Wieskamp looking to take next step as vocal leader

With the Hawkeyes fielding a new team, sophomore Joe Wieskamp will be looked at as a key vocal leader.

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Wieskamp looking to take next step as vocal leader

Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp poses for a portrait during Basketball Media Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. The Hawkeyes will open their season on November 4, 2019 against Lindsey Wilson College in their exhibition game. (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp poses for a portrait during Basketball Media Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. The Hawkeyes will open their season on November 4, 2019 against Lindsey Wilson College in their exhibition game. (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Katina Zentz

Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp poses for a portrait during Basketball Media Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. The Hawkeyes will open their season on November 4, 2019 against Lindsey Wilson College in their exhibition game. (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp poses for a portrait during Basketball Media Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. The Hawkeyes will open their season on November 4, 2019 against Lindsey Wilson College in their exhibition game. (Katina Zentz/The Daily Iowan)

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

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Look up and down Iowa men’s basketball’s team photo with its new white uniforms with the gold stripe on the left side, and one thing becomes clear: this is a new Hawkeye team.

Gone are the days of Tyler Cook and Isaiah Moss, forcing others to step up in the leadership department.

A big part of that includes Joe Wieskamp.

As a freshman during the 2018-19 season, Wieskamp lived up to the hype that surrounded him when he entered the Hawkeye program, ranking fourth on the team with 11.1 points per game and second with 4.9 rebounds.

Now, Wieskamp will be looked at as a key piece in the leadership game.

“[Vocal leadership] has been a big emphasis for me all throughout the summer and into the fall,” Wieskamp said. “I think just saying I’m going to be a vocal leader is a little bit too broad, so one thing I’ve been working on every day is just setting goals for myself, whether that be saying something every time down the floor, saying something during a huddle.”

Expectations were high for Wieskamp entering last season, but they will be even higher this time around.

That’s what happens when a player ranks second in the Big Ten with a 42.4 percent clip from 3-point range and scores at least 15 points on 10 occasions.

Because of his success on the court, his leadership expectations will also grow off of it.

“I think Joe does need to be more vocal, he wants to be more vocal,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s always led by example with his work ethic and his productivity, but he has to understand that he has a voice that in the locker room, at crunch time, people are going to listen.

“As you become a veteran, the communication that you exhibit on the floor is also something everyone is going to listen to because they know you know what you’re talking about, and he’s got to be that guy, as well.”

After his impressive freshman campaign, Wieskamp decided to put his name into the NBA Draft to get feedback from team officials at the next level.

Following the decision to return for his sophomore season, Wieskamp found himself getting pushed to reach that level.

“Great experience for me just learning what it takes to be at that level,” Wieskamp said. “I think for the most part, it’s provided a lot of motivation for me this summer, realizing that that’s where I want to be one day and knowing that if I put the work in, that’s something I can get to.”

Although he hasn’t had a lot of time to incorporate changes, Wieskamp has put in the work over the summer. His teammates have already taken notice.

“Joe has taken leaps and bounds off his stellar freshman year, and that’s why he’s Preseason All-Big Ten,” Iowa forward Ryan Kriener said. “Last year, he was phenomenal. Just knock down shots, shot fake, drive it, finish at the hoop, rebound, defend. Now, it’s throw it to him, and he can isolate a guy, he can get you a really good look off the dribble, make a play off the bounce.”

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