Iowa’s going to be without one of their perimeter options when they open the regular season Friday, as junior guard Josh Oglesby is expected to be out anywhere from four to six weeks after breaking a bone in his right foot in practice on Wednesday. Oglesby averaged 4.5 points per game in 37 contests last season.
This is the second medical issue that has come up for the Hawkeyes within the last week, with sophomore guard Anthony Clemmons sitting out an exhibition game due to an ankle injury.
“Josh has played great in preseason practices and this is an unfortunate setback,” head coach Fran McCaffery said in the release. “We expect Josh to make a full recovery and look forward to him returning in time for conference play.”
But the good news for Fran McCaffery is that he’s got both depth and experience when it comes to accounting for Oglesby’s absence according to Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register.
Oglesby was slated to back up Mike Gesell at the second guard. Oglesby’s absence could give freshman Peter Jok increased minutes at that position. McCaffery has several versatile players — most notably Jarrod Uthoff — who could also see time at that position. Starting point guard Devyn Marble also has experience at second guard.
After reaching the title game of the Postseason NIT last season, Iowa’s a team many expect to at the very least be in the conversation for an NCAA tournament bid. With Devyn Marble (15.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg) and Aaron White (12.8, 6.2) back to lead the way, anything less than a return to the NCAA tournament would be viewed as a disappointment.
Iowa hosts UNC Wilmington on Friday, and they’ll play games against Xavier (as part of the Battle 4 Atlantis) and Notre Dame (Big Ten/ACC Challenge) in the first four weeks of the season.
Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.
With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.
“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”
Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.
While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.
LSU football and Leonard Fournette are off to a strong start this fall, but the beginning of October also means that college hoops is right around the corner. If you’re a Tigers basketball fan, you also have plenty to be excited about on the hardwood this season with the arrival of a loaded freshman class headlined by forward Ben Simmons.
While the versatile Simmons has solidified a spot in the starting lineup for next season, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Johnny Jones uses the rest of his talented freshmen. In a story from Sheldon Mickles of the New Orleans Advocate, he looks into some potential LSU starting lineups.
Freshman guard Antonio Blakeney, a McDonald’s All-American with Simmons, is also expected to start, but does another talented freshman guard, Brandon Sampson get a shot to start? And what of Arizona transfer Craig Victor when he’s eligible to play in December?
Mickles believes the early favorite for starting lineup is guards Tim Quarterman, Keith Hornsby, Blakeney, Simmons and center Darcy Malone. When Victor returns, Mickles said Victor could push Simmons into the “center” position, which would be a matchup nightmare on the opposition because Simmons would be very tough for many college centers to defend.
Sampson also gets a mention from Mickles of having the potential to start down the line. Overall, a good problem to have for Jones and he’ll have to experiment to see which lineups are giving him the most. Having a productive starting five is nice, but I’m sure Jones would love to find the five players he wants to close with.