The I-Club circuit for 2014 is close to coming to an end and the Hawkeye tour headed to the Quad Cities on Monday night with Fran McCaffery leading the contingent. McCaffery spent a few minutes after his speech talking about where recruiting stands in 2014 and 2015. He also discussed the progress of his players in the off season and Devyn Marble helping his draft stock last week in Chicago.
Q: How is your son Patrick doing?
McCAFFERY: The good news for Patrick is that both of the surgeries went very well. We are very fortunate for the care he has received at the Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He has a tough month coming up in June. He has some treatment coming up that could cause some discomfort, but overall the long term prognosis is good and everyone is confident and his spirits are very good.
Q: He was able to get back on the basketball court, which I'm sure helped with his spirits as well.
McCAFFERY: It was great for his confidence and his spirit. He played two weeks ago and played well. He really hasn't missed a beat.
Q: Looking back a bit at last season and making it to the NCAA Tournament, how good was that for the program and to have that heading into next year?
McCAFFERY: I think it was really important for this team in particular because we can so close two years ago and we got in this year. Obviously the overtime loss was tough, but it shows how difficult it is once you get there. I think the entire experience will help us moving forward.
Q: How hungry has it made the team?
McCAFFERY: Very hungry. They got a taste of it, felt what it was like, and experienced the journey. We are looking forward to the challenge next year.
Q: You were in Chicago last week at the NBA Draft Combine to support Devyn Marble. It seems like he did really well there.
McCAFFERY: He did really well. Not only did he play well, but he was in great shape and he interviewed really well, which is a very important component for the NBA. When they get to know him as an individual and the depth of his personality and the confidence and character he has and add that to his talent and the fact that he can play a lot of positions, it really make his an attractive player to the NBA. And his height was actually accurate. (laugh)
Q: Talk about what you will do with the guys this summer. Most of them are back home for a bit right now, I think.
McCAFFERY: Yeah, most of the guys are back home now. We have a couple of guys still around, but most went home for a bit. They will be here for summer school and we will work them out during the summer and get ready.
Q: Are you done with the 2014 recruiting class?
McCAFFERY: No. We are still involved with some guys.
Q: Do you get a sense that something might happen there?
McCAFFERY: I don't know. We will see. It's hard to say.
Q: Do you like where you are positioned with the 2015 group?
McCAFFERY: Yeah, we are involved with some very good players in 2015. We have a couple of commitments already and that's great.
Q: With the two commits that you have, is the front court a focus in 2015?
McCAFFERY: Yeah, we have to get some big guys and some size. For me it's never position, but skill set.
Q: There have been so many transfers in college basketball again this year. It's up to over 450 now at last count. Is that good for college basketball or bad for it?
McCAFFERY: I think it is nature of where everything has gotten to today. I don't look at it as a positive or a negative. It's just the reality that kids are going to leave. You have to make sure that they have the kind of experience that you want them to have and hope that that have and if they don't have it, then they are probably going to leave. You just deal with that.
Q: Since the end of the season, any of your guys really making a leap in terms of their game?
McCAFFERY: I think Uthoff has been really impressive. Peter Jok too. Woodbury, Olaseni, Gesell, and Clemmons have also been very good. I know Clemmons is going to respond and come back strong next year. We have a lot of good players on this team.
Q: Uthoff had his up's and down's in the Big Ten season and at times kind of faded in some spots. Talk about his progress.
McCAFFERY: I thought he was great at the end of the year. He played extremely well against Northwestern and did well against Tennessee. I think as you go along people scout you and it was the first time through all of this for him. He is really a freshman last year and you won't see a freshman next year. You will see a seasoned veteran.
Q: Will you potentially look at playing the twin towers next season?
McCAFFERY: Possibly. We will see how everything comes together.
Q: You mentioned Olaseni continues to make progress.
McCAFFERY: He just keeps getting better. He keeps getting more comfortable on the floor and his offense improved tremendously last year. I think you will see that again next year too.
Q: What will Trey Dickerson bring that maybe you didn't have last year?
McCAFFERY: He is going to bring quickness and playmaking. He is going to find our shooter and find our bigs. He is really good in the pick and roll and loading our shooters up.
Q: You talked a little bit about Dom Uhl tonight. Do you think he will be able to help you a lot next year?
McCAFFERY: Yeah, I think he's going to help us.