The early signing period is now less than a week away and it appears increasingly likely that the Iowa basketball program will sign only two players to letters of intent, leaving its other two open scholarships to be used in the spring.

The two players expected to sign with the Hawkeyes are 6-foot-4 Brady Ellingson of Sussex, Wis., and Dominique Uhl, an athletic 6-8 forward from Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.

"We have some other options in the fall but not a lot,'' head coach Fran McCaffery admitted.

One of those options disappeared Wednesday when Plano, Texas, forward Jackson Forbes gave a verbal commitment to Princeton.

Among the possibilities still out there is 6-8 Michael Nzei of Centereach, N.Y., who was one of many recruits who attended the Black and Gold Blowout on Oct. 25. Nzei gets high marks for athleticism and effort, but has a lot of rough edges. He figures to be a bit of a project.

Many of the other players at the Blowout were high school sophomores and juniors, including Rock Island's Tyler Hall, Lake Forest (Ill.) junior Evan Boudreaux and Dubuque Wahlert sophomore Cordell Pemsl.

Meanwhile, McCaffery is trying to downplay speculation surrounding the basketball abilities of his son, Kyle, a high school freshman who was the subject of an online video recently.

"Everybody was weighing in on it,'' McCaffery said at last week's Big Ten media day. "How big is he? Can he shoot it? His jumper is over here too far; it needs to be over here. Is he quick enough? Is he good enough? Is he top 25?''

McCaffery said the video attracted a lot of attention because it was labeled as being "Fran McCaffery's son.''

"He's just got to keep playing,'' the coach said. "Pretty soon I'll be Kyle McCaffery's dad. That's what we need. That's what I'm hoping for.''