March 17, 2009

Hawkeyes land JUCO forward

The Iowa coaching staff has been on the lookout for a big man to add to the Class of 2009 and after making an offer on Monday, they got their man on Tuesday afternoon as Devon Archie made his verbal commitment to the Hawkeyes.

"I called Coach Jordan today and told him I was committing. I called Coach Lickliter as well, but I know he was traveling to the national tournament, so I will call him again later today," Archie said.

This past season at Vincennes Junior College in Indiana, Archie averaged 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game.

Iowa's involvement with the 6-foot-9 and 215 pound big man started early in the season and then picked up rapidly in the past few weeks.

"I noticed that they came to a couple of our games early in the season, but I wasn't sure who they were looking at. In the last month or so I started to talk with them more and then in the last two weeks or so they have really come on stronger," he said.

On Monday, Coach Lickliter and Assistant Coach LaVall Jordan met with Archie at Vincennes, talked about their vision for the program and then extended the scholarship offer.

"Coach Lickliter and Coach Jordan came by and presented what Iowa Basketball was all about and I think he was really impressed. They did a great job of recruiting him and they are really down to earth people," said Vincennes Head Coach David Ragland.

"My assistant coach told me they would be coming by, but I didn't know about the offer. When they offered all I could do was smile," Archie said.

After discussing it with his mother last night, Archie decided that Iowa and playing in the Big Ten was the best move for him.

"It feels good. It is a great feeling to play in a great conference with a lot of great players."

Coach Ragland feels that Archie has a skill set similar to another Big Ten player who did very well this year and can come in and compete right away.

"I think he can come in and help Iowa right away. He certainly needs to get stronger, but he is working hard on that. He has only been playing basketball for about 4 or 5 years because he went thru a big growth spurt late. He is really coming into his own now," Ragland said. "He is similar to JaJuan Johnson in his abilities. He has a little strong build that Johnson and does some of the same things defensively as far as blocking shots, and does a good job of catching, rebounding, and scoring from in close."

Ragland said that before his commitment to Iowa, Archie was receiving interest from Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Southern Illinois, Wright State, Purdue, UAB, and Cleveland State. He has had a lot of interest from a lot of schools and he has a whole lot of upside.

According to Ragland, Iowa is getting not only a player with potential, but a solid young man who fits Iowa's style of play.

"He is a high character kid and he is going to be missed when he leaves here. I think that is one of the reasons that Coach Lickliter and his staff are really high on him. He is a real good person and that makes a big difference," he said. "He does a lot of the things that Coach Lickliter asks of his bigs with screening and rolling to the basket, and pick and pop. I think he is a real good fit for Iowa on and off the floor."

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