Sunrise Duo Heading Out

Iowa has been in hot pursuit of Sunrise Christian Academy teammates Eric Katenda and Gabe Olaseni for quite some time. With signing day a month away, Hawkeye Insider brings you the latest on their recruitment.

Sunrise Christian Academy Coach Kyle Linsted can't say if Iowa will land one of his top players this spring. He does know that if the Hawkeyes come up empty at the Kansas prep school, it won't be from a lack of effort.

"They're still working it hard," Linsted said. "They're working their rears off. Whether they get one or both of my guys or neither, I think they're going to be fine up there because they work hard and are classy."

Iowa has offered scholarships to Sunrise's Eric Katenda and Gabe Olaseni. They're expected to sign letters of intent with colleges in April and enroll at schools this fall.

"I'm pretty sure that Gabe is going to visit (Iowa) soon," Linsted said. "Eric is going to take a few other visits first to Wake (Forest) and Notre Dame and the potential is there for an Iowa visit."

Linsted was encouraging the teammates to visit Iowa, the only school to have offered both a scholarship, at the same time. They decided against it.

"I figured they could knock it out in one shot, but they had other ideas," the coach said. "I'm not sure if they want to compare notes or do their own thing or what. They didn't want to visit together."

Linsted said that he was going to call Iowa Assistant Andrew Francis on Monday night to finalize what they hope is an official visit for Olaseni for March 25-27 at Iowa. That's the same weekend Katenda will be at Wake Forest.

"I wouldn't say that (Wake and Notre Dame) are leading over Iowa right now," Linsted said of Katenda. "I just think he prefers to see them first. If he commits on one of those trips, then he won't end up going to Iowa. But you never know, he might find what he wants if he gets to Iowa."

Linsted said that Georgia Tech likely fell out of the race for Katenda when it recently fired head coach Paul Hewitt. Oklahoma was in on Olaseni but moved out of the picture when it let go of Coach Jeff Capel on Monday.

Olaseni also is looking at Mississippi and Auburn, Linsted said. They and Iowa have offered scholarships.

Despite a relationship built with Francis and his boss Fran McCaffery that started back East when they were at Siena and Katenda at prep school in Connecticut, it appears Iowa will be facing an uphill battle for the talented combo forward.

"I think Iowa still is in the mix," Linsted said. "How much in the mix? I can't say. He hasn't ruled them out."

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