Iowa offered Kiyron Powell on July 2 and has quickly become a strong contender. Matthew Bain, firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Although this is probably not true, a lot of high school basketball players will tell you they don’t even notice the college coaches sitting courtside to watch them.
Not Evansville product Kiyron Powell.
He remembers his high school game at Carmel High this past season. With a candid chuckle, the 6-foot-9 post specifically said he remembers seeing Iowa coaches sitting under the basket during that game, when he scored 27 points.
Little did he know, that performance sparked an interest that eventually became a scholarship offer from the Hawkeyes on July 2.
"(Coach Fran McCaffery) said he loved how, down the stretch in a tight game, I was communicating with my team and that I was able to stay composed in a clutch situation like that," Powell told the Register at the Nike Peach Jam on Friday. "He said he liked what he saw and he could see me in an Iowa jersey some day."
Iowa isn’t the only school to recently enter the fray. Cincinnati and Western Kentucky just offered this week, and Creighton, Houston and St. Louis offered in May.
Powell, a three-star, top-200 product of Bosse High School, is seeing his recruiting stock bloom thanks in large part to his offensive development. Through his first couple years of high school, he was known most for his yawning wingspan and defensive skill.
His offense started to catch up this year, though, molding him into a high-major recruit.
Iowa is his first and only Big Ten offer — which means a lot to Powell. With a smile, he recounted the moment McCaffery and Sherman Dillard called to offer.
"I didn't even expect it," he laughed. "I thought they were just calling to say, 'Hey, we’re just calling to check in.' But then when he hit me with that offer, my mouth dropped. I almost dropped the phone. I was outside with my brothers, and I just started running around. They said, 'What are you doing, bro?' And I said, 'I just got an offer, man.' 'Well you’ve got plenty of offers.' 'No — I got an Iowa offer.'
"I love their fast-paced play. Seeing that Big Ten program and how much they’ve progressed and how they’re interested in me, it’s exciting. It’s something that I never thought would happen."
The Hawkeyes have kept in regular contact with Powell since that offer and want to get him on campus for an official visit after July, and Powell wants that, too. He already has one other official visit scheduled to Houston for Aug. 2-4, and he also hopes to officially visit Xavier and Cincinnati.
Powell said Middle Tennessee State and Nevada are also recruiting him hard.
Purdue hasn’t offered, but it has expressed interest for a long time. Louisville and New Mexico are among other teams also showing interest.
In terms of his timetable, Powell is focused on finishing July and then starting his official visits in August. He said he doesn’t really have a commitment date in mind.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.