Caden Wilkins is performing this spring like a prospect readying for takeoff. He’s displaying athleticism, a versatile skill set and high basketball IQ. The Class of 2024 standout from Bettendorf (IA) High and the Iowa Barnstormers AAU squad is piquing the interest of college coaches.
Bryant delivered his first scholarship offer on April 10th. He visited Northern Iowa last week. Plenty of other programs have shown him interest.
Wilkins visited Illinois for a game at the end of the season. He took visits to Wisconsin and Iowa in the fall.
“I really liked the way the visit was set up,” Wilkins told HF. “It gave me a great feel for Hawkeye Basketball. The environment in Iowa City was great.”
Assistant Billy Taylor was leading the Hawkeyes’ recruitment of Wilkins before taking the head coaching position at Elon last month.
“Their coaching staff never got into too much depth about my game in my time up there, but I’m sure they’re looking to see a higher percent and higher volume from three-point range,” Wilkins said.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery’s youngest son, Jack McCaffery (’25), ran with the Barnstormers before joining D1 Minnesota. He hung out with Wilkins during his Iowa visit.
“I have never played on his team, but we have developed a good friendship ever since I visited, whether it’s over the phone or at a high school event,” Wilkins said.
With a busy AAU spring schedule, Wilkins will look to check out more campuses this summer.
“I don’t have any dates officially set up. Illinois has reached out about another visit sometime soon. Nebraska. Drake, Butler, and Marquette have all mentioned potential visits in the past,” he said.
As a sophomore, Wilkins (6-6, 200) led Bettendorf in scoring (16.1 PPG) and rebounding (5.8 RPG). He shot 33.0 percent on three-pointers, an area he’s working on improving.
“I feel like college coaches really just want to see me continue to grow as a three-point shooter, keep getting stronger and athletic, and continue to make the right basketball play,” he said.
Wilkins doesn’t have any childhood favorites when it comes to college basketball programs.
“I didn’t grow up a Hawkeye fan, in particular. I happen to be a UNC (North Carolina) fan,” he said.
“Ever since I started getting recruited, I’ve tried to completely wipe out any past biases to any team and view everyone the same.”