116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The Iowa men's basketball program needs a center for the 2021-22 season. Or two.
Here's the problem: On the surface, there aren't many that would seem to be likely to be able to be of great help right away.
Luka Garza moving on to pro ball and Jack Nunge's announcement Tuesday that he is transferring out of Iowa has left the Hawkeyes with a hole in the middle. The only true post player on the roster is freshman Josh Ogundele, who played 17 minutes this season. It would thus seem essential that Fran McCaffery bring in a big man from somewhere.
It just so happens the NCAA is expected to approve a one-time transfer waiver without penalty due to the pandemic when its Division I Council meets in April, applicable to the 2021-22 season.
OK, so who's available? Here is a short list of D-I centers. This isn't to suggest Iowa has contacted or will contact any of them, or that any of them would be receptive to contact from the Hawkeyes. These players all have or will have a lot of suitors.
The transfer situation moves very quickly, so there's no guarantee these players will still be free agents by the time you see this. Also, there are more transfers yet to come.
Walker Kessler, 7-foot-1 freshman, North Carolina: Averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds. Former McDonald's All-American. Had four straight games of double-digit scoring in February, including 20 points against Florida State. He is a hot commodity, and rumors have Gonzaga and Kentucky as contenders.
Qudus Wahab, 6-11 sophomore, Georgetown: Averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds, started 25 games. Had 20 points and 12 rebounds in the Hoyas' NCAA tournament loss to Colorado.
Tre Mitchell, 6-9 sophomore, Massachusetts: Averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. Atlantic-10 All-Conference player this season, and the A-10 Rookie of the Year as a freshman. He also was on the A-10's All-Academic Team this year.
Tanner Groves, 6-9 junior, Eastern Washington: Averaged 17.2 points and 8.0 rebounds. Scored 35 points in EWU's first-round NCAA tourney loss to Kansas. It isn't clear if he and brother Jacob Groves (9.3 ppg, also in the transfer portal) will be a package deal somewhere.
Nysier Brooks, 7-0 senior, Miami: Averaged 7.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. Transferred to Miami from Cincinnati. Had 11 points against Iowa in 21 minutes before fouling out when the Hawkeyes beat Cincinnati in the 2019 NCAA tournament.
Nate Reuvers, 6-11 senior, Wisconsin: Averaged 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds after averaging a team-high 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds as a junior. Has started 104 games, has 184 career blocked shots. He's set to earn his master's degree in May. He's a Minnesotan.
John Harrar, 6-9 senior, Penn State: Averaged 8.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. Blocked only eight shots all season, but had quite a rebounding average for 24.8 minutes per game.