McCaffery Breaks Down Recruiting

Fran McCaffery holds a combined five scholarships at his disposal for the 2014 and '15 recruiting classes. At this time, he's wide open on how he might fill them.

Complete McCaffery Teleconference:

IOWA CITY, Iowa - With Josh Oglesby expected to return to the lineup Sunday, Fran McCaffery's rotation expands to 11 players. Despite that depth for this season, the Iowa Coach is pounding the pavement to find replacements for quite a few of those guys.

The Hawkeyes lose three seniors from this year's squad and a trio of juniors will exit the program after the next campaign. With only two players signed last month, McCaffery and his staff hold five scholarships, combined, for the 2014 and '15 classes.

Iowa can fill those openings a number of different ways. It can sign two players this spring leaving it with three available for next November. He can add one more before next season or carry all five over to next fall. Transfers also are a possibility.

"I don't think you can sit down today and (decide when the scholarships will be distributed)," McCaffery said on a Friday morning teleconference. "If we felt like there was a good player we could get (in the spring), we would take him. If we felt like there were two good players we could get, we would take them and then you go into next year (with three).

"If there's nobody that we're thrilled with, we'll carry them both (to the '15 class). I only will sign a guy if I think he can help our team."

Iowa loses combo guard Devyn Marble and versatile forwards Melsahn Basabe and Zach McCabe after this season. The junior class includes standout forward Aaron White, reserve center Gabe Olaseni and shooting guard Josh Oglesby.

"We lose six really good players," McCaffery said. "That's why it's critical that we don't just get a body to say we're going to go one (in the spring) and four (in the fall) or two and three. We've got a lot to replace here and you have to be careful not to throw a scholarship out just to get a body; just to fill a scholarship."

As far as underclassmen, Iowa starts sophomore combo guard Mike Gesell and center Adam Woodbury. Versatile forward Jarrod Uthoff and point guard Anthony Clemmons, also sophomores, and freshman shooting guard Peter Jok come off the bench as part of the rotation.

McCaffery has built his roster with players capable of slipping into two or more positions on the court. So, instead of filling the scholarships with athletes at certain spots, the coach enjoys the freedom of being flexible.

"I'm looking for impact," McCaffery said. "I'm looking for guys who can come in and without question help us. That doesn't mean they have to be a star but they have to (make) an impact; they have to be somebody we put in the game and know what we're going to get based on their skill set.

"Those skill sets have to fit in with whatever else we have in the program and what else we're trying to bring in. I try not to stockpile one position if I can help it. We obviously hope we get a lottery pick; we get the first-team all-American. But at the very least, I want to be able to put him in a Big Ten game and he'll be successful in helping us win games."

McCaffery is casting a wide net, particularly in the the '15 group because there's more available. Much of the '14 class is signed, such as shooting guard Brady Ellingson and combo forward Dominique Uhl, who inked with Iowa last month.

Players with Hawkeye interest in '14 still remain uncommitted. The group includes Josh Cunningham, Peyton Allen, Delshon Strickland, Michael Nzei, Malik Harris and Milik Yarbrough, to name a few.

McCaffery is pushing hard in Illinois after just missing on Tyler Ulis in the last cycle. It's another talented group in '15, especially in Chicago.

McCaffery has offered and recently been to watch Windy City standouts Glynn Watson, Joseph Toye, Evan Boudreaux and Jordan Ash recently. Tyler Hall from Rock Island Decatur's Christian Williams are two more prospects Iowa is eying from the Land of Lincoln.

It will be fun to track Iowa's recruiting to see how these five scholarships are filled. It could go a long way in determining the future of the program.

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