Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa men's basketball might add a transfer. Or not.

Fran McCaffery says he'd be cool going with the 11 scholarship players he has

Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery (right) pats the head of guard Isaiah Moss (4) as Moss and Luka Garza (55) came out of the game during the Hawkeyes’ 95-71 win over Illinois Jan. 20 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery (right) pats the head of guard Isaiah Moss (4) as Moss and Luka Garza (55) came out of the game during the Hawkeyes’ 95-71 win over Illinois Jan. 20 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CHICAGO — The magic 8-ball says “Ask again later” regarding whether the Iowa men’s basketball program will add any transfers before next season.

Actually, that’s pretty much what Hawkeyes Coach Fran McCaffery said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine.

“There’s still possible movement to come,” McCaffery said, “but I feel really good with the 11 guys we have on scholarship. If we didn’t do anything, it would be fine. I’m really excited about our group.”

Iowa has two open scholarships for next season. It had three openings when Maishe Dailey and Isaiah Moss left the program after the season, eventually transferring to Akron and Arkansas, respectively. A third junior, Tyler Cook, turned pro after last season ended and was the reason McCaffery came to the combine.

This week, McCaffery put former walk-on Riley Till of Dubuque on scholarship to fill one of the openings. Now we wait to see if anyone in the NCAA’s transfer portal heads Iowa’s way.

“There are guys that are still out there,” said McCaffery. “We’re constantly evaluating their talent level, their skill sets, their character, their academic profiles, all those things, whether it be a transfer or a graduate transfer.”

Moss’ defection was the biggest surprise of the three. He started every game in the 2018-19 season, averaging 9.2 points. He wasted little time finding a new home in Arkansas, which hired Eric Musselman as coach in early April.

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Asked Thursday why Moss left Iowa, Cook said “That’s something you’d have to ask him. I try not to get too into other people’s business, even though Isaiah is someone I consider a brother of mine.

“I heard he was deciding to transfer and I told him he had my full support and we loved him. I just thanked him for being a great teammate over my last three years.”

“Isaiah had a great experience with us,” McCaffery said. “He’s going to graduate this summer, and I’m thrilled for him.

“I would assume he wants more shots, more minutes. He was fourth on our team in minutes, fourth in scoring. That’s about where he would have been next year, maybe fifth.

“Sometimes a guy wants to try something else. I’m happy it worked out for him. I’m rooting for that kid. We had a terrific relationship. He did everything we asked him to do.”

How Moss’ 24 minutes per game are distributed has many possible answers.

“It starts with (redshirt freshman) C.J. Fredrick,” McCaffery said. “But we also have (freshman) Joe Toussaint coming in. Connor (McCaffery) will be a sophomore. Joe Wieskamp has the flexibility to play any wing position.”

Wieskamp made himself an NBA early-entry candidate, but with the intention of getting individual workouts with NBA teams before returning to Iowa for his sophomore season.

“They’re learning about him like they did Tyler last year,” McCaffery said. “He’ll learn what he needs to do to play at the level and will work on those things.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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