Besides the fact that one is about a foot taller than the other, Adam Woodbury and Mike Gesell are similar in some ways.
They both live in or around Sioux City.
They both play on the same AAU basketball team.
And they both have Iowa among their top choices for college, but neither seems in a hurry to make a decision.
“As of right now, I haven’t really ruled anybody out,” said Woodbury, a 7-foot junior center from Sioux City East High School. “I’m still into the process and just having fun with everything.”
Gesell, a 6-1 junior guard from South Sioux City, Neb., said he’ll start taking a closer look at his top schools, which include Iowa, this spring and summer.
Gesell speaks highly of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery and likes the up-tempo style that McCaffery uses.
“I haven’t narrowed my list down or anything like that yet,” Gesell said. “I definitely like Iowa. I’m go-ing to visit them next Friday.”
“I like what McCaffery is doing with them. I like the style of play they use. That’s definitely the type of game that I like to play.”
Woodbury grew up as an Iowa fan and has had an offer from the Hawkeyes for nearly two years.
Former Iowa coach Todd Lickliter first offered Woodbury a scholarship, but Lickliter was fired shortly after the 2009-10 season and replaced by McCaffery.
McCaffery has since also offered Woodbury a scholarship.
“I think he’s a great guy,” Woodbury said of McCaffery. “The whole staff is great people. And they’ve started to turn the program around.”
Woodbury is used to people telling him to pick Iowa because it’s been happening ever since he was offered a scholarship.
“I know they’re just devoted fans, and they want to see me play at Iowa,” Woodbury said. “But as of right now, I haven’t said yes or no to them. We’ll see what happens.”
Asked if he feels any pressure to pick Iowa, Woodbury said: “None at all.”
Woodbury and Gesell are part of a 17-under AAU team that will compete in the prestigious Nike Elite Youth Basketball League circuit, beginning this weekend in Hampton, Va.
Linn-Mar junior point guard Marcus Paige, who is committed to North Carolina, also is on the team, along with some other top juniors from instate.
Gesell said he wants to polish his guard skills in preparation for his senior season.
“I’m working on ball handling and finishing around the rim and stuff like that,” Gesell said.
In addition to Iowa, Gesell also is looking at Creighton, Nebraska and Stanford among other schools.
“Location is not a big deal to me right now,” Gesell said. “Who knows if it will be in the summer? I’m not sure. I still haven’t figured out what the main priorities are for me yet.”
The fact that Iowa is in a rebuilding phase under McCaffery is something that Gesell and Woodbury both will take into consideration.
Iowa finished 11-20 in McCaffery’s first season as head coach. It was Iowa’s fourth consecutive losing season, the longest streak in school history.
“I think there are positives and negatives to it,” Gesell said. “It’d be fun because then I’d know that I’d have a chance to make an impact right away.
“But at the same time, you just never know.”
The earliest Woodbury and Gesell could sign a letter of intent is in November when they are both high school seniors.
NCAA rules prohibit the Iowa coaches from commenting on a specific recruit before the recruit has signed a letter of intent.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball