By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa - If we've learned anything after a decade of recruiting under Fran McCaffery, it's that quantity doesn't always mean quality.
Since being hired as the Iowa men’s basketball coach in 2010, Fran McCaffery has signed 39 players to national letters of intent.
That includes the five players in Iowa’s 2020 recruiting class, all of whom will be a freshmen next season.
Iowa’s recruiting classes under McCaffery have ranged in size from six players in 2015 to just one player in 2013.
However, size can be misleading, considering that none of the six players from the 2015 class ever made first, second or third-team All-Big Ten, while the only recruit in the 2013 class, shooting guard Peter Jok, made first-team All-Big Ten as a senior, and led the conference in scoring.
In fact, all six players from Iowa's 2015 recruiting class transferred out of the program. So the class as a whole was a major disappointment.
Jok is one of four players signed by Fran McCaffery who would go on to make first-team All-Big Ten, with the latest being junior center Luka Garza, who was also named the Big Ten Player of the Year and a consensus first-team All-American this past season.
Garza was among three players who signed with Iowa in 2017, along with forward Jack Nunge and guard Connor McCaffery, who is Fran McCaffery’s son.
But even with just three players, a case could be made for the 2017 class being Fran McCaffery’s best at Iowa.
In addition to Garza's rise to dominance, Connor McCaffery started at guard this past season as a third-year sophomore and was one of the most versatile and efficient players in the country.
Nunge started 14 games as a true freshman in 2017-18, and he started the first five games this past season before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
The 2015 recruiting class, on the other hand, only had one player who became a full-time starter at Iowa, with that being shooting guard Isaiah Moss. The Chicago native started as a sophomore and junior, but then transferred to Kansas where he played as a graduate student this past season.
Eleven of the 39 players who have signed with Iowa under Fran McCaffery have transferred out of the program, but more than half came from the 2015 recruiting class.
And with so many players from the 2015 class having failed to produce at Iowa, it was crucial for Fran McCaffery to sign a strong class in 2016, and he met the challenge with a class that included forwards Tyler Cook and Ryan Kriener and guard Jordan Bohannon.
Cook was a three-year starter at Iowa, and he made second-team All-Big Ten as a junior before skipping his senior season to pursue a professional career.
Bohannon has developed into one of the greatest clutch shooters in program history and is Iowa’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals made with 284. Bohannon made third-team All-Big Ten as a junior, and has been a starter since early in his freshman season, while Kriener was also a key contributor throughout his career, mostly as a reserve.
Iowa's 2018 recruiting class is another example of the size of the class being misleading. The class only consisted of guards Joe Wieskamp and C.J. Fredrick, but Wieskamp has been a starter in each of the past two seasons, and he made the Big Ten All-Freshmen team in 2019.
Fredrick also started as a redshirt freshman this past season and made the Big Ten All-Freshmen team.
Players who made first-team All-Big Ten under Fran McCaffery
2014, Devyn Marble
2015, Aaron White
2016, Jarrod Uthoff
2017, Peter Jok
2020, Luka Garza
Note: Uthoff signed with Wisconsin and spent one season as a Badger before transferring to Iowa.
Players who made second-team All-Big Ten under Fran McCaffery
2012, Matt Gatens
2016, Peter Jok
2019, Tyler Cook
Players who made third-team All-Big Ten under Fran McCaffery
2013, Aaron White, Devyn Marble
2014, Aaron White
2015, Jarrod Uthoff
2019, Tyler Cook, Jordan Bohannon
Players who have transferred under Fran McCaffery
name, recruiting class
Maishe Dailey, 2016
Dale Jones, 2015
Christian Williams, 2015
Isaiah Moss, 2015
Ahmad Wagner, 2015
Andrew Fleming, 2015
Brandon Hutton, 2015
Trey Dickerson, 2014
Brady Ellingson, 2014
Patrick Ingram, 2012
Kyle Meyer, 2012
Iowa's recruiting classes under Fran McCaffery
Joe Toussaint, PG, 5-10, 170, Bronx, N.Y.
Patrick McCaffery, F, 6-8, 180, Iowa City
C.J. Fredrick, G, 6-3, 170, Cincinnati, Ohio
Joe Wieskamp, G/F, 6-6, 190, Muscatine
Jack Nunge, F, 6-9, 185, Newburgh, Ind.
Luka Garza, C, 6-10, 230, Washington D.C.
Connor McCaffery, G, 6-5, 195, Iowa City
Maishe Dailey, G, 6-6, 184, Beechwood, Ohio
Tyler Cook, F, 6-8, 240, St. Louis, Mo.
Jordan Bohannon, G, 6-0, 170, Marion
Ryan Kriener, F, 6-9, 240, Spirit Lake
Cordell Pemsl, F, 6-8, 235, Dubuque
Dale Jones, F, 6-8, 220, Waterloo
Christian Williams, G, 6-5, 190, Decatur, Ill.
Isaiah Moss, G, 6-5, 175, Chicago
Ahmad Wagner, G, 6-7, 215, Huber Heights, Ohio
Andrew Fleming, G, 6-4, 200, Nashville, Tenn.
Brandon Hutton, F, 6-6, 195, Chicago
Trey Dickerson, G, 6-1, 170, New York City
Dominique Uhl, F, 6-8, 185, Frankfurt, Germany
Brady Ellingson, G, 6-4, 175, Sussex, Wis.
Peter Jok, G, 6-6, 210, Des Moines
Anthony Clemmons, G, 6-1, 185, Lansing, Mich.
Adam Woodbury, C, 7-0, 230, Sioux City
Patrick Ingram, G, 6-2, 180, Indianapolis, Ind.
Mike Gesell, G, 6-2, 180, South Sioux City, Neb.
Kyle Meyer, F, 6-9, 220, Alpharetta, Ga.
Gabe Olaseni, F/C, 6-9, 220, London, England
Aaron White, F, 6-8, 215, Strongsville, Ohio
Josh Oglesby, G, 6-5, 175, Cedar Rapids
Bryce Cartwright, PG, 6-0, 170, Compton, Calif.
Melshan Basabe, F, 6-7, 215, Glen Cove, N.Y.
Zach McCabe, F 6-7, 201, Sioux City
Roy Devyn Marble, G, 6-5, 170, Southfield, Mich.
Recruiting data supplied by Rivals