The Hyball: Hey, Joe

By Bobby Loesch on March 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Joe Cool
© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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Hey Joe, where you gonna run to now?

If Iowa men's basketball has a face, it's Luka Garza. If it has a mouthpiece, it's Jordan Bohannon. Toussaint handles the swagger quotient. Keegan Murray is the new hotness. CJ Fredrick is the "really good, yet sometimes you forget he's there" guy. We have two coach's kids. A set of twins. A little brother.

So where the hell does that leave Joe Wieskamp?

He's second in scoring (15.3 ppg), second in rebounds (6.8 per game), first in steals (1.1; only player on the team to average at least one a game), and, as you probably know, is pushing 50% shooting from three (currently 48.8).

Weezy is definitely the team's second best player. At worst, he's a semi-overqualified second option and, at best, he's a superstar who just isn't getting enough shots. Luka deservedly sucks up a lot of oxygen, but should a starter averaging 48.8% from three be, well, taking many more threes?

Before Murray emerged, Wieskamp was my unquestioned favorite player on this team. Though I typically gravitate toward more expressive personalities (Garza, Garza, Garza), his calm is contagious and athleticism atypical. He can dunk a dude's face off without making a scene. He seems like the kind of guy who drives in silence. He's engaged already. His mom helped with the proposal setup.

Joe Wieskamp Engagement Picture

/raises hand to also acknowledge having a mom who helped with the proposal setup that featured a rose petal heart

/clears throat

He's tested the NBA waters after his freshman year in 2019 but did not in 2020.

Wieskamp, who declared for the draft a season ago without an agent, cited the pandemic, and the uncertainty of this year's draft process as a big reason he'll return.

"My goal is to play in the NBA, and I'm looking forward to that possibility in the future," Wieskamp said, through the University of Iowa. "However, I'm extremely excited for this upcoming season at Iowa! We have the opportunity to do something really special."

Haven't heard much either way about his junior year being a last ride or not, but you kind of have to assume this is the end based on the last two years. Every college fan always wants more from their players, and though it is probably the right call to jump after this run... it would be so satisfying to see a Weezy Senior Szn where he got to be The Guy for once. I want it selfishly for us but, maybe even more, for him. Because it's so evident he could.

Weezy F. Baby / the F is for you to Find Out, man

The Hyball

"Honestly, I've thought about this a lot, and I don’t think we live in a society anymore."

Last Week

2/25 - No. 3 Michigan 79, No. 9 Iowa 57: My dream Twitter timeline of saturated Iowa and Michigan follows took a hard nosedive once the refs plugged in their amplifiers. Was super bummed to see Iowa get blown out in the second half but also felt some partial relief that a) emotional detachment became an option, and b) the game was generally taken away from the zebras at that point.

Been saving my Hunt Dick > Luka take all year because, honestly, what was the point? They're both great in their own way. But seeing them go up against each other was incredibly sobering from the Iowa side. Dickinson has not only the size but the fluidity in the matchup. It definitely had a "There's a new bully on the block" feel. Also: holy fuck, the physicality. There was one possession where neither scored or touched the ball or even landed an elbow, but it straight up looked like linemen battling in the trenches. Made my paint-averse ass downright paint-phobic. How can a body take that type of punishment nearly every time down the court? Kinda hoping for a round two on this one.

Different games can lead to different outcomes, though.

Speaking of big men/alternate universes... fuck.

Like most Iowa fans, I liked Jack Nunge for his potential and production, but it honestly might have been how change of pace it felt to bring him in to finally get some god damn paint protection. I liked his size, I liked how his three ball came around, his Jude Law hairline, how he could play with Luka also on the court, his poignant and wise-beyond-his-years words after his father passed. It's tough, it's hard to process, it's bullshit. Hopefully he can get 100% healthy soon.

2/28 - No. 9 Iowa 73, No. 4 Ohio State 57: BYAHHHHH.

More coherent thoughts:

- Does Keegan Murray straight line down the court unlike any non-guard you've ever seen? He is so fucking smooth.

- If we play tOSU again this year, please remember Duane Washington can basically hit anything (this, I promise, will help your internal sanity and rage levels)

He cited the "Rule of Cool." I need to remember to steal this going forward.

- Connor very much needs to learn to shut the hell up, at least sometimes

- Generally try to stay off the refs -- and certainly never, ever blame them for outcomes -- but... this was the worst call I've seen all year

Papa Murray went off on Twitter, haha.

- Was surprised not to see much in terms of major rotation adjustments following Nunge's injury.

- Honestly was a little salty to see Jeff Horner get dethroned. He was my first Iowa PG and still one of my favorite Hawkeyes ever.

- Uh oh

This Week

3/4 - Nebraska at Iowa (5): 

3/7 - Wisconsin (25) at Iowa (5): To further prove no one should take my commentary seriously, genuinely thought Austin Ash was a freshman until this tweet.

Keep talking that shit, young man. He's about to set fireworks off in pickup games for the next 30 years.

Caitlin Corner

Caitlin Clark is so good at basketball that I went from thinking I'd have to round up content each week to literally trying to push the door closed as more and more content tried to break the damn thing down to fill an already overcrowded room. For this reason, I'm done talking about Freshman of the Week -- and, honestly, Player of the Week -- honors so we can focus on celebrating her actual game.

Behind the back, into the J:

Kind of a three-quarter football pass:

Such a joy.

"Is Brad Davison A Senior"

/rubs hands together

Join me, friends. This is going to be a fun ride.

Still more enjoyable than Ron Dayne.

"But maybe they wo--"

They didn't win.

Do you know anyone else on this list?

Me neither. Should we keep going? Let's keep going.

I'm glad we kept going.

/Jerry Seinfeld "That's A Shame" GIF

The Ballad Of Ricky-Bobby

Each week, we check in with professional basketball writer Ricky O'Donnell for a quick exchange

Given this week's intro, I asked Ricky about Joe Wieskamp's draft stock.

Probably a second rounder, but he'll make a lot of money playing basketball in his life. I think both he and Garza have games that would translate really well to Europe. Wieskamp will get a shot in the NBA, but the two questions are 1) Can he hold up on defense at all, and 2) Will his shooting from this year hold up to the NBA line?

One issue for Joe is he can't even post a 10% assist rate in three years, so he's giving you, like, zero playmaking. Players like him have to constantly be making quick decisions and swinging the ball in the league, so that is troubling. Could see a long G League stint for him. But if someone like Max Strus can make it, maybe Joe can too.

Obligatory Michigan Section

Weird week for the Blue Boys, as they fucked up Iowa then got fucked up by Illinois by 20+ points despite being 8.5 point home favorites and Ayo sitting on the bench. Michigan athletics never did all that well with expectations (/stares daggers at Michigan football). The Wolverines have another crack at the Big Ten regular season title at home (/gulp) against Sparty (/gulp gulp) tonight as 11.5 point favorites (/gulp gulp gulp gulp gulp). What could go wrong?

The Mini-Hybrid

Roughest of weeks for the Lone Star State.

Kick Me
Bill Walton's Western Civilization 

I know it's boomer as hell to sign a text message...

...but he is totally pulling it off.

No Context College Basketball

First saw this hammered and was positive it was edited.

How can this be real?!?!?!? Was his jersey greased? This is some bowling alley shit. I love it entirely.

* * *

Me: THIS WAS AMAZING
Buddy: Did you see how the ref jumped with him as he dunked?
Me: NO EVEN MORE AMAZING

* * *

Be safe out there, y'all.

* * *

I made it, like, eight seconds into this one before bailing. It was too similar to when they let us scrimmage on the court during my wrestling days (for cardio). My protruding memory: every shot looked like a chest pass at the backboard.

* * *

So, so necessary.

Wrapping It Up...

Could've been this week's entire column.

Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.

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