By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
When Jarrod Uthoff committed to Wisconsin in July of 2010, he thought that Bo Ryan’s system would be the best fit for his game. Uthoff thought that this system would benefit him as a basketball player.
After redshirting the 2011-12 season, deciding to transfer, being restricted from transferring to 26 different schools and going through a bizarre week in which his story was featured on what seemed like every national sports media outlet in America, Uthoff now knows that Wisconsin wasn’t the right fit for him.
Uthoff, a 6-foot-9 forward who originally hails from Cedar Rapids (Jefferson), will officially visit former Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott and Creighton on Monday.
Iowa State was one of those 26 school’s that Wisconsin originally restricted Uthoff from talking to last week. When Wisconsin finally cleared Uthoff from all non-Big Ten schools on Friday afternoon, it didn’t take long for Iowa’s 2011 Mr. Basketball to schedule a visit to Iowa State for the first week in May.
So now that Uthoff’s second recruiting process in two years is underway, what is it that he’s searching for this time around?
“A system that will utilized my skills to a maximum and a system that allows me a little more freedom,” Uthoff told CycloneFanatic.comon Sunday afternoon. “I want to take a look at different programs and all of the systems and see what will fit me the best.”
Iowa State and Creighton are the only two schools that Uthoff has scheduled visits with so far although Virginia, Boston College and Marquette (among others) have already shown significant interest in the swingman.
Iowa State and Creighton appear to have an early leg up on the competition due to the familiarity factor.
“First of all, it’s (Iowa State) close to home. It would be a good fit,” said Uthoff. “They recruited me out of high school so I’m pretty familiar with the coaching staff and the program.”
Greg McDermott began Iowa State’s recruitment of Uthoff when he was in Ames, but Fred Hoiberg and associate head coach T.J. Otzleberger stayed hot on his trail. Otzelberger has been in the mix for Iowa State since day one.
Another plus for the Cyclones is Fred Hoiberg’s up-tempo style of basketball. It’s essentially the opposite of the Wisconsin system that turned Uthoff away from that program. Uthoff’s respect for Hoiberg as a coach and a former player helps as well.
“He’s always been a really quality guy,” said Uthoff. “His experience in playing in the NBA I think would be very beneficial. He knows what it takes to get to the NBA. I feel like that’s every college player’s dream is to get to the NBA. Having a coach that has been through the whole process I think would be very good.”
Iowa State currently has two scholarships open for the 2012-13 basketball season.
Wherever Uthoff ends up, he’ll have to sit out next season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules. Uthoff will finally be able to play during the 2013-14 season, when he’ll be a sophomore.
Keep checking out CycloneFanatic.com for more updates on Uthoff’s recruitment.