A significant piece of Iowa’s depth was, at least temporarily, subtracted from the equation Monday.
Forward Nicholas Baer suffered a broken finger in practice and will miss 3-to-4 weeks due to the injury, the school announced.
“Nicholas has played great in preseason practices and this is an unfortunate setback,” Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said in a statement. “We expect Nicholas to make a full recovery and look forward to him rejoining his teammates on the court soon.”
Baer went from walk-on to captain for Iowa after leading the team in rebounding 5.8), steals (1.4), and blocked shots (1.3) last season en route to winning Big Ten sixth man of the year honors. The timetable for his injury will likely keep him out through Iowa’s trip to the Cayman Islands Classic, where a potential matchup with Cincinnati looms, and potentially the Hawkeyes’ Big Ten/ACC Challenge tilt against Virginia Tech. Then comes back-to-back conference games against Penn State and Indiana in the first week of December.
Baer’s presence will certainly be missed as he’s a glue-guy that may not always put up numbers, but does many of the little things that teams need done. The silver lining for the Hawkeyes is they’re expected to be rather deep. McCaffery even said recently he could play 13 players. The frontcourt is especially fortified to withstand a hit with a number of returners, headlined by Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl, plus well-regarded freshmen Luka Garza and Jack Nunge.