Thoughts and observations on recent developments (and lack of developments) in the Iowa basketball program:
--If Brady Ellingson was looking for increased playing time — and he obviously was — he came to the right place. Ellingson announced Monday that he is going to Drake as a graduate transfer to play for new coach Darian DeVries.
Drake had a guard-heavy lineup last season, but they were all seniors. The only one of the top six scorers who returns next season is center Nick McGlynn. So Ellingson and fellow grad transfer Nick Norton, the son of former Iowa player and Davenport Assumption coach Randy Norton, should get plenty of floor time.
--Prior to the Hawkeyes’ post-season banquet last week, guard Isaiah Moss assured reporters that he’s almost certain to return to the Hawkeyes next season even though he has entered his name in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-5 junior-to-be said he filed for early entry primarily for educational purposes. He felt it would be a good experience to go through workouts for NBA scouts and get some input on what sort of things he needs to work on.
While a few observers bashed Moss for doing this, saying he’s not remotely ready for the next level, it’s actually a great idea for him to go through the draft process. It could end up making him a better player in the long run.
--Cordell Pemsl was much less definitive about his future with the Hawkeyes. In an interview with the Des Moines Register, the 6-8 forward was very non-committal and did not shoot down the idea that he might transfer.
You get the feeling Pemsl’s fortunes may be greatly influenced by what Tyler Cook does. Whether or not Cook stays in the draft will have a big impact on how much playing time Pemsl receives next season.
--Cook, who also has filed papers to test the NBA draft process, declined to even speak with reporters at the banquet although he did have a few things to say in an article written by one of Iowa's sports information staffers on hawkeyesports.com.
He said he plans to start going through workouts with NBA teams later this month, but denied rumors that he already has decided to leave the Hawkeyes’ program.
"I have two great situations," Cook said. "Whether I go to the NBA, I will be reaching a dream of mine or coming back for my junior year is not a bad option either. When I have all the information in front of me I will be able to make an informed decision."
--There are no surprises with what Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has chosen to do with the two scholarships vacated by Ahmad Wagner and Ellingson. One of them will go to his son, Connor McCaffery, who enrolled as a walk-on in his first year at Iowa. Coach McCaffery plans to save the other scholarship for a high school recruit in the class of 2019. If not, he might only have one scholarship to offer in that class and he already has one verbal commitment in that class, from younger son Patrick.
--Iowa assistant coach Andrew Francis, who came to Iowa with McCaffery from Siena, briefly was mentioned on Twitter as a candidate to be the next head coach at that school after Jimmy Patsos resigned under pressure last week. However, the favorite for the Siena job appears to be Patrick Beilein, the son of Michigan coach John Beilein, who has gone 59-34 over the past three seasons at Division II LeMoyne. Syracuse assistant Gerry McNamara also is considered a strong candidate.