After a day of football recruiting news, we have an update from the other side of Hawkins Drive: Iowa landed the commitment of sophomore-to-be Joe Weiskamp, a shooting guard from Muscatine. Weiskamp is arguably the top freshman prospect in the state of Iowa for 2018.
Weiskamp was offered a scholarship by Iowa State during Fred Hoiberg's tenure -- Iowa offered just days later -- and had enough interest from Wisconsin to take an unofficial visit in early March. He also reported an offer from Northern Iowa and interest from Creighton and Nebraska, an impressive haul for a guy who isn't old enough to drive.
The hype is not without its rationale. For one, Weiskamp is already 6'4. For another, he was dominant in Iowa's highest high school competition, scoring 18.6 points per game and shooting 47 percent from the floor according to Iowa Preps. Weiskamp told 247 Sports that Iowa projects him as a shooting guard, and his 40 percent rate from behind the arc certainly fits the bill.
Obviously, there is still a long way to go to the finish line here, and if Weiskamp truly blossoms into a once-in-a-class talent, other suitors could emerge. We have played this game before. And yet, when he says that he grew up "dreaming of playing for [Iowa]," we like our chances.
When Fran McCaffery was hired, we thought it would usher in a new era of nationwide basketball recruiting, and Iowa has not disappointed. This year's class of six recruits is entirely from outside the state of Iowa (though JUCO transfer Dale Jones grew up in the state), and Iowa has not shied away from pursuing players in Chicago. But somewhat surprisingly, Iowa has turned its recruiting attention to in-state prospects whenever possible. Should Weiskamp end his high school career as the top-rated recruit in the state, he would be the third consecutive top in-state prospect to choose the Hawkeyes (Iowa has a pretty good chance at the presumptive top player in 2019, too). While McCaffery hasn't reached for the sort of Lickliter-era borderline in-state recruits, and while it's good to know that Iowa can go pluck a player from Chicago or Oak Hill Academy, Iowa basketball is once again "Iowa" basketball in a way that it hasn't been since the mid-1990's.