TRANSFER SZN has been in full swing for a while in college hoops this year (Iowa State has already had enough departures to fill a pick-up game), but it hadn't really been felt in Iowa City yet. That changed on Friday afternoon, though, as Cordell Pemsl announced his plans to enter the transfer portal and leave Iowa:
Pemsl, a redshirt junior, is in his fourth year in the program and is on track to graduate this spring. Said Pemsl about his decision to leave:
"I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, and fans for a memorable four years at the University of Iowa," said Pemsl. "I am grateful for the support Hawkeye Nation has shown me through many difficult times. With that being said, I am going to finish my degree and plan on completing my final year of eligibility at another school next season. I wish my teammates the best of luck in the future and appreciate everything the University of Iowa has done for me."
Cordell Pemsl appeared in 96 games for Iowa over the past four seasons, highlighted by 34 appearances and 14 starts as a freshman in 2016-17. That freshman campaign was also his best year statistically at Iowa; he averaged 8.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, and 1.4 blocks/steals per game while shooting 62% from the floor and playing 19.3 mpg. Unfortunately, his minutes and stats declined each season, down to 2.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg in 12.7 mpg this past season. That decline had less to do with any deficiencies in Pemsl in a player as it did in his brutal luck when it came to injuries. Pemsl endured three major surgeries during his tenure at Iowa and missed almost the entire 2018-19 season as a result of injury (which is why he still has a year of eligibility to use).
Pemsl's best game this past season came against Ohio State, as he had 9 points (on 4/4 shooting), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals to help Iowa beat the Buckeyes. Some of Pemsl's best games at Iowa came during his freshman year, like the career-high 15-point effort against Rutgers, or his 14-point, 11-rebound double double effort against Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament. But his most impactful game in an Iowa uniform was probably the Iowa State game last season; that's certainly the game I'll think of first when I look back at Pemsl's Iowa tenure. He scored 8 points (on 2/3 shooting) and had 6 rebounds, an assist, and a block, but more than anything he was Iowa's emotional sparkplug in that game. The entire Iowa team seemed to feed off his energy as he grinded through pain to help Iowa to a 98-84 victory over the Cyclones.
I have two wishes for Pemsl as he departs Iowa City: that he can have a healthy, pain-free year and that he finds a new school where he can be happy and productive in his final year. His college basketball career has had a few more downs than ups over the last four years and he deserves to end it on a good note. Best of luck in whatever comes next, Cordell, and thanks for the memories you gave us in black and gold.