Whether Fran McCaffery likes it or not, he is going to be relying on a bevy on young talent this year. After losing four senior starters from last years NCAA Tournament team, he returns his star in Peter Jok and valuable role players like Dom Uhl, Nicholas Baer, and Ahmad Wagner.
One of the young players McCaffery will be relying on is Cordell Pemsl. Pemsl, the true freshman out of Dubuque, IA (he averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds for Wahlert in his senior season) is likely Iowa's biggest body outside of Ryan Kriener, who did not play last Friday is Iowa's exhibition matchup against Regis.
One thing Iowa had last year was a lot of height with 7'1" center Adam Woodbury patrolling the lane and pulling down rebounds. This year, they lack a considerable amount of height. The tallest player that played last Friday is likely 6'8", maybe 6'9". The lack of height and bulk in the post leads me to believe that Pemsl is going to see a decent amount of minutes off the bench, especially if the injury that kept Kriener out of the exhibition game lingers.
His body is Big Ten ready right away considering he is around 6'8" and 220 pounds. I thought he looked good in the exhibition game finishing around the rim, which was something he struggled with when I watched a game of his in high school. He also looked good on the glass and definitely held his own inside. He played 14 minutes and ended with 6 points and 6 boards in the game.
I firmly believe that Tyler Cook and Ahmad Wagner will be the starters to go along with Dom Uhl, but Pemsl is going to be a key backup at a forward spot. Dale Jones could fill in, but who knows what kind of limitations he'll have because of his knee, he may not have any, but time will tell. Ryan Kriener is kind of a mystery right now because of the injury that kept him out last Friday, but I heard he had been practicing well.
An advantage Pemsl could have over a guy like Wagner is his back to the basket game is a bit more polished. Wagner brings more athleticism to the table, but in terms of making a move and scoring a bucket, Pemsl has the edge in my mind there.
I look for Fran to really test Pemsl in the non-conference to gauge what he'll get from him in the Big Ten. If Pemsl plays well in the non-con, he'll probably find 10-15 minutes of game action consistently throughout the year.
Pemsl is a big time candidate to really breakout and have a nice freshman season for the Hawkeyes.null