Iowa men’s basketball center Riley Mulvey changing how he prepares

After completing his freshman season, the 6-foot-11 Mulvey recognized that he needed to put in more time in the gym to reach his goals.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa center Riley Mulvey speaks with assistant coach Courtney Eldridge during an Iowa men’s basketball practice at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

When Iowa men’s basketball center Riley Mulvey met with coaches after the 2021-22 season, Mulvey admitted his actions during freshman season didn’t live up to his expectations.

Mulvey said he wasn’t putting in enough work in the gym and on the court.

“I was only coming to practice and only staying after for a little bit if any at all,” Mulvey said at a June 21 media availability. “And then the only time I would get in the gym by myself was to go shoot and it wasn’t with a coach to get better at skills.”

Mulvey was one of the Hawkeyes’ last men off the bench in 2021-22, as he competed in 17 of the program’s 36 contests. Though the 6-foot-11 post player shot 50 percent from the field, he only attempted 12 shots. The Rotterdam, New York, product recorded 16 points while securing 15 rebounds during his first season in Iowa City.

The more Mulvey reflected on his first collegiate hoops season, the more he realized he should have taken his role more seriously.

Mulvey, who reclassified in order to start his college career a year early, said he’s grateful for the moments he did play because it showed him what it took to be successful.

“This year, I’m getting in with the coaches more, still getting in on my own, and hopefully going to be able to make it into the lineup next year,” Mulvey said.

RELATED: New Iowa men’s basketball assistant coach Matt Gatens comes ‘full circle’ in return to Iowa City

The rising sophomore is competing at the No. 5 position on the court. Without a true center, the Hawkeyes started 6-foot-9 North Dakota transfer Filip Rebraca at that spot last year.

The Hawkeyes attempted to fill the void at center via the transfer portal this offseason but came up empty. Rebraca has returned to Iowa City for his second season in the Black and Gold, while 6-foot-11 Josh Ogundele is back for his junior campaign after pulling his name from the transfer portal.

“I’ve seen big strides from Riley,” Rebraca said. “Even from the beginning of last year to the end of the season. He got a lot more physical and he’s using his body a lot better. I want to keep seeing those things and I want to see him keep shooting and be more aggressive on the offensive end.”

Last season, Rebraca was second on the team in rebounds with 5.6 per game but averaged just 5.8 points per contest. Ogundele saw action in 19 games and tallied 24 rebounds with 29 points.

Mulvey said he, Rebraca, and Ogundele are good friends away from the court but that it’s become more serious on the court after the season ended as they are all competing for a starting position.

Mulvey noted he’s learning more now from Rebraca heading into the 2022-23 season.

And there’s a possibility Rebraca and Mulvey step on the court at the same time next season.

“He can play the four and I’ll be able to play the five and the same thing with Kris [Murray] if I can actually cement myself as a strong five,” Mulvey said. “I’ll be able to play with both of them at different points in the game, which I have been doing while we’re playing pickup and it’s been working out pretty well.”

Facebook Comments