IOWA CITY - At least two former Iowa basketball players know that newly hired Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery can recruit.
Jess Settles and Kenyon Murray were among the players McCaffery recruited while working as an assistant at Notre Dame, and both were among a number of former Hawkeyes present when McCaffery was introduced Monday as the program's 22nd head coach.
"He recruited me the right way, working through my high school coach and he was around all the time," Murray said. "He was at high school games, AAU games, Nike camps, that type of thing. He's got the right approach, and I liked the guy a lot."
So did Settles, who took one of his official visits to Notre Dame.
Settles visited on a football weekend and had a chance to meet actress Julia Roberts during his visit there. McCaffery explained that Roberts was visiting campus with her boyfriend at the time.
"It was going to take a lot to get me away from Iowa, but he did his best," Settles said.
"He knows how to recruit at this level, and that's big. When you're in a recruit's home one night after Bo Ryan and the night before Tom Izzo, you have to be able to sell your program. He's a humble guy, but he understands the big picture."
McCaffery reached out to former players during his introductory comments, saying he wants alumni of the program to be actively involved both in supporting and helping the program grow.
Former Hawk Bobby Hansen, a part of the search committee that helped Iowa select the former Siena coach, said that takes an effort on both ends.
"I think it can be big to have former players involved, but it's a two-way street. Former players need to be around, be at games," Hansen said. "It has to work both ways. As a former player, I like the fact that he wants us around. We have to return that commitment."