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35 Days Until Hawkeye Basketball: Cordell Pemsl

Can the redshirt junior bounce back from the year off (and then some?)

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After a two-week hiatus, the annual countdown to the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball season returns with a familiar name: Cordell Pemsl!

55: Luka Garza
51: Aidan Vanderloo

Cordell Pemsl
Forward, 6’9”, 248 lbs
Junior, Dubuque, IA (Wahlert)

Let’s address the elephant in the room: our boy Pemsl was arrested for a OWI last month and suspended from all team activities. As of this writing, he’s still been away from team activities, which appears to include events like the one referenced below:

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Anyways, the only real indicator as to what a punishment might look like for Pemsl, is Peter Jok’s 2014 when he was arrested in April for OWI of a moped and followed that up with a July arrest for driving with a suspended license. Yet he was reinstated in August after meeting team obligations.

That would seem to indicate that Pemsl may be available for Iowa’s first game of the season, assuming all of his team obligations are met on a similar timeframe as Jok. The big difference is his infractions occuring during the offseason did not keep him out of practice in the same way as Pemsl is.

As for Pemsl on the court, the first thing that jumps out is that he gained 18 lbs and an inch between last year and this year, which is hopefully a good thing. One would think the extra weight has him more well positioned to battle in the post after Tyler Cook’s departure.

Even ifthe weight gain is a bit of a return to thicc Pemsl, it might might be a step in the right direction, since he shot 62% from the field during his freshman year. Further, Synergy Sports tracked him at 1.045 points per post up his freshman year vs. 0.875 points per post up his sophomore year. Though both are good, his freshman year was elite.

Over his career, he’s averaged 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 68 games. Though he sat out last year after fixing his knee, he was able to come off the bench against Iowa State and stir the pot en route to 8 points, 6 boards and a 14-point Hawkeye win.

He got his money’s worth!

As for his prospects this coming year, it will probably come down to how quickly he is able to get back into the good graces of Fran McCaffery. With 14 starts, all in his freshman year, he’s tied for the second most among post players with Jack Nunge. In fact, those two have the third most of returning Hawkeyes behind Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp, assuming Jordan Bohannon is unable to go.

As a pure post player, he and Garza (or really any other post player) could offer an inside-out game to diversify the Hawkeye offense. Though Pemsl is a willing passer, he’ll need to cut down on his turnovers with TO rates of 20.2% and 24.9% in his freshman and sophomore years, according to KenPom.

Whether he starts or not, he’ll play a huge factor into the Iowa season with his energy and post-up ability. With Nicholas Baer’s departure, Iowa will need an energy guy off the bench and Pemsl could be that guy.