Iowa Hoops: May in Early August

Eric May began to make a name for himself in March after hitting a 35-footer to win a state championship for Dubuque Wahlert. May rode that momentum into the summer AAU circuit, where it resulted in a scholarship offer from Iowa. May accepted that offer, and is now a Hawkeye.

Dubuque Wahlert beat Harlan on a last second, 35-foot shot at Wells Fargo Arena this past March, in what was one of the most amazing finishes you will ever see in a high school basketball game.

In a tie game with two seconds to play and the entire length of the court to go, Wahlert drew up a play they had run successfully earlier in the year to beat Iowa City West.

They wanted to free up star player Eric May roughly 35-feet from the basket, and just let his superior athleticism take over.

"We knew Eric has the strength to shoot with regular form from 38 feet on in," said May's high school coach Tom English. "We wanted him to catch, turn and shoot. He elevates so well, he will get a good shot off."

That he did, as May's shot was true, sinking Harlan for a state title as time expired.

May was as hero for Wahlert, and perhaps someday he will get the chance to be a hero for the Iowa Hawkeyes as he has given Iowa a verbal commitment.

"Iowa is getting a kid who knows how to win and will do anything he can to win games. He is a great teammate, and will always put the team ahead of his own goals." English said. "He is an extremely tough kid both physically and mentally. If you have seen him, he is a well put together kid, and there are a lot of guys like that. But pair that with his mental toughness, desire, athleticism and energy level, you are getting a pretty good player and he will fit in great in Coach Lickliter's system."

Most experts agree on one thing as it relates to May; he wants to win, period and will do anything he can within the rules to put his team over the top.

May didn't exactly have a stampede of college programs beating down his door this spring, but after a solid summer of AAU play in front of several college coaches, including Iowa's Todd Lickliter, teams began to see a player that can fill multiple roles, including guarding the opposing team's biggest men in the paint.

"I think he will fit into that role," English said. "He can guard a bigger player because he plays taller than he stands because he is a great jumper and has long arms, and he is strong. Put those together and he can guard the post, and he can guard the wing. He can take it in the chest and keep guys in front of him. Defensively, he has only scratched the surface."

May's offense has been on display during his college career, something that English things can be expanded upon at the next level.

"He has become a very good shooter over the past couple of years. He will be a good pick and pop player, he can take it to the hole and finish and he can jump out of the gym. His versatility will be utilized. That is what Coach Lickliter wants in his system."

May's ‘in between' size at 6-5 probably limited his number of looks from high major programs.

"There were a lot of schools in on him early and really wanted him; Northern Iowa, Indiana State and Loyola of Chicago had offered a long time ago, Butler as of late. Some bigger schools were late, and I think that is due to him being perceived as a ‘tweener' sized wise. But he showed this summer during AAU that he can be versatile, like we just talked about and Coach Lickliter saw a player that would fit and that he could develop" Enlgish said.

Iowa fans continue to see their basketball coaching staff focus in on players that they see as a fit for their system. The Iowa staff knows who and what it wants to be on the basketball court, and they are not afraid to take a player that other high major programs are in on.

May's going into a well defined system is a plus, in the eyes of his high school coach.

"Anytime you are familiar with a system or the situation that helps to create quicker success. Eric has a good head on his shoulder, so any system he was in he could adapt, but I think this is a great fit." English said.

"That staff wants guys with energy and guys that want to be Hawkeyes, versatile with positions. He is just such a gamer. He has won a lot of games for us the past few years, last second shots, some phenomenal fourth quarters and you can't teach that. They are going to build that program around winners, and they certainly got one with him."

For some indepth analysis on May and what his role with Iowa may entail, CLICK HERE to read the write up in the HN Clubhouse.


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