Maishe Dailey was the last freshman to enter the class of 2016 for Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes. He committed in early May after decommitting from the Rutgers class once former head coach, Eddie Jordan, was dismissed.
Dailey made five freshmen entering the Iowa basketball program. Along with him, Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, Ryan Kriener, and Cordell Pemsl made up the five in the class of 2016.
At 6'6 and 183 pounds, he provides a lot of length at his combo guard position. He's shown good ability to rebound and he absolutely loves that corner three.
With five freshmen coming in and there being a logjam at the guard spot, I speculated that Dailey could be a candidate to redshirt this season. However, he has chosen not to. In fact, the only freshman not suiting up for games is walk-on Riley Till.
He's appeared in 7 games this season and notched career highs in minutes played, rebounds, and points in Iowa's game on Thursday against Delaware State. Dailey played 21 minutes, scored 8 points, and hauled in 7 rebounds, which tied for the team lead.
Dailey says the tough practices are helping him build more confidence in game situations.
"I just always stay in the gym, stay confident, go hard in practice, keep my energy up on the bench and stay positive. And when my number is called, I just capitalize," he exclaimed after his career performance on Thursday.
And it hasn't been just Dailey that has noticed his improvements on the court.
Fellow freshman, Jordan Bohannon, said that Dailey has been "shooting the crap out of the ball in practice." When told those were Jordan's words Maishe said, "yeah I guess so" followed by a laugh.
His head coach, Fran McCaffery, raves about his abilities as well.
"He's got a versatility about him that's impressive. He can laterally get his feet apart and move his feet and contain a really smaller, quicker guy. But then he's 6'7 and long so he can stick his nose in on the glass and get rebounds with bigger guys. He can make three's and eventually when he gets stronger, he's going to be even more explosive," McCaffery said following Dailey's performance against DSU.
He showcased all of that on Thursday night. He knocked down a pair of threes and was getting in on the action in the paint when it came to rebounding. His length reminds me of Devyn Marble a few seasons ago.
Being the type of guard that he is and where he's at in Iowa's rotation, he said he finds himself matched up with the likes of Peter Jok and Isaiah Moss in practice frequently.
"I do", when asked if he sees Jok and Moss the most in practice. "I guard Pete everyday in practice and I just feel like if I can guard him, I can guard anybody in the country," Dailey admitted.
Matching up with a talented offensive player like Jok is going to help Dailey immensely in the long run. Even the best defenders struggle guarding Jok, so if he keeps working at it day in and day out, he's going to come out a better player in the long run.
He seems to be on the outside looking in at minutes right now, but Thursday he showcased what he could bring to the team if his number is called later on in the year, much like Christian Williams' was last season.