"Yeah, I did and it feels great."
Those were the first words that Waterloo East standout Carlton Reed said after being asked if he had committed to Iowa today.
He gave Steve Alford's Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment this morning, ending months of speculation regarding his recruitment.
The rumors have been swirling on the message boards for months as to whether or not Reed was going to choose the Hawkeyes or if he had his eyes on another school. Today, Reed put all of that talk to rest.
"I liked Iowa all the way through." Reed said. "They have been the favorite all of the way through, but I was not ready to commit in the spring and I wanted to make sure that they were the school for me."
Which is understandable, as Reed was a relative unknown on the national level, though his talent was evident to those who saw him help lead Waterloo East to a 4A state championship last season.
"I wanted to look at all of the options and opportunities that might come before me. This is a big decision, one of the biggest of my life and I owed it to myself to not be hasty. It was not like Iowa was not good enough or that I wanted to wait for some better offers."
The 6-foot-2 guard has the skills to play several positions, making him a great catch for Iowa.
"I am a versatile player," said Reed, who averaged 19.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last year. "I am not a one position player. I can do a lot of things with my game. I handle the ball well; I can shoot well so I can play other positions. I am quick and really help on defense and help push the ball on offense."
Reed said that he shot 48-percent from three-point range last season and made 84-percent of his free throw attempts. He made 48-percent of all of his shots.
When Reed arrives on the Iowa campus in the fall of 2004, he will be reunited with East backcourt mate Mike Henderson. Henderson committed to Iowa last summer after de-committing from Iowa State and will be a freshman for the Hawkeyes this year.
"That is a great thing and I am excited about being back together with him on a much bigger stage." Reed said. "We won a state championship together, so maybe one day we can win a national championship together. It's nice to have the opportunity to play with him again
Creighton, Illinois State and Kansas State also offered Reed a scholarship, but a disappointing performance at the Nike Camp in Indianapolis may have kept more high-profile suitors at bay.
So does Reed think that some of the ‘blue bloods' of college basketball may one day regret not giving him a closer look?
"I really do think so, but that is not a goal of mine. I am not going to go out there trying to prove anything along those lines, because I have confidence in the type of player that I am and what I think I can do at the next level." Reed said.
"If my play ends up making some schools wish they had taken a more serious look at me, that is fine. That just means that I am helping Iowa win games."
Players can not sign a binding letter of intent until November.
Reed's verbal commitment gives Iowa four players in the class of 2004-2005. Joining Reed are 6-8 Alex Thompson of Ames, 6-7 JR Angle of Indiana Creek, Indiana and 7-0 Seth Gorney of Dayton, Ohio.
It is believed that Iowa will have one more scholarship to offer in this class if they want to go that direction and if they do use that scholarship this year, it is expected to be spent on a power forward. Southeastern Junior College forward Doug Thomas that is most mentioned by Iowa basketball insiders at this time.
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