Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is prepping his 7-4 Hawkeyes for 4-7 Nebraska. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central
It's a short work week before getting back to it for Iowa-Nebraska on Friday. So, for this edition, I'm combining the Hawkeye and Cyclone recruiting mailbags into one combined extravaganza.
Read it as an appetizer before you engorge on Thanksgiving food.
By the way: Stuffing (don't call it dressing) and green bean casserole are the best Thanksgiving foods, and it's not even close. I will debate you until the end of time.
But until then, here's the mailbag.
One-and-dones seem great if you can get them every year. If you can’t, are they a liability? — @billallenisu
First of all: A one-and-done is never a liability. Coaches want talent, and they won't be turning down a future lottery pick any time soon.
But this question was part of a larger note Bill sent regarding the differences between landing truly elite guys in football or basketball. Basically, the gist was: Is landing a five-star recruit more valuable in football or basketball?
Now that's a thinker. Because there are lots of aspects to consider.
At first, you might think the answer is football. The program would get that five-star recruit for at least three years, but maybe up to four or even five years. Whereas, in basketball, you'd be lucky to keep a five-star, NBA-bound recruit for more than one or maybe two years.
More time means more impact, which means more value. Right?
Well ... then you consider how much one human being can influence a basketball team, compared with that influence in football. A basketball coach plays five guys at a time and, usually, runs a rotation of anywhere from eight to 10 players on a roster of 15 or so. In football, a coach plays 22 guys at a time (counting offense and defense) and, depending on how deep the position groups are, could run a rotation of 20 more guys per side on a roster of around 120. That's not even counting special teams, by the way.
So, fewer players in basketball means more potential for impact, which means more value. Right?
Is your head spinning yet?
I'd probably lean toward five-stars having more value in basketball. Yes, the kid might be a one-and-done. But the hope is he'd make that one season so good that you'd have shots at the next one-and-done, or at least at other high-profile targets, in the future.
Plus, we've seen countless examples of one basketball player leading a team to great heights. (Some NBA dude named LeBron James comes to mind.) The right five-star, one-and-done prospect could lead your team to deep run in March.
With that said, coaches would obviously want the talent they've worked so hard to recruit to stick around for more than one year. That's why the best recruits to land might be those five-star, high-four-star guys that don't project as immediate NBA Draft prospects. Guys who need a couple years.
D.J. Carton comes to mind. The Ohio State signee from Bettendorf is no doubt a five-star point guard, but he's also a guy who will likely play two or three years in college before going pro.
Talen Horton-Tucker is another. If I had to guess right now, I'd say the Chicago product will be a two-and-done, like his teammate Lindell Wigginton.
Linn-Mar product Marcus Paige is probably the best recent example. He was a top-30, high-four-star prospect who picked North Carolina over Kansas and plenty others, and he gave the Tar Heels four tremendous seasons. That's a lot of value.
Any idea when Dudley Blackwell will reschedule his official to Ames? — @LoganHayes_30
Blackwell, a four-star small forward out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is one of Iowa State's top 2020 recruiting targets. He had originally scheduled an official visit to Ames for Nov. 8-10 — the weekend of the Missouri game.
But he had to cancel. Blackwell missed a lot of school work while playing for Team USA in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament at the Youth Olympics in October, and he had to make up that work during the week of his originally scheduled visit.
Last I heard from a source with direct knowledge of Iowa State's recruitment, the plan was for Blackwell to eventually reschedule a visit in the new year. The 6-foot-5 prospect holds other offers from Oklahoma State and Florida Gulf Coast. He has yet to take any official visit.
Assistant coach James Kane, who is also from Fort Lauderdale, is the point man here.
What should the Hawkeyes be thankful for this Thanksgiving? — @DavidScrivner
I saw somebody already answer David's question on Twitter with: "A.J. Epenesa." That's a pretty dang good answer.
But if this is a recruiting mailbag, I've got to answer this with a recruiting spin.
So what should the Hawkeyes be most thankful for? That they're in prime position to land low-profile gems that fly under the national radar. Specifically: Because they're in Iowa, which isn't seen as a hotbed for football talent, the Hawkeyes don't have to worry about "national" programs coming in and poaching this state's national-level talent. Their biggest competition is Iowa State and regional rivals.
I'm talking about a guy such as Jack Campbell. When you watch his film or, goodness gracious, see him in person, it's clear the Cedar Falls linebacker is one of the country's very best prospects at his position. He had 29 tackles over the Class 4A semifinal and championship game last week.
Campbell only held offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and UNI, though. And the 247Sports Composite doesn't even rank him in the top 1,000 for 2019. If Campbell were playing in Georgia or California or Texas or Florida or any of those powerhouse states, things would be different. Iowa would've certainly had more competition.
But, Campbell lives in Cedar Falls — a place where you'd have to a Ross Pierschbacher-level talent to draw national attention.
Tyler Linderbaum is another great example. Eventually, national recruiting services caught on that he was one of the country's best 2018 defensive tackles, and he earned a spot at the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl his senior year.
By then, though, he had long been an Iowa recruit, picking the Hawkeyes over Iowa State ... and that's it. Linderbaum wound up a top-200, four-star recruit in his class. Again, if he lived in a state where coaches from around the country go to find talent, Linderbaum would've had more offers than just two the spring after his junior year.
But, he grew up in Solon.
There are too many examples to list — Decorah product Josey Jewell, West Branch product Bo Bower, Waukee product Anthony Nelson and many more.
Of course, some players are so talented that they attract national attention, anyway. In recent history, Iowa City West receiver Oliver Martin, Lewis Central quarterback Max Duggan and Pierschbacher come to mind.
Bottom line: The Hawkeyes should be thankful that, for the most part, they and Iowa State pretty much have their pick of Iowa's diamonds in the rough.
Any word on Drake men's basketball recruiting? — @sfan_b
This isn't a Hawkeye-only or Cyclones-only shebang today, so let's dip into Bulldog territory, shall we?
Okay Djamgouz, a 6-5, 2020 point guard from Toronto, was visiting Drake last weekend and saw Darian DaVries' team beat Texas State 75-69. Assistant coach Larry Blunt is the point man here, and he'll be Drake's main recruiter in Canada. Djamgouz holds other offers from Tulane and North Carolina A&T.
In terms of other top 2020 targets, keep an eye on Geneseo (Illinois) three-star guard/wing Isaiah Rivera and in-state point guard Bowen Born. Both are high on the Bulldogs' 2020 big board.
Rivera holds other offers from Loyola, Southern, Northern Iowa, Valparaiso, New Mexico and St. John's. Illinois, Iowa and Iowa State are monitoring him. Born, who is one of our Iowa Eight selections this year, holds one other offer from UNI, with Colorado State, Creighton and Iowa State also keeping tabs.
... Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.