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Cordell Pemsl announces intent to transfer from Iowa basketball program

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

A tumultuous year for Cordell Pemsl will end with his transfer from the Iowa basketball program.

The fourth-year junior from Dubuque announced through the university that he will seek to use his final year of eligibility at another school. Coach Fran McCaffery said that Pemsl is on track to graduate, which means he would be immediately eligible at his next destination.

“I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and fans for a memorable four years at the University of Iowa,” Pemsl said in a statement. “I am grateful for the support Hawkeye Nation has shown me through many difficult times. With that being said, I am going to finish my degree and plan on completing my final year of eligibility at another school next season.”

A fan favorite during much of his time at Iowa, Pemsl’s best year wound up being his first. The 6-foot-9 forward exploded onto the scene as a freshman in the 2016-17 season, averaging 8.9 points a game and shooting 61.7% from the floor with an arsenal of old-school, crafty interior moves.

Cordell Pemsl was suspended twice in his fourth-year junior season from the Iowa basketball team and now will transfer.

Pemsl enjoyed 14 starts as a freshman but never started again. His production dipped to 5.7 points per game as a sophomore, then he only played two games as a junior before having season-ending knee surgery. He recovered that year of eligibility through a medical-hardship waiver, then got into off-court trouble twice — first with an OWI in September, then with driving on a suspended license during the season. He was suspended for a total of three games.

Pemsl averaged 2.8 points in 28 games this past season for the 20-11 Hawkeyes. A university spokesman told the Register that Pemsl stood by his statement and did not wish to conduct further interviews.

Pemsl’s departure balances Iowa’s scholarship ledger for the 2020-21 season. McCaffery would be at exactly 13 scholarship players if veteran stars Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp and Jordan Bohannon all decide to return. As always in college basketball, roster situations are fluid this time of year, and things can change quickly.

“He was a valuable teammate ... all while overcoming three major surgeries over the last six years," McCaffery said in a statement. "Cordell is beloved by Hawkeye Nation and he has my complete support in the coming months during this transition."