Eric May remembers when he was the latest hotness.
The 6-foot-5 Dubuque Wahlert graduate was the one the crowds were coming to see at the Prime Time League in North Liberty. He remembers the summer before his freshman season.
“Things change quick,” May said Sunday. “It’s weird. It seems like a long time ago.
“I’ve been through a lot, but I’m happy I’m here.”
May is the only player left on the roster who was recruited by and played for former coach Todd Lickliter.
Only May remains of a recruiting class that included Brennan Cougill, Cully Payne and Devon Archie.
“My freshman year was a strange year,” May said. “Things were not going well. We were not a tight-knit team.
“My freshman year, that isn’t what a team is like.”
May did have his best year on the court as a freshman. He averaged 9.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and earned a spot on the Big Ten all-freshman team.
After playing 31 minutes per game as a freshman, May saw his minutes reduced to 25 per game as a sophomore, and then 14.7 last season as he struggled with a strained back.
“It was a battle every day,” May said. “I learned from it. I want to take what I learned into this year.”
May said that instead of lifting weight a lot this offseason, he has been focused on stretching and honing his body. He said he was 100 percent healthy.
“I feel good; my body feels good,” May said.
May has watched as coach Fran McCaffery has brought in big recruiting classes to compete for playing time. Iowa now is as deep as its has been in nearly a decade.
“I love it,” May said. “If we’re not getting better guys, if I’m not working for a position, then something is wrong. Nothing is handed to anybody. No one will be given anything on this team, which is good.”
Last season, May averaged 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, playing through the back injury. He played in 33 games and made 21 starts.
He is working on being the player Hawkeye fans remember.
“Attack the basket and crash the boards; get back to that,” May said. “Get offensive and defensive rebounds. That’s got to be a priority for me.”
May also has to be a leader to a team with a ton of youth, and a ton of talent. Part of that, May said, is making sure juniors Devyn Marble, Melsahn Basabe and Zach McCabe step up into leadership roles as well.
“We’ve got a lot of talent,” May said. “We need leadership on the court, and I’m going to bring that. I’ll do whatever I’ve got to do.”
May had 17 points and six rebounds for his PTL team Sunday, charging hard to the hoop and drawing fouls.
He is ready for his last go-round, and there’s no where he’d rather be.
“I’m a Hawkeye,” May said. “I came to this schools, and this is where I’m going to graduate from.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball