McCaffery's freshmen ready for first test


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Josh Oglesby is shooting well. Gabe Olaseni is blocking shots left and right. Aaron White is showing his versatility.

As one of the more touted Iowa recruiting classes in recent history, Oglesby, Olaseni, and White have received much praise from teammates and coaches through the first several weeks of practice.
Fans will see if the three can live up to the hype for the first time on Nov. 6, when the Hawkeyes play Northwest Missouri State in an exhibition game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tip-off is set for 3:35 p.m. It will be the first-ever meeting between the schools.

While it appears none of the three freshmen will start Sunday — a release said the "tentative" starters will be Bryce Cartwright, Matt Gatens, Eric May, Melsahn Basabe, and Devon Archie — they should all see significant playing time.

"They've done what I thought they would do," Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of the freshmen trio. "And what I thought they would do is a lot."

Olaseni and White in particular could see the floor more than usual because of an injury to Andrew Brommer. The senior center has been out since mid-October with a sprained MCL in his right knee. McCaffery said during a teleconference on Thursday that Brommer would be out at least another week, but realistically, he would probably return in two weeks — the Minnesota native hasn't even started running yet.

"[Olaseni has been] far and away the leading rebounder on this team from the first day of practice," McCaffery said. "The bottom line is, in this league, you need big guys who can get in there and rebound and affect the game in the post. He's ready to help us."

White is back after missing time because of two sprained ligaments in his right hand, an injury that occurred during the first official practice. He said he had a splint removed on Oct. 31, and all he does now is tape the thumb before practices.

The 6-8 forward could see playing time at a number of positions on Sunday. White said he's practiced at both small and power forward, and he subbed for the 6-9 Archie in a recent scrimmage.

Oglesby is a shooting guard from Cedar Rapids Washington whose shooting has caught the attention of McCaffery. The second-year Iowa coach has been so impressed that he said, "Josh has shot the ball as well as anybody I've ever coached," on Wednesday; McCaffery has coached for 16 years.

Senior guard Bryce Cartwright had similar positive comments about the three freshmen on Wednesday.

"Josh has been shooting it real well," he said. "Aaron is obviously versatile — he gives us a dynamic on the wing and inside. Gabe has just been blocking everything and giving us energy. They can be impact players for us."

The three should provide quality depth off the bench, something the Hawkeyes haven't always had over the past couple seasons.

McCaffery wouldn't say how much the freshmen — especially Oglesby and White — will be involved on Sunday, just that they'll definitely be on the court.

"You always hope that your freshmen you anticipate being like this are like this," he said. "Sometimes they're not, but [the three] have been — so they're going to play a lot, and that's because they deserve to play a lot."

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