IOWA CITY — Former Muscatine High School basketball star Joe Wieskamp is following the trend established by other outstanding college prospects and will go through the NBA draft process this spring.
The University of Iowa confirmed that Wieskamp has entered his name into the draft pool after an excellent freshman season with the Hawkeyes.
He will not hire an agent. Players can go through the draft process and still return to college for the following season as long as they withdraw their names by May 29.
“My dream has always been to play in the NBA,” Wieskamp said. “I want to do everything that I can to turn that dream into a reality whenever that may be. I am excited to gain feedback and learn from this process.”
Iowa had two players go through the NBA draft process last year, but both Tyler Cook and Isaiah Moss opted to return to Iowa for another season.
There have been reports based on unnamed sources that Cook is planning to enter the draft again this spring with the intention of staying in it this time, but those reports have not been confirmed by Cook or the university.
The 6-foot-6 Wieskamp was Iowa’s No. 4 scorer at 11.1 points per game last season and was second on the team in rebounding at 4.9 per game. He also was third on the team in steals.
He ranked second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals accuracy (42.4 percent) and was a key contributor in the Hawkeyes’ bounce-back season, helping them get to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2016.
He was voted to the All-Big Ten freshman team last season and was twice named Big Ten freshman of the week. He hit a game-winning 3-pointer to beat Rutgers on Feb. 16 and tied a school record by making all six of his 3-point attempts in a Jan. 20 victory over Illinois.
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said he fully supports Wieskamp’s decision.
“This rule is a positive one for those in pursuit of their professional dreams,’’ McCaffery said. “We have had players in the past go through the process, all of whom found it beneficial in gathering information through workouts and interviews from NBA personnel. We will assist Joe throughout the process.”
A total of 19 Big Ten players entered the NBA draft pool last year and 10 of them opted to return to college.
At least 10 Big Ten players already have announced plans to go through the draft process this season, including Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards, Indiana’s Romeo Langford, Minnesota’s Amir Coffey, Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson, Penn State’s Lamar Stevens and Michigan’s Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole and Ignas Brazdeikis.
Two Iowa State players — Lindell Wiggington and Talen Horton-Tucker — also have filed for early entry into the draft.