Over at the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Mike Hlas has a statistical roundup of former Hawkeyes and Iowans for the early hoops season. Aaron Fuller is averaging 13.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game at USC. How nice would his rebounding and mid range game be for Iowa right now? Brendan Cougill is averaging 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for Wisconsin-Green Bay. I think Hawkeye fans can agree WGB can keep him. Former Todd Lickliter recruit Ben Brust might be the best of the bunch. Brust is averaging 12.8 points for Wisconsin (before the North Carolina game) and could have been Iowa's starting point guard.
Brust asked for a release from his letter of intent to Iowa after Lickliter was fired. He's having an impressive beginning to his sophomore season at Wisconsin and does most of his damage from behind the three point line. He's off to such a terrific start that he is on the cusp of becoming a Kingsbury Factor Top 20 shooter.
Another member of Lickliter's final recruiting class that McCaffery failed to retain was Cody Larson. Cody was in trouble with the law his senior season in high school and has been arrested while at Florida. He took a red shirt season at UF and as a freshmen this year is averaging close to nine minutes a game, most of those coming in blowouts. Larson has yet to contribute much at Florida but after all he is a freshman on a Top 10 team.
We all know the story of Anthony Hubbard right? I don't need to rehash that? Iowa accepted Hubbard's LOI and told Matt Glover to look elsewhere. Elsewhere became conference foe Penn State. Glover hasn't set the world on fire at PSU but he is getting 23 minutes a game. In those 23 minutes he's averaging four points and three rebounds.
If McCaffery had kept Brust and Larson you don't get Cartwright and Basabe. Of course, none of this really matters of because you can't change the past, but, for discussion purposes and because Iowa is predicted to have the worst season in the school's history it's perhaps therapeutic to wonder what could have been. You can't blame McCaffery for these players opting to hoop elsewhere, well maybe the exception being Glover. But Glover would have three years to play and I think the 2012 recruit or scholarship in the bank is the better option. Fuller opted for a warmer climate closer to home and a better basketball program. Brust fell in love with Lickliter and the connection with McCaffery wasn't the same. McCaffery came to Iowa with a history of turning teams around and is doing it his way. What could have been isn't as important as what could be and if the scouting reports and recruiting sites are right, the future under McCaffery looks bright.
Iowa faces Brown tomorrow at 2:05 (CT) in Iowa City. Brown brings a 4-4 record to Carver-Hawkeye and are coming off a win this past Wednesday against Rhode Island. The mighty Brown Bears are currently rated #262 by KenPom.com.
By Sunday evening, around 8:00 pm (CT), we should know Iowa's bowl destination. Coach Ferentz has a press conference scheduled to discuss Iowa's season, their bowl invitation and I imagine other topics such as Mika'il McCall's status and Marcus Grant's departure. I suspect that changes in the coaching staff might be a question Ferentz will get but I wouldn't expect anything but Ferentz-speak.
Bowl talk. Earlier in the week the Meineke Car Care Bowl was thought to be the spot. Yesterday, Mike Hlas, wrote that he is "hearing from different sources" that Iowa might be destined for Phoenix and the Insight.com Bowl. Hlas followed up that story with another that cautions that Iowa's chances of heading to the Valley of the Sun still depends on Saturday's games and how they affect Michigan.
Football recruiting news. Iowa has offered a couple of in-state offensive lineman. Ross Pierschbacher is a 2014 recruit from Cedar Falls, Iowa. Pierschbacher is 6'5" 245 and has started on the varsity offensive line since his freshman year. Here is his YouTubes.
Iowa also offered West Des Moines Valley's Jake Campos. He is 6'7" 245 pounds and is a 2013 recruit. I've seen Jake play a time or two and he is a big kid. He needs to add weight but is only a junior in high school. Here is his YouTubes.
Hawkeye 2012 verbal commit Drew Ott was named the Nebraska Gatorade High School Player of the Year. Ott played eight-man football and finished the season with 52 receptions for 960 yards and 18 touchdowns. Ott also maintains an impressive 3.98 GPA.
With Marcus Grant departing the wide receiver position is a bigger need for this year's class. In-state four-star prospect Amara Darboh would certainly fill that need. Coach Campbell had an in-home with Darboh last week but it sounds like Michigan is going to be tough to beat.
JUCO defensive lineman Jake Sheffield will visit Iowa December 9th. Sheffield is a 6'3" 275 pound three-star recruit (Rivals) that graduates from the College of the Desert this month. Sheffield had committed to Arizona State and has since opened up his recruitment after Dennis Erickson was fired. He is 24 years old and decided to give JUCO football a try after duties in Iraq as a Marine. He'd be able to enroll at the Spring semester and would fill a definite need at defensive tackle.
Other links of interest:
- Old Navy effs up Iowa t-shirts
- Rob Bruggeman signs with the Chiefs
- Jewel Hampton, MVC newcomer of the year
- Jaime Printy makes the early-season Naismith Award watch list
- The indoor football practice facility should be ready next Fall
- One draft expert's scouting report for Riley Reiff
- Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney doesn't like Steve Spurrier