Remember the thrilling days of, uh, two weeks ago? When Joe Wieskamp was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after averaging 17 ppg on 61% shooting, 6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg, and 0.5 bpg in two wins over Illinois and Penn State? Well, he's back at it this week:
Joe Wieskamp of @IowaHoops collected his second #B1GMBBall Freshman of the Week accolade after posting 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals and two assists in a #Hawkeyes win over No. 5 Michigan https://t.co/en2liZrdcX pic.twitter.com/8kRiHrlHjG
— Big Ten Men's Hoops (@B1GMBBall) February 4, 2019
Iowa had just one win last week, but it was kind of a big one! And after two very quiet games in Iowa's losses to Michigan State and Minnesota, Wieskamp broke out in a big way against Big Blue. He was a huge part of Iowa's success in that game, going off for 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals (!), and two assists. How unique is that stat line for a freshman? Well...
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) February 4, 2019
Ben Simmons, Dennis Smith, Jr., and Trey McGowens? Pretty good company there!
That all-around versatility is the biggest strength that Wieskamp has brought to Iowa this season. Not surprisingly, he ranks among the conference leaders in several statistical categories. Wieskamp is averaging 11.1 ppg in conference play, which doesn't qualify for the Top 30, but he's not too far outside of that, considering that the 30th ranked player on that list is averaging 11.3 ppg. Wieskamp is also no better than Iowa's third option on offense most of the time (behind Garza and Cook), which makes it difficult to put up gaudy point totals. He's still been a very solid shooter from outside, though -- he's averaging 40% from 3-point range in league games, good for 14th best in the Big Ten. He's also 20th in the league in rebounding in conference play (5.6 rpg) and 15th in the league in defensive rebounding in league action (4.3 drpg). And while his impact on the defensive end isn't limited to his ability to grab steals, he's done a strong job of playing the passing lanes as a freshman; he's averaging 1.5 steals per game in Big Ten play, tied for 5th best in the conference. Wieskamp's ability to fill so many different roles for Iowa and plug so many holes has been a key factor in the team's turnaround from 2018 to 2019.
Need some more Wieskamp highlights? We've got you covered.
Well done, Joe. Wieskamp's next game will pit him against Indiana's own freshman sensation, Romeo Langford, on Thursday night (8 PM CT, ESPN).