Gipson Picks Up Iowa Offer, Plans to Visit

The Iowa basketball program is hoping that Sherman Dillard's Texas connections can help land standout '11 PF Thomas Gipson. Hawkeye Insider caught up with Gipson recently to see where the Hawkeyes sit with him and grab the latest on his recruitment. Find out what he had to say about those things and more in this update.

When Fran McCaffery hired his assistants, their connections hit almost every part of the country. And that's how a guy like Thomas Gipson got a scholarship offer from Iowa.

Sherman Dillard spotted the 2011 Texas power forward when his son's AAU team faced that of Gipson. When he took the job at Iowa, he returned to his home in the Dallas area and extended an opportunity to the rising prospect.

"He remembered me from seeing me play against his son," Gipson said. "When he came down to offer me the scholarship, he said he really liked how I played."

Dillard requested a visit to Iowa City from Gipson when he offered the scholarship. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound inside presence said he planned to visit the Iowa campus sometime in August.

Gipson really has watched his recruitment pick up since the Pangos All-American Camp earlier this month. West Virginia and Cal offered him a scholarship recently as well as several other PAC-10 schools.

"I think (the scouts) noticed my rebounding skills and my hard work," Gipson said of Pangos. "There was one game where I wasn't making my shots, but I still got 12 rebounds."

Gipson said that defense and rebounding rank ahead of offense in his game and on his mind.

"Offense really isn't my focus," said Gipson, who is being recruited as a four.

Gipson has unofficially visited Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. He planned on visiting Iowa and other schools after his AAU season concludes at the end of July.

"Academic success and graduation rate are two things I'm closely looking at," Gipson said. "I also am interested in the people that came out of that college and did something. Reputation of the school also is important."

Gipson intends to study communications or sports management in college. He said that he doesn't have a favorite among his choices at this point but likes Kansas State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Cal quite a bit.

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