It’s been a weird year. The start of Iowa Hawkeyes basketball is imminent amidst a delayed football season. We’ll continue our postponed countdown over the next 24 hours. Next up: Jack Nunge.
55: Luka Garza
30: Connor McCaffery
24: Nico Hobbs
23: Josh Ogundele
22: Patrick McCaffery
20: Kris Murray
15: Keegan Murray
13: Austin Ash
11: Tony Perkins
10: Joe Wieskamp
5: CJ Fredrick
4: Ahron Ulis
3: Jordan Bohannon
Forward, 6’11”, 245 lbs
RS Sophomore, Evansville, IN (Castle)
Nunge came to Iowa in the same class as Luka Garza and Connor McCaffery but has seen his journey be much different. He finished his high school career as a finalist for Indiana’s Mr. Basketball before the 2017-18 season.
He started strong, notching double digits in three of his first five games, eventually starting 14 games throughout Iowa’s underwhelming season. He often played out of position, through no fault of his own, at the small forward spot, where his lack of lateral quickness was exposed. He averaged 5.7 points on 44% shooting and 1.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes.
With a number of other Hawkeyes vying for similar minutes at the 4 & 5 for 2018-19, Nunge opted to redshirt and save a year of eligibility.
After an early season loss to DePaul last season, where deficiencies were briefly exposed, he quickly flipped the script and scored double digit points in Iowa’s next two games, including a double-double against Oral Roberts. The next game, he tore his ACL.
He was able to turn last season into an injury waiver to retain eligibility and 2020-21 was looking up as Garza’s primary backup with some dual-big lineups in Iowa’s future. Unfortunately, his father passed away unexpectedly this past weekend so he returned home to Indiana indefinitely.
The events are a reminder life is bigger than basketball and our thoughts are with Jack and his family throughout this time. We hope to see him back in the black and gold but understand Fran will give him as much time as he needs to grieve the loss.