One day after receiving the crucial 2014 commitment of Trey Dickerson, Iowa landed a huge long-term recruit. Chicago De La Salle forward Brandon Hutton announced he'll be attending Iowa, starting in 2015. The 6'5 junior has three-star grades from 247, Rivals, and Scout, and held offers from Wisconsin (FU BO), West Virginia, and a host of mid-majors in Illinois. Creighton, Illinois, and Virginia had shown interest, but had not offered a scholarship. He's a consensus national top 200 player and top 15 player in the state of Illinois.
Hutton was in town for Saturday's loss to Illinois, and committed the next day. As Hutton explained to the Chicago Sun-Times, this one's totally on McCaffery:
It was McCaffery and the atmosphere he's created in Iowa City that drew Hutton to the Hawkeyes.
"It was coach McCaffery that really separated Iowa from the rest of the schools that were recruiting me," says Hutton. "He gives all his players opportunities, from the freshmen to the seniors. Plus, there is a family bond there. You can just see it."
It's interesting that, on what can be charitably described as a fairly horrible Senior Night, McCaffery and the atmosphere around the program could sway a recruit. That must have been one hell of a postgame speech.
The book on Hutton matches just about every wing that McCaffery has pursued since getting to Iowa: Long, lean, good in transition, and tenacious on defense. If Hutton didn't want to make Iowa fans look completely past next season, his Sun-Times bio didn't do much to help them refocus:
Long known for his aggressive, relentless style of play, along with his explosive athleticism off the floor, Hutton grabbed the attention of high-major programs with his play this past summer on the AAU circuit with the Illinois Stars. His athleticism, toughness and defensive intensity stood out.
He then showcased and solidified himself in open gyms this past fall, which netted more high-major interest. In the month of October alone, Hutton received offers from Iowa, Wisconsin and West Virginia, which followed up several mid-major offers.
"I know coach McCaffery and all Iowa fans are going to get 110 percent from me in every game I play," says Hutton of what he will bring to the Iowa program. "I will bring energy and will guard anyone."
His AAU coach calls him the best defender in the country. And Caring is Creepy and all, but this is fun (Hutton starts at about 2 minutes in).
Hutton is the first commit in Iowa's 2015 class, and could be important toward filling out the remainder of the class. While he is the only Division I-level recruit out of De La Salle for 2015, his AAU team is full of Iowa targets (and a pair of Illinois four-star commits). If Iowa's going to raid its eastern neighbor again this cycle, Hutton could be one way in.
In any case, after two weeks that woefully lacked in defense, it's nice to know we have someone coming in who can actually guard someone. Welcome to Iowa City, Brandon Hutton.