IOWA CITY — Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery has two more scholarships to use in 2014, and he’s wide open on how to distribute them.
“We’re still involved with some guys, but I don’t know where that’s going to end up,” McCaffery said. “We’re fully prepared to move forward. If we have one, we have one. If we have two, we have two.”
Moving forward means the spring, where Iowa is likely to seek a point guard and perhaps use another scholarship on best player available. Iowa signed 6-foot-9 forward Dominique Uhl and 6-4 shooting guard Brady Ellingson on Wednesday, but they need to replace all-everything guard Devyn Marble with at least one other guard in the spring. That likely means a transfer.
“We’ve never been a big transfer place, but transfers have a big part in anybody’s team today,” McCaffery said. “Obviously we have Jarrod Uthoff (from Wisconsin), we had Bryce Cartwright (former junior-college point guard). You’re going to have an occasional guy leave, like a Patrick Ingram. You’re going to have openings, you’re going to have opportunity.
“Obviously Jarrod was an easy one because we recruited him so hard the first time around. Anytime a guy transfers — and I was a transfer — that guy wants to get it right and the truth of the matter is we want to get it right. We want to make sure that if you’re involved with transfers you make sure to know who you’re getting, what you’re getting and it works for both of you. Because if a transfer comes and it doesn’t work out and that’s the second shot, that’s never a good thing.
“Yes, transfers are a definite possibility.”
For Iowa that could mean a traditional transfer, such as a player who competed this year then must sit out a year. It also could mean a graduate transfer, who would be eligible to play immediately. Illinois started graduate transfer Sam McLaurin 16 times last year, and Brandon Wood started 28 games and averaged 8.8 points a game for Michigan State in 2011-12.
DeAndre Kane graduated from Marshall before transferring to Iowa State this offseason. Kane, a three-time All-Conference USA performer, averages 14.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in two games this year.
“We’ve had a couple (fifth-year transfers) that have been successful in our league,” McCaffery said. “Illinois has had a couple, Michigan State has had one. There’s a bunch of them out there. If they have a year of eligibility, you’re not bringing in a freshman, you’re bringing in a senior, a guy who just wants to be at this level and give it a shot. If you have a need for that position, it’s a great fit.”
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