It's been a long, frustrating wait, but Fran McCaffery and the Iowa hoopsters have finally landed a recruit in the class of 2014, getting a verbal commitment last night from Brady Ellingson. Iowa spent a lot of time pursuing Tyler Ulis, but with that painful and disappointing saga behind us now, it was certainly time to move on to other prospects. The first of those prospects to hop aboard the good ship Hawkeye is Ellingson, a 6-3, 170 prospect from Wisconsin. Rivals, Scout, and 247 all rank him as a 3* prospect, while ESPN is not quite as bullish on him, giving him just two stars. Per Rivals, Ellingson picked Iowa over offers from (among others) Missouri, Drake, Utah, Dayton, San Diego, Oakland, and both South Dakota and South Dakota State. (Eat it, South Dakota.)
What type of player is Ellingson? Well...
He's a gunner.
I'm pretty sure he didn't attempt a single shot from inside in the three-point arc in either of those two first two highlight videos. He did attempt (and make) some 2-point shots in the final highlight video, including a few dunks (although I think it's fair to say that he's not likely to be winning many dunk contests at future Black and Gold Blowouts), but I strongly suspect that the first two videos are a bit more indicative of what aspect of his game attracted Fran's interest: his long-range shooting.
Based on these clips, Ellingson has a nice shooting stroke overall and a pretty quick release -- there were quite a few solid catch-and-shoot examples on display there. Really, Ellingson looks like a ready-made replacement for Josh Oglesby in the Iowa lineup. Oglesby will be a senior when Ellingson arrives in 2014; if Ellingson takes a redshirt that season, he could have four full years to fill Oglesby's shoes as Iowa's designated buzzcut-shorn three-point specialist. (On the other hand, if Iowa's three-point shooting woes continue in 2013-14, Ellingson may get an opportunity to play right away.)
Ellingson doesn't look like the sort of recruit that's likely to be a major impact guy from day one or an immediate starter, but that's not a bad thing: teams need specialists, too. Barring injuries or defections, the core of Iowa's backcourt when Ellingson arrives will probably be Mike Gesell, Anthony Clemmons, and Peter Jok. That seems like a pretty solid core right there, assuming Gesell and Clemmons are able to build on their promising freshman seasons and Jok is able to translate his PTL and European Vacation success into Big Ten succes. I don't think Ellingson will be relied on quite as much as Oglesby was the last few years -- at least not right away. But if he can come in and hit a few triples a game... well, that's a skillset Iowa hoops can definitely use. Welcome aboard, Mr. Ellingson.