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FanPulse Week 8: Confidence dips (slightly) in Iowa basketball

Losses to Penn State and Nebraska took a toll, but things are still looking up for Iowa hoops.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Northwestern Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

What a few games its been for Iowa basketball.

After the Hawkeyes dropped two consecutive games away from Carver, Iowa smacked No. 12 Maryland at home and took down Northwestern on the road in convincing fashion.

Last week, confidence ranked right around 86 percent, which was a season-high mark. While it’s not as high this week, optimism rightfully remains.

It was great to see CJ Fredrick come back from injury. After he missed games against Nebraska and Maryland, he returned with a solid contribution against Northwestern. Fredrick scored 11 points, his three 3-pointers, and assisted on five buckets in Evanston.

Joe Wieskamp’s resurgence as of late remains another reason why confidence remains high. After a dud of a game against Michigan (seven points on 2-for-6 shooting), his play has been outstanding. He’s score more than 20 points on four occasions since, three times in Iowa’s last four games.

Wieskamp’s hot shooting bodes well for Iowa, as Luka Garza can’t do all the scoring himself... or can he?

Garza has been on a tear, averaging 22.3 points per game this season, but for Iowa to make a run and have any shot at the NCAA Tournament, another consistent scorer needs to step up. So far, both Wieskamp and Fredrick appear to be fit for the role.

Iowa remains in the thick of Big Ten play, and while every test in the conference is tough, the Hawkeyes face a gauntlet of a six-game stretch. Iowa faces No. 19 Michigan, Rutgers, Wisconsin, at No. 17 Maryland, No. 24 Illinois, and then plays on the road at Purdue.

This stretch will be a test, but given Iowa’s success as of late, there’s no reason to doubt this team’s ability to make some noise over those six games.