NORTH LIBERTY — Josh Oglesby boasts a thicker upper body, which sometimes can hinder a sharpshooter’s accuracy.
But the Iowa sophomore shooting guard bulked up in a way where it helps him gain stamina and withstand the pounding of a Big Ten season without altering his shot. Increasing his strength was a focus this off-season for Oglesby.
“I’ve actually just put on a lot of weight recently, which is surprising,” Oglesby said Sunday night. “Strength and quickness were two of my big things.”
Oglesby, who stands 6-foot-5 and played high school basketball at Cedar Rapids Washington, has attracted attention in the weight room. Iowa teammate and sometimes workout partner Zach McCabe touted Oglesby’s weightlifting regimen and growing strength.
“I was looking at (Oglesby) in the weight room and me and Eric (May) have been up there, 80s and 90s (pounds) with dumbbells,” McCabe said. “(Oglesby is) right up there with us lifting 80-pound dumbbells. He’s getting bigger and stronger.”
Although strength is important for Oglesby, it doesn’t outrank his perimeter shooting — his primary forte. Oglesby started five games last year and averaged nearly 19 minutes. He hit 37.2 percent of his 3-point attempts (45 total) — second-most on the team — and put up 6.4 points a game.
Last year Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery gave the Oglesby the green light to shoot virtually any 3-point shot. If Oglesby passed it up, McCaffery routinely followed with a tongue-lashing.
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This off-season, Oglesby has responded in all venues. He wants to develop a quicker shot, similar to former teammate Matt Gatens.
“Matt’s gone and he’d get his shot off so quick,” Oglesby said. “I watched clips of him and how fast he got his shot off, and I’m trying to do that more and more each day.
“We had a team practice (Saturday), and we scrimmaged in the end. I even had coaches, (assistant coach Kirk) Speraw, come up to me afterward and saying, ‘You’re looking for your shot more,’ and he was happy about it.”
Oglesby’s teammates like McCabe also are encouraging him to put up as many perimeter shots as possible this summer. Oglesby drilled 6-of-9 3-point attempts on Sunday in Prime Time League action. He also dished six assists.“He did good (Sunday) getting guys shots. He created shots on his own, too,” McCabe said. “That’s what he’s been working on. I just told him to shoot (Sunday), and that’s what coach wanted him to do last year. So I just keep telling him to shoot, and he made those shots.”