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Strong finish lifts recruiting prospects

[ 0 ] May 16, 2013 |

AMANA — Iowa assistant basketball coach Sherman Dillard says he’s taken the 25-win season out for a test drive on the recruiting circuit, and likes the results.

“We’ve become more relevant,” Dillard said Tuesday at the Iowa County I-Club event. “Being on national TV, playing for a national championship, what it does, it shows prospects that we’re credible. And its opened some doors for us.

“Kids have been more amenable. They’ve taken our calls, coaches have taken our calls.”

Dillard understands success in the NIT is relative, but momentum is building.

He also warns not to expect the blue-chippers to start signing tomorrow.

“It remains to be seen if it will pay off right away,” Dillard said. “But we’re excited about the steps we’re taking right now. A lot of it has to do with the success we’ve had.”

The Hawkeyes have been making inroads into the Chicago area and have scholarship offers out to several top players, many of whom also have offers from nationally-ranked programs.

Iowa is listed as a “school of interest” for the No. 2 center in the country in 2014, Cliff Alexander of Curie Metropolitan in Chicago. Of course, Iowa is going up against most of the Big Ten plus Kentucky.

The Hawkeyes also are listed as a “school of interest “ on Scout.com for four other four-star prospects in 2014, and 11 three-star prospects.

Given the amount of interest three-star player Peter Jok — the only member of the 2013 recruiting class — has generated among Iowa fans, a few big commitments for 2014 could generate a lot of excitement.

DILLARD WISHES INGRAM BEST: Iowa guard Patrick Ingram announced his plans to transfer on Tuesday.

Dillard said the sophomore from Indianapolis needed to get closer to home and was looking for more playing time.

“He knew we had a deep team going into this season, and Patrick felt like it was his best interest to get back closer to home,” Dillard said.

“All the players loved him,” Dillard said of Ingram. “At the end of the day, you want the kid to be happy. You’re never going to stop a young man from leaving. If his is what he wants to do, we’re going to give him 100 percent support.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Ryan Suchomel: Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or rsuchomel@press-citizen.com. View author profile.

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