By Dylan Burn
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Iowa men's basketball team has shown steady improvement since Fran McCaffery was hired as head coach in 2010.
Iowa has has had six consecutive winning seasons, made it to postseason in six consecutive seasons and played in the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four seasons.
That level of success has caused highly regarded prospects to show interest in the Iowa program.
The latest is five-star forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl from Kansas, and the relationship appears strong following an unofficial visit to Iowa City this past weekend.
Robinson-Earl attended the Iowa football team's 31-14 victory over North Texas at Kinnick Stadium and was touched by the new tradition in which the fans turn and wave to the kids in the Stead Family Children's Hospital, which overlooks the stadium.
"I really enjoyed the visit to Iowa," Robinson-Earl said. "The atmosphere was great and the tradition of waving to the kids in the hospital was really cool."
The Iowa coaching staff is clearly making Robinson-Earl a priority in the 2019 class. He is a long, lanky foward who possesses elite athleticism around the rim and has shown an improving jump shot.
Robinson-Earl is also in the same class as West High junior Patrick McCaffery, who is Fran McCaffery's son and a top-50 prospect nationally as a 6-8 small forward.
"I have a great relatonship with the staff and Coach (Fran) McCaffery has shown me how I would fit right into their style of play," Robinson-Earl said.
McCaffery's preference to play up tempo seems to attract athletic frontline players such as Robinson-Earl.
It was definitely a factor in landing Tyler Cook, who made the Big Ten All-Freshman team last season after being a four-star recruit in high school.
"I don't have any current plans to get back (to Iowa City), but Iowa is in the mix and my recruitment is still wide open," Robinson-Earl said. "I don't have a date in mind really, I am just really grateful to the Iowa staff for showing interest in me."
Robinson-Earl has a host of blue blood programs after him, but that isn't steering the Hawkeyes from actively recruiting the elite forward. Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Oklahoma, and Creighton are a few of the most notable schools that have offered Robinson-Earl a scholarship, along with Iowa.
Most recruiting services rank Robinson-Earl among the top 20 players nationally in the class of 2019, and if Fran McCaffery and his staff are able to land him, it would be the biggest get during their tenure.
Robinson-Earl is the son of Lester Earl, who played for both LSU (one year) and Kansas (three years) during his collegiate days.