Jack Nunge is not exactly a guy I expected to be on this list when the season began, but here we are.
The 6’11” power forward played in 33 games last season as a true freshman, starting 14 of them and averaging 15.7 minutes per game. He also happened to be the team’s fifth-leading scorer with 5.7 points and brought in 2.8 rebounds per game as well.
However, with the arrival of Joe Wieskamp and the emergence of Ryan Kriener as the first big man off the bench, there wasn’t much room for the former three-star recruit to get significant minutes with the Iowa basketball team this season.
So when he made the announcement that he would be redshirting, it was seen as an opportunity to spread out some of the talent and provide more playing time for Nunge in the future.
He had this to say with the announcement (courtesy of The Gazette):
"After discussing with my family and coaching staff I have decided to redshirt this season. This decision is not related to an injury, but rather I would like to take the opportunity to use this year to grow my skill set and get stronger. We have an incredibly deep team and I look forward to helping make my teammates and myself better in practice this season."
Now, the power forward returns to a still crowded frontcourt, but he happens to return with a more developed skill set. It’s one that makes Fran McCaffery giddy about the redshirt sophomore’s potential.
In his end of year press conference, Fran had this to say about Nunge.
"Jack Nunge, 6-11, 250. He’s playing the best basketball of his career. He’s been dominant in practice."
The Iowa basketball team is one of the tallest teams in the nation. Adding the athletic big man will only increase that strength for the Hawks.