It’s the offseason. There isn’t much going on in the world of Hawkeye sports. But it’s the perfect time to look into the future. And now that we’ve gotten some clarity on the Connor McCaffery situation, now seems like as good a time as any to take a deep dive into the recruiting situation for Fran McCaffery’s Iowa Basketball squad.
So, let’s step into the Situation Room and evaluate the current scholarship landscape for the Hawkeyes: who’s leaving after the 2017-18 season, who’s currently committed, and where that leaves Fran and the coaching staff on the recruiting trail for the class of 2018.
Iowa Basketball Scholarship Distribution
|POS||SR||JR||SO||FR||Total||2018 COMMITS||2019 COMMITS|
|POS||SR||JR||SO||FR||Total||2018 COMMITS||2019 COMMITS|
|PG||--||CHRISTIAN WILLIAMS||JORDAN BOHANNON||CONNOR MCCAFFERY**||2|
|SG||--||BRADY ELLINGSON*||ISAIAH MOSS* MAISHE DAILEY||--||3||JOE WIESKAMP|
|SF||DOM UHL||NICHOLAS BAER||CORDELL PEMSL||--||3||PAT MCCAFFERY|
|PF||--||AHMAD WAGNER||TYLER COOK||JACK NUNGE||3|
|C||--||--||RYAN KRIENER||LUKA GARZA||2|
*Denotes a player who has already used a redshirt year.
**Connor McCaffery is currently not on scholarship and is redshirting his freshman season while participating in baseball. Since he has tremendous upside in baseball, it remains to be seen whether he will actually end up playing any basketball despite planning to do so currently.
Key Upcoming Departures
Dom is the only senior going into the 2017-2018 season for the Hawkeyes. The New Jersey (by way of Germany) native has not quite developed the way I had hoped during his tenure at Iowa, and I expect his minutes next year to be similar to what we saw last year. With only one upcoming departure and a slew of young guys playing key roles, the Hawkeyes are in a good spot for the 2018-2019 season.
Barring a transfer or someone stepping away from basketball, Uhl’s scholarship is the only one currently available in the 2018 class.
Joe Wieskamp, 6’6” SG - Muscatine, IA
Wieskamp is poised to join the Hawkeyes as the highest-rated recruit in Fran’s tenure. He’s a consensus 4-star who can absolutely stroke it from deep, but also has the athleticism to get to the rim and finish.
He stands 6’6”, is in the neighborhood of 195lbs and is the 43 overall recruit in the class of 2018 per the 247Sports Composite rankings. I’ve said this a number of times before, but think Peter Jok if he hadn’t had all his knee problems. Yes, I’m serious.
With the additions of Luka Garza and Jack Nunge, both of which come in around 6’10”, in the class of 2017 and guys like Tyler Cook, Cordell Pemsl and Ryan Kriener already on campus, the frontcourt is full for the 2018-2019 season. The roster could still use a breakdown, penetrating guard. There are hopes Jordan Bohannon can do more of that, given how closely defenders will need to follow him beyond the arc (and really, out to half court) and Isaiah Moss and/or Christian Williams could always develop their ball handling to help fill this need, but I maintain this roster would benefit greatly from a true PG with the ability to take his man to the hole and finish or dish on any given possession.
Outstanding Offers to Players Currently Uncommitted
Tre Wood, 6’0” PG - Washington, DC
CJ Fredrick, 6’4” SG - Alexandria, KY
Ed Chang, 6’7” SF - Papillion, NE
Nazreon Reid, 6’9” PF - Roselle, NJ
Joey Hauser, 6’8” PF - Stevens Point, WI
Brandon Johns, 6’7” PF - East Lansing, MI
Adam Trapp, 7’2” C - Esko, MN
Since we already know Joe Wieskamp will take Dom’s open scholarship, let’s take a look at what he’ll bring to the table. Wieskamp looks an awful lot like former Hawkeye Peter Jok. He can knock it down from anywhere on the court, but also shows some decent handles and explosion at the rim. I expect him to fill Jok’s void, though it will likely be a few years until he can really step into that role at the level Jok was playing his senior season.
Uhl’s minutes will be absorbed by some combination of Cook, Pemsl, Kriener, Baer, Nunge and Garza. I would expect those last two to log some minutes at the 5, freeing up Cook and Pemsl to play more at the 4. Nunge, however, appears to be a potential star. At 6’10” with a pretty shot from beyond the arc, I’m going to continue to call him Jarrod Uthoff 2.0.
With Connor McCaffery taking his freshman season to focus on baseball and walking on for basketball like we mentioned above, I think it’s a good idea for the coaching staff to take a conservative approach and not count on him making any sort of impact on the hardwood in 2017 or 2018. As it stands today, there’s no scholarship available to him in either year.
This also marks the first time since 2012 Iowa didn’t have a transfer and there are only so many minutes to go around. So I would expect someone to take their talents elsewhere following the 2017-2018 season, which would open another scholarship. I’ll let you all debate who the likely candidates are, but my money is on Maishe Dailey if he can’t push for minutes this year or Ryan Kriener should he be passed by both Nunge and Garza in their first years on campus.
While there are a number of offers listed on the various recruiting sites, I don’t think any of them are really committable at this point. Fran and his staff seemed very focused on filling the three available scholarships in the 2019 class (Pat McCaffery isn’t technically committed, but that’s just a formality at this point). I would venture to guess any scholarship that might come available due to an early departure would either be filled by Connor if he chooses to pursue basketball or perhaps a transfer if he chooses baseball.
The real fun on the recruiting front will come with the class of 2019. There are 4 spots available as it stands today with Patrick McCaffery penciled in for one of them (let’s hope he doesn’t enjoy baseball). The staff has been hard at work evaluating prospects on the AAU circuit and have handed out a number of scholarships as of late. It’s still early, but all have been to extremely talented young guys.
The future of Iowa basketball is looking very good, people.