Oglesby Makes Lasting Impression In C-U

A number of talented basketball players graced the courts in Champaign-Urbana at the recent Illinois team camp. But no one made a more positive impression than Cedar Rapid Washington guard Josh Oglesby. Oglesby passed and shot himself into the minds and hearts of Illini fans. In doing so, he earned a scholarship offer.

Josh Oglesby made a great impression at the Illinois team camp. He underplayed his role but enjoyed himself.

"It was my school team, of course. We just came out and ran our plays we practice in camp every day. I thought we played pretty well.

"I just love playing against this competition. When I was younger I was kind of scared. But I'm not scared anymore. It's just fun. I love it."

Oglesby appreciated the opportunity, not just for himself but his teammates.

"It's good for my high school team especially because some kids don't play AAU. They just play basketball for fun. They play football at Wash, so they're physical."

Based on his play, it's hard to believe Oglesby was struggling with back problems suffered playing baseball.

"I've had some back problems, but I still fought through it. Get through July and recover after that. It's my lower back. I think it's from pitching. I had the problem last year from pitching."

For his troubles, Illini coach Bruce Weber decided to offer the upcoming senior a scholarship. It was part of the reason Oglesby made the trip.

"Coach (Jay) Price wanted me to come down here so Coach Weber could see me."

Weber is looking for a combo guard who can play point, so the offer was a little surprising. But Oglesby played point when he was younger and has an uncanny passing ability according to his high school coach Brad Metzger.

"The thing about him is, he's not just one-dimensional. He can pass the ball extremely well, he sees the court, and when he draws a lot of attention he's gonna find what's open and do what's best for the team. He's an unselfish guy, great to play with and great to coach.

"It's hard to decide if he's a better passer or shooter. He's an outstanding passer. He's not gonna force a shot up. He knows when he has to shoot it. He sees what's gonna happen before it happens. That's probably one of his better attributes.

"He's a 6'-5" combo guard. He spends most of the time on the perimeter. We depend on other people to rebound quite a bit so he can get down the court."

Metzger has a point guard, allowing Oglesby to move without the ball to set up open shots. He will miss both players when they graduate.

"It's always difficult to see high-caliber Division I players go on because we've got quite a big hole to fill. We've got two. Our point guard Wes Washburn and him both do an outstanding job and play hard. They do whatever they're told and what's best for the team. Those guys are hard to fill, not just in talent but in attitude."

Oglesby rattled off the colleges showing the most interest.

"Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, Illinois, Notre Dame, Indiana, Purdue. All the Big 10 schools. I was at the Kansas elite camp the other week. That was good too. I don't think Kansas is really that interested. I didn't play very well at the camp."

Oglesby is a life-long Iowa fan. New coach Fran McCaffery hasn't offered him a scholarship yet but likely will after getting to watch him play AAU ball this month.

"I was being recruited by Iowa when (Todd) Lickliter was there. The first day he (McCaffery) came to Iowa, I got a call from him. He told me to come down for a visit. And then I went down again for a visit.

"My AAU coach and my high school coach said they were gonna offer me, but they didn't do that. He just said he wanted to see me play in person first. He's only seen a highlight tape, and that's all good stuff."

What is he looking for in a school?

"Having a good relationship with the coaches of course. Academics, just everything. I know far from home would be a difficult thing."

Oglesby has a busy July schedule playing with the Iowa Barnstormers AAU 17U team.

"We're really good. We've lost two tournaments out of the five we've been in. The others we won. And in the other two, we didn't have all our players. But we got to the Final Four in every single one of them. At Spiece, we ended up losing to the team that ended up winning it, and that was when (Jarred) Uthoff wasn't there."

Uthoff is a 6'-8 forward from Cedar Rapids Jefferson being recruited by many of the same schools. It wouldn't be surprising if they end up playing college ball together also.

"He's really good. I love playing with Jarred. He works hard every day. He gets up every morning at 6:00am and lifts. And then he goes back and shoots. He's just a great player overall."

Oglesby claims he is open to schools besides Iowa and will wait until the end of the July AAU season before finalizing a college decision.

"I was thinking after July, see what comes. My high school coach will be a big part of it. I will sit down with him and my family. My dad's been coaching for 30 years now. He's taught me everything."

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