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2015-16 Big Ten Preview: Iowa Hawkeyes Wings

Diving into the new players that will be contributing to the Iowa Hawkeyes wing.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

One of the many things I love about Fran McCaffery and how he's running this Iowa program is that the players he recruits are multi-positional. If you're ultra athletic, have a wide wing span and come in between 6'5" and 6'9", Fran is definitely swiping right on your recruiting profile. But this also makes it difficult to slot these rostered players in as a "shooting guard" or a "small forward" or even a "power forward".

For example, a little while back, I ran through the Iowa backcourt and threw Peter Jok and Andrew Flemming in with the likes of Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons. It was a snap decision, one that in the grand scheme of things doesn't mean much, yet the point remains; I could have just easily pinned them in as wings.

But at the end of the day, it's all irrelevant. If you're a "guard" with decent size, good feet and a natural want and ability (read: onions) to match-up against a fortitude of the "one through three" type players in the Big Ten, McCaffery is going to find you minutes somewhere on the floor. Period.

But this is an exercise in guesstimating, so let's take a crack at the players that will be starring in a "wing" role more often than not for the ol' Hawkeyes:

Brandon Hutton, Freshman

A player after my own heart. He's coming into Iowa with the biggest of chips on his shoulder and wanting to prove his doubters wrong on a nightly basis. His whole mantra seemingly centers around shutting up haters and it is catching on within the program. Hutton is a defensive demon from Chicago (have to throw that in their every chance I get) that wants to be known as the best defender in the Big Ten... like right now.

He's a sure fit in McCaffery's uptempo system due in large part to his Blue Chip athleticism. He's got decent handles, no fear when attacking the basket and can find open teammates on the fly when faced with a double team. He can defend one through three and I wouldn't be shocked if he turns into a bulldog against larger Big Ten players on switches or in small lineups.

I'm not sure the jumper is mature yet, but it probably doesn't need to be. McCaffery can work around that. Especially if he's picking up offensive players full court and dogging them into mistakes.

Ahmad Wagner, Freshman

Wagner is one of those high school power forwards that will probably be a little undersized in college. He's stronger than he looks -- stop me if you've heard this before -- and super athletic. His overall quickness will help him against some of the plodding big men in the Big Ten. He's an instant matchup nightmare. His post game is well developed and he's terrific in traffic. If he can develop a clean jump shot to keep on-ball defenders honest, he'll grow well into this offense. The freshman is also another plus defender that can switch in a pinch onto both bigs and some of the smaller players in the Big Ten.

Christian Williams, Freshman

Yet another pure athlete, only this time he's probably more used to having the ball in his hands. It would seem early that he can guard multiple positions. He's long -- another McCaffery staple -- and he uses his body to his advantage. Walking into Iowa, he's probably one of the teams better passers, having a point guards vision but with a 6'6" body. He's raw, but that's ok. McCaffery and this Iowa coaching staff will mold him into a multi-positional wing player that will play all around the arch.


Like I mentioned above, Iowa is chalk full of uber-athletic, multi-functional basketball freaks. Long, quick and defensively capable, Fran McCaffery's backcourt and wing positions are stocked with prime talent. This unit as an entire whole are going to be entertaining to watch on both ends of the floor during the 2015-16 season. If these young players can contribute immediately, Iowa will only be better for the wear. While it may be difficult to see the floor with the upperclassmen ahead of this group, it's not out of the question. Stay tuned.