Huge Recruiting Weekend

March 4, 2011

Written by Jon Miller

Can a weekend be a HUGE recruiting weekend when just one player is in town to take in your program?

As it relates to the Hawkeye men’s hoop team and a special visitor that will make the trip tomorrow, the answer is yes.

California point guard Cezar Guerrero will visit Iowa City this weekend and he could be the kind of player that helps Fran McCaffery’s rebuilding progress materialize before our very eyes.

McCaffery recently went to Cali and took in one of Guerrero’s games, which made a big impression on the Guerrero camp.  Iowa assistant Sherman Dillard has been to see him numerous times.

Guerrero is a 5-11, 170 pound guard who is flat out quick.  Here is how ESPN describes his game:

“Guerrero is about as quick as it gets at this level. He has tremendous speed with the ball in his hands and he’s an acrobatic finisher in the paint. He has looked to get his teammates more involved this summer and has the ability to make the spectacular pass. His jump shot has improved and is quite potent in the mid-range level.”

The worldwide leader also says that Guerrero can get a little too flashy at times, looking to make the dramatic pass or shot as opposed to something that’s more high percentage, but that can be coached out of a player if it proves to be a detriment.  Then again, when your head coach got the nickname of ‘White Magic’ back in his playing days, he might be cool with letting Cezar be Cezar.

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Check out his highlight reel at the top of the page.  It has some nice video production elements to it and it appears to be AAU highlights.  AAU ball is a lot more footloose than is the high school set, so keep that in mind.

Guerrero committed to Western Kentucky but did not sign with them in the fall.  He missed his junior season after being forced to sit out due to California high school transfer rules.  This year, his final as a prep, he has averaged better than 27 points per game and has seen his stock soar.  He has offers from Iowa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Georgia Tech and others, and Kansas may be showing some interest.

He has visited the two Oklahoma schools in addition to a trip to Western Kentucky, so he would have one more official visit remaining after his trip to Iowa City this weekend as players get a max of five officials.  A family member told HawkeyeReport.com that this might be his final visit, depending on how he feels about the Hawkeye program.

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Iowa desperately needs a point guard in this recruiting class, as Bryce Cartwright will be a senior next year and Cully Payne is the only other point guard on scholarship.  They lost out on instate prep Marcus Paige who has committed to North Carolina.

Landing a top flight point guard (Rivals.com rates his as a four-star player, three stars from Scout.com) would be an enormous coup for McCaffery, who has been in Iowa City less than 12 months.  When you have a catalyst out top, everything seems to fall into place.

If I had to draw any comparisons to what I see in Cezar’s game it would be to Penn State point guard Talor Battle.  TIMEOUT!  I am not saying the kid is going to have a career like Battle has, which is one of the best careers (statistically) ever put forth by a Big Ten point guard.  But Guerrero has that type of break your ankles change of direction and quickness to attack the rim.  He’s also 6-0/170.

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One last note worthy of mention.  Iowa typically hasn’t gone the California route to bring in talent.  McCaffery is showing that he will leave no stone unturned nor will he shy away from any region if he feels he has a chance at a player.  Iowa has a chance at Guerrero, and Bryce Cartwright could turn out to be an enormous benefit.

Cartwright came to Iowa from Compton, California.  He can share his experiences in Iowa City with Guerrero, who will probably have some questions to that end.  Cartwright has gone from a player that every BCS program could have had a shot at but people passed on except for Iowa into the Big Ten’s assist leader (by a wide margin) and one of the best returning scoring point guards in the league next year.

Cartwright’s endorsement of the Fran McCaffery Iowa basketball program, along with the soon to be completed basketball practice facility might just be the ingredients that help Iowa land a player that could possibly be a galvanizing force for the Hawkeyes as they look to rebuild their proud program.

If you needed any more incentive to make it to game tomorrow to insure that Carver Hawkeye is packed and rocking, there it is.

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