2018’s a long way away, but for Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, not too early to lock up desirable talent. Last week, Joe Wieskamp verbally committed to play basketball for the 2018 Iowa Hawkeyes. Wieskamp just finished his freshman season at Muscatine High School, and also plays spring/summer ball with the Iowa Barnstormers. He led all other freshman in the state averaging 18 points per game last year.
On the road to visit Iowa, he decided to commit. It’s near his home after all. If he remains at Iowa for all 4 seasons, it means for the next seven years, he’ll essentially play for hometown fans. More importantly to Wieskamp, he’ll spend the next three years focusing on his game, not where he’s going.
This is an interesting approach, and one that should bode well for him. Wieskamp’s what you might expect at 6’5" and 180 pounds. Long and lean, he has some growing to do. Physically, he’ll get stronger, as he matures over the next three years. (He’ll need it in the Big 10.)
There’s enough on film (and on paper) to be excited about Wieskamp. He wants to get better, and understands where he needs to get better (defense, strength, quickness). However, he’s smooth and can put the ball on the floor. In catch and shoots, he looks confident and has a solid foundation on his jumper.
His combination of size and shooting is particularly intriguing, especially in the Big 10, where he projects as a two or three. If Wieskamp adds size, without losing his shooting touch, he’ll become the player Iowa hopes. He could really turn into another great wing on a team that has seen plenty in recent years.
For being so young, Wieskamp seems to have a good perspective on what it means to commit this early and what it means to play so close to home. For him, locking in a commitment isn’t a vanity play, but about getting it out of the way. (Why wait if he knows where he wants to go? Iowa City’s only a 50-minute drive from his hometown.)
There can be a certain pressure that accompanies playing so close to home. It won’t be a three year coronation. He’ll need to show steady development, through the rest of high school. (Iowa will be watching.) Wieskamp’s saying all the right things, and so far his on court performance hasn’t disappointed. Nothing in his words or actions indicates any concern.
Northern Iowa and Iowa State also offered scholarships, and Wisconsin showed interest. (No doubt others would have/will call as his career progresses.)
It is a verbal commitment, and a lot can happen between now and 2018. Wieskamp has ties to Iowa though; his commitment would appear to be as solid as a verbal can be. Should Wieskamp continue to develop, Hawkeye fans will be happy in 2018.