Melsahn Basabe led Iowa in rebounding last season. He’s not leading the Hawkeyes in rebounding in the statistics kept during the first two weeks of practice.
The leader is Gabe Olaseni, a 6-fo0t-10 freshman from London, England by way of Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas.
“He’s been tremendous,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s an energy guy. He’s 6-10, and long, and blocking shots, and running the floor and rebounding. He’s our leading rebounder. He’s not that far ahead of Basabe, but Basabe’s a pretty good rebounder. That’s encouraging.”
McCaffery doesn’t want to have to play Basabe at the post. He’d rather have him spend the season developing his skills at the power forward position. Olaseni’s play might help keep Basabe at his natural spot on the floor.
“(Olaseni) is 6-10 with a 7-2 wingspan, and he’s firing to the glass like Dennis Rodman,” said McCaffery, adding that Olaseni’s knack for keeping balls alive on the glass have led to numerous easy baskets for his teammates.
Another post option is senior Andrew Brommer, currently sidelined with a sprained right knee. Brommer was injured on the first day of practice. He’s expected to be out another two weeks.
“He needs those (practice) minutes,” McCaffery said. “He was playing so well. At the time he was hurt I thought we might lose him for the season. That would have been unfortunate. The good news is he’ll be back. He’s probably a little ahead of schedule.”
Another post candidate is senior Devon Archie. McCaffery also mentioned sophomore Zach McCabe and freshman Aaron White possibly getting minutes in the post.
Olaseni has two chances to show the coaches what he can do in a game situation before the season starts Nov. 11 against Chicago State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa hosts Western Illinois in a scrimmage Sunday that is closed to the media and fans. The Hawkeyes also play Northwest Missouri State in an exhibition game Nov. 6. Tip is 3:30 p.m.
“We’ll have two opportunities to see what (Olaseni) has,” McCaffery said.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball