Though spring football and baseball have taken over our sports news cycle, there’s still leftover buzz for Iowa men’s basketball after its recent run to the NIT championship game.
This past week, a day after Louisville cut down the nets in Atlanta, many (way-too-early) rankings for the 2013-14 season were touting the Hawkeye men as a top-25 team. One even had them in the top five.
The hype is centered on Iowa bringing back everyone but Eric May from Fran McCaffery’s 10-man rotation that delivered 25 wins and two handfuls of close losses. Added to the nine returnees will be 6-8 transfer Jarrod Uthoff and 6-6 freshman Peter Jok, Iowa’s Mr. Basketball, plus others like Kyle Meyer and Patrick Ingram who’ll be hungry for playing time.
That’s a lot of bodies trying to earn floor time for a team that is expected to return to the NCAAs for the first time since 2006. Which spurs the question that McCaffery will likely hear in his first offseason I-Club circuit stop Tuesday in Riverside: You can’t play 11 guys, so who do you redshirt?
Gabe Olaseni, who continues to learn the sport? Guard Anthony Clemmons, who plays the same position as Mike Gesell? Josh Oglesby, who hasn’t translated 3-point precision in practice to games? Jok, who can shoot but could use an adjustment period?
No, no, no and no.
If Iowa is going to rise to elite status in McCaffery’s fourth year, it needs two things: 1) Devyn Marble to consistently play like the star he can be; 2) Quality depth, which means everyone battling all summer and fall (and beyond) for precious court time.
Discard the idea of redshirts. Top recruits will notice. Take the best nine or 10 players each week — and go out and win. That’ll best serve the program next season and long-term.
Contact Register sports editor Chad Leistikow at (515) 284-8321 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ChadLeistikow
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball