Iowa Men's Basketball

Already, Iowa's Wieskamp doesn't look like an ordinary Joe

Freshman guard has well-rounded first game in Carver

IOWA CITY — Points scored Sunday: 14, 13, 12, 12, 11, 10, 9, 9, 8.

If you eat meals as balanced as the Iowa men’s basketball scoring was in the Hawkeyes’ 103-46 trouncing of Division III Guilford College at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, you should be one healthy human.

But two individuals stood out in this game. One was junior forward Tyler Cook, who not only had 12 points, but seven assists. Six came in the first half. His regular-season career-high is six.

“I didn’t make any ridiculous passes today,” Cook said. “I just found the open guy and they made shots.”

“He’s very comfortable in that role, finding guys,” said Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery. “He gives it up easy.

“He has a much better understanding of when to go, when not to go, what to do, what not to do. He’s playing with great pace and great confidence.”

Cook popped in a 3-pointer before the first media timeout. That’s noteworthy because he made one three all last season.

So that’s the vet, the team’s top scorer from last season. But the “14” on the score sheet belonged to freshman guard Joe Wieskamp, whom everyone among the nowhere-close-to-the-announced-10,324 fans here was eager to see.

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“Super athletic and super smart,” Cook described Wieskamp. Those two were starters Sunday with post player Luka Garza, guard Isaiah Moss and point guard Connor McCaffery. Incumbent starting point guard Jordan Bohannon missed the game with what McCaffery called “a bad bone bruise.”

That’s sidelined Bohannon for about two weeks. Fran McCaffery said the plan is for Bohannon to play Thursday in Iowa’s regular-season opener against Missouri-Kansas City here, but added that will be up to Bohannon and the team’s trainer.

Wieskamp, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-6 wing player you may have a hard time believing is a freshman once Iowa’s games turn up on television. He had four turnovers Sunday (two on charges), but was 6 of 8 from the field, and had five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 19 minutes.

He is the only new face in Iowa’s player rotation, and he makes it better.

“He did great,” McCaffery said. “He did everything I expected him to do.

“He was aggressive when he needed to be, he moved it, he knows how to play, he makes shots, makes plays. He’s really good defensively. A guy who led the state in scoring, the leading scorer in (Class 4A) history, you’re not expecting him to maybe be a lockdown defensive player.”

Wieskamp claims he wasn’t a great defender at Muscatine High, saying “I don’t think I locked in as much, didn’t focus on that aspect of my game as much. Getting here, watching film with Coach, seeing where I can improve really helped my game a lot.”

He said he expected to be nervous playing his first game as a Hawkeye. But he insisted he wasn’t, not that you had any idea given his constant stoneface expression on the court.

It may take a while for everyone to know what Iowa has with this kid.

“I don’t think I look the strongest,” Wieskamp said, “but I feel a lot stronger than I may look.

“I think I’m just a lot longer than people think, more athletic.”

The season starts Thursday. It’s Joe time. Er, go time.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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