In the months leading up to the 2020-’21 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today’s edition will take a brief look at Joe Wieskamp with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Wieskamp is one of Iowa’s highest-rated recruits ever coming out of high school, and he has quickly cemented himself as one of the elite shooters of the Fran McCaffrey era at Iowa.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - No. 6 Joe Wieskamp:
- Eligibility: Junior
- Career Totals: 66 games, 1,978 minutes, 823 points, 360 rebounds, 88 assists
- 2019-’20 Averages: 32.5 min, 14.0 pts, 6.1 rebs, 1.6 asts, 0.5 blks, 1.0 stls
- Positional Role: Shooting Guard
Iowa finished in a four way tie last season for fifth place in the Big Ten. While no small feat given the depth of the conference last season, it was a bit of a letdown for Iowa as they were entering the season. With the loss of Jordan Bohannon, and a number of other high profile injuries, the Hawkeyes got no favors from the basketball gods. Wieskamp as a result took on an increased share of production, but had inconsistent results with the huge workload increase.
Wieskamp is an elite shooter. As a freshman, he shot 42.4-percent from deep during the season. Wieskamp also averaged 10.7 points per game in conference play while taking care of the ball with just a 0.9 turnover per game average. His shooting skill was a big factor in his earning Big Ten All-freshman team honors and Third Team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore.
Wieskamp is also an outstanding rebounder for a player in the shooting guard role. Last season as a sophomore, he tied for 14th in the conference with 6.1 boards per game. The only people ahead of him on the list were centers. A shooting guard who can get scrappy under the basket for the loose ball like that is a rare find, and is a great asset for both Wieskamp and the Hawkeyes.
-Areas for Improvement
With the big uptick in minutes last season, Wieskamp’s efficiency took a big hit. A big factor was certainly the fact with so many key players for Iowa out injured, defenses were able to focus their top defenders more narrowly on Wieskamp and force them to rely on Garza under the basket instead. However, Wieskamp still faced a stark drop from his 42.4-percent shooting from deep as a freshman to just 34.7-percent as a sophomore. This also came with an increase in attempts from 4 per game to just 4.8.
Wieskamp also saw his two-point percentage drop from 56.4 to 49.2, but with a big uptick from 3.3 attempts per game to 6. All of this is to say that Wieskamp needs to find his groove again. He had seven games where he played at least 26 minutes, and failed to score more than five points in the game. At Minnesota in mid-Febrauary, he managed just two points while playing 36 minutes. The Hawkeyes can’t have their second leading scorer put up those kind of numbers in conference play if they want to win the conference title, injuries to other players or not. Wieskamp needs to figure out how to be more consistent with his scoring this season to really reach his potential.
With so many players set to return for the Hawkeyes, I think we will see the pressure come off Wieskamp this season and set him up for greater success. With less ability to focus on him by opposing defenses, Wieskamp should have less pressure to score and be able to find the open shot more often. His minutes will likely not decrease too much, but his efficiency should see a big uptick and he will play a key role in Iowa’s conference title hopes this season. I would be surprised if Wieskamp doesn’t earn at least All-Big Ten second team honors during his junior campaign.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ Rankings:
- #27-28 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Adam Miller (Illinois)
- #25 - Miller Kopp (Northwestern)
- #22 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #22 - Eric Hunter (Purdue)
- #22 - CJ Fredrick (Iowa)
- #21 - Rob Phinisee (Indiana)
- #20 - Khristian Lander (Indiana)
- #19 - Seth Towns (Ohio State)
- #17 - Nate Reuvers (Wisconsin)
- #17 - Mark “Rocket” Watts (Michigan State)
- #16 - Micah Potter (Wisconsin)
- #15 - Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
- #14 - Joey Hauser (Michigan State)
- #13 - Jordan Bohannon (Iowa)
- #12 - Geo Baker (Rutgers)
- #11 - D’Mitrik Trice (Wisconsin)
- #10 - Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
- #9 - Aaron Henry (Michigan State)
- #7 - Trevion Williams (Purdue)
- #7 - Isaiah Livers (Michigan)
- #6 - Joe Wieskamp (Iowa)
- #t - To be continued . . .