By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – A while back, I spoke with Bobby Hansen about Joe Wieskamp’s chance of making an NBA roster next season, and what Hansen said now makes a lot of sense.
Hansen made it abundantly clear during the interview, which aired on KCJJ radio shortly after the end of the college basketball season, that he felt that the 6-foot-6 Wieskamp would be on an NBA roster next season if he stayed in the two-round draft.
This wasn’t just Hansen being nice because of his role as Iowa’s radio color analyst for men’s basketball. Hansen spoke with conviction about Wieskamp having what it takes to make an NBA roster.
I wasn’t a big believer at the time, but my opinion started to change after listening to Hansen explain why Wieskamp had a very good chance of making an NBA roster.
Hansen’s opinion in this case carries a lot of weight because he played shooting guard in the NBA for nearly a decade after having had a standout career at Iowa from 1979-83.
Hansen also stood about 6-6 as an NBA player, and while his game was different than Wieskamp’s game, to hear a former NBA shooting guard speak so highly about a possible future NBA shooting guard made a strong impression.
I thought of the interview after watching Wieskamp score 26 points and grab 10 rebounds during a scrimmage at the NBA combine on Friday in Chicago.
From his quick release to his ability to make 3-point shots and rebound in traffic, Wieskamp looked like an NBA shooting guard during Friday’s scrimmage.
Wieskamp also has tested well at the combine, including having a 42-inch vertical leap and just 4.1 body fat. The Muscatine native appears to be in the best shape of his life at the right time.
Hansen listed a number of factors when explaining why he felt that Wieskamp would make an NBA roster. Two of the biggest factors were Wieskamp’s size and his ability to make 3-point shots.
Hansen also pointed out that it only takes one team to like a player.
And with the way in which Wieskamp has played and tested at the combine this week, he almost certainly has caught the attention of at least one NBA team, but probably more than that.
The challenge for Wieskamp heading into the combine was to seize the moment by rising to the occasion.
It isn’t easy standing out at the combine because every player is in the same position of trying to help their cause, and every player is pretty good or they wouldn’t be there.
But Wieskamp stood out on Friday, and now it seems pretty clear that his days as a Hawkeye are over, and have been for a while.
The only downside to Wieskamp playing well at the combine is that now it would make even less sense for him to return to Iowa for his senior season.
Wieskamp has tested the NBA draft process in two of the last three years and also has graduated from Iowa and recently become engaged.
Wieskamp is ready for the next level, both on and off the court.
So much of what Hansen said about Wieskamp on the radio nearly three months ago now makes perfect sense.