Iowa Assistants Turning Up the Heat

In part two of our conversation with Van Coleman of www.hoopmasters.com, we turn our attention to some of the players that will impact Iowa next year, as well as Coleman's insight on how Iowa's coaching changes have impacted Iowa's recruiting efforts.

If you missed part one of our interview with Coleman where he broke down several of the best performers from Iowa's recently concluded Elite Camp, CLICK HERE to read that story.

Q: Were the coaches happy with the turnout from the camp?

VAN COLEMAN: I think they were. They mix in their incoming kids to play with the high school kids. Tyler Smith is the real deal. He will make a major impact next year. Cyrus Tate looked really solid, a guy that comes in and gives you darn close to a double-double every night. He is a driven kid. Kurt Looby; if a ball is anywhere where he can touch it around t he basket, my lord can he go up and get it. Rebound and throw it down. He has great timing on that put back dunk. He is so long. Yeah, he has to get stronger. But Erek Hansen was that way for a couple of years before he got to that point.

They are stepping up athletically. Mike Henderson was really impressed with the athleticism that he sees for next year's team. He thinks they will be a step up on that front. He feels that if they can play defense the way they played this year, as athletic as they are, that it could be a fun year, and he is glad that some people feel that they might not be that great of a team, because he believes they will surprise some people.

Q: It seems like that overnight Iowa is all of the sudden not just involved with many more high major prospects than they have been in recent years, but they are getting commitments from some of them and are getting serious interest from even more of them. When Craig Neal arrived, he obviously had to have some time to get his relationships ramped up with some of the younger classes. But what has been the difference in things exploding here as of late for Iowa on the recruiting trails?

COLEMAN:I think that (the Neal factor) is part of it, but it also helps to have the relationships that Billy (Garrett) brings. What Billy does strengthens the relationships that Neal has. He strengthens the East Coast stuff, because now you have two guys from Iowa that those guys know. He strengthens Chicago.

Wolf Nelson is back on their campus (Chicago Farragut Coach), with a Top 25 potential junior to be. They have had some great teams through the years. He is coming back out this fall and perhaps next spring. His premise is that he now feels comfortable with Iowa. Billy adds to Neal and makes that happen in two of their key areas where they are getting a lot of response. I think Tim Buckley helps strengthen the Indiana thing.

Reestablishing the Chicago connection and establishing that east coast connection will pay dividends long term, at least in my opinion. I think that is something that Neal and Garrett will now be able to really cultivate and I think that Buckley will work with the Indiana, Ohio and Michigan area, because that is where his strength has been recruiting wise, and hope that those connections will get Iowa in the door.

You look at Ohio State for the next few years. They have had great recruiting success, but now all of the sudden kids that are the potential high-majors in Ohio might look at the Buckeye situation and think, ‘Where do I fit in? Will I play?' So some of the good young talent coming down the road in that state, perhaps the third and fourth best kids in the state are now open to everyone. And that is where that Buckley might get in and make those inroads because you might be able to get a great player out of those areas.

I think they would like to cultivate Texas a bit, too. They will work that area more than they will have in the past.

I think at this point there situation has been strengthened, and that is what brought some of these kids in this weekend that made that camp as deep as it has ever been.


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