- Paul Biancardi, Basketball Recruiting
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Iowa coach Fran McCaffery landed a difference-maker Wednesday when a local product, center Adam Woodbury, committed to the Hawkeyes over North Carolina.
The 6-foot-11, 225-pound ESPNU 100 big man has been a priority for McCaffery since he took over the program two years ago. He has not missed one of Woodbury's games over the past two July recruiting periods and will make the future pro prospect from Sioux City, Iowa, the face of the program.
"I think he wants to be a very integral and important part of the program," Woodbury's AAU All-Iowa Attack coach, Hank Huddleson, said. "He sees himself as being an important piece and the face of a program and making a huge impact. An in-state school allows him to do that because it's an in-state school. He can impact wherever he plays, but it's not the same as playing in your home state. Instead of being one of the guys, he wanted to play an even bigger role."
Woodbury, who also was the MVP of the NBPA Top 100 Camp, changes the landscape for the Hawkeyes in the recruiting world and on the court. The No. 8-ranked center in the class runs the floor well, scores inside with his soft hook shot, knocks down 15-foot jumpers and consistently rebounds.
However, what makes him special is his defensive prowess. He is a good shot-blocker and communicates very well on the defensive end. Woodbury is very vocal with his teammates regarding screens and players cutting in the lane.
Woodbury will be teaming up with longtime All-Iowa Attack teammate and fellow ESPNU 100 prospect, PG Mike Gesell, who committed to the Hawkeyes in August.
"We are close, and with most recruiting classes, you have to build chemistry to be successful. We already have it," said Gesell, who goes to South Sioux City High School in South Sioux City, Neb.
Anchored by his point guard and big man of the future, as well as C Kyle Meyer (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) and SG Patrick Ingram (Indianapolis/North Central), McCaffery is putting together a strong 2012 class that should go a long way toward putting the Hawkeyes in the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
Paul Biancardi, who has been a head coach and assistant on NCAA tournament teams, is the national director of basketball recruiting. He is also one the voters for the McDonald's All-American Game and Gatorade Player of the Year. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.