brust's recruitment.
"Iowa is in the mix, but he just has to see who else falls in that mix," Weinstein said. "The most important thing will be academics. Two, he can play fast or slow. I don't think that matters. I think Iowa's new system fits him perfectly. Ben wants to know that the coach wants him, knows his strengths and weaknesses, will help him get better and he'll be around good people, which is very important to him."
Shocking that a kid who averaged 25 points and 6 assists per game in the Chicago suburbs, with five games of 40+ points, would draw some interest. Say what you will about his size or his "fit" in the new system (a criticism which his AAU coach claims is absurd), but our under-the-radar recruiting pickup is now the prettiest girl at the dance and all we have to offer is a kickass POG collection. I have a hard time believing she's going home with us.
The Battle Has Been Joined, Part 2. Iowa's other Friday decommit, South Dakota-based power forward Cody Larson, also said all the right things about the Hawkeyes, saying he was still very much interested in Iowa and encouraging McCaffery to continue recruiting him. Three days later, he's already met with Indiana's Tom Crean and is planning more visits for the next open recruiting period:
"Anytime you have a new coach, you have a whole new program," Larson told the Argus Leader on Friday. "When I committed, I did it because of Coach Lickliter, and it was hard to see him leave. I just want to make sure I find what the best option is for me...."
Larson, highly recruited after a successful AAU-level career with the Dakota Schoolers, is expected to draw interest from major-college programs as he considers his options for next season.
After this weekend, the next active recruiting period begins April 16, and Larson expects to receive visits from coaches at that time. He also has several campus visits that he can still take.
"I have a few schools in mind, but I'm keeping it open," said Larson, pointing out that the late signing period extends until May 19. "I want to make sure that I make the right decision, so I'll probably take all the time I have."
Prior to his commitment in October 2009, Larson had offers from Nebraska, [NAME REDACTED], and a host of smaller schools. He was drawing interest from Minnesota, Iowa State, and Texas, however, and like Brust will likely get more interest now that the number of available Division 1-A scholarships spikes due to transfers and early NBA entrants. Rumor is Larson was contacting potential suitors before his first meeting with McCaffery, which is wholly unsurprising.
The Battle Is Over, and We Have Lost. The one decommitment who is definitely not returning next season, departing power forward Aaron Fuller, is moving closer to his Arizona home. If the Arizona Republic's Doug Haller is to be believed, that destination could be Arizona State, where he would be teammates with -- get this -- former Iowa verbal commitment and noted 8-foot-basket dunk contest winner Chanse Creekmur, who decommitted from then-coach Todd Lickliter in the middle of last year's weekend of transfers. It appears to be little more than an educated guess on Haller's part, but it's not unreasonable: Fuller clearly showed he has the talent to play big-conference Division 1 basketball, so he would have no trouble in a mid-major like the Pac-10 (BURN), and Arizona State coach Herb Sendek is well-respected and -- this year's hiccup aside -- has built a solid foundation for his program.
Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God Strikes Again. None of Iowa's three potential starting halfbacks will be playing in Saturday's Spring "Don't Call it a" Game. Jewel Hampton's recovery from a torn ACL continues, Adam Robinson has sat out the entirety of spring practice after shoulder surgery, and Brandon Wegher is also suffering from an undisclosed injury (rumored as a shoulder issue, but not serious). Your starting halfbacks Saturday are now redshirt freshman Brad Rogers and walk-on sophomore Jason White, a converted safety. I spend half the offseason on the depth chart, and I'll be completely honest: Until 2 minutes ago, I'd never heard of Jason White.
We weren't going to get any information out of the Spring Scrimmage that we didn't already know, so as long as the injuries aren't serious (and, at last check, none of the injuries to the three potential starters are considered serious enough to keep them out of summer workouts, let alone games this fall), it's aesthetically unfortunate but substantively insignificant that they won't play.
- In the wake of last week's plea bargain in which he plead guilty to assault with intent to inflict serious injury, Abe Satterfield has been dismissed from the football team at Indiana University (PA). Satterfield had been a significant contributor, but clearly pleading guilty to a serious misdemeanor is too much for the Crimson Hawks.
- Say what you will about the Iowa basketball decommitments, but you've got to give them one thing: unlike Iowa State transfer Justin Hamilton, at least they can read a map.
- Fight For Iowa, which just celebrated its first anniversary, summarizes the Big Ten Network's spring prospectus.
- The DMR's Sean Keeler previews tonight's ESPN "E:60" program, which will feature a piece on the families of murdered Aplington-Parkersburg head coach Ed Thomas and his murderer Mark Becker. The program will air at 6:00 CST.