In the past week, No. 18 Iowa has faced two top-25 foes No. 24 Michigan State and No. 25 Ohio State, splitting the pair. And while the loss to the Spartans puts the Hawkeyes back in the crowded Big Ten standings, it’s not a bad loss by any means, and there’s plenty of basketball left to be played.
Iowa gets a slight break in the action until Saturday when it hosts No. 16 Penn State. Until then, here’s who’s trending up and down in this week’s stock watch.
Stock down: Joe Wieskamp
Iowa needs someone to step up and help Luka Garza in the wake of CJ Fredrick’s injury. Wieskamp has seemingly wilted.
In his last three games combined, he’s scored 19 points on 6-for-27 shooting. Against Michigan State, he was nowhere to be found, scoring four points on 1-for-8 shooting. He missed all five of his 3-point attempts.
Yes, there were some possessions in which the Spartans locked Wieskamp up. But it wasn’t as if he didn’t get a good look all game. Right before the halftime buzzer, Wieskamp found himself open from 3-point range. Nothing.
Iowa got away with Wieskamp scoring in the single digits against Minnesota, a team that ranks toward the bottom of the Big Ten. Teams like Michigan State will make Iowa pay.
Wieskamp has scored eight or fewer points six times this year, twice in the past three games. Something has to change.
Stock up: Luka Garza
Against Michigan State, Garza was nearly unstoppable. The Hustle King was running the floor and going after rebounds like no other.
Garza finished with 20 points and nine rebounds in the loss Tuesday. In the six games leading up to his performance against Michigan State, Garza hadn’t shot worse than 52 percent from the field. He went 8-for-21 (38.1 percent) in East Lansing.
Still, he’s the main reason Iowa strung together momentum in the first half. Without Garza, Michigan State wins by much more.
Also, throw in his 24 points against Ohio State — Garza had himself a typical Garza week.
Stock up: Connor McCaffery
With Wieskamp’s inability to hit shots and CJ Fredrick’s absence, Connor McCaffery decided he would take on the shooter’s role against Michigan State. The pass-first point guard scored 11 points and his a pair of his five 3-pointers.
But while his shooting boosted the Hawkeyes, it was his six assists without a turnover that stands out the most. McCaffery now has six games this season without a giveaway.
In the past three games, he’s turned the ball over ONCE. The Connor McCaffery haters have started to die back, but for those that remain: Enough of the slander.
Stock up: Ryan Kriener
As I wrote above, there’s been a scoring void to fill with Wieskamp’s struggles and Fredrick off the court. And while McCaffery has stepped up, it’s been Ryan Kriener picking up the slack from the bench.
Kriener has scored 10 or more points in the last three games. He dropped 18 points against Michigan State, the second-highest point total in a game this season. He was just as physical as Garza in East Lansing, and he even jumped out beyond the arc to drain a pair of 3-pointers. He was great.
Kriener and Garza scored more than half of the Hawkeyes’ points against the Spartans.