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11/9/2011: Iowa men’s basketball notebook

Posted on 09. Nov, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball


Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery discusses the Hawkeyes' upcoming game against Chicago State and his 2012 recruiting class during his press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

By Brendan Stiles

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa’s season opener against Chicago State is Nov. 11, but with Wednesday being the early period Signing Day in college basketball, the Hawkeyes’ 2012 class was the storyline at head coach Fran McCaffery’s press conference.

McCaffery discussed four of the five recruits (forward Kyle Meyer’s National Letter of Intent came through later Wednesday afternoon) in great detail Wednesday, with the two most notable names being center Adam Woodbury and guard Mike Gesell.

Woodbury, who is a native of Sioux City listed at 7-0, picked Iowa over North Carolina, who entered this season as the nation’s top-ranked team.

“He’s as good a running big man as I’ve seen since I got into this business, and as a result, a lot of good things happen,” McCaffery said. “He’s tipping balls in, he’s blocking shots, he’s contesting shots. Good things are happening for him.”

Meanwhile, Gesell looks to be an heir apparent to Bryce Cartwright at point guard. He is listed at 6-1 and comes from South Sioux City, Neb.

“The reality is if you watch Mike Gesell, his future is at the point,” McCaffery said. “When he makes the NBA, it’ll be as a point guard. He’s going to have the ball, and he’s going to be making plays and making decisions because he can think. He has got one of the most uncanny abilities to put a bad play out of his mind.”

Rounding out the recruiting class were Meyer, who is a 6-10 forward from Georgia, Patrick Ingram, a 6-2 guard from Indianapolis, and Anthony Clemmons, a 6-1 guard from Lansing, Mich.

The excitement in this recruiting class was even noticeable in current players such as junior forward Eric May, who at the moment would be the lone senior on next year’s squad.

“That’s the kind of excitement that [McCaffery] has brought in,” May said. “The recruits are excited, and we’re excited to set an even stronger foundation for them to come here.”

Marble and “reckless abandon”

McCaffery described sophomore guard Devyn Marble as someone who plays with a reckless abandon Wednesday, a comment Marble said he had heard his coach say before and understood what he meant in using it.

When Marble suffered his concussion last month, McCaffery admitted he was concerned about Marble being tentative, only to see the 6-5 guard return to being his normal self once he was cleared to practice again.

“When you have a concussion, you get shut down completely. You can’t get on an elliptical, a treadmill, you can’t get your heart rate up. He just sat there for two weeks,” McCaffery said. “First practice, it was like he’s running up and down and never got tired. That’s an excellent athlete.

“I was really amazed at how easily he came back.”

Marble described the transition back into that player with reckless abandon as being natural.

“It kind of reminded of how J.R. Smith plays for the Nuggets,” Marble said. “He just comes in and he’s going to shoot the ball regardless. He’s going to do what he has to do to help his team, regardless of if he misses the first five shots. He’s going to keep playing and playing hard, and that’s what I kind of looked at it as.

During Iowa’s exhibition, Marble ended up playing 20 minutes. Part of it was Cartwright being in early foul trouble, but it gave Marble a chance to showcase his improvements at playing the point, which he found himself doing through the majority of last season as a freshman.

“I know all the plays and know what everybody is supposed to do on the court,” Marble said. “I know everybody’s strengths and weaknesses, so when I’m playing with them, I know how to put them in strengths and now show their weaknesses.”

Oglesby given green light

McCaffery was asked if freshman guard Josh Oglesby “gets the green light to shoot” whenever he enters a game, and gave a simple “yes” to the out-of-left-field question.

Oglesby got a chance to do just that in the Hawkeyes’ exhibition last weekend against Northwest Missouri State, nailing his first 3-point attempt just seconds after entering the game off the bench.

“I’ve had confidence in my shot. I came in, and the guy ran away from me, so I shot it,” Oglesby said. “I feel like I’ve adapted well here with the athleticism, and the speed of the game is something I still need to adjust to.”

Working with Olaseni

Freshman forward Gabe Olaseni was used sparingly in Iowa’s exhibition over the weekend, but McCaffery insisted that one performance isn’t a true indication of what he anticipates Olaseni providing throughout the course of the season.

McCaffery said the biggest challenge right now for Olaseni is to play through mistakes, which means allowing him to get more than five minutes of playing time like he had in the exhibition.

“He is such a coachable person by nature,” McCaffery said. “He’s taking it all in and he’s trying to take it all in, and he’s trying so hard to do what we ask him to do and to be a good teammate and to be the best player that he can be. He wants it now, and we want it now.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time. But when he really gets it, you talk about a dominant guy there.”


Anthony Clemmons, G, 6-1, 185, Lansing, Mich.

Mike Gesell, G, 6-1, 180, Sioux City, Neb.

Patrick Ingram, G, 6-2, 190, Indianapolis, Ind.

Kyle Meyer, F, 6-10, 220, Alpharetta, Ga.

Adam Woodbury, C, 7-1, 230, Sioux City, Iowa


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