Hawkeyes Working Hard in Pursuing Xavier Foster

May 21, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

He’s the big prize, literally and figuratively.

Iowa and Iowa State know it. He’s right under their noses.

His reputation extends beyond the borders, however. National programs are striving to pull him away.

Xavier Foster could change fortunes. College coaches pursuing the Oskaloosa big man illustrate that.

Nobody understands it better than Iowa, the first school to offer a scholarship. Head coach Fran McCaffery and Sherman Dillard, his assistant, continue building the relationship with the seven-footer. They’re hoping all the work pays off.

Foster ranks up there with the best players that have come through the state in the last decade. Rivals shows him as the No. 23 player nationally in the 2020 recruiting class. ESPN puts him at 31, and he’s at No. 32 for 247.

Rivals saw Joe Wieskamp, who earned Big Ten all-freshman honors at Iowa last winter, as the No. 43 player in ’18. It showed Ames’ Harrison Barnes, who went to North Carolina, at No. 2 in ’10. Marion Linn-Mar’s Marcus Paige (No. 32, ’12, UNC) and Sioux City East’s Adam Woodbury (No. 50, ’12, Iowa) also ranked in the Top 50 during the last decade.

Landing Foster would give the Hawkeyes Top 75 players nationally from in-state in three consecutive classes, according to Rivals. He would be joining Wieskamp and Patrick McCaffery, who checked in at No. 73 for ’19.

Of the current Hawkeyes, Foster is closest with Wieskamp.

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“He would be the one I am most in contact with. He will let me know when there is an open gym and things like that,” Foster told HN.

Dillard and Fran McCaffery have been watching Foster’s AAU games with Pure Prep Academy this spring. They conducted an in-home visit last month.

“Both coaches were there. The meetings have been very easy-going. We talk about the playing style, and how I would fit in the program,” Foster said.

The staff is painting a detailed picture of its plan for Foster should he choose Iowa.

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“They say they would use me to all of my strengths. They would expect me to run the floor and get easy layups and dunks. If I were to get the rebound, they would want me to be the trailer, and shoot the three or find a better shot. And they would want me to protect the rim and contest shots,” he said.

Foster feels comfortable with the Iowa coaches. The Hawkeyes’ early belief in him and them extending the first offer still carries weight.

“It means a lot, considering they are close to home and that they were showing love before my first high school game,” he said.

Foster is careful when it comes to expressing how much he likes certain schools. He doesn’t have a list of favorites and is keeping his recruitment open.

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He declined to answer where Iowa ranks with him or what other programs are standing out. He has officially visited the Hawkeyes, Iowa State, UCLA and USC, leaving him with one more to use.

Foster reports a Kansas offer and increasing interest from fellow blue bloods, Duke and North Carolina. Those programs are showing up at his AAU games.

With his stock rising and the possibility of there being more options from which to choose, Foster is not rushing through the recruiting process.

“We are going to make the final decision during the middle of next (school) year,” he said.

Foster will be focusing on leading Oskaloosa to its second Class 3A state title in a row this coming winter. With running mate Cole Henry off to Northern Iowa, he’ll be looking to increase his 14.4 points per game, while continuing as a defensive presence, as evidenced by his 11.8 rebounds and 6.2 blocks a contest.

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