Iowa head basketball Fran McCaffery is beginning to turn heads among fans in the state of Iowa and has even created a buzz on Twitter with some national pundits.
Many fans and media members are impressed with what he has done at Iowa in just a short time period. The 2012 class — his first full offseason of recruiting — features five players. Of those five players, two are top 100 recruits. He has two point guards, one shooting guard, a 6-foot-11 power forward and 7-foot-1 center.
There is reason to be excited in Iowa City.
I recently reached out to all five recruits to get an in depth Q&A interview. The fourth installment of this five-part series features Sioux City East center Adam Woodbury. Woodbury, who picked Iowa over North Carolina, is a top 100 player who is expected to play right away for the Hawkeyes next season. Here is our exchange.
Here are the first three installments: Kyle Meyer, Patrick Ingram and Mike Gesell.
Troy Hyde: Your high school team has advanced to the state tournament the last two seasons. Heading into your final high school year, what does the team look like this season and are we looking at another state berth? And if and when you get to state, what has to be different this year that maybe didn’t happen the last two years to get you to the championship level?
Adam Woodbury: We have made it to the state tournament three consecutive years. We have a fairly good chance at making it once again but nothing is promised. We must play together and share the ball to be successful this year.
TH: Making a college choice is tough and not a lot of people may realize what goes into the decision. What was your biggest reason for picking Iowa over some of other schools on your list, especially North Carolina?
AW: Like I’ve said before, Iowa felt home to me. I loved all the letters, messages and support I received over the recruiting process from them. I grew up an Iowa fan, watching the games with my dad, and want to be a part of the group that puts Iowa back on the national stage.
TH: A lot of people who thought they knew what you were going to do said you would end up at Iowa unless a Kansas or North Carolina offered. That is not exactly what the state of Iowa and Iowa Hawkeye fans wanted to hear but you ended up picking Iowa anyway despite the offer from Roy Williams, who always seems to break the hearts of Iowa fans every year. Was that decision hard or did you know from the start that Iowa is where you wanted to be?
AW: Making my decision was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The last few days in the whole process I knew in my heart that Iowa was the place for me.
TH: You said during your “decision” press conference that you want to be a part of Iowa’s rebuilding project and getting the program back to where it was in the 80s and 90s. Do you feel any pressure being that you and Mike are the four-star ranked players that are expected to make the biggest impacts?
AW: I don’t feel a ton of extra pressure. but I enjoy carrying that added expectations because I truly believe Mike and I can handle it along with the other three recruits.
TH: What do you know has to change in your game before you are ready to make that leap to Division I basketball? What are you focusing on right now to try to make better before the season starts at Sioux City East?
AW: The obvious aspect is getting stronger. I want to improve on everything in my game. Being able to expand my range, shoot a better percentage from the free throw line, refine my post moves, run harder and become more explosive.
TH: How much of a role did Mike Gesell play on your decision? You said you spoke to him almost every day. Was he trying to get you to become a Hawkeye that whole time?
AW: I’ve known Mike for sometime now and he obviously gave me his opinion as well as I gave him mine. He talked to me a couple times about coming to Iowa with him, but he gave me my space and let me do what was best for my family and I.
TH: Hawkeye fans have not had a true center that reaches 7 foot tall to cheer for in a long time. What do you bring to the table that Iowa fans are going to love from the first day you step on campus?
AW: I feel as soon as I step on campus I will be able to represent the university and the team in the right way. I hope to bring an immediate impact on the court, bring an energy to the fans and play as hard as possible every possession.
TH: What are your impressions of Coach McCaffery? He seems to have already won over Iowa fans in just a short time period.
AW: Coach McCaffery has really done a good job in the short amount of time he has been in Iowa City. I believe and trust in everything he has told me and the visions he has for me and the team.
TH: What do you know about the other three commits? You play with Mike in AAU games but do you know much about the other guys? You and Kyle are both big men so that must get you excited about playing with him down low for the next three or four years?
AW: I’m not that familiar with the other three commits. I’m sure that they are all good because I don’t think Coach McCaffery has brought anybody in to sit and watch. I have heard some really good things about all of them.
TH: How well do you know current Hawkeye Zach McCabe? He is obviously a Sioux City kid. Do you have much of a relationship with him and if so, how much of a role did he play in convincing you to become a Hawkeye?
AW: I have a very good relationship with Zach. Growing up, he played for our crosstown rivals and he was always a little older, so I never knew him that well but always liked his game. He plays with a toughness that you don’t always see in guys. I was able to talk to him a few times, and he was a good source of information as well as some of the other guys on the team.