Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MEN'S BB: JUCO Forward Devon Archie Verbals to the Iowa Hawkeye BB Program

So the Interwebs exploded today with the news that Iowa had offered Devon Archie, a JUCO forward out of Vincennes University. And then Devon verballed to play basketball for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

(Photo courtesy of Scout.com)

That name sounded a little familiar to me, so I had to go back into the archives. Sure enough, I posted a YouTube video of Devon almost two years ago. Problem is, it was a highlight film dunk of Jake Kelly dunking on him. I wonder if that will be awkward the next time they meet?

So back to the recruit. A lot of rumbling that this kid is a project and he can't help the program right now. I'll be honest, I don't know much about him. He's supposed to be a legit 6'9" body, but hasn't played organized ball that long (sound familiar?). I guess my hope is that maybe they redshirt him and then let him play 4 in 5. Not sure. However, if he doesn't redshirt, he might be athletic enough to help out Iowa's interior defense (one that will suffer greatly with Tate's departure). One thing that is undeniable is that the kid has mad hops, and will bring some big time athleticism. How will that work with Lickliter's system, though?

HoopsIndiana has a nice little article on the commit. So WHY Archie? Archie was one of the best prep players in the state of.... Indiana. At Ben Davis high school in... Indianapolis. Starting to make more sense now? It does for me.

Juco Junctions' Ranking, puts Archie as the #28 JUCO player in the nation.

But like I said, a lot of people questioning the recruiting capabilities of this staff. But answer me this.

What does Lickliter have to sell to the kids?
  • Packed house? Nope.
  • Great facilities? Nope.
  • Lofty tradition? Nope.
  • Beaches/Hot weather? Nope.
  • Winning tradition under Lickliter at Iowa? Nope.
Really, the only selling points are playing time and a chance to resurrect a program. I can't see a lot of 4-5 star recruits jumping at that.

I personally don't know how to rebuild a program, but here are my thoughts. You go out and grab the hard working, versatile players that can play multiple positions. Get smart players, kids that can work well together. Focus on 2 and 3 star type of players that, when in the team environment, can succeed. Get the occasional 4 star if you can, but focus your efforts on the better 3 star type players. Don't go for the big time players, swing and miss (like a former coach of Iowa's) and then be left scrambling for players. Players like Kelly, Gatens, Cole, etc.. are the type of players, in my opinion, that you rebuild a program with. They will be 4 year players that aren't going to bolt to the NBA. They can help the new kids come in with the system and they give the staff 4 years of consistency. I don't believe rebuilding is an overnight deal for Iowa. Some schools have the tradition or coach to bring in the big boys right away, Iowa doesn't.

I think the way Lickliter is going is the way to go.

With the commitment, that fills up Iowa's class for 2009... or DOES IT? Iowa still looks to be recruiting Malcolm Armstead, one of the more promising PGs in the country, who plays on the JUCO powerhouse of Chipola CC. So if Armstead is still in the mix, that means someone goes, but who is it? David Palmer seems to be the most likely candidate. Then again, some of us were saying David would be leaving last year when Iowa was trying to make room for another recruit and he still remained on the team.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this, storminspank. I used to post regularly at HawkeyeNation (still do, occasionally), and I always remember you being a voice of reason when discussing Hawkeye basketball. This post leaves me even more excited about Devon than I was before. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Dan!