Hawkeyes Land Hoops Recruit

Steve Alford and his Iowa Staff added some much needed inside depth with the addition of 7-0 California big man Josh Crawford.

By Van Coleman van@hoopmasters.com Steve Alford and his Iowa Staff added some much needed inside depth with the addition of 7-0 California big man Josh Crawford...

As hoopmasters.com reported last week, 7-0 Josh Crawford from Long Beach, CA Wilson was going to visit SMU last weekend, then head on to Iowa City and visit the University of Iowa.

He just returned home from the Iowa visit this evening and decided to make his college decision. So he could make arrangements to head to college. He has decided to turn around this weekend and head right back to Iowa, as he has decided to become a Hawkeye according to his Summer Coach Etop Udo-Ema.

"I just got off the phone with Josh a couple minutes ago, and he's decided to commit to the Iowa Hawkeyes," Coach Udo-Ema told Hoopmasters. "He loved the players and the coaching staff. He felt he'd found a home at Iowa."

"He will be heading back to Iowa City on Saturday to get settled in on campus. Josh just got cleared by the Clearinghouse, so he's ready to go."

Crawford really blew up in the second half of July play for Udo-Ema's Compton Magic squad and was named to the "Top 30" All-Star team at the Fullcourt Press All-West Camp. He had developed lots of interest according to camp director Dinos Trigonis.

"His impressive play in July and here at the All-West Camp has created a lot of interest in him."

He was heading to 7-West Academy for a year of Prep School until, Iowa, SMU, San Diego, Pepperdine, and Long Beach State started to talk with him about joining them this fall. He looked at all these schools this month before choosing the Hawkeyes on Thursday night.

Crawford is a late bloomer who has only been playing seriously for two years, since growing from a 6-1 freshman into a 7-0 senior. He averaged 13.3 points and 7.7 boards in his second full season at Long Beach Wilson last winter. His late growth spurt makes Crawford an intriguing prospect, since he has such developed facing skills according to Coach Udo-Ema.

"What gets most coaches excited about Josh is his amazing foot quickness for a big man his size," Udo-Ema explained. "He has solid facing skills and range to the arc, plus he can handle the rock too. If he can add 25-30 pounds while he's at Iowa, he's a pro!"

Iowa fans will see a lot of Eric Hansen in Crawford in his size and mobility. He's not the shot blocker that Hansen is, even though he averaged 4.6 blocks a game at Long Beach Wilson. But, he similar abilities to knock down jumper score with quickness versus wide bodied foes.

He may red-shirt down the road (depending on how quick he adds much needed bulk), but as a freshman Josh Crawford will be counted on to add depth to the Iowa frontcourt, that was lost this fall when Class of 2006 signee Jamie Vanderbeken didn't qualify through the Clearinghouse.

HN.com Rob Howe filed an Iowa Basketball recruiting update in the HN Clubhouse this afternoon, looking ahead to whom is on Iowa's recruiting radar for this year and beyond, in addition to continuing to recruit some players that have already committed to Iowa. That, football practice updates and more can be found in the member's only forum: CLICK HERE for more information.

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