High School: Muscatine
Hometown: Muscatine, Ia.
GIA Nickname That Won't Catch On Anywhere: Weezy F. Maybe
From a pure efficiency standpoint, 2019-20 was a fairly significant step back for Weezy. His counting stats were modestly up, mostly a function of playing more minutes, but all of those bonkers efficiencies he posted as a freshman -- top 100 nationally in offensive efficiency, effective field goal rate, true shooting percentage, and three-point percentage -- dropped off.
Virtually all of the decrease was due to an eight-point drop in Wieskamp's three-point shooting percentage. Wieskamp wasn't hitting perimeter jumpers at the same rate as his freshman year, and he became more of a slasher in response. That, in turn, led to more contested shots at the rim, which further decreased his efficiency.
Things turned especially south at the end of last year. On February 8, Wieskamp scored 30 on Nebraska, making 10/15 shots and 2/4 from three. In seven games over the following month, he averaged 9 points per game and shot 4/24 (17%) from three. He scored just two in a tight win at Minnesota, four in a loss at Michigan State, and seven in a two-point defeat at Illinois.
As sophomore slumps go, this one was fairly mild and easily explainable. It wasn't an effort issue -- Wieskamp was still playing defense and rebounding at a high level most of the season -- nor was it due to injury or exhaustion. He just didn't shoot as well, and struggled to get it back on track when the shots weren't falling. Wieskamp, like many athletic shooters, tried to get to the rim when the shot wasn't falling; when those didn't fall, either, there really wasn't a Plan C.
Wieskamp wisely tested the NBA Draft process during the offseason. The math for Wieskamp's individual future is fairly simple. He has the frame and skill set to be a pro. At his best, he is the proverbial "three-and-D" wing that NBA general managers covet. Those guys, at least of the type who could play pro ball, don't generally stay until their senior seasons. I wasn't at the meetings, but I would guess that Wieskamp was told he needs more consistency from three to warrant a first-round selection. He has one year to get it in place, and then he needs to jump.
The simple fact is that, if Iowa is going to reach its expectations this season, Wieskamp might be the most important piece. The Hawkeyes finished 2019-20 with a 20-11 record. In games where Wieskamp scored 10 or fewer points, Iowa was 2-7. You would be hard-pressed to find a more direct correlation between an individual's performance and on-court team success. Iowa needs a fully-formed NBA Joe Wieskamp in 2020-21. If he gets there, the sky is the limit.