It was no accident that programs as successful and diverse as Florida, Marquette and Creighton were interested in persuading Jarrod Uthoff to join their program after he announced he was leaving Wisconsin.
Getting Uthoff is kind of a big deal for Fran McCaffery’s Iowa program. Well, not kind of. Uthoff was Iowa’s Mr. Basketball of 2011, and the competition was mighty good. It included Cedar Rapids Washington guard Josh Oglesby, a Hawkeye sophomore-to-be guard who had a nice freshman season and has a lot of upside.
You can never have too many good, pedigreed players on a college basketball team. The more you have, the better you almost always are. It’s that simple.
Iowa’s best team of the last 25 years was the 1986-87 Hawkeyes. It had seven players who would play at least a little bit in the NBA. It had 11 players who contributed significantly to that 30-win season. The Hawkeyes have had nothing like that team since in terms of both depth and talent.
In two years, if there is no attrition (which is almost impossible in modern-day major-college basketball), the Hawkeyes will have seniors in Devyn Marble, Melsahn Basabe and Zach McCabe, juniors in Aaron White, Gabe Olaseni and Oglesby, and sophomores in Adam Woodbury and Mike Gesell, who are heading McCaffery’s five-player 2012 recruiting class.
The quiet pleasure some Big Ten coaches may have enjoyed from Uthoff departing Wisconsin this spring has been replaced by the grimaces from hearing it made official that Uthoff is joining Iowa.
And whatever Bo Ryan is feeling about it up in Madison can’t be good.