Kentucky Big Man Trey James Enjoys Virtual Visit with Hawkeyes

May 20, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

In lieu of a campus stop, Trey James visited Iowa virtually last week. These meetings have replaced in-person recruiting during an extended dead period resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Job (KY) Martin County High Class of 2021 big man appreciated the Hawkeyes “showing him around.” Assistants Billy Taylor and Courtney Eldridge led the way.

“They showed me a video of the arena and athletic facilities as well as the campus,” James told HN. “Coach Taylor and Coach Eldridge are very personable. They made me feel very comfortable talking with them. I look forward to developing a relationship with them and the rest of the staff.”

James (6-10, 220) reports scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Elon and Appalachian State. Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, West Virginia and Xavier have shown him interest, according to Rivals, which ranks him as a three-star prospect. The 247 network also rated him as a three-star.

Wake Forest picked up a verbal commitment from James back in January. Head coach Danny Manning has since been replaced by Steve Forbes, who grew up in Lone Tree, Iowa. James said he has not heard from Forbes or anyone else from the program since the change.

After seeing what Iowa offered, James learned more about the team.

“We talked about the great fan base and support of the program. Playing in front of a packed arena would be an awesome experience,” he said.

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Coach Fran McCaffery has found success during his 10 seasons running the Hawkeyes by finding players that fit in his system, on and off the court.

“I’m really impressed with the player development at Iowa. I have followed the progression of (all-American center) Luka Garza and seen the improvement of his game over his time at Iowa. I want to be where I have the best coaches around me to help me become the best teammate I can be while improving my game,” James said.

He looks forward to meeting with McCaffery at some point. He is hearing from Taylor and Eldridge where he stands with the Hawkeyes.

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“I asked them what I need to work on or what they would like to see in order for me to earn an offer. They talked about things they like about my game, like my physicality, my jump hook, my turnaround jumper, my rim protection and my work ethic,” James said.

“I have put a lot of time into extending my range and improving my ball handling. I also continue to work and improve my footwork and post moves. They would like to watch me play if AAU is permitted and/or visit this fall. They have also been reviewing game film.”

The Iowa coaches see potential with James. He’s confident he can help the Hawkeyes.

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“They believe I’m a Big Ten-type of player. I’m definitely a more traditional big, and I believe I can make an impact playing in the Big Ten,” he said.

James earned all-state honors last winter after leading Martin County to its first trip to the boys Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena since 1983. He set a state record for career blocks shots during his junior season and once swatted 17 in a game. He averaged more than 15 points and 11 rebounds in ’19-20.

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