116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
McCaffery comfortable with current forwards
Apr. 24, 2014 8:31 pm, Updated: Apr. 24, 2014 11:13 pm
NEWTON - A few hours after a recruit spurned his scholarship offer, Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said he remains comfortable with his current front line going into next basketball season.
Junior-college forward Willie Atwood picked Arizona State over Iowa and Florida State on Thursday afternoon. McCaffery received the call from Atwood's junior-college coach while he spoke at a Coaches vs. Cancer event in Nashville, Tenn., earlier in the day.
Last night at the Jasper County I-Club, McCaffery declined to say much about Atwood but instead touted his veteran forwards and centers. McCaffery also said incoming freshman forward Dominique Uhl will not red-shirt next fall.
'All that means is Uhl is going to play, which we knew that already,” McCaffery said. '(Jarrod) Uthoff will play a lot more, which maybe he should have last year, the way he was playing at the end of the year especially. (Aaron) White's going to play a lot and Gabe (Olaseni) and (Adam Woodbury) are going to play a lot. So we have plenty.”
Iowa must replace senior forwards Zach McCabe and Melsahn Basabe, who rank first and tied for second, respectively, all-time in games played. They combined for 1,990 career points. Atwood is a more physical player than Iowa's current forwards, and it's possible Iowa will shift backup center Gabe Olaseni to power forward at times next year.
'We did it a little bit last year but not much,” McCaffery said. 'At least we did it some. Gabe's more comfortable (there). If we said, ‘Hey, I need you to play the four,' he'd be excited about that, I think.”
Iowa has two scholarships available for this season, but McCaffery has no qualms about banking one or both. He declined to comment - per NCAA rules - about former Nevada forward Cole Huff, who is scheduled to visit Iowa on May 2. Huff, who listed his final four as Creighton, Iowa, Dayton and Michigan, would have to sit out one year.
Iowa has three open scholarships for the 2015-16 class, which signs this fall, but Chicago De La Salle High School junior forward Brandon Hutton has committed to one.
'I like going into this class with scholarships,” McCaffery said. 'There's still some guys out there.”
McCaffery also is high on incoming point guard Trey Dickerson's skill set. Dickerson, a third-team All-American at Williston (N.D.) Junior College, can help break down defenses and score.
'This guy gets in the lane,” McCaffery said. 'He gets rid of it. He throws alley oops. But he can also score. He's another weapon we have. Another talent.
'We looked at him, is he good enough to play in the Big Ten? Absolutely. He brings something to the table that enhances what we have. He compliments what we have. He gives us flexibility. We can play him and Mike (Gesell) together. We can play (Dickerson) and two big guards.
'The bottom line, he's a scoring point guard and those guys are effective, especially in this league.”
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