Men's basketball searching for new sharpshooter


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It’s all about being more assertive for Josh Oglesby.

In the wake of former Hawkeye Matt Gatens’ graduation, the Iowa basketball team is in need of a new sniper from the perimeter. Sophomore Josh Oglesby is a strong candidate to step into that role.
In fact, Devyn Marble said the sophomore “might shoot better than Matt.”

Oglesby hit three or more 3-pointers in five games last season and shot 68 percent behind the arc in those games. But head coach Fran McCaffery said he needs Oglesby to take the shot more often and be a little less selfless than he was last year.

“He’s an interesting player in that sense because, as much as he’s a great shooter, he really likes to pass,” McCaffery said. “He gives the ball up a lot. He gives it up easy. We need him to be a little more aggressive with his thinking.”

Oglesby said it was hard to be aggressive last season. A lack of familiarity with the team and feeling uncomfortable being aggressive among older players kept him from taking more shots.

He also was quick to get down on himself if he missed his first couple shots, especially because he was playing with a new team, he said. That wasn’t new for Oglesby; he said he felt the same way as a freshman and sophomore at Washington High.

That feeling went away as he matured and embraced his role with the Warriors.

“When I was a junior and senior, I knew that I had to score,” Oglesby said. “I and Wes [Washpun, who now plays at Northern Iowa] knew that. And now, being a freshman last year, it was difficult. But I think I’ve gotten a lot better with it.”

McCaffery said Oglesby still needs the occasional prod to pull the trigger in practice. And the sophomore responds to his coach’s prompts.

“Two weeks ago now, we ripped his face off because he kept turning shots down,” McCaffery said. “We were tired of looking at it. He’s a funny kid. You have to love him. He gets this funny look on his face, then made the next eight [3-pointers] in a row.”

Junior Marble said Oglesby has to get to the point where he feels comfortable taking shots, and he didn’t hold back in his praise for Oglesby’s potential.

“He might shoot better than Matt, to be honest,” Marble said. “The kid doesn’t miss too often in practice when he does shoot, and that’s why we’re all trying to get him to shoot.  It’s just a mental thing. He just has to get to the point where he realizes he’s one of the best shooters in the country.”

Oglesby’s ability to string baskets together impresses his coaches and teammates, but McCaffery said he has plenty of players who can hit the deep ball. He’s looking for the one who can nail them when it really counts.

“Anytime you have a guy that made them when [Gatens] did, that’s two different things,” he said. “Making a 3 and making a 3 when they’re in your face and it’s 67-66 and there’s 1:10 to go. [Gatens] drilled them in those situations. Somebody’s got to be that guy.”

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