Jarrod Uthoff found that the toughest part was saying "no."
The Cedar Rapids Jefferson basketball standout spurned scholarship offers from Iowa's in-state schools on Monday evening, making a verbal commitment to continue his career at Wisconsin.
"I could not have made a bad choice," the 6-foot-8 forward said. "I had to settle on what I felt would be the best fit for my game, and in the end I felt that fit was at Wisconsin. In their system, they give big guys with range a chance to step out and shoot."
Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Illinois, Butler and Wisconsin were the final six schools on Uthoff's list, and he said he found it difficult to turn down offers from the Hawkeyes, Cyclones and Panthers.
Uthoff, whose cousin, Dean Uthoff, was a standout at Iowa State in the late 1970s, has been on the court this summer in the Prime Time League with Iowa and Northern Iowa players and said he felt comfortable around players in both programs.
"I had good relationships with coaches at all three Iowa schools, too. It wasn't easy to tell them no, but I had to do what I felt was the best for myself," Uthoff said.
"Iowa and Iowa State are rebuilding right now, and I could have went there and helped but Wisconsin has a good thing going now. That played into (the decision)."
Uthoff, who announced his decision before his summer AAU team left for a tournament in Las Vegas on Monday night, said he spoke with coaches at all six schools before publicly announcing his choice.
He averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds last season for an 18-5 Cedar Rapids Jefferson team that lost in the quarterfinals of the Iowa Class 4A state tournament.