Iowa basketball: Cordell Pemsl out for Hy-Vee Classic

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

Cordell Pemsl’s bizarre season continues.

The Iowa forward is out for Saturday’s Hy-Vee Classic game against Northern Iowa with leg discomfort, the school announced in a pregame tweet. Pemsl continues to battle a right knee issue, stemming from hardware in his knee from a previous surgery in high school.

Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl (35) looks to an official after getting called for a foul during a NCAA Cy-Hawk series men's basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

Iowa initially announced that Pemsl was out for the year on Nov. 27, but the 6-foot-8 junior unexpectedly returned last Thursday against Iowa State. Pemsl scored eight points in 16 minutes, showing signs that he could possibly contribute this season in some fashion.

His right knee, which contains a 4- to 6-inch metal plate and five screws, began feeling better. Even if Pemsl couldn’t practice full-go all the time, there was hope that surgery could be put on hold.

“We don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. I could keep feeling better,” Pemsl told the Register last Friday. “But there’s always been some days I feel OK. There’s some days I can hardly walk, I’m in so much pain.

“That’s where I was at for a few weeks and that’s when we came to the decision to get (the plate and screws) out. But then I started to feel OK. It’s frustrating.”

Unfortunately for Pemsl, he wasn’t in the clear after Cy-Hawk. It remains to be see what his future is this season. Pemsl can play in any number of games before Iowa's Jan. 9 game at Northwestern and still qualify for a medical redshirt.  

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.