Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery apparently is still taking a wait-and-see approach with regard to offering former Hawkeye center Brennan Cougill a scholarship.
“I haven’t heard from (the Iowa coaches) for a while,” said Doug Wagemester, who coached Cougill at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids this past season. “I think he’s in a pool of recruits that they’re looking at.
“I think the other thing is they maybe feel like they have the luxury of kind of sitting back a little bit and seeing how he does with his spring grades. But that’s just speculation.”
The 6-foot-9 Cougill played for Iowa last season as a freshman under former Hawkeye coach Todd Lickliter. However, Cougill was dismissed from the team last June after failing to meet the academic requirements.
He then transferred to Kirkwood for his sophomore season and averaged nearly 15 points and nine rebounds for a team that finished 31-6.
The former Sioux City Heelan standout said during the season that he wanted to work on his post moves after playing mostly on the perimeter for Lickliter, who was fired as the Iowa coach last March.
“His role was a little bit different for us,” Wagemester said. “I think (his next role) is probably going to be somewhere in between what he did at Iowa last year and what he did for us. I think that makes him that much more appealing to go in and out.”
Wagemester said Cougill has received scholarship offers from Wisconsin-Green Bay and South Dakota State, which defeated Iowa in the season opener this past season.
Other schools recruiting Cougill include Valparaiso and Colorado State according to Wagemester.
“He’s open to everything right now,” Wagemester said. “He’s looking for a fresh start. I’m not saying that couldn’t be Iowa. But he’s wide open.”
Wagemester said Cougill is just starting to set up his visits and he won’t necessarily wait for an Iowa offer before deciding.
“We’re moving forward,” Wagemester said. “People have been recruiting him all year. Iowa is a part of that.
“But there is more to think about than just, hey, Iowa’s offered. We’ll go back down there.”
NCAA rules prohibit McCaffery from commenting on a specific recruit before the recruit has signed a letter of intent.
Wagemester praised Cougill for expanding his game after he was used mostly as spot-up shooter in Lickliter’s system.
“We just used him where we needed him,” Wagemester said. “And he was effective in there. Brennan liked going (inside). He can score with either shoulder in there. And he passes very well out of there.”
Cougill, who could not be reached for comment, still has about a month-and-half left before finishing classes at Kirkwood.
“At the mid-term it looked favorable, but I know better than to relax on that,” Wagemester said. “It’s spring now. We don’t see them every day. Our routine has changed.
“He’s going to be breaking away here to take some visits. He’s got some work to do. We have some things he’s got to do to stay in good graces with our program in terms of day-to-day stuff.”
McCaffery wants to sign two players this spring after signing two in November, including 6-5 shooting guard Josh Oglesby from Cedar Rapids Washington.
McCaffery already has offered scholarships to a few post players, including 6-10 Gabe Olaseni from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. Olaseni visited the UI campus this past weekend but left town without making a verbal commitment.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball