IOWA CITY, Iowa – Cordell Pemsl became the first member of Iowa’s 2016 recruiting class last May. The in-state product has been waiting since then for somebody to join him.
It will happen. It’s not unusual for schools to retain open scholarships in a given cycle much closer to the November signing day.
We are nearing a period when the situation sorts itself out, however. Following the July AAU evaluation period, many players hold the offers they’re likely to receive and can sort through them. Official visits often follow.
For the Hawkeyes, center, power forward and point guard stand out as needs. They currently can hand out three scholarships in the 2016 class.
Coach Fran McCaffery has doled out more than 20 offers in the cycle. Some of those players committed elsewhere but quite a few remain on the market.
With that in mind, we present the first AllHawkeyes.com 2016 Iowa Recruiting Big Board for basketball – 2016 AH Big Board 1.0, if you will:
(Explaining the Big Board: It’s not a listing of the top prospects with Iowa offers. Rather, I compile this rundown based on several factors mixed together in hopes of producing my most educated guess for where the Hawkeyes stand with a given class. Recruiting is fluid and ever-changing, and this content should be viewed as a guide, not gospel. In a nutshell, the Big Board consists of prospects with Iowa offers that are realistic targets. I base that on information I gather through my interviews and also outside sources.)
1. Tyler Cook
Height, Weight: 6-8, 240
School: St. Louis Chaminade
AAU: Saint Louis Eagles
Reported Offers: Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri, Virginia, Alabama, Illinois, Illinois State, Kansas, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Miami (FL), Michigan, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Saint Louis, Tennessee, Wake Forest.
Rankings: Rivals (4 stars, 79th player overall in class), Scout (4 Stars, 94th overall, 16th PF nationally, 1st in Missouri).
Skinny: Cook is an explosive front court player that could go a long way in replacing Aaron White and Jarrod Uthoff. He’s long, powerful and very athletic. He trimmed his impressive list of offers to Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri and Virginia last week. The Hawkeyes were the first big conference school to offer him a scholarship and he’s built a strong relationship with the staff. Missouri hired his AAU head coach as an assistant the other day, so that’s something on which to keep an eye. Cook seems headed to a decision close to signing day after using his official visits.
2. Nick Rakocevic
Height, Weight: 6-10, 200
School: Westchester (IL) St. Joseph’s
AAU: Mac Irvin Fire
Reported Offers: Creighton, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Miami (FL), Northern Illinois, Purdue, Virginia, Wisconsin, Xavier.
Rankings: Rivals (4 stars, 75th player overall in class), Scout (4 Stars, 62nd overall, 12th PF nationally, 2nd in Illinois).
Skinny: Rakocevic and Cook are interchangeable and Iowa landing either one would be a coup considering the competition for their services. I think Cook’s game slightly fits better Iowa’s current needs but Rakocevic could end up being the bigger prize in the long run as he adds strength and his body fills out. Unlike Cook, Rakocevic hasn’t trimmed his list of schools. Like Cook, he’s built a strong relationship with the Hawkeye staff.
3. Barret Benson
Height, Weight: 6-9, 245
School: Darien (IL) Hinsdale South
AAU: Illinois Wolves
Reported Offers: DePaul, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Loyola Chicago, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon State, Penn State, Purdue, Vanderbilt.
Rankings: Rivals (4 stars, 89th player overall in class), Scout (4 Stars, 96th overall, 24th C national, 2nd in Illinois).
Skinny: Iowa jumped in with an offer for the Illinois big man in late April after watching him through the years. A week later he was chosen to play in the NBA Top 100 camp, an event in which current Hawkeye center Adam Woodbury won MVP honors before his senior season. Benson would be a super replacement for Woodbury, who enters his final college campaign this winter. Woodbury started from Day 1 on campus and that’s the selling point needed to land Benson over stiff competition.
4. Seth Towns
Height, Weight: 6-8, 215
School: Columbus (OH) Northland
AAU: King James
Reported Offers: Air Force, Butler, Dayton, Harvard, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Ohio State, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Xavier.
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars, 125th player overall in class), Scout (4 Stars, 88th overall, 19th SF nationally, 2nd in Ohio).
Skinny: Towns is one of only two wing players on this edition of the Big Board. While it’s not a need for the Hawkeyes, he’s a Top 100 player with an offer and interest. He’s dynamic, long and athletic. He’s skilled enough to play the two. He’s also a guy that can post up and get to the basket. He”d fit very nicely into McCaffery’s system.
5. Charlie Moore
Height, Weight: 5-11, 160
School: Chicago Morgan Park
AAU: Mac Irvin Fire
Reported Offers: Iowa, Georgia Tech, Memphis, St. John’s, Illinois-Chicago.
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars), Scout (3 Stars).
Skinny: After a long period of courting, Iowa offered Moore a scholarship on April 13. Georgia Tech was just ahead of the Hawkeyes and Memphis came in on Saturday. That trio expects to see competition from more high majors. Moore is diminutive but very quick and skilled. He reminds some folks of Tyler Ulis but hasn’t reached the level of the former McDonald’s all-American. Moore could compete for a starting spot as a freshman in Iowa City and that’s an enticing scenario for him.
6. Kevin Huerter
Height, Weight: 6-5, 170
Position: Combo Guard
School: Clifton Park (NY) Shenendehowa
AAU: Albany (NY) City Rocks
Reported Offers: Albany, Baylor, Davidson, Duquesne, George Washington, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Marquette, Maryland, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Penn State, Rice, Siena, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Xavier, Syracuse (for 2017 after year at prep school).
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars, 101st player overall in class), Scout (3 Stars).
Skinny: Huerter is friends with 2017 Iowa point guard pledge Connor McCaffery, Fran’s eldest son. In fact, their two families are close. That gives the Hawkeyes the necessary footing for a prospect with really good options a half a country away. Huerter is a legit combo guard, meaning he can play the point or off the ball, but is best suited on the wing. Again, like Towns, he doesn’t fill a position of need but is too good a prospect to pass on if he wants to come to Iowa.
7. Dylan Painter
Height, Weight: 6-9, 215
School: Hershey (PA) High
AAU: Team Final
Reported Offers: Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, George Mason, Georgia Tech, Hofstra, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State, Rhode Island, Rice, Richmond, St. Joseph’s, Xavier, Yale.
Rankings: Rivals (NR), Scout (NR).
Skinny: Rivals and Scout may not have a star rating on this Pennsylvania power forward but his offer list suggests he can play. Painter’s stock continues to rise after a dominating junior season in high school followed up by a strong spring with a loaded Team Final squad in the EYBL. He’s a face-up four with a reliable outside shot and a developing post game. Iowa sits in good position here but needs to get him on campus.
8. Xavier Simpson
Height, Weight: 6-1, 175
School: Lima (OH) Senior High
AAU: King James
Reported Offers: Cleveland State, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Northwestern, Purdue, Toledo, Xavier.
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars, 122nd player overall in class), Scout (4 Stars, 74th overall, 16th PG nationally, 1st in Ohio).
Skinny: Simpson also plays for a loaded AAU program, coached by his father. Seth Towns benefits from Simpson’s ability to see the floor and hit the open man. He’s quick and knows where he wants to go with the ball. Like some of the other point guards on this list, he’s on the smaller side, but he’s talented enough to excel well beyond his physical limitations.
9. C.J. Walker
Height, Weight: 6-0, 170
School: Indianapolis Arsenal Tech
AAU: Spiece Indy Heat
Reported Offers: Butler, Cincinnati, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas State, LaSalle, Memphis, Missouri, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Texas A&M, Wichita State, Xavier.
Rankings: Rivals (3 stars, 148th player overall in class), Scout (3 Stars).
Skinny: Walker de-committed from Purdue in late March, his father telling the Indianapolis Star that his son was looking for a more up-tempo system. That makes the Hawkeyes an excellent fit for the speedy Walker. After re-opening his recruitment, he’ll move slowly and that could allow more programs to enter the competition. Michigan is starting to poke around.
10. Tony Carr
Height, Weight: 6-4, 175
School: Philadelphia Roman Catholic
AAU: Team Final
Reported Offers: Georgetown, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, LaSalle, Maryland, Penn State, Rhode Island, SMU, Temple.
Rankings: Rivals (4 stars, 76th player overall in class), Scout (4 Stars, 56th overall, 10th PG nationally, No. 1 PG in East Region).
Skinny: The reason Carr sits No. 10 on this board isn’t based on talent. It’s the competition. For me, he’d easily be the No. 1 point guard target Iowa has offered in this cycle. At 6-4 with a great handle and superior length, Carr is a match-up nightmare for most teams. He finds it neat that Fran McCaffery was a well-known Philly point guard in his day but the Hawkeyes will need to make additional inroads here if they hope to pull this top talent out of the City of Brotherly Love.