Five-star point guard D.J. Carton takes us inside the moments that led him to Ohio State. Des Moines Register
Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.
As always, feel free to send me questions over Twitter or to email@example.com. I know I do the call-out for questions on Twitter on Mondays, but I'm happy to take questions any other day of the week, too.
Let's get to this week's answers.
What is the latest on DJ Carton? ... Any chance he transfers to Iowa for the '21-22 season? — @jonsimonsen814
In case you missed it: D.J. Carton, the former five-star point guard out of Bettendorf who committed to Ohio State over Indiana and Michigan, has entered the transfer portal after his freshman season as a Buckeye. He took a leave from the team to address mental health issues in January and eventually decided a fresh start would be best.
He is arguably the most sought-after sit-out transfer in the country. There's a chance he'll get a waiver to play immediately, too — which makes him even more appealing.
It's been reported that schools such as Memphis, Louisville, Oregon, USC, Illinois, Nebraska, Alabama and Seton Hall have all reached out.
But how about Iowa schools? Are Iowa, Iowa State, Drake or Northern Iowa involved?
According to some folks behind the scenes of this recruitment, all four programs have reached out to Carton to express interest. At this point, however, I'm told that, relative to the other three, there's one that's currently most actively involved:
The Cyclones were already figuring out how to get involved minutes after the news initially broke that Carton was transferring. They've been in on this from the beginning, and it sounds like they're still working to have their name in the hat.
Iowa State liked Carton coming out of high school and it extended an offer. But it got seriously involved late in the process, relative to some of his other strong suitors, and it couldn't make up enough ground to be a legitimate contender.
To answer the second part of this question: No, I don't think there's much chance Carton transfers to Iowa for the 2020-21 season. The Hawkeyes recruited him hard out of high school and he included them in his top six. But, at least right now, it doesn't sound like Iowa fans should hold their breath.
Anything and everything Drake related that is retained in your brain would be amazing. — @NickMcCargar
I'm assuming you mean the Drake Bulldogs and that you don't want my power rankings of Drake's albums from the 2010s. (We can discuss that in person some time, Nick.)
Well, first of all, those rumors floating around that Drake was the dark horse to land Carton are just those — rumors. The Bulldogs reached out, but Carton has high-level suitors from around the country that appear to be higher on his list.
Here are some other Drake recruiting nuggets:
- Florida Southwestern forward Jermaine Marshall, a longtime Drake target, is set to announce his decision on Friday. It doesn't sound like he'll pick the Bulldogs.
- Polk State wing Clarence Jackson, another longtime Drake target, announced Tuesday that he was committing to Wichita State.
- Indian Hills shooting guard Drake Jeffries, who the Bulldogs have shown interest in lately, committed to Wyoming over the weekend.
- VerbalCommits reported this week that Antonio Pilipovic has entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer
- Drake offered New Mexico Junior College forward Keaton Hervey this week. He holds other offers from Missouri State, Troy and Oakland, among others.
- The Bulldogs were interested in Iowa State transfer Caleb Grill, but I haven't heard much on that lately.
- Some other 2020 names to potentially monitor: Georgia Southern guard transfer Calvin Wishart, Samford forward transfer Robert Allen, Sunrise Christian forward Dillon Jones, Woodstock Academy forward Ronnie DeGray, Scotland Campus guard Terrell Strickland.
- The Bulldogs are currently looking for one more 2021 recruit, and it's obvious who their No. 1 target is: Tucker DeVries, the son of Darian DeVries and the Register's No. 1 in-state 2021 prospect. You'd better believe Drake would find room for Payton Sandfort, too, if he wanted to join DeVries at the Knapp Center.
Iowa basketball is limited on scholarships for 2021. Which positions do they need to target? — @iowafanwilliams
With Luka Garza and Cordell Pemsl set to leave after next season, that would leave Iowa with two scholarships and two fewer big men. I wouldn't imagine the Hawkeyes are married to just using those two spots on bigs.
They'll have four positionally flexible, lengthy guys in Jack Nunge, Patrick McCaffery and Kris and Keegan Murray, plus a legitimate 4/5 blend in Josh Ogundele.
A lot of Iowa's 2021 offers are actually out to guards and wings, although it's obviously still early in the 2021 recruiting process. Coaches hope they'll get to evaluate more prospects during AAU events this summer. (Go away, coronavirus!)
Iowa's most recent offer, for instance, was Isaiah Barnes, a guard/wing out of Chicago.
Anybody in the transfer market that UNI is targeting? — @DJHoelscher
A couple names worth monitoring are Calvin Wishart, the Georgia Southern guard who's originally from Delano, Minnesota, and UTEP guard Nigel Hawkins.
Does Carson Toebe have D1 mid-major potential? Or is his ceiling more in the DII range? — @andyrosenberger
Clear Lake 2022 point guard Carson Toebe has Division I mid-major potential. UNI is already showing interest and hosted him for a visit earlier this year.
It's obviously still early in Toebe's recruitment/development, but he's a 6-foot-3 lead guard who averaged 14.5 points and 4.4 assists. His overall shooting numbers weren't great, but he did make 34.4% from long range. He's active and long on defense, which led to 55 steals this season.
In short: Toebe has plenty of potential (5.4 rebounds per game) and room to grow (93 turnovers). I haven't put together in-state 2022 recruiting rankings yet, but Toebe will likely be a top-10 level guy.
Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.
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