Oct. 3, 2012
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- After spending last season at the University of Wisconsin, Jarrod Uthoff made the decision in June to transfer to the University of Iowa. This fall, Uthoff joined the Iowa men's basketball team's roster. He is excited to be a Hawkeye and feels like he fits in really well with his new teammates.
"They have been extremely welcoming," said Uthoff. "From day one they took me in. The chemistry on this team is amazing; it's a close-knit group."
Prior to going to college, Uthoff prepped at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, where he was a 1,000-point scorer. He averaged 26.2 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game as a senior and 21 points and 10 rebounds per contest his junior campaign. Uthoff was honored as the 2011 Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Iowa, and was tabbed first-team all-state and the Mississippi Valley Conference Player of the Year his junior and senior seasons.
Once Uthoff announced he was transferring to Iowa, there was no confirmation that he would land a spot on the Hawkeye roster as a walk-on since he was unable to have any communication with the coaching staff until the first day of fall classes (Aug. 22).
"It was very tough," said the 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward. "I had to go off of the first time around when the coaches were recruiting me out of high school and from that I had confidence."
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Uthoff will be unable to compete in games this season, but he can practice with the team and improve his game.
"I see my role this year doing whatever I can to make the team better in practice," said Uthoff. "I plan on pushing them every day, while also working on all aspects of my game and improving as a whole."
When asked what position he sees himself playing next year, Uthoff said, "wherever coach [Fran] McCaffery puts me, but most likely on the wing."
Josh Oglesby believes Uthoff's presence will be a factor in improving this year's team on the court.
"Going against better competition each day in practice is only going to benefit our starters and guys who will be playing this year," Oglesby said.
Oglesby is ecstatic to have Uthoff as a teammate. Oglesby and Uthoff became friends during their high school days, playing on the AAU Iowa Barnstormers squad.
"It's neat having Jarrod as a teammate, especially since he's been here for a couple months now." said the sophomore shooting guard. "He's getting the hang of things, adjusting to our team, our atmosphere as a team and fitting in."
Since the start of fall classes, Uthoff has been involved in all team preseason strength and conditioning, and individual workouts.
"Being able to finally work out with my new teammates is better than I envisioned," said Uthoff. "I like everything about Iowa and this program."
Uthoff was on the Wisconsin bench last Feb. 23, when the Hawkeyes tripped the Badgers 67-66 on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He was overwhelmed by the atmosphere.
"I've never seen Carver like that," Uthoff said. "It was an electric atmosphere and I'm excited to be a part of it now."