USA Today

Iowa Basketball Scouting Report 2017-2018

Check out the strengths and areas to improve on every returning Iowa basketball player.


STRENGTHS: He's an elite shooter, obviously. He even improved in that areas as the season went on. He became more confident, moved without the ball well, started to be able to create his own shot regularly, and learned and adapted well to having to get his shot off quicker at the college level. Once that all came into picture for him and he carved it out, he was potent as a shooter from the outside. Bohannon will be one of the best shooters and scorers from the outside in the country for the next three years. His ball-handling did improve. His decision making did improve. Neither are elite but they're good enough. His effort on the defensive end is very good.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: His decision-making needs to continue to progress. His ball-handling needs to continue to improve. The defensive energy and effort are there but being able to stay in front of his opponent better, and to add strength, are necessary for him. He's one of the best players in the Big Ten for a long while if those thing come to fruition soon.


STRENGTHS: Defense, defense, defense. He's the Ahmad Wagner of defense on the perimeter. He's the best perimeter defender on the team, probably. His length allows him to really make it difficult for the opposing point guard. He's got the quick feet to keep up as well. Moss and Ellingson are fine defenders on the perimeter too but Williams is great on the ball and can guard multiple positions. Offensively he's smarter with the ball, probably, but more limited in what he can do.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: The offense isn't the same when he's running the point. It tends to get bogged down. He gets minutes because he can shut down the point guard for the other team. Offensively, he's not a great shooter. He takes care of the ball but isn't an elite ball-handler. He's not much of a creator, either. He's sound and usually doesn't turn it over. If he could become serviceable as a shooter or creator, he would be much more dangerous for this team. 


STRENGTHS: He's an eager guy with a lot of energy that just wants to be good and that's half the battle. Dailey is someone that defends well and could be an elite defender. He has that type of athleticism and length where he could be a similar defender to what Iowa gets from Christian Williams.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He didn't get to play much this season but he doesn't really have the bulk to play in the paint at all so becoming a more consistent shooter and better ball-handler will be important for Dailey. He's going to play on the outside quite a bit given his frame. He'll need to add more and more strength, much the same way that Baer needs to because their bodies are so slim. 


STRENGTHS: He can score and hurt you in so many ways on the offensive end. Moss can shoot his way to 30 points, score with ease off the dribble, and he's sensational in transition both off the ball and as the primary ball handler. There's no weakness to his offensive game when he's one. He has great size too. That size allows him to take it to the cup as an offensive player but also body up his opponents on the defensive end. His foot quickness is right there to where he was the best perimeter defender at times this season. He has the potential and the tools to become a complete player down the line. 

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He just needs to become more consistent. Moss can defend so well and score so easily but it just was in spurts and in streaks this year. If it becomes more frequent, he'll be an all-Big Ten player before he leaves Iowa. He can stay in front and guard anyone on the perimeter. He's tremendous in transition on offense, he can score off the bounce, he can shoot efficiently from the outside. He just needs to do it night in and night out.


STRENGTHS: He was so much better as a shooter this year which is great for him because that's what is going to be asked of him by this team. They have to have guys that can knock down shots from the outside and be sharpshooters in their motion offense and he's one of the guys that can come off the bench and always provide that. What made him more valuable this year is his perimeter defense. His size limits who he can guard, but he can shut down the ones that he can guard. Ellingson was probably the most improved player on the team in terms of how much he grew as a player from year one of action to year two.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Becoming stronger will help him even more, both as a defender and expanding his game offensively where he can drive it to the hole and play through contact. He's going to always be a shooter first, but he has to pose a threat still off the dribble. 


STRENGTHS: He's very good at the team defense concept and his understanding of that, in terms of rotations. There's plenty of guys on this team that can defend well, one on one. The reason why the defense broke down this year plenty of times, especially early on, is because of the youth on the team and their lack of understanding or recognition of certain offenses and being well versed on rotations. Uhl doesn't have a problem with that. He might not be as good at guarding some offensive players one on one, but his time in the program has allowed him to become a great cog in a defensive unit. He takes care of the ball well on offense, too, and is a good rebounder in general.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He's lost all confidence in his shot, it seems. He hesitates to pull the trigger often now, much more than he did a year ago. He's an average ball-handler, though he doesn't turn it over much. His offensive game has become pretty limited. Aside from being a good offensive rebounder, his impact on the offense is pretty small. Defensively, he's not going to blow anyone away with his foot quickness to stay in front most of the time. He does do enough in terms of knowing when to rotate and how to make it all flow and work together as a unit. 


STRENGTHS: He might have been the most improved player on the team. Baer became a much better shooter from the perimeter in his second year of action. He was one of the better three-point shooters on the team, especially in Big Ten play. His effort is matched by nobody. His basketball IQ is matched by nobody. He's a terrific passer. Baer is also perhaps the best off-ball post defender on the team. He may not have the bulk to play down there defensively for an extended period of time but his anticipation is so strong that he recorded so many blocks down in the paint coming over to help from off the ball. 

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Baer is not a fantastic shooter from the outside but if he's going to be out there a little more then it would be in his best interest to improve his ball handling skills. They're not awful by any means but it's something that could be better given how he could stay on the outside a little more because of his shooting ability. Strength is always something he could also add.


STRENGTHS: The reason why his ceiling of potential is so high is because of his athleticism, explosion, burst, and overall basketball skill. He didn't showcase it this year because of some inexperience and youth and not being totally comfortable with it in year one but he does have a jumper. He has great back-to-the-basket moves on the low post. He's a great finisher. Cook has well above average ball handling skills for a big. There's not a whole lot he can't do on the offensive end. It's really hard to come up with anything other than taking care of the ball better and valuing possessions. Defensively, the effort came alive for him at the end of the year. 

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He was a very inconsistent free throw shooter in year one but he does have a nice stroke so that shouldn't be a problem that persists. His defensive effort was sporadic. Cook became a better rebounder and defender for the most part near the end of the season but it's still something that is lagging behind the rest of his game. He had too many games where he grabbed less than five boards. His lack of defending and rebounding prowess kept him off the floor at the end of the games for over half the Big Ten schedule. It got better in the last month but it's still something that should require some focus from him in the offseason. Offensively he just has to take care of the ball better. 


STRENGTHS: He's a hustle guy, and that allows him to be a great defender, rebounder, and tracking down the loose balls. He has a very high basketball IQ as well for such a young player. His offensive game isn't as limited as some of the other bigs. Pemsl can put it on the deck a little bit and is comfortable using either hand around the rim. He was a great finisher at the rim through contact for a freshman. He was also an excellent passer out of the post.

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Pemsl is someone that was a bit inconsistent and had some silly turnovers due to inexperience and youth. That comes with the territory. He forced some things. That should go away with time. Though he can use both hands around the rim, he was a poor free throw shooter in spurts over the course of the season and had no confidence in a jumper. He doesn't have the burst, explosion or athleticism of Wagner to blow by defenders. He's probably in more need of developing a little bit of a jump shot because of that. There's not a lot defensively that needs to happen for him other than continuing to progress in the chemistry and communication part with his squad. He doesn't have the defensive versatility of Wagner and can only guard certain positions or body types but he does it well.


STRENGTHS: He's a strong defensive player both in staying in front of his opponent off the dribble and defending the rim. What he lacks in overall height he makes up with length, athleticism, and effort. What makes him such a valuable defensive asset for the Hawkeyes is his ability to guard nearly anyone on the court for the opposing team. He has the combination of quickness, length, and strength to be able to guard players of all different sizes and skill sets. Offensively, Wagner was a bit improved. He was taking opponents off the dribble a bit more this year. Wagner also became a better finisher at the rim through contact. 

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: He is an excellent defender but he could improve in his anticipation in terms of rebounding. He's a great leaper and effort guy so rebounding isn't a problem but he doesn't have the anticipation around the rim that some bigs do have. Wagner is also someone that is a bit limited offensively so he needs to diversify his game on that end of the floor. He has little confidence or usage of his left hand when it comes to finishing around the rim or penetrating. Adding that element to his game would make him much less predictable and harder to guard. Adding a bit more range to his shot would help but I've never though that was a must for Wagner. He just needs to become better with his left hand in my opinion.


STRENGTHS: He's a very good shooter with nice touch for his size. There's some range to that jumper. His length and size allow him to be a superb defender and his defensive energy is very high. It's not just his size but also his physicality and attitude on the floor. He's probably the best natural rebounder on the team which will allow him to always get minutes moving forward. 

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Though he has a jump shot that Wagner and Pemsl do not have, he needs to work on becoming a better back-to-the-basket player on offense if he's going to play in the post. That part of his game never really shined through this season. He looked lost at times but the game is fast for freshmen sometimes. Defensively, bodying up guys without fouling will be important moving forward. His energy, technique and understanding on the defensive end is very good otherwise.

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