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Monday, July 19, 2010

Uthoff's Choice: Wisconsin

Cedar Rapids' rising star Jarrod Uthoff finally decided tonight that he needed to leave the comfort of home in Iowa to find a perennial winner whose style fit his strengths, choosing Bo Ryan's Badgers instead of the home state Hawkeyes, Cyclones or Panthers.

And then Uthoff hopped on a plane at the Eastern Iowa Airport to skip town, just to be safe.

Okay, that's not entirely fair. Uthoff is heading to Las Vegas to hoop with his Iowa Barnstormers AAU team. But this undoubtedly will give Iowa fans flashbacks to Jason Bohannon choosing Wisconsin over his dad's alma mater. Except in this case, Iowa State and Northern Iowa are probably just as disappointed too. All three programs held a wild card in their proximity to Uthoff's home town -- he acknowledged all along that distance would be a factor in his decision. I guess the three-hour drive to Madison is manageable.

Iowa appeared to have a great chance at Uthoff in recent days as a centerpiece of its rebuilding efforts under new coach Fran McCaffery. Uthoff, an all-state pick last season, never tipped his hand during this process however.

Uthoff's commitment closes the book on UW's 2011 impressive recruiting class. In true Bo style, the group is well-rounded, but not highly-rated nationally. The skinny 6'8" senior-to-be at Cedar Rapids Jefferson can fill either forward spot next to PF/C Frank Kaminsky, while the class' backcourt is set with George Marshall and Traevon Jackson. Though Uthoff's stock just recently took off this summer, he could wind up as the best-rated prospect of the four.

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