Stock Watch is back for basketball season.
It’s been a wild week for Iowa basketball, with a win on the road against Syracuse, a loss to No. 4 Michigan, and then a conference win over Minnesota.
Let’s get to it.
Stock up: Luka Garza
Luka Garza has been unstoppable these past three games. His 44-point outing against Michigan was outstanding. A completely dominant effort in the paint despite being guarded by Wolverine Jon Teske, one of the Big Ten’s top interior defenders. This season, Teske leads Michigan with a 84.4 defensive rating and a defensive +/- of 7.9.
If the country didn't know about Luka Garza (@LukaG_55) before Friday night's game in Ann Arbor, they sure do now. #SlowMoMonday— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) December 9, 2019
➔ 44 points
➔ 8 rebounds
➔ B1G Player of the Week@IowaHoops x #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/6GPPqHRsOF
Garza followed up his big performance with a double-double — 21 points and 10 rebounds against Minnesota.
He’s been dominant in the paint these past three games, and I don’t see that trend ending any time soon.
Stock up: Joe Wieskamp
I was going to write this as Joe Wieskamp having a slump, but then he seemingly shot his way out of his funk against Minnesota.
Wieskamp dropped 23 points and hit five 3-pointers in the win over the Gophers in a breakout game.
Just how good was this performance? In the three games combined prior to Minnesota, Wieskamp had scored 25 points, shot 32 percent from the field, and his just five 3-pointers.
Facing the Gophers, Wieskamp shot better than 50 percent for the first time all season, scored nearly as many points as he did in that three game stretch, and matched his 3-point efforts.
Stock down: Cordell Pemsl
After Jack Nunge’s injury, I figured Cordell Pemsl might get more minutes.
In reality, Pemsl’s minutes have been on a steady decline since then. Nunge’s last game was against Cal Poly. Here’s Pemsl’s playing time since Nunge’s injury:
- 14 minutes vs. Texas Tech
- 11 minutes vs. San Diego State
- 10 minutes vs. Michigan
- 8 minutes vs. Minnesota
In the past three games, Pemsl has scored three points, grabbed seven rebounds, and turned the ball over twice.
In the past, Pemsl proved himself to be effective offensively from inside the paint. As a freshman, he ranked second all-time in field-goal percentage in program history, which shouldn’t be tossed aside. However, since Nunge’s injury, he hasn’t stepped up.
Stock up: Connor McCaffery
Enough of the Connor McCaffery slander.
McCaffery has done an excellent job running the point for Fran McCaffery’s offense this season. For example, take his stat line against Michigan:
- 12 points
- Seven rebounds
- Three assists
- No turnovers
McCaffery is what you want in a facilitator — he’s careful with the ball.
Against the Gophers on Monday, he failed to notch an assist. However, he recorded two steals and led the Hawkeyes with a box score +/- of 32.
Iowa is better when McCaffery is on the floor. Entering the game against Minnesota, McCaffery led the Hawkeyes with an offensive rating of 137.9 per 100 possessions (translation: McCaffery is responsible for 137.9 points — scored or assisted — per 100 possessions).