Iowa basketball recruiting big board: April edition

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

Iowa currently has two more scholarship slots to fill for the 2019 class. One is a scholarship Fran McCaffery is pocketing for 2019 after Brady Ellingson and Ahmad Wagner left the program. The other is one of Iowa's normally allotted 2019 scholarships. The Hawkeyes are looking at a wide range of prospects for those two spots.

Trayce Jackson-Davis of Center Grove.

But, at least heading into the first evaluation periods of the offseason, some top targets are emerging. We'll see if those targets remain the same throughout the offseason.

Here is the April edition of Iowa's 2019 recruiting big board.

Bettendorf point guard D.J. Carton poses in front of his locker at Bettendorf High School on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

1. D.J. Carton, PG


6-2, 180 pounds

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

This is the guy for the Hawkeyes. Their No. 1 need in the 2019 class is point guard; Carton is an elite point guard just an hour from Iowa City, and he's probably the best point guard prospect in the Midwest. Iowa is in good position here, and it's built up a strong relationship since Carton's stock initially blossomed last offseason. It is having an in-home visit with Carton on Tuesday night. Michigan and Indiana are his newest offers, but he's attracting national attention too. He's told me Virginia and USC have been on him for a while, and Xavier just watched him during open gym Monday.

Trayce Jackson-Davis is going through process of in-home visits.

2. Trayce Jackson-Davis, PF

Center Grove (Greenwood, Indiana)

6-9, 210

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Jackson-Davis is a top-30 guy on the verge of five stars, but Iowa is very much in this race. Fran McCaffery just finished an in-home visit on Sunday night. Patrick McCaffery has a great relationship with Jackson-Davis, and assistant coach Andrew Francis has a longstanding relationship with him, too. Archie Miller and Indiana have made Jackson-Davis a clear priority, and Miller visited him on April 5, the first day of the contact period. Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio State are also contenders. Tom Izzo will visit on Wednesday, Matt Painter visited on Monday and Chris Holtman did so last Friday.

Fort Wayne North Side High School junior Keion Brooks (12) works the ball into the New Albany defense during the first half a varsity basketball game at Southport High School, Saturday, December 9, 2017. Southport hosted the Tip-Off Classic tournament through the weekend.

3. Keion Brooks, SF

North Side (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

6-8, 185

247Sports Composite: 5 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Iowa is swinging for the fences in the 2019 class, and Brooks is another example of that. The Hawkeyes visited Brooks on Monday. They're competing against the likes of Michigan State, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan for the do-it-all forward's services. Still, Iowa does have a relationship with Brooks. He plays alongside Jackson-Davis with Indy Heat on the Nike EYBL circuit, so the Hawkeyes will have plenty of opportunities to watch and recruit both.

Trevor Manuel (right) of Everett blocks a shot by Malik Hall of Benton Harbor.

4. Malik Hall, SF

Sunrise Christian (Wichita, Kansas)

6-7, 210

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Hall holds a Kansas offer and he plays his high school ball a little over two hours from Lawrence. Chatter suggests the early favorite here could be Kansas. But Hall is originally from Aurora, Illinois, so the Midwest is fully in play. Iowa offered Hall last May and recruited him hard that summer. He has added offers from Purdue, Ohio State and Wisconsin since December. The Hawkeyes would love to get Hall on campus this summer.

5. Tyrell Terry, PG

DeLaSalle (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

6-3, 160

247Sports Composite: Unrated; Rivals: Unrated

Terry won't be unrated for long. The crafty point guard holds offers from Iowa, Baylor, Butler, Nebraska and Stanford, and he's poised for more this offseason. Iowa noticed Terry before many other schools and handed him his first high-major offer last April. At this point, Terry is likely Iowa's No. 2 option at point guard behind Carton, but I don't think it's out of the question the Hawkeyes would take both. It obviously would depend on the players' preferences. Terry plays alongside Patrick McCaffery on D1 Minnesota, and McCaffery has told me he'll be recruiting Terry's ear off this offseason.

6. Jordan Mitchell, SF

Gahanna Lincoln (Columbus, Ohio)

6-7, 190

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Notice the hometown? Yes, Columbus' Ohio State Buckeyes are recruiting Mitchell. They were the first to offer him in February of 2016. But Iowa offered that September and have kept in contact since. Fran McCaffery has come watch to watch him play in Columbus, and Mitchell told me assistant coach Sherman Dillard reached out at the end of last week. Xavier and Florida have also offered. 

7. Zeke Nnaji, SF

Hopkins (Hopkins, Minnesota)

6-9, 200

247Sports Composite: 3 stars; Rivals: 3 stars

This feels like a very realistic get for the Hawkeyes. They're currently competing against Creighton, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota for Nnaji, a lanky forward who can score at all three levels and defend well. Iowa offered him this past October and he visited Iowa City in late October for the Minnesota football game and the basketball opener versus William Jewell College. Nnaji is a talented prospect with clear interest in the Hawkeyes, and he lives 300 miles away. It also helps that he plays on D1 Minnesota with Terry and Patrick McCaffery.

8. E.J. Liddell, PF

Belleville West (Belleville, Illinois)

6-foot-7, 220 pounds

247Sports Composite: 4 stars; Rivals: 4 stars

Liddell is a top-50 prospect who is going to end up a top-25 guy. He's an Illinois product from the St. Louis area, so Illinois and Missouri are making him a top priority. But Iowa offered Liddell early becoming his second high-major offer last May. He liked the program enough to take an unofficial last summer. Iowa State is also going hard after Liddell — I put him as the Cyclones' No. 1 prospect on their big board. It feels like Iowa has better odds with Jackson-Davis right now.

Des Moines North junior point guard Tyreke Locure drives to the hoop against Des Moines Hoover on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at Hoover High School in Des Moines.

9. Tyreke Locure, PG

Des Moines North

5-11, 170

247Sports Composite: Unrated; Rivals: Unrated

Iowa has not offered Locure, but it is keeping close tabs on him. He would likely be Iowa's No. 3 point guard option behind Carton and Terry. Locure's AAU program director told me Dillard called about him on Monday and that Iowa was one of the schools that will watch Locure during the April 20-22 evaluation period in Dallas. Locure's high school coach also told me Dillard called about him last week. The Register's No. 3 in-state 2019 prospect holds an offer from North Dakota and held one from Niko Medved's Drake staff (still to be determined if Darian DeVries' staff will re-offer). Locure also holds plenty of mid-major interest from Utah State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Nebraska-Omaha and South Dakota, among others.

10. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF

Bishop Miege (Mission, Kansas)

6-9, 220

247Sports Composite: 5 stars; Rivals: 5 stars

Remember how I said Iowa is swinging for the fences in the 2019 class? Robinson-Earl would be like 10 grand slams combined in one swing. He's a Kansas kid whose dad, Lester Earl, transferred from LSU to the Jayhawks in the late 1990s. Bill Self has offered, and Kansas appears to be the favorites to land Robinson-Earl. But he's No. 10 on this April big board for a few reasons. One, he took an unofficial visit to Iowa in September. Two, Fran McCaffery traveled to watch him play in January. And three, I've been told it's not a "lock" that he picks Kansas, so take that as you will. Oklahoma, UCLA, Arizona, Notre Dame, Louisville and Virginia have also offered. North Carolina is interested, too. Iowa will have to determine how many resources it wants to devote to this recruitment.

Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.