The Iowa basketball team’s recruiting class of 2020 now has four guys and no open scholarships. This doesn’t mean the Hawks are out on Xavier Foster though.
After a pretty quiet recruiting period, the Iowa basketball team’s class of 2020 has almost fully matured with four signings (three of which happened in the past four days) including two legacies who play forward and two guards, but arguably the premier target of them all, Xavier Foster, remains in play.
However, the Hawks don’t appear to have any open scholarships available. The NCAA allows 13 scholarship players to be on the roster in a given season, and right now, as it stands, the Hawks will have 10 scholarships already spoken for next season.
If you do the math, that means the Hawks are already one scholarship short and that doesn’t even factor in the potential arrival of Xavier Foster, which has fans worried. Does this mean the Oskaloosa big man is leaning somewhere else?
I’ll be honest, I certainly thought the same thing, but here’s the big thing that needs to be remembered. Foster is a top-100 player. If he wants to be an Iowa basketball player, there will be a scholarship for him. And if you’re arguing that the Murray twins play the same position as Foster and that could upset him, then you don’t know basketball.
Let’s start with the Murray twins before I jump into how the Hawks would be able to finagle the scholarship limit. The Murray twins are 6’8” forwards who are versatile and can run the floor. They are going to be good additions to Fran McCaffery’s offense, but they don’t fill the same hole as 7’0” Xavier Foster does. Foster can play the 4 or 5 whereas the Murray twins could play the 3 or 4 and have been known to be able to guard all five positions. These three would actually coincide quite nicely giving the Hawks three big guys who can stretch the floor.
Now on to the scholarship spots.
I’m not counting Jordan Bohannon, who could theoretically play this year. If he does, that frees up another scholarship spot in addition to the Bakari Evelyn and Ryan Kriener departure.
Riley Till, a guy who was awarded a scholarship this summer after walking-on will also be a redshirt senior and could explore playing basketball somewhere smaller to get more playing time or the Hawks could choose to not re-up his scholarship.
Furthermore, as we saw after this past season, there could be some unexpected departures. Star wing Joe Wieskamp could declare for the draft if his stock is high enough and so could Luka Garza if he can dominate an entire season as he has for stretches.
And finally, we’re forgetting that the McCaffery boys could choose to give up their scholarships. Fran’s making a healthy salary, and Connor could even choose to focus on baseball heading into a junior season in which he will be MLB draft eligible.
Right there, we created six possible open scholarship opportunities. Now, not all of this is going to happen, and I certainly hope we can see both Wieskamp and Garza in Iowa basketball uniforms for more than just one more season, but if push comes to shove, the Hawks will find a way to make Xavier Foster a part of their future plans.