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COMMENTARY: All about the green light for Oglesby (premium)

Posted on 17. Nov, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles

IOWA CITY, Iowa — One thing Fran McCaffery has been insistent on since the 2011-12 season began is how he would encourage freshman guard Josh Oglesby to shoot more and shoot any time he got an open look. The phrase that had been used was giving Oglesby “the green light.”

Oglesby got the green light when he entered Thursday’s contest against Northern Illinois off the bench and wound up being the Hawkeyes’ leading scorer in their 88-55 win over the Huskies at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Cedar Rapids native shot 6-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range. But what made his performance even more noteworthy was that he followed his coach’s advice Thursday night.

When Oglesby first came in the game, he took an open 3 and missed it. The ensuing possession, it appeared he had another open look but passed the ball to a teammate, or in other words, not doing what McCaffery had asked of him.

But he wasn’t taken out. Instead he stayed in and when he got his next open look, he fired and sunk a 3-pointer, his first field goal in two games. He then nailed two more 3-pointers and ended up leading the team with 11 points at halftime.

After the game, McCaffery said he had seen very few shooters in nearly 30 years of coaching that would compare to Oglesby and that he believes the best way for him to improve is to keep taking shots even during slumps like the freshman endured prior to Thursday’s contest with Northern Illinois.

Oglesby’s teammates have also taken notice of what he has shown, not only in games but practices as well. It’s also safe to say his shooting touch may have factored into everyone else’s stroke. Iowa shot 13-of-21 from 3-point range against the Huskies. In addition to Oglesby’s 4-of-7 from 3-point range, senior guard Matt Gatens was 3-of-4 and sophomore forward made two of his three attempts from behind the arc.

If Iowa keeps having nights like Thursday where 3-point shots keep falling in, the Hawkeyes are going to be a tough out because that’s the one negater to what still appears to be a weakness right now, interior defense. Northern Illinois still managed to score 18 of its 55 points in the paint, which is an improvement from what Chicago State and North Carolina A&T both did and what Creighton is capable of doing this weekend in Des Moines.

McCaffery said during a teleconference earlier this week how he believed his team could evolve into more of a 3-point shooting team given the personnel in place now as opposed to last season. Certainly one of those components is Oglesby, who has potential to have a serious impact in bigger games if he consistently has shooting performances like he had Thursday.

Whether he has more scoring outings such as this contest remains to be seen. But what has been made clear is that when Oglesby gets the look, he’s going to take it. Just like McCaffery wants him to do.


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