Zach McCabe tabs Iowa, touts ‘physical’ play

Sioux City Heelan's Zach McCabe dunks the ball in his team's victory over Carroll in a Class 3A semifinal game at the Iowa boys high school basketball tournament,  Thursday, March 12, 2009, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

Sioux City Heelan's Zach McCabe dunks the ball in his team's victory over Carroll in a Class 3A semifinal game at the Iowa boys high school basketball tournament, Thursday, March 12, 2009, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Steve Pope)

Sioux City Heelan senior Zach McCabe sifted through numerous basketball scholarship offers but only one tugged at his heart.

McCabe, a 6-foot-6 forward, picked Iowa over Arizona State, Virginia, Utah, Minnesota and Northwestern among others. McCabe said his choice came down to one simple, yet special factor.

“I’ve been a Hawkeye fan ever since I was a little kid,” McCabe said Friday. “Playing there has always been a dream of mine. For me I wanted to stay close to home and instate and help Iowa be winners.”

McCabe is the fourth and final high school commitment for the 2010 class. He joins guards Roy Marble Jr. of Detroit and Ben Brust of Mundelein, Ill., and forward Cody Larson of South Falls (S.D.) Roosevelt as future Iowa players.

McCabe averaged 16.1 points and nine rebounds a game for the Class 3A state champion Crusaders. He led the team in assists with 144 and sank 50.3 percent of his shots. He was a teammate of incoming Iowa freshman Brennan Cougill.

“They’re going to get somebody who’s both blue collar and white collar,” Heelan Coach Tom Betz said. “He’s not afraid to do the dirty work. He’s a competitor.

“He’s as competitive of a kid we’ve ever had and a very skilled kid. He shoots the ball extremely well and plays both ends of the court.”

McCabe also plays quarterback for Heelan’s football team and garnered a few football scholarship offers. He said his passion lies with basketball, which made his college sport an easy choice. But his on-court basketball mentality mirrors his football mindset.

“I’m a very tough player, pretty physical,” McCabe said. “For me, I can score and rebound. I pretty much do anything the coaches ask me to do.”

Iowa coaches offered McCabe a scholarship earlier this year, but McCabe wanted to take his time to validate his choice. He played in a summer AAU tournament in Milwaukee last week and talked with his family about the new offers he had received.

“I told them I love Iowa a lot, and that’s where I wanted to go,” he said. “They (family members) would have been happy with anywhere I would have went. But they’re Hawkeye fans.”


5 Responses to Zach McCabe tabs Iowa, touts ‘physical’ play

  1. Charlie Thomas says:

    That’s just what Iowa needs, another middle of the pack white guy! Wow!!!!

  2. PKane says:

    I will take any “middle of the pack” white guy with offers from Minnesota, Virginia, Utah, Arizona State and others any day. Glad to have ya Mr. McCabe!

  3. Anonymouth says:

    Charlie Thomas is right, PKane. McCabe is not an impact player (in the Big Ten). He’s the same type of player Iowa’s always been able to get–Alex Thompson, Carlton Reed, etc.–he’s not going to alter the course of the program.

    All those schools offered McCabe very late because they had open roster spots they needed to fill, and McCabe was the best of the leftovers. The kind of players Iowa needs don’t get good offers (meaning offers from top programs) six weeks before the start of their senior year of high school; they get good offers after their freshman and sophomore years.

    As good as Matt Gatens is, he’s the lowest caliber player we can afford to sign if we’re ever going to challenge for the top of the conference. And Matt is not going to play in the NBA, he’s not even a second rounder like Adam Haluska was (who never really made an NBA team). But NBA caliber players are our competition–other teams in the conference have them.

    To put it another way, if Iowa ever is to challenge for the top third of the conference, we can’t sign any players ranked outside the top 200 nationally. And we’re going to have to sign a very highly rated (top 50) player who’s a bona fide NBA prospect every other year, or at least every third year.

  4. EP says:

    If Tubby wanted him that;s good enough for me.

  5. […] McCabe became a summer camp superstar, receiving scholarship offers from Minnesota, Arizona State, Utah, Northwestern and other schools in the region. He received an offer from Iowa in March but wanted to wait almost to validate his commitment. He knew Iowa had only one scholarship left for his class, and he couldn’t leave the coaches hanging forever. […]

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