IOWA CITY, Iowa - College basketball's silly season is fast approaching. And it's not just March Madness we're talking about.
Last spring and summer, more than 600 Division I players transferred. That number has been steadily rising the last decade.
Guys search for greener pastures for many reasons. Playing time, or lack of it, is the main contributor to this trend, which can't objectively be viewed as a good thing for the game.
Not long ago, most athletes signed national letters of intent in November and the spring was more quiet. Now it's become a free for all where demand outweighs supply.
Coach Fran McCaffery has been through six recruiting cycles at Iowa. He's always had at least one open scholarship in the spring during each one. Dickerson's exit gave him two rides to use in '15 or roll to the future.
The Hawkeyes and their fans will, again, become familiar with quite a few names in the next few months. Most, if not all of them, will end up somewhere else.
Last spring, when Iowa added Dickerson from Williston (ND) State College, a JUCO, Willie Atwood (ASU), Cole Huff (Creighton) and Tim Williams (New Mexico) officially visited the Hawkeyes, capturing the imaginations of the faithful before choosing other schools.
That train is loading up again. Nick Noskowiak, Marcus LoVett, Christian Williams, Jaren Sina, Tony Anderson, Shandon Goldman and Brady Ernst are among the names being discussed. More are on the way, to be sure.
It's hard to sort out fact from fiction when it comes to recruiting. Schools and players push their agendas and try to paint themselves in the best light.
While it's in inexact science, predicting where prospects will end up, there are ways to thin out the pool. It starts by being realistic.
Lovett, Noskowiak and Sina could fill Iowa's need for a point guard. All are intriguing prospects. All will have numerous attractive suitors.
So, where does Iowa fit in with them?
Lovett, a senior at Morgan Park High in Chicago, reports scholarship offers from UCLA, Kansas, Tennessee, St. John's, Pittsburgh and Illinois, to name a few. Ask yourself how often the Hawkeyes win the race with schools on that list, especially from out of state.
Noskowiak is a senior at Sun Prairie (WI) High who signed with Marquette in the fall before asking and being granted a release from his letter of intent. He disclosed on Twitter that he was battling depression, which caused him to miss games this season.
There's speculation, nothing confirmed or sourced with anyone close to the situation, that California leads for Noskowiak. Along with Iowa, Creighton, Illinois, Iowa State, Missouri and UNLV have been reported as schools interested in the 6-foot-2 floor leader.
Williams could be the most realistic target to end up in Iowa City. The Decatur, IL St. Teresa senior point guard spoke with HI after recently visiting the Hawkeyes. He reports scholarship offers from Northern Illinois, Illinois State, Green Bay, Bradley, Illinois-Chicago, Albany, Southern Illinois Edwardsville and La Salle, schools Iowa should be able to contend with in recruiting should it offer.
I spoke with Williams on Monday after the Dickerson news broke. He was encouraged by the open scholarship but had not heard from Iowa at that point.
Lovett and Noskowiak are available and Iowa should take a run at them. However, the odds are stacked against the Hawkeyes. Williams is the most realistic option we're aware of to this point.
Sina originally committed to Northwestern before Bill Carmody was fired. He followed a former Wildcats assistant coach to Seton Hall. Two weeks ago, he abruptly asked for and was granted his release from his Pirates scholarship.
There aren't any reports on where Sina is looking to further his education and career. With the controversy at Seton Hall, the New Jersey product likely will continue keeping a low profile before he's ready to visit schools. He'd be required to sit out a year and then have two to play.
Much fewer post prospects are being bandied about as Iowa possibilities. Goldman and Ernst have potential but are projects that could benefit greatly from a red shirt year or prep school.
Tyler (TX) junior college center Ikenna Okwarabizie reported an Iowa scholarship in the fall shortly after landing in the Lone Star State from Sioux City (IA) East High. While the relationship with the Hawkeye staff hasn't completely deteriorated, a source close to the situation tells me that the parties have gone their separate ways, for all intents and purposes.
Iowa has shown interest in Columbus (OH) Groveport Madison High School Tony Anderson. The 6-foot-8 power forward said in November that the Hawkeyes were recruiting him hard and an offer was coming. He's still waiting for it but remains on the radar.
It appears likely McCaffery will use at least one of his two available scholarships in 2015. He said Tuesday that the first priority is a big man. That said, the player has to be worthy and willing to come.
Stay with Hawkeye Insider as we follow another spring of late signing period mayhem.