By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Cordell Pemsl was so determined to play a key role for the Iowa men's basketball team this season that he lost about 20 pounds in order to be more versatile on defense.
Unfortunately, for Pemsl, an undisclosed injury has prevented his junior season from taking off.
The 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game because of the injury when No. 14 Iowa faces Pittsburgh on Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"He's not been practicing, so he's probably a little ways from being back," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Monday on a teleconference. "He's still being evaluated and we'll kind of see where it goes from here.
"But anything more, I'm sure we'd have a statement."
Pemsl has only played 14 minutes this season, all of which came in the season opener against Missour-Kansas City, so he would be eligible for a redshirt, although, sophomore forward Jack Nunge already has decided to redshirt this season.
Pemsl played in 32 games last season and in 34 as a true freshman. The former Dubuque Wahlert standout also started 14 games as a true freshman, but had no starts last season.
Pemsl told reporters at Iowa's media day in October that he lost weight in order to be able to guard multiple positions on defense. Iowa struggled on defense last season, so Pemsl figured he could earn playing time on a crowded frontline by performing well on defense.
He just hasn't had a chance to put his plan into action.