Basabe Discusses Iowa Visit, What's Ahead

Siena released Melsahn Basabe from his letter of intent on Wednesday. A day later, he spoke with HawkeyeInsider.com about his recruiting interests, which center around the University of Iowa. Find out what the Class of 2010 Power Forward had to say about his future in this update.

Melsahn Basabe won't go as far as saying Iowa is leading for his services, but the Class of 2010 forward indicates that the Hawkeyes will get the first shot at him.

"I wouldn't designate Iowa has my favorite, but they are my first priority," said Basabe, who was released from his letter of intent with Siena on Wednesday.

The power forward from St. Mark's of Massachusetts said he planned to officially visit Iowa in about two weeks. He already has established a bond with Coach Fran McCaffery, who Iowa hired away from Siena last month to replace Todd Lickliter.

"The main reason I signed with Siena was because of my relationship with Coach McCaffery," the 6-foot-7, 215-pounder said. "When he departed (Siena), I had to re-evaluate my situation. I'm excited to check out Iowa because I've never seen it before."

Basabe said he'd like to get an overall feel for the university and Iowa City.

"I want to see the (basketball) facilities, but I also want to see what kind of people are out there," Basabe said. "My school is also big on academics, so I've been advised to closely look into that. I'm going to bring my mother out to see the vibe."

Basabe said that Texas, Indiana, Providence and Boston College have called St. Mark's coach, Dave Lubick expressing interest in the forward.

"I'm going to evaluate the Iowa situation first," Basabe said. "I'm not going to visit any schools before seeing Iowa and I won't set up anything for after that visit until I see it out there. If I still feel like I need to look around, then I'll look at my other options."

Basabe hails from Glen Cove, NY (North Shore of Long Island). He plays AAU ball with the New York Gauchos, a program that boasts some famous alums, including John Salley, Kenny Anderson, Mark Jackson, Chris Mullin, Pearl Washington, Jamal Mashburn, Rodney Strickland, Felipe Lopez, and Stephon Marbury.

Ironically, the Siena coach that discovered Basabe was Mitch Buonaguro, who replaced McCaffery as head coach there.

"I had a good relationship with all the coaches there (at Siena)," Basabe said. "Coach Mitch was the first to identify me. I just really got close to Coach McCaffery. I'm want to see what he's got going on out there and where he sees me fitting into his plans."


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