Iowa was done with their 2016 basketball recruiting class in November when they signed a four-man class comprised of ESPN 100 forward Tyler Cook along with in-state forwards Cordell Pemsl and Ryan Kriener and in-state guard Jordan Bohannon. And then six weeks ago they weren't done -- Andrew Fleming and Brandon Hutton decided to transfer away from Iowa and all of a sudden Iowa had two more open scholarships to work with. One of those available scholarships went to Nicholas Baer, who had gone from buzzed-about walk-on to an integral member of Iowa's rotation by the end of the season. But what to do with the other available scholarship?
On the surface, the decision seemed easy. With the graduations of Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons, Iowa's point guard depth chart heading into the 2016-17 season was decidedly lacking, so surely, surely Iowa would target a point guard with the open scholarship. A graduate transfer prospect, experienced and eligible to play immediately, would have been ideal, but no links to any graduate transfer players emerged (Fran McCaffery's own expressed dislike of the graduate transfer policy does linger over the whole process a bit). Iowa was linked to a pair of high school senior point guards, Chicago-area prospect Charlie Moore and New York-area prospect Christian Vital, but those pursuits amounted to nothing. Moore, a former Memphis commit, friend of Iowa commit Tyler Cook, and a player who had been pursued by Iowa earlier in the recruiting season, has yet to choose a new school, but he released a Top 8 a week ago -- a Top 8 that didn't include Iowa. Meanwhile, Iowa reportedly made Vital's final three, but wound up bridesmaids in the end as he chose UConn last weekend.
So where was Iowa to turn with that final scholarship? Today we found out:
I'm officially an Iowa Hawkeye ‼️— Maishe Dailey (@_mdailey15) May 4, 2016
That would be a commitment from Maishe (pronounced "may-she") Dailey, a 3* prospect from Beachwood, OH. Dailey was previously committed to Rutgers, but reopened his recruitment after former head coach Eddie Jordan was fired by the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers was Dailey's only other major conference offer, but he had a bevy of mid-major offers from schools around the midwest and the east coast. One thing Dailey is not? A point guard -- at least not right away. He's listed at 6-6, 184 lbs and described as a wing player. He also might not be an immediate contributor, per Hawk Central:
"When it all clicks, (Dailey) definitely has the potential to be a steal for Iowa," said David Cassilo, a recruiting analyst from Cleveland for the Prep Hoops Network. "He is a player that has a lot of potential and could be a starter or rotation player around his sophomore year or so. Early on, he's going to have to build up his body and could potentially redshirt."
So on one hand, Dailey's recruitment is a little curious -- he's not a polished point guard that can step in and help Iowa at their biggest position of need next year. Iowa's point guard depth chart for next year still mainly looks like this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. There's sophomore combo guard Christian Williams, who played all of 102 minutes last year, and incoming freshman Jordan Bohannon and.... well, that's about it. But that's a problem for Fran & Co. to solve next fall. Because on the other hand, Dailey's recruitment makes a bit more sense when you look at his physical attributes and watch him play.
A tall, long-limbed wing with impressive athleticism? Yeah, that's certainly Fran's type alright. It's hard not to get more excited about his prospects after watching his highlights, too. The standard caveats about highlight tapes apply, of course, but Dailey shows off some nice shooting from outside in this clip, as well as the ability to take an opponent off the dribble and attack the rim effectively. He also looks like a pretty smooth, fluid athlete with good body control. And that block at 3:17... /fans self. Obviously he'll be facing bigger, stronger opponents in the Big Ten, but there's a lot to like about his game from these clips. And while he may not be a ready-made point guard from day one, you don't have to squint too hard to see some Devyn Marble in his game, either, and McCaffery was able to mold Marble into a pretty effective point guard for Iowa.
So welcome aboard, Maishe.