Iowa point guard Mike Gesell hasn’t looked like himself the first couple of games this year for the Iowa Hawkeye Men’s Basketball Team. Gesell, who is now a sophomore, had a positive impact on a rising Iowa team last year as a freshman..
Gesell averaged 25 minutes a game last year and looked like a confident basketball player during that time. He was taking about 8 shots a game and averaging around 9 points and 3 assists per game last year.
Through these first two games Gesell’s production has dropped a little bit. In the game against UNC-Wilmington Gesell played 15 minutes, had 3 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals. It wasn’t unusual for his minutes to be down in that game due to the blowout, but what was interesting was last Sunday against a pesky Nebraska-Omaha team.
Gesell played just 14 minutes in that game and didn’t even attempt a shot. He finished the game with 1 point, 1 assist, and 2 turnovers. When asked if he was okay, Coach Fran McCaffery said, “He’s okay. I think his confidence, he’s struggling a little bit with that.”
He doesn’t appear to be nagged by an injury as you watch him play, but as you do watch him, he doesn’t look like the same confident player we saw last year. Fellow point guard Anthony Clemmons and Gesell seemed to have switched roles in these first two games. Clemmons’ confidence appears to be through the roof while Gesell’s is down a little.
The one major thing I have noticed with Gesell is he isn’t taking that pump-one dribble-pull up we saw him use so often last year. I have seen the pump-one dribble, but he has been passing on the shot. “He was clearly tenative” said Coach McCaffery after the Omaha game on Sunday.
Obviously it’s only been two games so it’s a little early for speculation, but I wouldn’t expect Mike Gesell to struggle like this for much longer. He is too talented to remain in this rut. I fully expect Coach McCaffery to get all this ironed out with Gesell.
The next shot to see Mike Gesell and the Hawkeyes is Thursday, November 14th at home against Maryland-Eastern Shore. The game is set to start at 6 p.m. CT.