Iowa sophomore Brennan Cougill said he’s a Hawkeye for the long term, despite rumors that he could leave the team for multiple reasons.
“Big time,” Cougill said when asked if he planned to stay at Iowa after the coaching change. “I was going to stay a Hawkeye.”
When asked if he’s on track to play this fall, Cougill said, “Oh yeah, everything’s fine.”
Cougill, a 6-foot-9 post player, isn’t taking summer classes and instead is working at Iowa basketball camps.
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery has altered the team’s workout regimen, which is designed to build up speed and endurance. Cougill said he’s dropped 13 pounds and hopes to get in the 250-pound range for the season. He said his instructions are to work on his jump shots and “they’ll institute a low-post game.”
Cougill added that team chemistry is strong because of the players enduring a tough stretch at season’s end, which included several blow-out losses, Coach Todd Lickliter’s mid-season surgery and Lickliter’s post-season firing.
“That’s really what brought us all together,” he said. “By then we went through it, from our coach not being able to coach us, to our coach coming back and to us like hitting a little skid there where we didn’t play our hardest and kind of got blown out of the gym a couple of times when we shouldn’t have to a point of not having a coach. That’s when we all came together and said, ‘Hey we’ve got to get this stuff done.’”
Uthoff decision coming soon
Cedar Rapids Jefferson senior Jarrod Uthoff will narrow his college choices from about nine to between three and five by Wednesday.
Uthoff, who stands 6-foot-8, has received offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Indiana State, Creighton and Arizona State. He won’t reveal the finalists or his favorites at this time. He said he might commit to a college by late July.
Uthoff said he’s humbled by the attention he’s received.
“It’s kind of crazy because I never expected it coming,” he said. “I had no idea that I ever would get recruited like this, especially by so many prestigious schools. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.”
Uthoff competes in the Prime Time League alongside Iowa sophomore point guard Cully Payne and with UNI players Adam Rodenberg and Nathan Buss. He scored 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished three assists in his team’s game on Sunday. Playing in the PTL has given him plenty of ideas of how to play at the next level.
“I really need to improve my strength,” he said. “I’m in the weight room a lot; I just need to get stronger and really work on my ball handling.”
Melsahn Basabe had a season-low 29 points in a 104-102 loss. He had 39 and 36 in his first two games. Sunday, he also had 10 rebounds. Basabe’s roommate, Devyn Marble, scored 30 for the winning team in the same game.
Iowa junior guard Matt Gatens scored 26 points to lead his squad past Payne’s 96-88. Gatens’ PTL teammate, Iowa junior post Andrew Brommer, scored 20 points. Like most of the Iowa players, Brommer has slimmed down and looks more fluid on the court. The change in offensive style from Lickliter’s half-court set to McCaffery’s up-tempo brand could benefit Brommer the most. Payne had 20 points in the loss.
Iowa freshman forward Zach McCabe had 22 points and 10 rebounds in a 94-84 loss. Iowa sophomore guard Eric May scored 17 in a losing effort. Their teammate, UNI post Austin Pehl, grabbed 17 rebounds in the game. UNI’s Chip Rank led the winning team with 20 points.
Cougill tweaked an ankle during a floor spill in the first half of his game, but he returned with no visible problems. He scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.