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Wednesday, March 30, 2005
More Skinner Info
Nathan Skinner, a member of Iowa's incoming freshman class, was selected to play in the adidas All-Canadian Basketball Game on April 9th. The game will also include a Michigan State recruit, Maurice Joseph. Thanks to Jon of HawkeyeNation.com for the link.

This post would be far too brief if I stop now, so here's a copy/paste of the site's profile of Skinner -

Scouting Report: Exciting end-to-end player with his athleticism and power with
the ball. Finishes strong in traffic, sometimes way above the rim. Outside game
improved over the course of the year. Offence is so dominant that it overshadows
his strong defensive abilities. His body is solid and ready for the next level.
Competed for TAPS at the National Prep School Invitational in Rhode Island and
came away with All-Tournament Team recognition after scoring 28 ppg. Transferred from Bishop Loughlin in New York to West Hill this year and led the Warriors to the OFSAA AAAA Bronze Medal. A good student and tremendous athlete, he committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes in February.

Every scouting report regarding Skinner that I've seen (all three or so) makes prominent mention of his athleticism. The general reaction after Iowa's loss to Cincinnati was that the Hawks were unathletic, so a quick, powerful player with some size (6'5", 210) could be a big boost for this team. With Skinner and Tony Freeman coming in, and with Mike Henderson showing signs at the end of the season that maybe he isn't awful, in addition to definite starters Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska, it will be interesting to see how the backcourt minutes get divvied up next year.

I'm most excited about the hype surrounding Skinner's defense. I've written ad nauseam that Iowa's offense didn't regress after Pierre Pierce was kicked off the team, but I didn't spend nearly as much time covering defense. Iowa's defense fell off by several points per hundred possessions after Pierce's dismissal, and I think a similarly athletic wing defender would really help improve next year's squad.

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