By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Fran McCaffery sort of had home-field advantage when it came to recruiting Jack Nunge.
The 6-foot-11 Nunge is from Indiana, but used to live in Coralville and still has relatives who live in Iowa.
His connections to the state played a big factor in Nunge picking the Hawkeyes.
“It means a lot to have lived in Iowa City,” Nunge said. “Iowa is and has always been my favorite team and I loved going to games when I was there. Big Ten basketball is something special. It is the best conference in the country and I cannot to be there.”
Nunge signed his letter of intent on Thursday, a day after 6-10 center/forward Luka Garza signed with the Hawkeyes.
Nunge and Garza both visited Iowa on the same weekend in September and made verbal commitments on back-to-days, led by Garza.
“Luka and I met for the first time on our official visit weekend,” Nunge said. “We got to play together in an open gym and it was good. He is a really good player and I am excited to spend college and basketball with him.”
McCaffery raved about Nunge’s versatility in a statement released on Thursday with official confirmation that Nunge had signed with Iowa.
“There are a number of things that jump out at you when you first watch Jack play,” McCaffery said. “Not only is he an incredible perimeter shooter for someone that big, but he affects the game a number of ways. He can rebound, block shots, run, handle the basketball, and make plays for himself or his teammates. I believe he’s going to have a great impact in our program for a long time.”
Nunge averaged 19.3 points and 11.7 rebounds as a junior last season, posting double-doubles in 18 games.
He also excels in the classroom, boasting a 3.97 grade point average and ranking 20th in his class.
Nunge looks forward to playing for McCaffery and with family members watching at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Having family in Iowa is an extra bonus,” Nunge said “My grandma and extended family will get to come to the games. What could be better than that?
“Lastly, I love the staff and Coach Fran is the type of coach that gets the best of his players. I am looking forward to working hard and improving and putting on the Hawkeye jersey.”
Nunge is happy to have the recruiting process finished so he can limit his distractions as a high school senior.
“It is such a load off my mind,” Nunge said. “I can put all my focus into the high school team and push for a successful season and long post-season run.”
Nunge picked Iowa over at least nine scholarship offers from schools that include Vanderbilt, Clemson, Creighton, Georgia Tech and Nebraska among others.