WEST LAFAYETTE IN - JANUARY 09: Head coach Fran McCaffery of the Iowa Hawkeyes coaches against the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on January 9 2011 in West Lafayette Indiana. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Thusfar in Fran McCaffery's year and a half of recruiting at Iowa, he hasn't landed that signature recruit to begin rebuilding the program around.
In fact, McCaffery himself hasn't signed a single Hawkeye since getting Melsahn Basabe. What the program has brought in, though, is a handful of potential diamonds in the rough. And that's what the Iowa faithful have pinned their hopes on -- potential.
The big names have passed on Iowa City. Cezar Guerrero, a four-star point guard from California, was the first of two recruits to spurn the Hawkeyes this week, signing with Oklahoma State.
Wes Washpun, from Washington High (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), opted to be Cuonzo Martin's first signing at Tennessee instead of following I-380 south. Washpun's decision stung a little extra because Iowa has already signed his high school teammate Josh Oglesby, who will be a freshman next season.
Oglesby is a 6'5" two guard with range beyond the arc on a good jump shot. ESPN says he has a high basketball IQ but at only 180 pounds needs to gain strength to play at the next level.
The other member of the class of 2011 is Aaron White, a 6'7" forward from Ohio who was recently named the MVP of the Ohio-Kentucky All Star game. Hawkeye fans are hoping he can help Basabe make Iowa's frontcourt a force to be reckoned with in the near future. McCaffery called White "sneaky athletic" in the Des Moines Register. At only three stars, they hope he's a sleeper.
There are others who could still make this year's class a small success. The most notable of which is Cameroon-native Eric Katenda, a 6'9" power forward from Sunrise Academy in Kansas. The athletic three star recruit reportedly enjoyed a visit to Iowa City last week.
The next class has only one official signing, as of yet, in Kyle Meyer. McCaffery and company noticed Meyer during the AAU season and made two trips to his native Georgia before he signed. Meyer is 6'9" or 6'10", depending on where you look, and could provide some help down low.
In both classes, the Hawkeyes have improved the beyond general talent level of the recent past. But they will still lack the type of collective skill set needed to raise the level of play to that of the top programs in the Big Ten.
Iowa has also offered three four-star players in Meyers class in Perry Ellis, Mike Gesell, and Adam Woodbury. One of these kids could turn out to be the kind of player Iowa needs to turn itself around, but McCaffery needs to sign them first.
He probably needs to sign at least two.