Door Open on Hawkeye Hoops ’19 Recruiting, But Focus on ’20 & ’21

November 26, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – As it stands now, all of Iowa basketball’s scholarships for next season are filled. Veteran coach Fran McCaffery knows that could change.

The Hawkeyes signed Iowa City West forward Patrick McCaffery, Fran’s son, and New York point guard Joe Toussaint to national letters of intent two weeks ago. Those Class of 2019 additions would put them at the 13-scholarship limit for the ’19-20 season unless there’s attrition.

If you follow college basketball, you know offseason movement is the norm these days. Hundreds of players transfer and Iowa isn’t immune to the trend.

“We technically are done in ’19. We don’t have any scholarships available. But you’re always looking because Tyler (Cook) could put his name in (the NBA Draft) again. Somebody could always leave. Everybody seems to be happy. I don’t think that would happen but you’re always looking at what’s available,” Fran McCaffery said.

Cook experienced the NBA Draft process in the spring. He returned to school to work on the things league player personnel folks advised and could very well keep his name in the draft for ’19.

In addition to senior Dom Uhl, the Hawkeyes lost two players from last year’s roster with eligibility remaining. Brady Ellingson graduated and transferred to Drake. Ahmad Wagner left to play football at Kentucky. The season before, Dale Jones (North Dakota) and Christian Williams (Indiana State) exited for other programs.

Nicholas Baer is the lone senior on the current roster. There are six juniors – Cook, Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, Ryan Kriener, Maishe Dailey and Cordell Pemsl. All of their scholarships would open up for the ’20 class. Iowa then would only have Luka Garza’s ride for the ’21 cycle.

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Fran McCaffery is trying to figure out that puzzle.

“We’re really focusing in on ’20 and ’21. We’d like to balance the classes out. We have a lot in ’20 obviously, if we don’t sign anybody else in ’19 and nobody leaves. We’d like to make sure we get the right guys in ’20 and ’21,” he said.

The Hawkeyes came into this season without any momentum following last year’s 14-19 campaign. They’ve turned things around early on, starting 5-0 and coming in at No. 15 in the latest NCAA men’s basketball Net Rankings, which this season are replacing the RPI.

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If Iowa can maintain its early-season success, it should help on the recruiting trail. It’s in on some big names in the ’20 class.

Perhaps no target among juniors is more important for Iowa than Oskaloosa big man Xavier Foster. Rivals ranks him as the No. 26 player overall in ’20.

The Hawkeyes were the first school to offer Foster a scholarship. He’s since picked up plenty of other opportunities, including Iowa State, UCLA, Kansas, Missouri and Texas A&M. He’s officially visited the in-state schools and discussed his stop in Iowa City with HN.

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Iowa jumped in early with 5-star point guard Jalen Suggs, who also is being recruited as a quarterback. The junior has visited the Hawkeyes on multiple occasions. He talked with HN about his relationship with them.

Bloomington (IN) shooting guard Anthony Leal stopped at Iowa in September and picked up an offer. The four-star junior spoke with HN about it.

The ’20 class is pretty loaded and the Hawkeyes sit well with other top targets. Here’s a look at the offers they have extended.

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