Iowa freshman guard Josh Oglesby showed Thursday why his coach wants him seeing green when it comes to shooting.
Oglesby broke out of a two-game shooting slump by scoring a career-high 16 points to help lead Iowa to an 88-55 victory over Northern Illinois on Thursday before an announced crowd of 9,666 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“It was a little bit of nerves in my first couple games, and the players and coaches have both had confidence in me. And I came out tonight and shot the ball, and luckily, it went in,” said Oglesby, a 6-foot-5 former standout at Cedar Rapids Washington High School.
Iowa made 13-of-21 3-point baskets, with Oglesby leading the way with four treys. Oglesby made 6-of-9 field-goal attempts overall after missing eight of his first nine shots in the first two games.
His performance Thursday came a day after Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told reporters that Oglesby had the green light as a shooter.
“I have seen very few shooters that shoot the ball like he does in 29 years,” said McCaffery, who has been a Division I head coach since the mid-1980s. “And when you have them like that, what they have to know is that I have every bit as much confidence in him as he has in himself.
“And he can shoot it whenever he wants to, early in the shot clock, at the end of the shot clock, off one pass, in transition, it doesn’t matter. And I’m a firm believer that a shooter has to have that type of green light to be the kind of player that they can be.”
The victory improved Iowa’s record to 3-0 on the young season, and it marks the first time that Iowa has won at least three games in a row under McCaffery, who is in his second season as coach.
The level of competition should improve dramatically, though, when Iowa faces Creighton (3-0) at 3 p.m. Sunday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
It’ll be Iowa’s first game away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season.
“Not only is it a step up, it’s not here,” McCaffery said of the Creighton game. “It’s not in their place, either, but there will be fans from both programs.”
Former Northern Iowa and Iowa State coach Greg McDermott is in his second season as the Creighton coach. His team is picked by many to win the Missouri Valley Conference this season, with three starters returning from a squad that finished 23-16 last season.
Creighton finished strong last season, winning three of its final five regular-season games as well as four games in the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament.
And now the Bluejays are 3-0 for the 12th time in the past 14 seasons.
Creighton ended Alabama-Birmingham’s 38-game non-conference home winning streak with a 70-60 victory Wednesday.
Sophomore forward Doug McDermott, who is Greg’s son and a former star player at Ames High School, led the Bluejays with 27 points against UAB, which is the defending Conference USA champion.
“They’ve got the best player in the (Missouri Valley Conference) in Doug McDermott,” McCaffery said.
“He scores 27 at UAB. I mean that’s pretty impressive.”
So was Iowa’s assist-to-turnover ratio during Thursday’s game. The Hawkeyes finished with 26 assists and nine turnovers.
Senior point guard Bryce Cartwright led the team with nine assists and had zero turnovers while playing 19 minutes.
Oglesby was the third different player to lead Iowa in scoring this season and the second freshman to do so. Freshman forward Aaron White led Iowa with 19 points in the season opener against Chicago State.
“He can shoot it, and that’s what we brought him for,” Cartwright said of Oglesby.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball