The Iowa Hawkeyes lost a lot of experience in the frontcourt, like a lot. It is a true reset for the program in regards to the big men, with zero returning contributors from last season.
Kris Murray is, of course, the massive loss over the offseason. After flirting with the NBA draft the year prior, the forward stuck around one more year in Iowa City where he would develop into a star. Kris was a first-team All-Big Ten member before being drafted 23rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2023 NBA draft.
Murray is not the only player in need of replacement, though. Center Filip Rebraca took a massive step forward in his super senior season for the Hawkeyes. The North Dakota transfer was a key cog in Fran McCaffery’s rotation and signed his first professional contract earlier in August. Iowa will also have to replace starting forward Connor McCaffery as well.
As you can see, there is a lot to replace this season for the Hawkeyes. The only potential returning member of the frontcourt was Josh Ogundele, but he transferred to Middle Tennessee State. The Hawkeyes hit the portal themselves in search of a key veteran piece. It appears they have found just that in Ben Krikke.
The forward was a breakout star for Valparaiso this past season, leading the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring. Now in his final year of collegiate play, Krikke looks to make an impact on a larger stage for the Hawkeyes. Here is a look at Ben Krikke.
Ben Krikke’s Player Profile
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Class in 2023: Sr
Four-star in 247Sports transfer rankings
No. 55 overall transfer
No. 4 power forward
Named to the All-MVC First Team in 2022-23
Led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring at 19.4 points per game overall and 21 ppg in conference play
MVC Most-Improved Team in 2022-23
Depth Chart Overview
Ben Krikke immediately projects to start for the Hawkeyes after transferring this offseason from Valparaiso. The graduate transfer earned first-team All-MVC honors last year, leading the conference in scoring.
It will be interesting to see where exactly Krikke will see the most playing time for the Hawkeyes. Surely he will gain a lot of the minutes at center left over by the departing Filip Rebraca. Don’t be surprised if Krikke plays a solid amount at the four as well.
Belmont transfer Even Brauns will factor in as will freshmen bigs Ladji Dembele and Owen Freeman. Iowa could also go smaller with either Payton Sandfort or Patrick McCaffery at the four.
Regardless of how any of the rest of it plays out, Krikke should be one of the leading minutes recipients on this roster.
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