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Offer from Coach McCaffery prompts visit from promising Iowa prep

[ 0 ] April 27, 2014 |

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Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery likes his team to push the pace on offense.

McCaffery also likes to push the pace in his recruitment of Cordell Pemsl, offering the 6-foot-7 all-state sophomore from Dubuque Wahlert a scholarship last week.

“I was a little bit caught by surprise,” Pemsl said Sunday night of how quickly the offer came.

Pemsl is scheduled to meet with McCaffery on Thursday in Iowa City. Pemsl’s mother will accompany him on the trip. Pemsl has attended several of Iowa’s games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and already is familiar with some aspects of the program, including the facilities.

Pemsl said his visit Thursday would focus more on McCaffery explaining to him and to his mother how playing for Iowa would benefit Pemsl as a student-athlete.

“I’ve seen Iowa pretty closely after games and what not,” the 220-pound forward said. “(Coach McCaffery) is going to sit down with us and explain to my mom what he feels like he can bring to me, not just basketball-wise, but once basketball is over.

“And then see where it goes from there.”

Pemsl said there is a chance he could commit during his visit if all goes well.

“There is a chance,” he said. “Anything can happen. I could do it on the spot when we get there. I’m not in a huge hurry, but I don’t want to have to wait too long.

“A part of my decision is how my mom feels about the school. So if she likes it, I know I like it. There is not really a timetable for me. It used to be that I wanted to do it about this time next year. But at this point, anything can happen.”

Pemsl understands and appreciates the thought process that McCaffery goes through while deciding who should deserve a scholarship offer. The fact that McCaffery thought enough of Pemsl to offer him as a sophomore made a strong impression.

“That shows me how much he truly believes I can help out his program,” said Pemsl, who also has scholarship offers from Northern Iowa and Creighton and is being recruited by Wichita State.

The offer from Iowa came barely a month after Pemsl helped lead Wahlert to the Class 3A state title in March. The 6-foot-7 left-hander averaged 15.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game this past season despite being hobbled by a shoulder injury late in the season.

Wahlert also handed eventual Class 4A state champion West High one of its three defeats this past season.

“We had a lot of ups,” Pemsl said. “It was a really positive season individually and as a team.”

The earliest Pemsl could sign a national letter of intent would be in November of his senior year in 2015.

Part of him is intrigued by the idea of committing to Iowa soon. He grew up in Dubuque cheering for the Hawkeyes, and now suddenly, he has a chance to be one.

But Pemsl also is sort of intrigued by seeing where the recruiting process might take him, considering he still has two years left in high school.

“That’s exactly it,” Pemsl said. “It definitely would be hard for me to say no (to Iowa) right now. But this is also a big summer. I’d like to be able to see other campuses and see how I would fit in their program as well as Iowa.”

Pemsl, who also pitches and plays first base in baseball, said doctors have told him that he could grow to 6-10.

“They told me my growth plates were still open,” Pemsl said. “They’re hoping I get to 6-10.”

Reach Pat Harty at 339-7370 or pharty@press-citizen.com.

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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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