Hoop Dreams: Iowa Men & Women Add Recruits

The Iowa Men's and Women's basketball teams reloaded a bit on Wednesday, as they announced their early signees to their respective recruiting classes.

IOWA CITY - - University of Iowa Women's Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder announced Wednesday that she has received National Letters of Intent from Megan Skouby, Lindsey Nyenhuis, Wendy Ausdemore, Nicole VanderPol and Kristi Smith to attend the University of Iowa.

"We feel this is a tremendous class that will add depth and height to our team," said Bluder about her fourth Iowa recruiting class.

Megan Skouby is a 6-6 center from Mentor, Ohio. As a junior, she led Mentor High School to a 24-2 record, averaging 17.9 points and pulling down 12.0 rebounds per contest, while shooting 63 percent from the field and 78 percent from the foul line. In her three years, the Cardinals posted a 66-10 record, including two district Division I championships. Skouby was an AP all-state honorable mention her freshman year. She was a Street & Smith all-America honorable mention and AP third team all-State her sophomore season. Last year, Skouby earned AP first team all-State laurels. She also was named the News Herald Player of the Year and earned all-America honorable mention accolades her junior season. Skouby was also a volleyball standout at Mentor, before giving up the sport as a senior to concentrate on basketball. She was named third team all-state in volleyball as a junior.

"Megan will be the tallest woman ever to wear a Hawkeye uniform," commented Bluder. "Not only is Megan tall, but she's talented. She has great post moves, and isn't afraid to step outside and shoot the jumper. Megan's also a great rebounder and shot blocker with good mobility."

Wendy Ausdemore is a 6-2 forward from Neola, Iowa. She was named MVP of Tri-Center High School's basketball and volleyball teams the last three years. Ausdemore earned 2003 first team all-state and all-conference laurels in basketball. She was named the Southwest Iowa Volleyball Player of the Year, earned second team all-state and first team all-conference accolades in 2003. She also lettered in track and field, where she was the 2004 Iowa State discus champion. Ausdemore was named the 2004 AAU 17-and under Outstanding Amateur Athlete. She was a 2004 Wendy's High School Heisman State Finalist. Ausdemore also excels in the classroom, boasting a 4.135 GPA and ranking first in her class. She is class president and a member of the National Honor Society.

"Wendy has great size and versatility," Bluder said. "She can shoot the three, post-up and runs the floor extremely well."

Kristi Smith, a 5-6 point guard from Thornton, Colorado, competes for Horizon High School. She has been a three-year starter and earned first team all-conference accolades. Last year, Smith was named to the Class 5A all-tournament team and also was recognized on the all-state team. As a junior, she helped advance her high school team to the Class 5A Final Four. The team finished with a 17-6 record. Smith is a three-year first team academic all-conference selection.

"Kristi is a quick point guard with a scoring mentality," said Bluder. "She plays similar to Kristi Faulkner (former Iowa guard) by shooting the three. She also has the ability to get to the basket and draw fouls."

Lindsey Nyenhuis, a 5-7 guard from Grand Rapids, Michigan, competes for Forest Hills Northern High School. A two-year team captain and all-conference selection, she became the first girl to reach 1,000 points at her high school. Nyenhuis was also an all-state and all-area honorable mention selection. She also played for the Western Lakers AAU team for eight years. The Lakers won six-of-seven AAU state championships and finished in the "Sweet 16" three times at AAU nationals. Nynehuis also lettered three years in track. She is a National Honor Society member and has been on the honor roll all four years.

"Lindsey is an off guard who has a quick release, good shooting range and plays hard defensively," commented Bluder.

Nicole VanderPol is a 6-1 forward from Grundy Center, Iowa. Competing for Grundy Center High School, VanderPol is a three-time all-conference selection and was named Most Valuable Player in her conference as a sophomore and junior. As a junior, VanderPol averaged 19.1 ppg and 9.7 rpg in leading the Spartans to a runner-up finish at the Class 2A state tournament, where she earned all-tournament accolades. She was named first team all-State by the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Newspaper Association and North Central District. VanderPol competed for the Iowa Select AAU team her sophomore and junior years. She also lettered in volleyball, where she was a first team all-conference pick all four years and was named to the all-state team her junior year.

"Nicole is a power forward who is versatile," Bluder said. "She has good range, but can seal and post very well. Nicole also has strong skills around the basket."

This is the second time Bluder has put together a five-player recruiting class. Bluder inked Lindsay Richards, Johanna Solverson, Morgan Kasperek, Crystal Smith and Tiffany Reedy in the fall of 2001, which was her first recruiting class at Iowa.


IOWA CITY, IA - - Basketball guard Tony Freeman from St. Joseph's High School in Westchester, IL has signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Iowa.

Freeman, a 5-11 point guard, committed to the Iowa program in September before making it official Wednesday, the first day of the fall signing period.

"We had targeted a guard in our recruiting, and we found a perfect fit with Tony," said Iowa Coach Steve Alford. "His father (Tony, Sr.), and I played together one season at Indiana. He's a product of a great program in the Chicago area. Tony is a fierce competitor and as tough a player that our staff has watched since Jeff (Horner) and Pierre (Pierce) were in high school. Tony has the same unique abilities as those two and will be a great addition to our program."

Freeman averaged 18 points and four assists per game as a junior, leading St. Joseph's to a 24-6 overall record under Coach Gene Pingatore. His father played at Indiana in 1987 when the Hoosiers won the NCAA title.

Iowa has just one senior on its 2004-05 roster and has one scholarship remaining for next season.


As we told you Wednesday night in the HN Clubhouse forum, Iowa expects to sign 6-10 forward Kurt Looby of Tyler Junior College. Looby has played one year of competitive basketball, which was last year at Tyler.

He is a raw prospect offensively, but possesses NBA athletic ability. As it stands right now, a redshirt in 2005-2006 is a distinct possibility, as every recruited scholarship player on the 2004-2005 roster has eligibility for next season, including Iowa's big men of Greg Brunner, Erek Hansen, Doug Thomas, Alex Thompson and Seth Gorney.

Once they sign Looby, Iowa will have awarded all of its available scholarships for this season.

Iowa will have six scholarships to give next year, as the 8/5 rule is no longer in effect.

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