Iowa Basketball: Oglesy’s return to Prime Time League

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Iowa Basketball’s sharp shooter Josh Oglesby’s return headlined Sunday afternoon’s Prime Time League action. Oglesby had missed the previous four days of league action nursing an injury that occurred earlier in May. The Hawkeye junior broke his finger on the bottom of the backboard two months ago.  His finger didn’t seem to bother him much on Sunday afternoon as he scored 26 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 5 assists, leading his team to a 134-98 thumping victory. Everyone in the crowd knew it was going to be a good day for the Black and Gold guard when his first three of the afternoon struck nothing but the bottom of the net. More importantly, Oglesby drained 7 – of -11 three point attempts and displayed a confident shooting stroke that was lacking a season ago. His presence opened up the court for star Devyn Marble and gave the Hawkeye senior a much needed scoring boost. Marble’s and Oglesby’s team could be a sleeper contender for the Prime Time League championship with a healthy roster.

Oglesby’s and the Hawkeyes’ struggles from beyond the arc have been well documented. Last season the Hawkeyes were one of the worst three point shooting teams in the country and Oglesby played a major part in their perimeter deficiencies. The Cedar Rapids native, only converted 27% of his three point attempts a season ago, which is pretty poor for a three-point specialist, especially when you consider the fact that he shot 37.2% from three point land his freshman year.  His focus this summer is to put last season’s struggles behind him in order to reclaim a spot in head coach Fran McCaffery’s rotation.

Oglesby’s return sets up an interesting look-in at arguably the fiercest position battle going on in Iowa City this summer. Newcomer Peter Jok has torn up the Prime Time League, leading the league in scoring with 29.4 points per game. So far, Jok has showcased unlimited three point range at the North Liberty Community Center. He’ll definitely add an outside shooting presence that was missing a year ago. Oglesby won’t be willing to concede his spot in the rotation without a fight, and he showed there was plenty of fight left in his tank on Sunday afternoon. Offensively, I would give Jok the edge because he’s more than just a shooter with his ability to create off the dribble and get to the rim. But Oglesby is more experienced at the collegiate level, and there is an element of uncertainty as to how Jok will perform in his first year of college basketball. We know he’s talented but it still remains to be seen how he’ll adjust to playing in the country’s best conference, especially on the road. Thus, creating a very interesting position battle.

There’s always the chance that McCaffery could use both players on the court together, in order to space the floor for Marble and the interior players, but that doesn’t seem very realistic with the plethora of talented guards the head coach has at his disposal. One player will likely have to make room for the other. Before it looked like Jok was on the inside track to steal Oglesby’s spot in the rotation, but the junior made a “not so fast” type statement on Sunday afternoon. We shall see how this one plays out. Stay tuned.