Recruiting mailbag: Is Tamin Lipsey a top-25 talent? What's next for Bowen Born?

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Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

Welcome, once again, to the recruiting mailbag.

As always, feel free to send me questions over Twitter or to mbain@dmreg.com. I know I do the weekly call-out for questions on Twitter on Monday, but I’m happy take questions any other day of the week, too.

Let’s get to this week’s answers.

Where do you expect Tamin Lipsey’s recruiting ranking to be once he recovers from his injury? — @TheDudeofAmes

Prep Hoops is the most established recruiting service with a 2022 ranking out, and it pegs Ames rising sophomore point guard Tamin Lipsey at No. 35 in the country.

That feels conservative, but I understand. Lipsey, a 6-foot-1 lead guard who looks like he’s played basketball longer than he’s been alive, tore his ACL in late June and will miss his sophomore basketball season at Ames. Evaluators may want to see how Lipsey recovers before putting him in the top-25 range.

But if Lipsey returns to his pre-injury form, and I believe he will, this is a top-25 type of talent. Remember: He was one of eight freshmen in the country selected for the 16U U.S. Junior National Team that won a gold medal in Brazil in June.

That assessment is based on what I’ve seen, as well as what I’ve heard from coaches at the high school, AAU and college levels. Lipsey is the real deal. There’s a reason Iowa State and Nebraska have already offered. There’s a reason schools such as North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa are monotiring him. There’s a reason AAU programs have tried so hard to pluck him from All Iowa Attack.

The thing is, he’s so smart already. Many impressive young prospects get by with sheer talent early on before maturing and getting rid of those “freshman mistakes.”

Not so much with Lipsey. If you didn’t know who he was last year, you’d have thought he was a high school junior. With the level he was already at as a freshman, it’s exciting to imagine where he’ll be in three years as he gets bigger and stronger.

Lipsey is set to return by next AAU season. Plenty of coaches will pay attention. 

What does the verbal commitment of Ahron Ulis  to Iowa mean for Norwalk point guard Bowen Born? — Mark

I checked in with Norwalk point guard Bowen Born earlier this week. He said that, after Chicago three-star point guard Ahron Ulis committed last week, Iowa called him to let him know that Ulis filled their point guard need in 2020.

Born said it was a great conversation. There’s nothing but mutual respect on both sides here. But the Hawkeyes have their 2020 point guard, and they’re moving on.

So, what does this mean for the uber-talented lefty?

Scroll down a few inches to find out.

What’s the latest talk on the battle for Bowen Born between Drake, UNI, and Indiana State? — @NickMcCargar

Well, maybe not a few inches. Just an inch.

Born is currently on vacation with family in Oregon, so his only official visits to date are still Northern Iowa and Indiana State. Again, that doesn’t mean he won’t visit Drake; it just hasn’t been scheduled yet.

He does have a plan for when he returns from Oregon, though.

“I’m going to sit down and talk with my parents about visits and a timeline once I get back later this week,” Born told me.

This is shaping up to be a really fun battle for Born. Out-of-state schools are certainly involved, but with the Hawkeyes out of the picture, I’d imagine this comes down to the Drake Bulldogs versus the Northern Iowa Panthers.

Born has essentially been both programs’ top priority for a long, long time, and you’d better believe they’ll pull out all the stops to get him.

Does Iowa offering Martice Mitchell mean they don’t like where they stand with Xavier Foster? — Bradley

In case you missed it: On Aug. 5, Iowa extended an offer to late-rising Chicago big Martice Mitchell. The 6-10 post had an excellent July and has tacked on other offers from Ole Miss, Oregon, Maryland, Minnesota and Xavier since July 23.

And no, that does not mean the Hawkeyes don’t like where they stand with Foster.

Iowa has several offers out to prospects that play Foster’s position, but that doesn’t mean they’ll take those guys over him. It’s good to keep your options open, to not have all your eggs in one basket — even though you really want that basket.

Maybe the Hawkeyes think Foster and Mitchell would fit different roles.

Maybe they want two athletic centers in this class.

Or, maybe, like I said, they’re keeping their options open with a great talent from the same city as their first 2020 recruit.

But, if Iowa wants to add just one Foster-type prospect in 2020, it will not add anyone before it knows what Foster is doing.

If #Cyclones get commitment from either Foster or (Ben) Carlson will that make the staff cool on the other prospect? Or will they go hard after both? — @joneslab1288

On their end, Iowa State landing a commitment from either Foster or Minnesota four-star power forward Ben Carlson would not at all impact their recruitment of the other.

There’s a reason Foster and Carlson are the top of our Cyclones 2020 big board. Iowa State loves both. They’ve been deeply involved since before Foster’s freshman season, and they’ve treated Carlson like he was an in-state prospect since spring of 2018.

But here’s the most important thing: They play different positions. 

Foster is more of a 5 and Carlson is more of a 4. Actually, Carlson has improved his 3-point shot so much that he can even play some minutes as a 6-9 wing. The two could play together on the floor, and they would be quite the front-court pair.

Surround Foster and Carlson with a solid point guard and a couple high-end shooters, and you’ve got a lineup that could compete with anyone in the country in a few years.

The Cyclones will go hard after both until they’ve made their decisions.

If Tate Martell transferred to Iowa would he be eligible right away? — @iowafanwilliams

Who knows.

I’m guessing this is a jab at the NCAA for giving Ohio State quarterback transfer Tate Martell immediate eligibility at Miami, which just named Jarren Williams its starter.

I’d also guess there’s some anxiety about Oliver Martin’s appeal behind this question.

We learned at Iowa’s media day that the Hawkeyes only recently submitted Martin’s official appeal. Time will tell what the NCAA decides — and who the heck knows how to predict those decisions anymore.

Martin has kept the reasons for his transfer and the details of his appeal private. All I know regarding this situation is that Pep Hamilton was one of the big reasons Martin committed to Michigan. 

The Wolverines had seemingly stalled a bit with Martin in December after his senior year at Iowa City West. Then, Jim Harbaugh hired Hamilton as his passing game coordinator on Jan. 12. Five days later, Hamilton was on a private jet from Cleveland to Iowa City for Martin. It’s believed that Martin was Hamilton’s first recruiting visit, and it’s well-known that Hamilton immediately made him a top priority.

There may well be other components to Martin’s appeal for immediate eligibility. But the NCAA has demonstrated leniency for transfers when their head coaches leave. Might they do the same with a passing game coordinator? 

Matthew Bain covers recruiting, Iowa/Iowa State athletics and Drake basketball for the Des Moines Register and USA TODAY Network. Contact him at mbain@dmreg.com and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.

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Source: Des Moines Register