With the 2015-16 Iowa basketball season nearly upon us, it seems like a good time to take a look at the scholarship math for Iowa -- this year and in upcoming seasons.
|1||Anthony Clemmons||Peter Jok||Dominique Uhl||Brady Ellingson*|
|2||Mike Gesell||Dale Jones||Brady Ellingson*||Andrew Fleming|
|3||Jarrod Uthoff||Dominique Uhl||Andrew Fleming||Brandon Hutton|
|4||Adam Woodbury||Brady Ellingson*||Brandon Hutton||Isaiah Moss|
|5||Peter Jok||Andrew Fleming||Isaiah Moss||Ahmad Wagner|
|6||Dale Jones||Brandon Hutton||Ahmad Wagner||Christian Williams|
|7||Dominique Uhl||Isaiah Moss||Christian Williams||Cordell Pemsl|
|8||Brady Ellingson*||Ahmad Wagner||Cordell Pemsl||Ryan Kriener|
|9||Andrew Fleming||Christian Williams||Ryan Kriener||Jordan Bohannon|
|10||Brandon Hutton||Cordell Pemsl||Jordan Bohannon||Tyler Cook|
|11||Isaiah Moss||Ryan Kriener||Tyler Cook||Connor McCaffery|
|12||Ahmad Wagner||Jordan Bohannon||Connor McCaffery||Joe Wieskamp|
|13||Christian Williams||Tyler Cook|
|* used redshirt|
As you probably knew (unless you've been living under a rock), Iowa's scholarship chart this year looks a bit like a donut: thick around the edges, but sparse in the middle. Iowa is heavy on seniors (4) and freshmen (6, counting Ellingson who took a redshirt in 2014-15).
Iowa is going to be very, very young next year -- 10 of their 13 players will be freshmen or sophomores. Hopefully some of this year's freshmen are able to get valuable experience this season because we'll need it next year.
At present, Dom Uhl will headline a one-man senior class in 2017-18, which will make for a very, uh, intimate Senior Day. 2017-18 is also when the first of the McCaffery clan will join the Iowa program, Fran's eldest son Connor, a highly-regarded PG prospect. Iowa has one (1) scholarship available to hand out in the 2017 class.
There's plenty to be excited about re: Iowa hoops this year and in the next few years, but if you want to bust out your crystal ball, on paper 2018-19 looks like it could be a one heck of an Iowa team. This year's massive freshman class will have evolved into experienced, battle-tested seniors -- and they'll be joined by some of the most talented players Iowa has brought into the program since Fran's arrival (Tyler Cook, Connor McCaffery, Joe Wieskamp). That could be a special team. Iowa also has one (1) scholarship available to hand out for the 2018 class.
Obviously, this is all just on-paper projecting and the reality can (and will) be different. For one thing, transfers could certainly shake things up -- competition for playing time is going to be fierce in the big class of newcomers that Iowa is bringing in this year and it would hardly be a surprise if a few of them decided to depart for other situations if they don't think things are working out to their liking. We have recent precedent for something like that happening, too: Iowa brought in a five-man recruiting class in 2012 and only Gesell, Woodbury, and Clemmons are still around from that group (Patrick Ingram and Kyle Meyer were the other members of that unit). There's no way of knowing who might transfer from the 2015 class -- if anyone -- but it is certainly a possibility.
Now let's take a look at the depth charts for this year and the years ahead.
Projected Depth Chart
|PG||Mike Gesell||Jordan Bohannon||Jordan Bohannon||Jordan Bohannon|
|Anthony Clemmons||Christian Williams||Christian Williams||Christian Williams|
|Christian Williams||Michael Soukup#||Connor McCaffery||Connor McCaffery|
|SG||Peter Jok||Peter Jok||Brady Ellingson*||Brady Ellingson*|
|Brady Ellingson*||Brady Ellingson*||Andrew Fleming||Andrew Fleming|
|Andrew Fleming||Andrew Fleming||Joe Wieskamp|
|Steven Soukup#||Steven Soukup#|
|SF||Jarrod Uthoff||Brandon Hutton||Brandon Hutton||Brandon Hutton|
|Brandon Hutton||Isaiah Moss||Isaiah Moss||Isaiah Moss|
|Isaiah Moss||Cordell Pemsl||Cordell Pemsl||Cordell Pemsl|
|PF||Dominique Uhl||Dominique Uhl||Dominique Uhl||Ahmad Wagner|
|Dale Jones||Dale Jones||Ahmad Wagner||Tyler Cook|
|Ahmad Wagner||Ahmad Wagner||Tyler Cook||Nicholas Baer#|
|Okey Ukah#||Tyler Cook||Nicholas Baer#|
|Nicholas Baer#||Nicholas Baer#|
|C||Adam Woodbury||Ryan Kriener||Ryan Kriener||Ryan Kriener|
|* used redshirt||# walk-on|
Let's get the most obvious point out of the way first: this breakdown should not be taken as gospel. Iowa embraces positional fluidity: guys can and will play multiple positions. Gesell and Clemmons will spend time at 2 (SG). Jok can and will play the 3 (SF). Uthoff will likely spend a great deal of time at the 4 (PF). Uhl is likely to see time at the 5 (C) as he backs up Woodbury.
The positions are even less stable among the newcomers since we haven't seen them play in an Iowa uniform and don't yet truly know what their strengths and weaknesses are and which positions they might best fit. The departure of Woodbury after this season could open things up even more in terms of positional flexibility. Could Wagner and Cook see time down as the big in the post? Probably! Could Moss and Hutton alternate at the 2 and the 3? Likely! Who will be Iowa's primary ballhandler? Williams? Bohannon? Maybe even Fleming (Fran has mentioned him as a potential ballhandler)?
One other note about this provisional depth chart: in general, guys are listed in terms of eligibility, but obviously that may not hold firm as guys arrive and impress. Cook, McCaffery, and Wieskamp could/should be three of the most talented recruits Iowa has added since Fran arrived at Iowa; it would hardly be a surprise if they were able to command significant playing time early in their careers. But it's basically impossible to project that sort of thing now -- Connor McCaffery won't suit up for Iowa for until November 2017! So take the "depth chart" aspect with a grain of salt, particularly for years beyond this one.
The idea behind this chart is to provide an assessment of where the talent is distributed with Iowa over the next few seasons -- which areas look strong and which areas look weak. For instance, for a while the PG depth chart was looking pretty murky -- we knew Gesell and Clemmons would be gone after this season and that Connor McCaffery would be arriving in 2017, but what about in the interim? Well, adding Christian Williams with the last scholarship in the 2015 class and Jordan Bohannon in the 2016 class give us some comfort in that regard -- we at least have some bodies to man the PG spot for the next few years.
As we noted above, Iowa has just one scholarship to offer in the 2017 and 2018 classes -- where might they use those? Over the last few years, Iowa has added a lot of bodies on the wings and at the forward spots and Bohannon and Williams should help shore up the PG spot. Iowa could probably use a little more size in one of those classes -- Kriener and Uhl will be the tallest players on the Iowa roster after Woodbury and Uthoff depart. Or Iowa could just go for the best player available and try to land a difference-making talent; looking at the roster over the next few seasons, there aren't any real glaring positional needs (unless the lack of size becomes a significant issue). It should be fun to see how Iowa decides to fill its remaining scholarships. (And, of course, transfers could impact the situation, too.)
H/T to Bucky's 5th Quarter for their help with the HTML for this post.