Iowa has comfortably gone 10 men deep through the early going this season (there are currently 10 players averaging 14 or more minutes per game for the Hawkeyes) and that's with one of last year's key rotation members, shooting guard Josh Oglesby, being unavailable for the entire season to date. Oglesby injured his foot just before the season got underway a month ago and the expectation was that he would be out around 4-6 weeks. We're hitting that timetable now and, sure enough, Oglesby is expected to return to action soon, perhaps as early as Friday night's massive clash with Iowa State.
Oglesby, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard, suffered a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot in practice on Nov. 6. He had surgery on Nov. 8.
"I'd be surprised if he wasn't ready for Pine Bluff," Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. "There's an outside shot for Friday night (at Iowa State), but that might be pushing it."
So maybe he'll be able to play in Friday night's key in-state showdown, but it sounds like he should be all systems go for Iowa's next game, the December 22nd tilt with Arkansas Pine-Bluff, Iowa's non-conference finale. We were hoping that Oglesby would be back in time for Big Ten play (which tips off against Nebraska on New Year's Eve) and it sounds like that should definitely be the case; any game time he's able to log before then would be something of a bonus.
Oglesby is a somewhat controversial figure among Iowa fans, primarily because he's a three-point specialist who doesn't shoot all that well -- or at least he didn't last year. Oglesby converted a ghastly 27% of his long-range efforts last season, which is indeed not very good at all. But he was a much more acceptable 37% from deep as a freshman in 2011-12 and his reported form in practice as well as in other non-college game situations gives us hope that perhaps his 2012-13 performance was just one really long, really ugly slump. Iowa could use some more solid three-point shooting: they're currently converting triples at a rate of .369. That's a solid enough number, but it's still fairly early in the season. Four Iowa players have currently attempted 20 or more three-pointers (Marble, Jok, McCabe, and Gesell) and just two of them (McCabe and Gesell) are making more than 33% of them. Adding another perimeter player capable of making threes would be a big help -- if, of course, he can actually make those threes.
Of course, even if Oglesby still struggles to hit from deep, his return should buoy Iowa's perimeter defense, which has been shaky at times during non-conference play. Oglesby is an underrated defender and having his length and experience back on the floor should be a nice boost to Iowa's efforts on that end. It's unclear whose minutes would be cut back to make room for Oglesby, although Peter Jok is the most likely suspect since he plays the same position as Oglesby and has struggled at times with defense in the early going this season. Regardless, it will be nice to get Oglesby back to return Iowa to full strength and give an already deep and talented team one more option.