This weekend is shaping up to be an incredible one in Iowa City. Not only is the annual block party set to take over downtown, but the football program is playing host to nearly two dozen top priority prospects and current commitments.
But before we get to the weekend, the Iowa hoops program is set to take center stage as former Hawkeye superstar Keegan Murray looks to become the highest Hawkeye ever selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday evening. With that stage set, Fran McCaffery and staff looked to build on the buzz by hosting to a trio of unofficial visitors on Wednesday.
One such visitor was 2024 big man Cooper Koch. The Peoria, Illinois native saw all he needed to see on Wednesday and announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Thursday afternoon.
I have grown up dreaming of playing for the Hawkeyes. Yesterday I made that dream a reality! I am proud to say I have committed to play for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and Coach McCaffery!— Cooper Koch (@CooperKoch44) June 23, 2022
GO HAWKS⚫️ !! pic.twitter.com/iJWhPGa7pg
Koch is, of course, the son of former Iowa center JR Koch who played for the Hawkeyes from 1995-1999 before being drafted in the 2nd round by the New York Nicks and going on to play a six year career overseas.
Those genes are a good sign for a prospect that already measures in at 6’7” and 205 pounds as a high school sophomore. Koch is likely to keep growing, though it’s not certain he’ll reach the 6’10” height of his old man.
Whether he gets that big or not is immaterial. The Peoria Notre Dame product is talented at his current height with a nice inside-out game that projects perfectly in Fran McCaffery’s system which puts a premium on length and shooting ability. Koch has both.
At this stage, the younger Koch is less of a back to the basket player than the elder, but his has an excellent face up game and is a very good shooter for his size. He’s also a tremendous passer both out of the post and when faced up and he runs the floor very well.
Given he’s still growing and developing, an area to monitor will be his lateral quickness and leaping ability. Koch can get up, but isn’t an above the rim player like the recently departed Keegan Murray - though it’s worth recalling how the Murray twins looked at this stage in their development.
The current combination of size, shooting ability and solid athleticism earned Koch a 4-star rating from 247 Sports, as well as offers from Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Wake Forest and other low major programs. In the end, it was the dream to play in Iowa City that proved too much to pass up.
Koch is Iowa’s first commitment in the class of 2024. His early addition could prove critical in a class that figures to be relatively large as Iowa will be looking to replace 5 departing seniors.
Welcome aboard Cooper Koch!