Former Badger Uthoff to transfer to Iowa
The relationship between Jarrod Uthoff and Wisconsin's basketball program soured months ago following a controversial transfer request, but the two sides aren't done with each other just yet.
Uthoff confirmed to FOXSportsWisconsin.com on Wednesday night that he will remain in the Big Ten and transfer to Iowa. Though he must pay his own way and won't be eligible to play in 2012-13 per NCAA transfer rules, he will have three years of eligibility remaining and could eventually earn a scholarship.
By staying in the Big Ten, it ensures that Uthoff will face his old program at least once every season.
"I'll just treat the Wisconsin game as any other game," Uthoff said. "I don't see what the problem is with playing just another team."
Uthoff, who redshirted last season and requested a transfer in April, initially was restricted by Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan from contacting 26 schools — a move that drew national criticism. The restricted school list featured the entire Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as Iowa State, Marquette and Florida.
All restrictions outside the Big Ten were lifted after Uthoff filed an appeal with Wisconsin athletic officials. He did not file another appeal to have the Big Ten transfer restrictions lifted.
As a result, Uthoff can't speak to Iowa's coaching staff until he enrolls in school and attends classes this fall. Uthoff, an Iowa native, said he was basing his decision to join the Hawkeyes on his recruitment two years ago by Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.
Uthoff said he chose Iowa because of its style of play, which is more up-tempo than Wisconsin. Last season, Iowa averaged 73.0 points per game and scored at least 80 points on 10 occasions. Wisconsin averaged 64.0 points per game and only scored at least 80 points once — in its opener, an 85-31 rout of Kennesaw State.
"I think they're going to really utilize my versatility and allow me the freedom to create and do some different things," Uthoff said.
Oddly enough, because Uthoff hasn't spoken to Iowa's coaching staff, he has no guarantees that the program even wants him. But his skill set should appeal to the Hawkeyes. Uthoff averaged 26.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks during his senior season in high school at Cedar Rapids Jefferson and earned Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year honor.
The 6-foot-8 forward said he chose Iowa over finalists Iowa State and Creighton — two schools he visited after being granted his transfer release from Wisconsin. Uthoff said he planned on visiting Marquette and Florida as well, but decided to stay closer to home.
Uthoff already has familiarity with players on Iowa's team, particularly Hawkeyes guard Josh Oglesby. The two played on the same AAU basketball team and grew up 10 minutes from each other.
Uthoff said he wanted to take his time during the transfer process. He's glad to have found what he believes to be the proper fit.
"It was definitely important," Uthoff said. "I wanted to make sure it was the right decision for me and carefully think through it."
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