Hoops Recruiting

Today is Day 1 of the new (and hopefully regular) Rob Blog, which will cover mostly Hawkeye recruiting, and occasionally other Iowa interests. The first installment takes a look at Hawkeye men's basketball recruiting.

Iowa CITY, Iowa - When Jarrod Uthoff decided this summer to jet the Hatfields for the McCoys, it left Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery with one scholarship to use in the 2013 recruiting class.

It also left Wisconsin's Bo Ryan with a pissed-off look on his face. You know the one.

McCaffery this summer told me and my Saturday radio partner, Tom Suter, that he wasn't just looking to hit a home run with the one remaining ride. Coach wanted a grand slam.

Now, that means a grand slam in Fran's eyes not those on the AAU scouting circuit. Aaron White is a jack with the bases jammed for the Hawkeye head man.

So, McCaffery watched July. He evaluated. He handed out very few offers.

Michigan combo guard E.C. Matthews appeared to be near the front of the line if not first. He spoke well of the Hawkeyes early but The Family product hasn't mentioned Iowa much recently when talking about his recruitment.

I've tried Matthews on numerous occasions (I mean numerous) and even have set up interviews. Nothing. It could mean something. It might not mean anything.

Though he has not told this to me, I believe McCaffery views Matthews as a grand slam. Kid can play, no doubt. Will he visit? I don't think so.

I confirmed on Monday that a class of '13 member will be in Iowa City next month. Michigan combo guard Austin Price said he finalized a Sept. 21 official visit that he talked about here.

Price said he will be at Lehigh this coming weekend and Yale Sept. 14. He's smart.

McCaffery also is expected to welcome into Iowa City Class of '14 forward Michael Finke. The Champaign (IL) Centennial High product talked about the Hawkeyes here.

Iowa is believed to have an offer extended to Byron "Bo" Zeigler, a 6-6 wing from Detroit, but the Hawks aren't alone of they do. UConn, Indiana, Iowa State, Providence and Tennessee also have reportedly offered. His cousin, Trey Zeigler, is at Pittsburgh.

Peter Jok from West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High is on the Hawkeye radar, but he does not have an Iowa offer top date. A native of the Sudan, the skilled wing has been slowed by injuries in recent years after being one of the top players nationally in his class.

McCaffery has hinted that he could hold onto his remaining '13 scholarship and use it in the following group. If Price, Zeigler and Matthews choose to go elsewhere, that might very well end up being the case.

But that would be too simple, right? Recruiting features quite a few more twists and turns that that.

McCaffery could wait to see what type of hand he's been dealt in 2012-13. If he sees a hole, he can plug it in the last signing period with a JUCO, a late-blooming prep senior or a transfer.

There's also a possibility a player verbally committed to another school could flip over to the Hawkeyes. About the only scenario we can rule out at this point is seeing Ben Brust suit up in black and gold.


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