For the last decade, Iowa has lagged behind other Big Ten schools in basketball facilities. That changed with the recent renovations at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and the program might already being seeing their impact on recruiting.
"I really enjoyed my visit there," Class of 2014 point guard Marcus Bartley said. "I really liked the practice facility, the weight room and the way the fans just support the team."
Bartley unofficially visited Iowa on Friday night for its home opener against Chicago State. The MacArthur High (Decatur, IL) product came away impressed.
"I definitely can see myself playing in that kind of system and in that kind of environment," the 6-foot-3, 145-pound sophomore said.
Bartley still is waiting for his first scholarship offer.
The Hawkeyes saw Bartley this summer and began a relationship.
"They called my coach and talked to him a little bit," Bartley said. "Coach (Kirk) Speraw came down to open gym and saw me play. We talked a little bit. We talked about going up for a visit. We hooked up and I decided to go visit there."
Iowa still is evaluating Bartley.
"They said they were just going to come and watch me during the season and see how I look," he said. "They told me to just keep working hard.
"They told me that they like that I'm a tall, fast point guard. They think I fit their system really well. They try to recruit guys that fit into their program."
Bartley said that he's a versatile lead guard.
"I'm a point guard that primarily distributes a lot," he said. "But also I can get buckets and score a lot of points, if you need me to. I can shoot the three.
"(Defense is) probably the part of my game that I need to work on a lot more right now. I need to work on not gambling so much and reaching, but I'm a pretty good defender."
Despite growing up in the Midwest, Bartley pulls for an ACC school.
"I grew up rooting for Duke," he said. "I can't lie."
With three more high school seasons to play, plenty of time remains for Bartley to choose a school.
"I just hope I get a little more exposure and a couple more schools get involved so I can just find the best fit for me when I make my decision," he said. "I'm going to focus on the (high school) season and helping my team get better."