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Gesell wants to prove Hawkeyes belong in NCAA field

[ 0 ] March 19, 2013 |

Iowa freshman guard Mike Gesell still feels some pain in his right foot. But it’s the chip on his shoulder that will help him overcome it.

Gesell said Tuesday before practice that he would play in Wednesday’s game against Indiana State in the first round of the NIT at Carver-Hawkeye Arena despite the pain caused by the stress reaction in his right foot.

He is determined to show the NCAA Selection Committee that they made a mistake by skipping over Iowa and he wants to prove that his team deserved to be ranked higher than a No. 3 seed in the NIT.

“Definitely, that’s our main focus, get to New York and win this tournament,” Gesell said.

The 6-foot-1 Gesell missed the last four games of the regular season because of the stress reaction. He also was limping noticeably in the second half of last Friday’s 59-56 loss to Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament and didn’t play much in the closing minutes.

Gesell said afterwards that he tweaked the foot, but he wasn’t sure how it would feel the next day.

“It was a little sore, but I’ve just been resting it and sitting out of a few things in practice just so it won’t get more sore before the game,” Gesell said. “I’m just doing everything I can so I can play.”

Gesell was wearing a protective boot on his right foot when he arrived at the arena for practice Tuesday.

“There is not much therapy you can do with a bone besides rest,” Gesell said. “That’s all I’ve been trying to do is just stay off it as much as possible.”

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said he expected Gesell to practice Tuesday after holding him out of Monday’s workout.

Gesell has started all 29 games in which he has played this season. He is Iowa’s third leading scorer with a 9.1 average and he and sophomore forward Aaron White lead the team with 36 steals. Gesell also is third on the team with 83 assists.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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