By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – With all of the attention on Iowa’s search for an experienced post player in the transfer portal, it’s easy overlook, or to forget about Josh Ogundele.
But from a height standpoint, he is just what Iowa needs as a 6-foot-10 post player.
Ogundele’s problem is that he has very little playing experience after having played sparingly this past season as a true freshman.
His freshman season started under difficult circumstances as Ogundele arrived late last summer from his home in London, England. He then battled with health issues and with a lack of conditioning, and fell behind because of it.
Iowa didn’t need Ogundele to contribute this past season with Luka Garza dominating in the post. But the circumstances have changed considerably.
Garza has moved on as the most decorated player in program history, while 6-11 forward Jack Nunge has announced that he will transfer to Xavier after having been in the Iowa program for the past four seasons.
There are big-time minutes available in the post and Ogundele will certainly have a chance to prove that he deserves playing time.
“I don’t know if anyone realizes just how difficult a time he had at the beginning,” Fran McCaffery said of Ogundele. “You forget everything hit him at once, and then he’s trying to catch up at this level, which was really hard to do.
“But he did get to go against Luka every day in practice. He got to kind of figure it out and sit there and watch what competing in the Big Ten is like.”
Due to his physical ailments, Ogundele wasn’t able to workout at times and that hurt him from a conditioning standpoint.
So getting in shape is a priority for the 285-pound Ogundele during the offseason.
“He’s working hard on his body because he’s got to get a little bit leaner,” McCaffery said. “When he does, you’ll see that athletic power that he has come back. You see it a little bit now, but he’ll be able to sustain it more in terms of stamina.
“He’s got some skills, and he’s a character guy who’s really working hard, and I’m excited to see where he ends up.”
Fran McCaffery said Wednesday that Iowa is looking to add an experienced post player from the transfer portal, to go along with Ogundele and with 6-11 incoming recruit Riley Mulvey, who recently reclassified to the 2021 class in order to play for Iowa next season.
NCAA rules prohibit McCaffery from commenting specifically about Mulvey’s decision to reclassify to the 2021 class.
Fredrick avoids surgery: Sophomore guard C.J. Fredrick played with pain for much of last season due to what was described as a lower leg injury.
But the undisclosed injury will not require surgery, according to Fran McCaffery.
“He shut it down since the season ended; he’s about a week away from being back on the floor,” McCaffery said. “He’s chomping at the bit. So he’ll jump into workouts next week.
“And, hopefully, he’ll stay healthy.”
The 6-3 Fredrick still made honorable mention All-Big Ten this past season despite the injury, which caused him to miss four games.
He started 27 games and ranked fourth on the team in scoring with a 7.5 per-game average.
Fredrick’s 47.3 shooting percentage from 3-point range is also the second highest percentage by a sophomore in program history.