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Junior college recruit to take look at Hawks on Friday

[ 0 ] March 26, 2014 |

Junior college forward Willie Atwood knows very little about the Iowa men’s basketball program or the University of Iowa, but he appreciates feeling wanted.

That’s one of the reasons Atwood will use his first official visit to get a closer look at the Iowa program this weekend.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has made it apparent to the 6-foot-8 Atwood that he is a recruiting priority.

“He told me that I’m not just a regular recruit to him,” Atwood said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “He wants me to come in and play a big role. I can tell he really wants me, and that means a lot.”

Atwood is expected to arrive Friday in Iowa City. He will visit Florida State on April 10 and plans to visit Arizona State and perhaps one or two more schools before making a decision.

Atwood also praised Iowa assistant coach Andrew Francis, who has served as his lead recruiter.

“He’s real cool and down-to-earth,” Atwood said of Francis.

Atwood attends Connors State Community College in Oklahoma where he averaged 20.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore this past season. The Memphis native has received at least a dozen scholarship offers with Auburn and Virginia Tech among the latest schools to do so.

Atwood is friends with Iowa point guard recruit Trey Dickerson, who committed March 8 to the Hawkeyes. He and Dickerson, who attends Williston State College in North Dakota, have talked about playing together at the same Division I school.

Dickerson committed to Iowa during his official visit, saying he was finished with the recruiting process. He is expected to sign a letter of intent after he finishes school in May.

However, Atwood said he won’t commit to Iowa during his official visit or before he has a chance to visit Florida State and Arizona State.

McCaffery still has one scholarship available in the 2014 class after landing Dickerson and signing high school senior forward Dominique Uhl and high school senior shooting guard Brady Ellingson in November.

McCaffery is prohibited under NCAA rules from talking publicly about a specific recruit before the recruit has signed a letter of intent.

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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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