Joe Wieskamp was Mr. Perfect at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, making all of his shots from both the field and the free-throw line in the Hawkeyes’ 95-71 win over Illinois.
“Today was kind of the guards game,” Wieskamp said. “Myself, Isaiah, Jordan, Nicholas…we were all able to spot up.”
The rookie says he’s grown more comfortable as he’s gained experience against Big Ten defenses.
“I was a little bit timid, guys were up in my space,” Wieskamp said. “I wasn’t quite used to that, the quickness, the physicality. Clearly as the year has progressed, I’ve gotten used to that.”
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery says Wieskamp’s feel for the game is already at a veteran level.
“He’s never gonna take a bad shot,” McCaffery said. “He’s a really good shooter, so he’s got a good percentage to make it everytime he shoots it. And he doesn’t hunt shots. He doesn’t overthink it… an incredibly mature approach to this level.”
Wieskamp, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday, had the attention of Big Ten coaches long before his perfect afternoon. So much so, that Illinois coach Brad Underwood actually took time before the game to watch him shoot in warmups.
“I’m facinated with guys who can make baskets,” Underwood said. “I sat out there and watched him at the free-throw line and hit about, I mean, jump shots, 19 in a row and I don’t think any of them hit the rim. Most guys, usually, when you shoot it at that level, have a routine, and he did.”
Jordan Bohannon says it’s that type of preparation that’s made Wieskamp’s transition from high school to the Big Ten a successful one.
“It just shows the work he put in this offseason and work he put in when he set foot on campus,” Bohannon said. “For any freshman to come in and do what he’s been able to do, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Wieskamp’s 24 points against the Illini matched his career-high from earlier this season. It was also the fifth-straight game where the freshman scored in double figures.