It’s the offseason for Iowa’s major sports and while baseball is keeping the lights on, news flow these days is much more ebb and flow. In an effort to keep things fresh, we’re trying something new: a daily recap of the news in Hawkeye sports land. The BHGP staff typically shares things as they come up throughout each day and we debate the validity of a full scale article against the time constraints of the staff writers. That won’t change, but we will be trying to compile those news items we share back and forth into something for the BHGP community to discuss rather than to pop up sporadically on other posts.
Feedback welcome in the comments.
Wiesy Testing the Waters... Again
Junior SF Joe Wieskamp tested the NBA waters after his freshman season in an attempt to simply receive feedback on what to improve. After his sophomore season, he bypassed that process and came back for a junior season at Iowa that was supposed to be special. His junior season certainly didn’t end the way he had hoped, but he is now once again testing the NBA waters.
Wieskamp hasn’t himself made a formal announcement, but during media availability on Wednesday his head coach announced that Wieskamp will be entering his name in the draft.
To zero surprise, Joe Wieskamp is going to see what is there for him in the NBA draft. Fran McCaffery said so today. Many are calling Wieskamp a 2021 second-rounder. As for Jordan Bohannon, stay tuned.— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) April 14, 2021
As Hlas points out, that’s not at all surprising. The expectation from virtually everyone has been that Wieskamp would put his name in and see how things shake out. At this point, the Muscatine native hasn’t hired an agent and it sounds as if he will retain his eligibility throughout the process, but all the rumblings also seem to indicate he won’t be back.
I’ll let you all debate whether or not Wieskamp will get drafted, but I’m of the mindset that he has sort of proven all he can at this level. He may not be an NBA star, but I don’t know what he is going to show at Iowa next season that he couldn’t demonstrate in the G-League while getting paid.
We shall see, I suppose.
UPDATE: Of course we get an official announcement from Wieskamp shortly after publishing. Nothing different here from what we’ve already seen.
Bohannon Still Hanging Around
I’m holding onto my Dazed and Confused Wooderson reference for Jordan Bohannon, but candidly I’m starting to get a little trigger happy. The fifth year senior has yet to make a formal decision on whether he will take advantage of his sixth year of eligibility, but continues to hit that he has his mind all but made up.
During the same media availability that had Fran reveal Wieskamp’s intentions, McCaffery noted that Bohannon has yet to make a decision.
Fran says Bohannon is making a decision and will figure it out about playing next season, and he expects a decision to come soon.— Pat Harty (@PatHarty) April 14, 2021
We’ve hashed this out half a dozen times and will surely do so another half dozen (take the over) if Bohannon opts to return, but the downstream impacts here are an issue. Joe Toussaint and Ahron Ulis, while vastly inferior as perimeter shooters, offer Iowa fans a dose of what we’ve all been craving in terms of dribble drive penetration and perimeter defense. If we lose that and Bohannon doesn’t deliver a team-carrying type season, he’s going to hear a lot of noise next year.
Super Senior Competition
Should Bohannon opt for another year in Iowa City, he surely wouldn’t be the most hated guard in the conference to take advantage of the extra season. On Wednesday, Wisconsin PG Brad Davison announced his intentions to return for a 5th year in Madison.
Brad Davison to Badger Nation: pic.twitter.com/ppaoLWmWOY— Wisconsin Basketball (@BadgerMBB) April 14, 2021
Surely this is linked to the NIL rule changes being proposed and the opportunity to make a fortune as a spokesman for athletic cups.
In a move that was either coordinated genius or an uncoordinated nightmare, I’m genuinely not sure which side I come down on, the Hawekeye athletic department had media availability for both Fran McCaffery and the Iowa football staff at the same time on Wednesday.
We got player availability yesterday but today it was special teams coordinator LeVar Woods, defensive line coach Jay Neimann and receivers coach Kelton Copeland on the mic. You can watch the entirety of the Q&A sessions below.
We’ll surely take a deeper dive on this in the coming days, but a couple of things that crossed my mind:
- Defensive end is going to be OK if Zach VanValkenburg is the standout so far and John Waggoner is essentially matching him in consistency and output (reminder ZVV was All-Big Ten last year).
- Speaking of defensive line, this feels like another year where we are all concerned about it only to be calling it a strength at year end. Neimann called out Yahya Black as a potential starter who is now up to 300 lbs while also noting that Logan Jones is progressing well. Throw in Noah Shannon, who appears to have really taken a step with his body in the practice photos, and there’s a strong core forming in the middle.
- WOODS CALLED HIS SHOT ON A FAKE FG FOR 2021 AND SNUCK IN THAT CALEB SHUDAK IS THE MOST ATHLETIC KICKER WE’VE SEEN + CONFIRMATION TORY TAYLOR IS THE AUTSTRALIAN GOD OF PUNTING.
- Max Cooper getting a call out from Kelton Copeland is another count in the steady drumbeat for him. Lots of talent in that room so the continued praise should mean he’s putting it all together.
- More positive vibes on Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce, and Tyrone Tracy sounds like he’s prepared to be the clear leader in the clubhouse. It’s going to be tough to replace ISM and Brandon Smith, but the depth of this group, which also includes Desmond Hutson who Copeland noted, is something to watch this season.
And that’s a wrap on your rewind for Wednesday, April 14th. Catch you all tomorrow. Feel free to let us know what we missed in the comments.