Monday, April 13, 2009

How Payne Fits In

Point guard Cully Payne recently joined the 2009 recruiting class, giving his commitment to Iowa shortly after an in-home visit from Todd Lickliter on Thursday. The question is: how will he be used?

With no other point guard on the Hawkeye roster, Payne immediately projects as a starter.

“Everything fits,” Payne told the Quad City Times. “The coaches, the campus, the program, I liked it all. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I just wish I could have gotten to this point sooner.”

The one time DePaul commit and Alabama signee came to the right place. Payne needed somewhere to play and Iowa desperately needed a point guard. The 6-foot-1 Schaumburg, Ill., product averaged 22 points and 5.5 assists in 16 games as a high school senior before missing the rest of the season with a back injury.’s scouting report rates Payne an 87 overall and praises his ability to run the point. “He is a coach’s dream at the point -- a floor general that runs the team, makes good decisions, and is as tough and hardnosed as they come,” the report reads.

According to the evaluation, Payne’s weaknesses are his lack of quickness and ability to create shots for himself.

However, Payne will fit into Iowa’s system with his outside shooting talent, ball handling and passing. He’s a great find for Lickliter, especially this late in the recruiting period. Payne is expected to sign a letter of intent Wednesday and officially become a Hawk.

Here’s how next season’s starting lineup now projects:

F Matt Gatens
C Jarryd Cole
G Anthony Tucker
G Devan Bawinkel
G Cully Payne

Of course this is subject to change. Highly sought after point guard Malcolm Armstead of Chipola Junior College will make a visit to Iowa City this week. Ideally for Iowa, Armstead will follow Payne and call Carver home. That would give the Hawkeyes another point guard and give Payne competition for playing time.

Lickliter’s recruiting has been called into question by many Hawkeye fans and observers, but you have to give him credit for aggressively pursuing many of the best available backcourt options for the 2009 class. If they can reel in Armstead and possibly one more quality juco, the Iowa program may not have to take another step backward.

*Image from the Daily Herald


  1. Your starting five is laughable. Didn't you notice this year how Gatens got abused at power forward. Bawinkle is a good zone buster but a starter..hilarious! Wait a minute didn't we bring in a 6'9" jumping jack to swat shots on defense and help control the boards? Maybe with just two years of eligibility Lick is thinking Archie might be a starter. If Cougill doesn't play a lot or start by the middle of the season I would be greatly surprised. In summary your starting line-up can only score against a soft zone (Ohio State) and can't defend the post or rebound with anybody.

  2. recently named Gatens a fourth team freshman All-American. I think he held his own just fine. He's the least of Iowa's problems.

    It's not my starting lineup, but I agree that the it looks weak. Bawinkel should be a role player who gets around 10 minutes a game. I don't think Cougill will start much, if at all. He'll have to beat out Jarryd Cole, as Lickliter likes to play four 3-point options most of the time.

    It's similar in size to the lineup Iowa put out last season. Yes, rebounding will be an issue, but it should be able to compete on the boards.

    It is a bit "laughable" as you say. I wish I could speak more highly of Iowa basketball right now.

  3. You don't need to defend your decision to place Gatens in the starting lie-up. My point is that you have a 6'5" player at power forward. This past season he was dominated by Hummel (Purdue) and Krabenhof sp? (Wisconsin). Going into this next season Gatens will likely be our most talented player, but for God's sake give him a fighting chance by playing him at one of the three guard spots. I could go on but I think I've made my point.


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