It’s been a tough week for Iowa basketball fans. On Monday, the Hawkeyes missed out on top-60 big man Xavier Foster, Fran McCaffery’s top priority in the recruiting class of 2020 for the last few years. Making matters worse, Foster committed to in-state rival Iowa State.
Later that day, the Hawkeyes nearly got ran out of their own gym in a 93-78 loss to DePaul. It was a brutal start to a week that was supposed to provide a respite from a faltering football team.
Today, on the early signing day for college basketball, Hawkeye fans are finally getting some good news to balance out the recent trend. England native and Worcester Academy standout Josh Ogundele announced this morning that he’s committed to the Hawkeyes, becoming the fifth member of Iowa’s class of 2020.
The addition of Ogundele is a big one for the Hawkeyes both literally and figuratively. The Brit is physically big, coming in at 6’11” and north of 250 pounds. That build goes with a physical style of play that will fill a big need for Iowa in the future now that Tyler Cook is in the NBA and Ryan Kriener will graduate after this year.
Ogundele is talented around the basket with solid footwork. He excels with his back to the basket where he can utilize his sheer size to back down defenders and finish with authority. The lefty has demonstrated a willingness to face up from 15 feet and pull the trigger, though his best work is clearly done on the block.
Ogundele is the classic back-to-the-basket big man. He adds a physicality currently missing in Iowa City and should be able to body up with the physical opponents like Michigan State (think Tyler Cook with more bulk and less spring). He doesn’t have the same skill as Luka Garza, but he has more bulk and athleticism.
The Worcester Academy (MA) chose Iowa over offers from 18 other programs, including Cincinnati, Rutgers, Providence and Rhode Island. Virginia Tech, rather than Providence, rounded out his final five.
The addition of Ogundele now takes Iowa’s class of 2020 to 5 commitments. All five are expected to sign with the Hawkeyes today.