After a stellar career at Dubuque Wahlert, Eric May begins his freshman season at Iowa this fall. May is a versatile player that could help the Hawkeyes in a number of areas in 2009-10. HN.com Senior Writer Rob Howe has watched the in-state product through the summer and filed this scouting report.
May grabbed his Iowa scholarship offer last summer following a historic shot at the state tournament that led his Dubuque Wahlert team to a title. Long one of the best athletes in the state, May excelled as a quarterback as well.
Iowa became the first BCS school to offer May a scholarship, but some top mid-majors sought his services. Scout.com listed May as a two-star recruit on a five-star school, but that could have been affected by his early commitment.
May is listed at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds on Iowa's official web site. I'll buy the weight, but he is more in the 6-3 range.
Unlike Payne, who could use some time in the Hawkeye weight room, May looks physically impressive, more like a football safety than a guard. Former Hawkeye Darryl Moore plays against May in the PTL and says that the newcomer is extremely strong around the rim, which helps him to finish against taller player. May also does a nice job hitting the open three, which he receives because opponent's respect his ability to drive past them. Another thing to like about May is his willingness to play tenacious defense. I don't think he has the foot speed to check the point, but I think he can defend most 2s and 3s and if the matchup is right, the 4. May also extends himself all over the floor. He possesses a motor that doesn't stop and is in constant motion on the court. If someone lets up for a second, May makes him pay. May immediately steps on the floor as one of Iowa's better athletes. He's also a good screen setter.
Critics would call May a "'tweener." As I said, he's probably closer to 6-2 than he is 6-5. And in a BCS conference he's going to play against more prototypical guys at each position. Although he can shoot the three, May looks streaky from the outside. He must be more consistent with that to open up his ability to get to the rim and finish. And while he can muscle his way to the basket in the PTL, will that play in the Big Ten, especially against teams with shot blockers? May also favors his strong hand quite a bit and needs to work on going left. May's game can look choppy at times, meaning he's not the most naturally fluid basketball player.
I wouldn't expect May to show up on any all-Big Ten teams during his Iowa career, but I think he's a good fit for this program. His versatility and athleticism will prove valuable for Coach Lickliter. He doesn't need the ball in his hands to be an effective player and his history of hitting big shots could make him a crowd favorite. His willingness and success in setting screens should help create offense for himself and teammates.
Editor's Note: This is the second installment in a four-part, scouting report series on Iowa players from the PTL.