Joe Wieskamp was great last week, but Caitlin Clark was even better
Iowa's freshman sensation this week's Hawk Fanatic/Scheels Athlete of the Week
IOWA CITY, Iowa – In two much-needed victories last week over Rutgers and Michigan State, Joe Wieskamp combined to score 47 points, grab 17 rebounds and make 10 shots from 3-point range.
And he still wasn’t named the Hawk Fanatic/Scheels Hawkeye Athlete of the Week.
Because Caitlin Clark’s performance in two games was even more incredible.
The sensational freshman on the Iowa women’s basketball team combined to score 69 points in two games over the past seven days, including a career-high 39 points during an 88-81 victory this past Thursday at Nebraska. Clark also had 10 rebounds and seven assists against the Cornhuskers.
In an 85-73 loss to Indiana last Sunday, Clark scored 30 points, and has now scored at least 30 points in three consecutive games.
The former West Des Moines Dowling standout was named Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week on Monday, her 16th conference accolade this season, including 10 Freshman of the Week honors.
The Iowa women had lost two games in a row, and three of the last four, heading into the Nebraska contest.
So much like the Iowa men, which had lost four of five games before winning the last two games, Clark and her cohorts were under some pressure to win against Nebraska, and they delivered.
Clark’s 39 points against Nebraska, in addition to being career high, were the most points scored in Pinnacle Bank Arena — male or female.
Clark is the second freshman since the 2015-16 season to record seven 30-point games – the first was Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter during the 2017-18 season. Carter played 19 more games than the Hawkeyes have played this season.
Under normal circumstances, the 6-foot-6 Wieskamp would’ve almost certainly won the Hawk Fanatic weekly honor, which is now sponsored by Scheels.
But there is nothing normal about Caitlin Clark.
She made some 3-points shots from beyond 30 feet against Nebraska, and made it look easy.
So as good as Wieskamp was in the past two games, Clark was just a little better, and as a result, the recipient of this week’s honor.
Wieskamp was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the men on Monday, and deservedly so.
But Hawk Fanatic only picks one student-athlete per week, and doesn’t separate the men and women into two groups.
That makes it even harder, and more challenging, to pick a winner each week.
We appreciate the support from Scheels and look forward to picking a Hawkeye Athlete of the Week throughout the sports calendar year.
It also is worth noting that the Iowa wrestling team is in the midst of two-week pause due to COVID-19 health concerns.
Once the top-ranked Iowa wrestling team returns to action, picking an Athlete of the Week will become that much tougher with a field of candidates that will include two-time 125-pound NCAA national champion Spencer Lee.
And don’t forget about Iowa All-America center Luka Garza. He stuffs the stat sheet much like Clark does on a regular basis.
Iowa freshman sprinter Austin Kresley was the recipient of last week’s honor after winning two events at a meet in Lincoln, Neb.