Apparently when it rains season-ending knee injuries, it pours. Just hours after it was announced that Iowa wrestling's Michael Kemerer would be having season-ending surgery (likely on his knee), Iowa men's basketball announced yesterday that Cordell Pemsl would also be having season-ending surgery.
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) November 28, 2018
Pemsl has had a spate of injuries and surgeries to fix them over his career (and dating back to his high school days) and this latest surgery is actually related to one of this previous surgeries.
Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl will miss the rest of the season. He will have "hardware" removed from his knee that was put there during a surgery when he was in high school. It was causing irritation.
— John Bohnenkamp (@johnbohnenkamp) November 28, 2018
If it's not one thing, it's another. Pemsl has had some of the most rotten luck imaginable, health-wise, over the last few years, so we wish him the very best with this latest procedure. Hopefully he comes back healthy and strong and able to contribute to Iowa hoops once again. Pemsl is a junior this year, but he hasn't used a redshirt season during his time at Iowa. Iowa indicated that they would be submitting a medical hardship waiver request for him and he would seem like a strong candidate to get the waiver. If the request is granted, Pemsl would still have two years of eligibility remaining at Iowa.
Pemsl's season-ending surgery on top of Iowa's earlier decision to redshirt Jack Nunge this year leaves Iowa's once-crowded front court looking much much less overstuffed. That said, the plan still appears to be to redshirt Nunge this season.
Iowa announces that junior forward Cordell Pemsl will undergo season ending surgery on his knee. Will roll with nine scholarship players this winter
— MarkEmmert (@MarkEmmert) November 28, 2018
And, honestly, that probably makes sense as long as no one else gets injured down low. Through six games, Tyler Cook has been averaging 28.8 minutes per game, Luka Garza has been averaging 22.8 minutes per game, Nicholas Baer has been averaging 16.8 minutes per game, and Ryan Kriener has been averaging about 12.8 minutes per game. Those figures seem about right for what they could/should be playing and give Iowa sufficient coverage at the 4 and 5 positions. Obviously the calculus on that situation would change if one of them suffered an injury that would put them out of commission for several weeks. In that scenario, Fran would probably have to seriously consider pulling Nunge's redshirt and getting him on the floor. But hopefully we don't have to worry about crossing that bridge this season.
In the meantime, best wishes and good luck to Pemsl as he once again goes under the knife. We hope the surgery and his recovery go very smoothly and he's back on the court schooling young'uns with his old man post moves gain soon.