Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Frank McCaffery and the rest of the Hawkeyes coaching staff have their sights set on four star power forward Nick Rakocevic, who is 6'9" and 190 lbs. Rakocevic comes out of Westchester, Illinois in the class of 2016 and also has his sights out on the Hawkeyes as well.
Usually during this time of year, college basketball coaches are all over the country looking for high school talent. But on the other side of the spectrum, there are smart players like Rakocevic who take the proactive approach by keeping all options open.
Some players like the attention during the recruiting process which is cool. But it is also important for players to do rigorous research into the school they want to go to and Rakocevic is doing exactly that.
"You want to look at how your game fits into their style of play," noted Rakocevic via Rivals.com. "For my case, how the big man steps out and shoots the ball and is versatile. Also how the coaching staff is with the players and their temperament is with everyone else. That's what I look for the most."
Rakocevic on offense is also a smart player on the court as well. He knows how to read and react to a defense. For example, when two players are double teaming him, he will split the defenders and cut to the basket for an easy dunk or a layup. To go along with that Rakocevic shows a display of good hands catching the ball on a fast break or in the paint as well.
Usually guys who are Rakocevic's size tend to lean on their guards or small forwards to feed them the ball. Rakocevic needs that occasionally but he can put the ball on the floor to create his own shot quite a bit. In turn, Rakocevic can create for others. With his ability to put the ball on the floor, he has pretty good vision. Rakocevic has the vision to put the ball where only his teammates can get it. When his teammates cut to the basket, Rakocevic puts the ball on the money and he can drive to the basket and kick the ball out for an open perimeter jumper.
To continue on offense, Rakocevic also displays pretty good range with a mid range jumper and a perimeter jumper as well. He will most certainly be considered a stretch four at the college level.
Rakocevic could afford to put on some weight and if he does, it will be interesting to see if he can cut and run fast breaks to the same level he is at right now.
On defense, Rakocevic has proven to be a very good shot blocker. When opposing players drive to lane, Rakocevic isn't fooled by pump fakes as he times his blocks very nicely. It almost looks like he tries to bait opponents into thinking they have a realistic shot of converting a bucket when they don't.
Rakocevic visited the Hawkeyes in person to see them play earlier this year in March and was very pleased with the atmosphere in Hawkeyes nation as he discussed via Rivals.com, which is a great sign. If Rakocevic commits to the Hawkeyes, it would certainly give the team a unique threat at the power forward position in a conference where everyone is loading up in the front court.