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McCaffery on recruiting: ‘Right where we need to be’

[ 0 ] May 13, 2014 |

Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery has a message for fans who might be concerned or upset about the state of his recruiting.

“We’re right where we need to be in recruiting,” McCaffery said Tuesday. “We haven’t missed on people and we’re in on good players and feel really good about where we are for this coming season, for next year and moving forward.”

McCaffery made statements in response to recent criticism from fans and analysts who have questioned his recruiting in the wake of what was perceived as several near-misses with prospects. McCaffery said Tuesday he and his staff have made calculated decisions that he feels good about, coming off a season in which Iowa lost seven of its last eight games.

Of those who didn’t commit to Iowa: Junior college forward Willie Atwood picked Arizona State over Iowa and Florida State last month, while Nevada transfer Cole Huff picked Creighton over Iowa. High school junior forward Joseph Toye also recently committed to Vanderbilt despite having offer from Iowa earlier in the process.

McCaffery declined to talk in detail about any specific players but said extenuating circumstances led to each of the three potential recruits not committing to Iowa. He did say, however, that his staff stopped recruiting one player after receiving a verbal commitment from another player in the same class and with a similar skill set.

McCaffery said Iowa fans shouldn’t panic, and cautioned that they shouldn’t believe everything they read on internet sites.

“You have to trust our evaluation ability and the genuine interest in the people we’re looking at for a variety of reasons,” he said. “Sometimes, when you have good players, players might be interested but not want to come. It’s that simple. And sometimes we walk away from a player for any number of reasons.”

Iowa’s most recent commitment came from 6-foot-5 high school junior shooting guard Andrew Fleming on Monday. A native of Nashville, Tenn., Fleming said he picked Iowa over Florida, Vanderbilt, Ohio State, UNLV and Memphis, although it’s not certain if he had scholarship offers from all those schools.

Brandon Hutton, a 6-5 junior small forward from De La Salle High School in Chicago, committed to Iowa in early March, while junior-college point guard Trey Dickerson signed a letter of intent with Iowa in April.

High school senior forward Dominique Uhl and high school senior shooting guard Brady Ellingson also signed with Iowa during the early signing period in November.

In addition, Cordel Pemsl, a 6-7 all-state sophomore from Class 3A state champion Dubuque Wahlert, committed to Iowa on May 1.

“The reality is, we’re going to end up with a recruiting class of one, two, three or four players, occasionally five, and we’re going to recruit well over 100, maybe 200, players to get to that number,” McCaffery said. We’re going to miss on guys. We’re going to move away from guys. They’re going to move away from us. That’s the nature of the business.”

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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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