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Iowa's McCabe, Oglesby Put On Show In Thursday's PTL

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NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa Zach McCabe and Josh Oglesby often are paired in shooting drills because of their perimeter prowess.

Both put on a display Thursday night in their Prime Time League semifinal. McCabe knocked down five 3-pointers, but Oglesby hit six to pace his team to a 109-85 win.

Afterward, the Iowa teammates were asked who'd win in a 3-point shooting contest. Both claimed a fictional victory over the other.

"I'm making more of mine than I was before ... obviously Josh is killing it today," McCabe said. "I'd say if it was today, it would be him. Probably any other day it would be me. I think he should know that for sure."

Before Oglesby was asked the question, McCabe chimed in.

"Tell them who'd win?" McCabe said.

"What?" Oglesby replied.

"Tell them who'd win a 3-point contest?

"Me and Zach?" Oglesby asked rhetorically. "Me. ... I'm just kidding."

There's a healthy, competitive respect between the players who now are upperclassmen. McCabe, a senior, is the prototypical inside-outside swing forward. At 6-foot-7, he can bang inside, yet step out and hit a 3-pointer. Oglesby, a 6-foot-5 junior, is known for his outside touch. But that precision left him a year ago when he fell into a shooting slump that lasted most of the season.

Josh Oglesby. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
Oglesby since has worked on tweaking his game despite breaking his right pinkie finger in a May workout.

"I think the biggest thing is just getting my shot off quicker," he said. "Coming off screens ready to shoot. Last year I wasn't ready to come off a screen and shoot. I wasn't ready to shoot. I think the big thing this year is trying to get to the hole a little bit more and get a mid-range jumper and get to the free-throw line and kind of get into the flow the of the game besides shooting up a 3 right away. If I miss that, my confidence goes down."

Confidence is critical for a streak shooter, and Oglesby admits his waned last year. He often had good looks, but the shots didn't fall. At Wisconsin with the score tied and only 1 second remain, Oglesby had a perfect look. The ball was halfway through the rim before it rattled out.

That play was reminiscent of Oglesby's season. He shot only 27.4 percent from the floor and 26.9 percent from 3-point range. It shocked both Oglesby and his teammates because they had witnessed him nail eight, nine, sometimes 10 in a row in practice.

"Funny thing is when he's on, you kind of just know Coach (Fran) McCaffery thinks, 'Get Josh the ball,'" McCabe said. "He can just make whatever. That's how he is in practice."

But falling out of rhythm caused Oglesby to press. At times he was even paranoid.

"A lot of times I felt (the defender) was right behind me, but I still had time to get my shot off," Oglesby said.

For the rest of summer, Oglesby plans to keep getting stronger, shoot pullup jumpers off the dribble and build his confidence. Getting in a long-range shoot-off with a teammate like McCabe can only help to build upon that.

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