We’re a little over halfway through the summer league of choice for Iowa and Northern Iowa players. Since we checked in last week, they’ve played another couple games. Here’s how the Hawkeyes have fared thus far:
Prime Time League Stats through 7/9
Note: Cordell Pemsl and Connor McCaffery are sitting out with an injury and a focus on high school baseball, respectively. Because of the low number of teams (and two teammates/summer league NCAA rule), Iowa walk-ons could not participate either.
Some things which stick out:
- Freshmen Luka Garza and Jack Nunge are the leading scorers and rebounders through the first five games with Ryan Kriener close behind.
- Assists leaders are Jordan Bohannon and Brady Ellingson at 5 per game, but the glut of guys averaging over 4 is nice to see. Ahmad Wagner and Nunge stick out from this bunch.
- All but two guys are shooting 40% or more behind the arc. Some of them are doing it on limited attempts, but the pieces are there to build on the best 3-point shooting team of Fran’s tenure even with the departure of Peter Jok.
Though it’s from only Sunday’s game, there’s some fun, new, things to glean here with the obvious “it’s just summer league” caveat:
- Ryan Kriener shows a few new moves, including a dribble-drive dunk.
- Brady Ellingson seemed really comfortable pulling up from three.
- Ahmad Wagner looked good handling the ball and as the screener in pick and rolls.
What else caught your eye?
Peter Jok’s departure left 30 minutes a game at the wing and stories this past week almost make it seem like four or five players are vying for the minutes. Most notably is Isaiah Moss, as Mark Emmert wrote about Isaiah’s excitement in the expanded role. There are some other fun quotes in there, as Baer believes he’ll be the guy “to get a one-on-one bucket.” Other interesting details are the emphasis on lobs, which Emmert posits could mean more full-court defense which Moss led in high school.
Ellingson and Christian Williams are both looking at the minutes there for the taking as well. Landof10 wrote about both this past week, with Scott Dochterman looking at Ellingson’s potential role. It’s easy to forget since he didn’t shoot many, but he was Iowa’s leading 3-point (32-68) and free throw shooter (18-18). Could he make a play as a starter alongside Bohannon and Moss in the backcourt?
Bobby La Gesse talked to Williams as he transitions from “distributor to defensive stopper.” There is room in Iowa’s rotation for a defense-focused wing but would sliding Williams into that role open up backup minutes at point? Who is the next man in if, heaven forbid, Jordan Bohannon gets injured for any amount of time?
Perhaps burying the lede, Tyler Cook is working on a perimeter element to his game by building his film study around LeBron James, saying “I realized how much better my court awareness needed to be, just being able to read things three steps ahead.” Perhaps most exciting are quotes where he wants to be “the guy that our team can depend on, offensively or defensively.” Iowa will need a post player to build their defense around, hopefully Cook can be that guy.
Finally, PTL teammates (and roommates) Jordan Bohannon and Ryan Kriener shared some of their weird habits with The Daily Iowan.
With their first practice of the 2017-18 season under their belt, it’s safe to say I’m officially counting down the days till they open the season (121).
The #Hawkeyes held their first official team practice for their overseas trip today. #basketballneversleeps pic.twitter.com/QsgvWl2fs7— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) July 4, 2017