IOWA HAWKEYE BASKETBALL PLAYER PREVIEWS: JOSH OGUNDELE

By RossWB on November 24, 2020 at 10:00 pm
go josh go
@damijosh2047 (Twitter)
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JOSH OGUNDELE

VITALS
Height: 2.08 meters
Weight: 20.4 stone
Class: Freshman
High School: Worcester Academy 
Hometown: London, England
GIA Nickname That Won't Catch On Anywhere: The Bigger O

THE PAST

The last time Iowa went across the pond in recruiting and found a British big, they came away with Gabe Olaseni, who developed into a fan favorite and future Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. So, you know, no pressure, Josh! That said, despite their shared British heritage, Ogundele doesn't project as Olaseni 2.0. Olaseni was a bouncy athlete and lethal in transition; Ogundele projects as more of a traditional low-post player, though he displayed some ability to stretch the court with his shooting, too. That said, if you have more of an old-school game posting up around the rim, with some outside shooting mixed in... I mean, could you ask for a better mentor than Luka Garza? Ogundele's main goal this season should probably be to just absorb as much knowledge as possible from Garza while Luka is in Iowa City. 

Well, that and get himself into shape and learn Iowa's system. Ogundele was the last freshman to get to Iowa City; coronavirus-related travel restrictions held up his visa and prevented him from getting to Iowa until late summer. An illness limited his participation in fall practice, so he's operating at a bit of a deficit when it comes to conditioning and experience with Iowa's playbook and his new teammates. Hopefully he doesn't have any more setbacks during the season and develops a good rapport with his teammates, as well as a good understanding of Iowa's schemes. 

THE FUTURE

The argument for Ogundele seeing playing time is twofold: Iowa has just two bigs on the roster this year (Garza and Jack Nunge) and this season is a freebie, eligibility-wise, so Ogundle can play as much as Fran wants and still retain four years of eligibility to use starting next year. The argument against Ogundele seeing much run this year is basically what I outlined in the preceding paragraph: he'll need to get his conditioning and his understanding of Iowa's system in place before he can see much time on the court. Outside of blowout minutes, I don't expect to see him too much this season unless Garza and Nunge get into significant foul trouble and Iowa needs a big who can spell them and eat up some minutes down low.

That said, the more minutes he can get this season, the better it's likely to be for Iowa in the years to come. Garza is the present for Iowa hoops in the post, but as incredible as his time in Iowa City has been, it's also nearing its end. Ogundele figures to be one of the key players tasked with replacing Garza's production down low in the next few seasons, so any experience he can get this year should benefit his development for the years when Iowa will really need his presence in the paint. But we don't mind waiting a bit for Ogundele to make his presence felt -- we'll have a whole package of new British puns ready to use when it's his time to shine. 

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