The news regarding Iowa basketball’s roster turnover has turned from a trickle to a light stream with Josh Ogundele joining Joe Toussaint and Keegan Murray as Hawkeyes announcing they will not play next season in Iowa City.
Thank you Iowa, for everything pic.twitter.com/fbpxPhmCGT— Josh Ogundele (@damijosh2047) March 30, 2022
The sophomore post announced today he would be seeking greener pastures after two seasons with the Hawks where he compiled 36 points across 27 appearances & 115 minutes.
During his time, he flashed in spot minutes when called upon to defend the beef of the conference. His 10 minutes against Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game were essential in neutralizing Zach Edey & Trevion Williams. He even added a couple nice buckets:
Iowa getting huge minutes off the bench from sophomore C Josh Ogundele. Should be a terrific 2nd half in Indy. #BigTenChampionship pic.twitter.com/d7pQCx0Bsl— Nxt1sColin (@Nxt1sColinBrown) March 13, 2022
Unfortunately, the highlights were surrounded by a number of DNPs. He had long battled with his weight and when he was spending time in his hometown of London, England during COVID lockdowns, he could not access the structure which would have been available to him during the summer 2020 on campus. His playing time demonstrated improvement in conditioning as the season ramped up, so expectations of him as a regular contributor increased.
While his playing time went up, he still had moments where he seemed to struggle with conditioning throughout this season. It didn’t help that a lot of his time was spent guarding smaller guys in Iowa’s wonky garbage time lineup because he did have his moments against Big Ten competition, including 16 minutes and 7 points in Iowa’s comeback attempt at Purdue before his performance in the championship game.
He alluded to health struggles he had in the offseason which likely contributed to his steps back in the conditioning department. In Fran McCaffery’s statement, he wished the big man well.
As with Toussaint’s departure, we wish “Big Jelly” nothing but the best as he searches for his next endeavor. He was the consummate teammate and performed well when called upon. Here’s hoping he can carve out a bigger role at his next stop. With his departure, Iowa’s need to identify a big man in the portal is paramount.