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Uthoff likes Iowa’s style of play, surprised by restriction list

[ 9 ] April 17, 2012 |

Jarrod Uthoff spent much of his freshman season at Wisconsin running the opponent’s offense in practice as a member of the scout team.

The former Cedar Rapids Jefferson all-state forward saw up close how schools like Iowa and Indiana play offense and he felt their more up-tempo styles suited him better than Bo Ryan’s offense at Wisconsin.

That’s why the 6-foot-8 Uthoff, who announced last week that he planned to leave the Badger program after one season, would like to have a chance to consider transferring to Iowa or Indiana.

“Yes, I would,” Uthoff said Tuesday afternoon in a phone interview.

However, Iowa and Indiana are among 25 schools that Ryan has put on a restricted list, which means they aren’t allowed to contact Uthoff. The restricted list includes all the schools in the Big Ten Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as Iowa State and Marquette.

Uthoff has appealed the restrictions to the Wisconsin compliance office, but he hadn’t heard anything as of late Tuesday afternoon. Iowa is among four schools that Uthoff appealed for specifically in writing. The others are Indiana, Iowa State and Marquette.

“They said seven days and I wrote this last Thursday, so it should be pretty soon here,” said Uthoff, who was redshirted at Wisconsin this past season.

Asked if he was surprised that Ryan has placed so many schools on a restricted list, Uthoff said, “I am surprised. I don’t why they’re doing it.”

Uthoff said Iowa’s success in Fran McCaffery’s second season as head coach is not the main reason he’s interested in becoming a Hawkeye. Iowa finished 18-17 overall this past season, its first winning season since the 2006-067 campaign.

The Hawkeyes also won a game in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2006; a game in the National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 2003 and seven more games than the previous season.

“It’s about the style of play and how I’d fit into the style of play,” Uthoff said. “I ran every other Big Ten system (in practice). I liked (Iowa’s system).”

Ironically, it was also about style of play when Uthoff picked Wisconsin over Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Illinois and Butler in July 2010. But his opinion changed after he started seeing Wisconsin’s offense on a daily basis.

The Big Ten has a policy that makes it difficult to transfer within the conference, especially on scholarship. However, the Big Ten changed its rule and now allows intra-conference transfers to receive full scholarships. Wisconsin would have to grant Uthoff a full release before he would be eligible for a scholarship at Iowa or another Big Ten school. If Uthoff won his appeal, he’d be required to sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules.

Uthoff plans to visit Creighton on Friday. But he said he wouldn’t commit until he has a chance to look at some other schools.

“I want to check out the others schools, too,” Uthoff said.

This marks the second time since 2010 that Iowa and Wisconsin have been involved with a player who changed his mind about which school to attend.

Guard Ben Brust asked to be released from his scholarship to Iowa after Todd Lickliter was fired as the Iowa coach in March 2010 and replaced by McCaffery. Iowa complied and Brust ultimately won an appeal that allowed him to be on scholarship at Wisconsin.

Uthoff also thinks he could be on scholarship at Iowa or Indiana if he won his appeal since he didn’t play in any games last season.

“The Big Ten just changed the rule, since I haven’t played in the Big Ten, then I can transfer to another Big Ten school,” Uthoff said.

Brust’s situation was different in that he never enrolled at Iowa and there was a head coaching change after he had signed with the Hawkeyes.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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