Fran McCaffery’s coast-to-coast search for recruits was evident Saturday when Iowa faced sixth-ranked Purdue.
High school point guard Cezar Guerrero, who is from Bellflower, Calif., watched from a seat on the baseline near the Iowa bench as the Hawkeyes pulled off the 67-65 upset at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Seated just a few seats to his right was Anthony Hubbard, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard who averaged 20 points per game this season at Frederick Community College in Maryland.
Hubbard, who originally is from Woodbridge, Va., wrote on his Facebook page that he attended the Iowa-Purdue game.
“That was a good game,” Hubbard wrote. “Iowa just moved up on the scale.”
Guerrero stood up and cheered several times during the game. He also congratulated the Iowa players afterward.
Iowa is the fourth school that Guerrero has visited on an official capacity. The others are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Western Kentucky, where he once was committed.
Guerrero is ranked as the 61st best prospect in the 2011 senior class by Rivals.com.
His AAU coach, Dinos Trigonis, said Sunday afternoon that he spoke briefly to Guerrero while he was on his visit.
“I talked to him via a text (message) and he was having a good time,” Trigonis said. “They had a great win, too. I guess it was a festive atmosphere over there.”
Trigonis said he expects Guerrero to take his fifth official visit before making a decision. Florida State, Marquette and Miami (Fla.) have all been mentioned as possibilities.
“That was his intention,” Trigonis said.
Meanwhile, Iowa’s victory over Purdue also made an impression on high-scoring combo guard Phillip Miller, who is a senior at Carter High School in Dallas.
The 6-1 Miller said he recently received a recruiting letter from McCaffery and now would like to visit Iowa this spring.
Miller said he watched Iowa’s victory over Purdue on television.
“I like the way they use their guards,” Miller said about Iowa. “They control the game and they move the ball on offense.
“(It was neat how) after the win the whole crowd just ran onto the court.”
Miller averaged 37 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as a senior. He scored at least 50 points in five games and had a high of 64.
However, despite those numbers, Miller hasn’t received much attention from Division I schools with the exception of Iowa and Baylor.
“It is hard to understand,” Miller said. “For the local colleges around here like Southern Methodist and Texas Christian, for them to not take interest kind of frustrates me.
“But I just have to keep moving on. God has better things in store for me.”
Scott Davis, who coaches Miller’s summer AAU team in Dallas, thinks Miller could help Iowa.
“Right now, it’s just letters, but I know he’s really interested (in Iowa),” Davis said. “I can tell you this; he needs a visit and he’s a Division I player. So if he can get one set up, I think someone is going to get a steal.”
Davis said he isn’t sure why more schools aren’t recruiting Miller, who, according to Davis, is very athletic.
“There are just great kids that no one knows about, and this is a kid that I think fits that bill,” Davis said. “Nobody knew who he was going into his senior year. Everybody knew who he was once he blew up.
“But even with that, some coaches are dumb, I guess. They just recruit off of lists or they just don’t believe it or they just think he’s a ball hog. But if you just watch him play, that’s just not the case.”
Davis said Miller will take the college freshman entrance exam in March and again in June if necessary.
“If he doesn’t pass that, we’re going to tutor him real hard and he can take it again in June,” Davis said.
Another player on Iowa’s radar is 6-4 shooting guard Matt Glover, who is a freshman at Sheridan Junior College in Sheridan, Wyo.
Glover, who is from Tustin, Calif., said he has spoken with Iowa assistant coach Andrew Francis about possibly setting up a visit. Glover is averaging 14 points per game this season.
Glover said he chose to attend junior college for one year because it took so long for him to be declared eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse coming out of high school.
“It was really a long process,” Glover said Sunday night. “There were so many obstacles going through that. So I ended up not getting my eligibility right away.”
The fact that he eventually did meet the eligibility standards coming out of high school means that Glover will have three seasons of eligibility at a Division I school.
He also is being recruited by UNLV and Hawaii among other schools.
Glover said he would have no reservations about attending Iowa despite the program being in a rebuilding phase.
“I actually kind of like their situation because it’s not already a glorified program where they’re always getting everything,” Glover said. “It’s better to go there and make a name.”
Glover also said distance from home would not be a factor in his decision.
“I think it’s a better thing that I get away so I don’t have to rely on my family for everything and just mature on my own,” Glover said.
McCaffery would like to sign two players this spring after signing two in the fall, including 6-5 shooting guard and Cedar Rapids native Josh Oglesby, who sat between Guerrero and Hubbard during the Iowa-Purdue game.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball