Fran McCaffery has had several recruiting successes during his long tenure at Iowa. He's found the under-the-radar gems like Aaron White and Luka Garza that blossomed into All-Big Ten performers (and then some, in Garza's case). He's also landed a few 4* prospects like Adam Woodbury and Tyler Cook. But getting a big-time point guard prospect -- or even his first choice in point guard recruiting -- has often been a difficult task over the last decade-plus. Today Fran might have just exorcised that particular demon.
COMMITTED! pic.twitter.com/SEXTYV7Slg— Dasonte Bowen (@uncle_drew5) June 9, 2021
Bowen, listed at 6'3", 170 lbs, is a well-regarded point guard prospect that Iowa has been pursuing for a very long time. Rivals rates him as a 3* prospect and the #37 point guard in the 2022 recruiting class. 247 is higher on him, rating him a 4* prospect and the #82 overall prospect in the 2022 class (#17 at point guard). Bowen, who went to Brewster Academy, the same prep school that also produced current Hawkeye Josh Ogundele, had a lengthy offer sheet as well, including the likes of Georgetown, Miami, USC, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, plus mid-majors like UMass, Rhode Island, Penn, South Dakota State, and Northwestern.
As noted, Bowen has been a long-term target for Iowa. Per Matthew Bain at The Des Moines Register, they were the first Division I school to offer him back in May 2019 and they brought him in for an unofficial visit in the pre-COVID times of October 2019. They brought him back for an official visit last weekend and he clearly liked what he saw. What drew Bowen to Iowa? He explained his decision to Rivals:
"It felt like home when I was there," said Bowen. "I felt great around the team and they accepted me right in."
"I got to watch film with the coaches, both of me and of the team, just showing how specific plays I make could fit into how they play, pushing the ball, creating plays, and different shot selections," Bowen said.
Bowen could be the total package at point guard that Iowa has often sought but rarely landed during Fran's tenure. He has speed, quickness, and strong ballhandling to spare -- and he also has the sort of height (6'3") that Iowa has rarely had at the point guard position over the last 11 seasons. He's reportedly a willing and active defender. His outside shot has apparently improved, but may still need work to be effective at a Big Ten level. He might not tick every single box at the moment... but if he did, he'd probably be a 5* recruit and headed to the likes of Michigan State or Kentucky. But he does an awful lot of things well already and the potential is clearly there for even more improvement.
This is one hell of a strong way to start Iowa's 2022 recruiting class. (Riley Mulvey was technically Iowa's first 2022 recruit, but he's since re-classified to 2021 and will be joining the Iowa program this summer/fall.) This is also a welcome change from the usual way this story goes. There have been plenty of strong recruits that Iowa has showed interest to early in the process only to be left empty-handed when that same recruit eventually garners more recruiting attention (and additional offers). That didn't happen this time. Fran & Co. identified Bowen's talent early, remained persistent throughout the process -- and sealed the deal.
247 reported ($) that Iowa is prioritizing more Top 100-caliber players in this class, in an effort to capitalize on the national spotlight the program has had the past two seasons (let's just call it The Garza Effect). That's an exciting development -- and smart business. Let's hope Bowen is the first of a few big-time players to join Iowa's 2022 class. But in the meantime, welcome to Iowa City, Dasonte. We're pretty excited to see what you can do.