Everything you want to know about Iowa basketball's recruiting efforts with the 2020 class

Matthew Bain
Hawk Central

When I post my call for recruiting mailbag questions on Twitter, there almost always seems to one or two regarding Iowa basketball's 2020 class.

So, now that the evaluation period of the AAU basketball season has wound down and prospects are inching closer to a college decision, I figured I'd assemble the most common Iowa 2020 questions and give the best answers I can at this point in the recruiting calendar.

Iowa men's basketball head coach Fran McCaffery calls out to players during men's basketball practice following media day on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

How big will the class be?

Assuming Jordan Bohannon returns for a redshirt senior year, Iowa currently has three open scholarships for the 2020-21 roster. That number is much less daunting than the six it was projected to be last July, before Cordell Pemsl redshirted, Riley Till got put on scholarship and Bohannon underwent hip surgery.

There's a chance offseason attrition will open more slots — Joe Wieskamp sticking in the 2020 NBA Draft, transfers, redshirt seniors deciding to graduate and move on, etc.

But, for now, the number is a modest three. Ideally, Iowa hopes to sign three guys in November and then monitor the spring market in case other scholarships become open.

How important is the class?

At this time last year, 2020 was especially critical for Iowa. It was assumed Tyler Cook would leave, so six openings were anticipated. That's nearly half a team's roster.

And that’s ... daunting.

Again, things are different now. Iowa has a more manageable number of slots to fill. And with Connor McCaffery, Jack Nunge and C.J. Fredrick previously redshirting, the burden on Iowa's 2020 class won't be quite as heavy early on. 

Still, the coaches can't afford to miss in this class.

Because by the time the 2020 recruits are sophomores (or redshirt freshmen), impact players from Iowa's 2016 and 2017 classes will all be gone: Bohannon, Cook, Pemsl, Ryan Kriener and Luka Garza. Even with McCaffery, Nunge and Fredrick staying an extra year, Iowa will need a considerable talent infusion to remain an NCAA Tournament team. 

Is it alarming that no one has committed yet?

No. If you look at the top recruits out there, most haven't committed yet.

Only 20 of 247Sports' top-100 prospects in 2020 have picked a school. Most kids are still gauging how the July 11-14 live period will affect their recruiting landscape.

Now, would Iowa — or any team — love to have a kid committed by now? Of course. It's easier to land recruits when you've already got one on board.

When might a first commitment come?

Now that the AAU circuits are done, you'll start to see prospects release their finalist schools. Oskaloosa's Foster, for instance, intends to do that soon.

Oskaloosa forward Xavier Foster talks with Iowa assistant Sherman Dillard before a NCAA Big Ten Conference men's basketball game on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Some kids will feel comfortable committing to a school in July.

Many, though, will want to take official visits before reaching a decision. Those visits can start taking place in August and they'll continue through the fall.

That's when I'd anticipate Iowa starts landing guys.

Is Iowa close to getting anyone? Who are some realistic targets?

Yes, the Hawkeyes are in tight with several targets.

In terms of top-tier talents, they're right in the mix for Foster. They're in a good spot with four-star New York wing Andre Jackson. Four-star Milwaukee forward Jamari Sibley likes them, too. And they'd probably be in the top six right now for five-star point guard Jalen Suggs.

Many of the Hawkeyes' most realistic targets, though, come from their recent wave of offers. The kids whom the staff needed to evaluate in April and July — the kids who weren't already clear high-major prospects by the end of their sophomore years.

Some of those targets include: three-star Indiana center Kiyron Powell, three-star Minnesota wing Gabe Madsen, three-star Omaha power forward Max Murrell and four-star Minnesota center Steven Crowl. I'll also throw Norwalk point guard Bowen Born in the mix. He doesn't hold an Iowa offer, but there is mutual interest with the Hawkeyes.

Iowa just offered Minnesota shooting guard Kerwin Walton this week, too, and we could see more offers extended based on what coaches saw July 11-14.

What would be Iowa’s ideal 2020 haul?

In a perfect Hawkeye World, Iowa signs Foster, Jackson and Suggs. You could start making plans for the Sweet 16 in 2020 and 2021 then. 

Foster is an athletic 7-footer who could become the face of the program. Jackson is an athletic wonder who is a consistent 3-point shot away from being a future NBA Draft pick. Suggs is a McDonald's All-American shoe-in who would make an instant impact.

Of those three, Suggs is probably the least likely. So, in another ideal scenario, let's go with three-star Kansas point guard Ty Berry. He's a strong lead guard who's had Iowa on him for a while. He will play his senior year at Sunrise Christian.

What's the biggest need in the class?

An athletic wing.

Other than Wieskamp, Iowa mostly consists of guards and bigs. It could use another wing. And it could especially use one if Wieskamp leaves for the NBA next year, a possibility which can't be discounted by coaches. 

Jackson, Madsen, four-star Massachusetts wing Matt Cross and three-star Washington, D.C. wing Myles Stute are some current targets to watch at the position.

Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.