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Hawkeye Offer Means a Lot to Chicago-Area Wing Isaiah Barnes

March 30, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

It’s fair to say Isaiah Barnes’ recruitment has been rising – quickly. The Oak Park (IL) River Forest High and Illinois Wolves’ wing last week reported scholarship offers from Kansas, Maryland and TCU. Monday, another Big Ten school jumped into the mix.

After playing host to Barnes in the fall, Iowa stepped forward with an opportunity.

“It meant a lot to get an offer from Iowa. They have such a great basketball program and great school history,” Barnes told HN.

The Hawkeyes have been forming a bond with Barnes leading up to the offer. While he didn’t expect it, it also didn’t catch him off guard.

“It wasn’t too surprising, but only because we had been building a relationship up to this point. I also visited a couple times and they’ve been out to see me a lot,” he said.

Assistant Billy Taylor is leading Iowa’s recruitment of Barnes (6-7, 190), Head coach Fran McCaffery also is involved.

“From knowing them for quite awhile now, they have shown a lot of genuine interest. They care for their players and treat everyone like family,” Barnes said.

Barnes has visited Iowa multiple times, the last stop coming in November.

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“I learned a lot about the campus and a little more on the school’s history. I also found out about the players that have made it beyond Iowa on to the professional level,” he said.

The Hawkeyes’ up-tempo approach appeals to Barnes. They’re consistently one of the top scoring teams in the Big Ten.

“One thing I love about Iowa’s playing style is they play fast. That’s my kind of style as well; just a get-out-and-go playing style,” he said.

As a junior, Barnes averaged about 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. A knee injury sidelined him late in the season.

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He reported a scholarship offer from Illinois last summer. Some of the region’s top mid-major programs also have courted him. He listed Michigan, Iowa State, Gonzaga and Creighton as programs that have shown the most interest but have yet to offer.

With the way things have taken off recently, it might not be long before more suitors enter the sweepstakes for his services.

“I don’t favor any schools over others at the moment. So, I don’t yet know who my top schools are. I will be able to answer that after going on visits and learning more and more about each program,” he said.

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With recruiting being shut down amid the fears over the country’s coronavirus pandemic, Barnes will set up campus stops once the in-person process reopens.

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