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April 12, 2012

Spring Fling Rundown

While many Hawkeye fans will be focused on Kinnick Stadium on Saturday afternoon watching the Iowa football team scrimmage, hoops junkies might want to make their way up to North Liberty on Saturday and Sunday for the Iowa Barnstormers Spring Fling.

The annual event, which moves to the North Liberty Recreation Center, home of the Prime Time League during the summer months, begins on Saturday morning and runs until late Sunday afternoon and features several potential recruiting targets on Coach Fran McCaffery's radar.

Action tips off at 8 a.m. on Saturday with the final games of the day starting at 7:55 p.m. On Sunday, bracket play begins again at 8 a.m. with the championship round tipping off at 4:40 p.m.

The event was previous held at the Iowa Fieldhouse, but moved this year due to NCAA rules regarding AAU events on a college campus, but that doesn't mean the event won't include very good high school basketball.

"We had to move the event this year due to NCAA rules, but we will still have a good event in North Liberty and fans should be very comfortable and familiar with the facility because it is the home of the Prime Time League," said Barnstormers Director Jamie Johnson.

Johnson's teams will be the feature attraction in the event that features some of the top AAU teams in the state. The event will be led by Johnson's 17U team, which is led by potential Iowa targets Jeremy Morgan and Dondre Alexander from Iowa City West, the Class 4A champions in the state of Iowa.

Morgan is a 6-foot-6 guard and the son of former Hawkeye Michael Morgan. His recruiting stock is on the rise after a strong junior campaign and this month will be very important for him as well as Alexander.

"Jeremy and DeAndre have certainly generated more interest from college coaches since the state tournament. They have a lot of schools looking at them and a lot of coaches are going to take a look at both of them starting next week when the evaluation period starts and coaches can get out to see them play," Johnson said.

While Alexander is currently generating more buzz among college football coaches, including Iowa, as a wide receiver prospect in the Class of 2013, the Hawkeye basketball coaches will certainly be taking a look at Morgan during the evaluation period in late April.

If you are interested in seeing the Barnstormers 17U team play on Saturday in pool play, they will be on the floor at 12:20 and then again at 6:50.

The talent doesn't stop at the 17U group. The Barnstormers have a very deep group of potential D1 talent on their 16U squad that will be playing this weekend. One name that Iowa fans already are aware of on that team is 6-foot-9 center Seth Bonifas from Dubuque Senior High School. Bonifas was offered by Iowa last fall and is still weighing his options.

"Seth is still very young for his grade, so he is still growing and developing physically," Johnson said.

Bonifas isn't alone in generating interest on the college front. 6-foot-8 wing forward Casey Schlatter from Iowa Falls is hearing from Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, USC, Oregon State, and Utah and has made unofficial visits to Iowa City last year. Kyle Haber, a 6-foot-6 wing who is teammates with Bonifas at Dubuque Senior, is also getting some interest from Iowa and several other schools. Other names to watch in that group include, Wyatt Lohaus, the son of former Hawk Brad Lohaus, who starts for Iowa City West and showed great improvement as a sophomore, Matt Nelson from Cedar Rapids Xavier, and Cole Clearman from Bettendorf.

Former Hawkeye players Duez Henderson and Jason Price will be bringing their Iowa Pump N' Run squads to the event. Henderson's 17U team will feature the Soukup twins, Steven and Michael, from Danville High School, along with Jalen James from Clinton. He has been a frequent visitor to Iowa games the past two years.

Kenyon Murray will also have his 17U Iowa Legacy team on hand and a few teams from the All Iowa Attack program will be participating in the event as well.

If you are in the Iowa City area this weekend taking in some football or if you're a basketball fan looking to watch some hoops, head on over to the North Liberty Rec Center and get your fix.


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