It's been a while since Hawkeye basketball fans have been optimistic about an upcoming season. The main source of that optimism rests on the talented shoulders of two Sioux City metro stars, South Sioux's Mike Gesell and East's Adam Woodbury, who will both be Iowa freshman this fall.
Hawkeye assistant coach Kirk Speraw was at the Siouxland I-Club banquet on Monday, talking hoops in his hometown. Speraw is a North High grad, who helped land the 7'1" Woodbury and the talented point guard, Gesell.
The coach takes special satisfaction in getting recruits out of his old backyard.
"Both those guys have played at the highest level, not only on their own high school teams and getting to state championship games and Mike winning a couple of state championships, but also in the AAU circuits," said Speraw. "They'll make that transition rather seamlessly from high school to college and we anticipate that they're going to be a big part of our plans."
Bishop Heelan grad Zach McCabe will also be a main cog in the Hawkeye machine next season. The junior-to-be started the last 30 games for the Hawks last season, ranking third on the team in rebounding and fifth in scoring.
The 6'7" McCabe was often forced to guard opposing centers last season, and his toughness inspired his teammates.
"We're excited about Zach and the way he's played the last two years," said Speraw. "I thought he had a breakout sophomore season and played tremendous in the Big Ten season and certainly in the postseason. His hustle and his determination really sets a tone for our team."
The Hawkeyes went 18-17 last season, a seven win improvement over the previous season, and made it to round two of the NIT.
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