Coach: Payne likes Iowa but has other suitors

Point guard Cully Payne

Point guard Cully Payne

Schaumburg, Ill., point guard Cully Payne left Iowa on Wednesday impressed with the school, high school coach Bob Williams said.
“Everything he said about the visit was positive,” Williams said. “He liked the campus, he liked the coaches, he liked everything about the campus.”
Iowa has offered Payne a scholarship just days after Payne was released from his letter of intent from Alabama. Payne was slated to visit Washington State, but Coach Tony Bennett left for Virginia.
Williams said Tennessee and George Mason have contacted him about Payne as well. Perhaps aiding Iowa’s chances is a familiar face. Former Schaumburg prep Kyle Braheny was the head manager for the basketball team.
Williams said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter plans to visit Payne and his family April 9. The NCAA has instituted a dead period from April 2 through 12:01 p.m. April 9.
Williams described the 6-foot-1 as unselfish and a true leader.
“He’s a point guard, and he’s a true point guard in that fact that he’s very unselfish,” Williams said. “He does whatever is necessary to make the team successful. That’s probably his defining characteristic.
“We’ve had tremendous success here, and what we’re kind of known for is great teamwork and tremendous defense. That’s kind of what our tag has been. He averaged 22 points a game. He scan score; the kid can flat-out score, but he’s not selfish in anyway whatsoever.
That’s a rare kid who can score a lot of points but runs the team and gets the ball where it’s supposed to be.”
Payne played two years of high school ball at Burlington Central in the Chicago suburbs before transferring to Schaumburg. He injured his back this year and missed the final month of the season.
Payne originally committed to DePaul, but pulled out earlier this year. Then he committed to Alabama, but was released from his commitment when Crimson Tide Coach Mark Gottfried resigned.
Payne comes from an athletic background. His father, Kent Payne, is athletics director at Elgin (Ill.) Community College.
Four different Iowa players announced they were leaving the program last week. Iowa likely will offer three scholarships during the spring signing period, which begins April 15.
Iowa also hopes to land freshman guard Malcolm Armstead (6-foot) and sophomore forward Torye Pelham (6-6) from Chipola (Fla.) Junior College.


2 Responses to Coach: Payne likes Iowa but has other suitors

  1. herman feckenfelder says:

    why would this kid want to come to Iowa, a team with the quickest exit player turnstile in the entire nation. How Lickleiter managed to install this turnstile in such a record (loss) time totally befuddles people and flat stymies the experts,
    even the Houdini Institute can’t figure how it’s done,
    Todd only smiles deferently and says “here you see me, there you don’t”

  2. […] Payne toured Iowa City during a campus visit last week, but Iowa officials could not contact him from 12:01 p.m. last Thursday through 12:01 p.m. today. The NCAA imposed a week-long recruiting dead period wrapped around the Final Four. […]

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