Iowa signed two point guards in their 2012 recruiting class, Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons. They haven't signed a high school point guard since that class, adding only JUCO transfer Trey Dickerson in the 2014. Dickerson played a handful of games early in the season last year, then transferred out of Iowa. Most observers (us included) expected Iowa to add a point guard prospect in their 2015 recruiting class, but despite welcoming six new faces (five high schoolers and another JUCO transfer), none of them were true point guards. The closest thing to a point guard was probably Christian Willams, a combo guard Iowa added late in the 2015 recruiting cycle.
So entering 2015-16, with two senior point guards on the roster (Gesell and Clemmons) and no sure options behind them, we knew that point guard figured to be a big priority for Iowa in their 2016 recruiting class. And now Iowa has their point guard in the '16 class -- or at least a point guard. Linn-Mar prep Jordan Bohannon gave his verbal commitment to Iowa on Friday, soon after Fran McCaffery made him an official offer.
I am extremely blessed & excited to announce that I have committed to play basketball at the University of Iowa. #HawkeyeNation
— Jordan Bohannon (@JordanBo2323) August 28, 2015
And, yes, in case you weren't sure, Jordan is one of "those" Bohannons. His father, Gordy, was Iowa's quarterback when Iowa made its first of three Rose Bowl appearances under Hayden Fry (in 1981). His three older brothers have all played Division I college basketball -- and Iowa fans have been very aware of all of them, despite none of them suiting up in black and gold. The oldest, Jason, played for Wisconsin from 2006 to 2010 and ranks in the Badgers' top five all time for three pointers made and attempted. (He's also top ten in minutes played.) Another older brother, Zach, began his career at Air Force, but ended up transferring to Wisconsin. And the third older brother,
Jason Matt, is a current senior for UNI. He's already top five all-time for the Panthers in three pointers made and attempted. If nothing else, Iowa fans can rest easy that this is one Bohannan who won't come back to haunt the Hawkeyes in a game down the road.
The skill sets of Jordan Bohannon's older brothers (THREES, IF YOU PLEASE) also point to his greatest asset: Bohannon averaged 17.8 ppg as a junior and shot 45% from the floor, with 60% of his shots coming from three-point range (he converted 42% of those attempts). For an Iowa team that's struggled for consistent outside shooting for what seems like ages, adding another dead-eye shooter from deep is a welcome development. Bohannon is also very good at the charity stripe, making 94% of his free throws last year. That could be a very welcome tool in close games.
That said, it would be disingenuous to suggest that Bohannon was Iowa's first choice at point guard. They've offered a bushel of point guards in this class, including some highly-touted prospects like ESPN 100 member Charlie Moore out of Chicago. Moore hasn't yet announced his college destination, but you certainly wonder if Iowa didn't feel good about their odds of landing him and that's why they extended this offer to Bohannon (it's not like they hadn't been aware of him for a while -- he plays just up the road in Linn-Mar). There was no question that Iowa needed to add a PG in this class -- Bohannon's commitment should assure them of filling that hole. Bohannon is a bit of a late bloomer in the eyes of the recruitniks -- neither ESPN, nor Rivals, nor 247 have ranked him yet. But he had been starting to generate some more interest and it's entirely possible that Iowa didn't want to get caught with their pants around their ankles, Bohannon committed to UNI, and no real point guard prospects in the fold.
Bohannon's shooting skills are on full display in those clips and he has a pretty nice-looking stroke -- it looks quick and pretty efficient, which is nice to see. But a shoot-first point guard hasn't really been part of Iowa's M.O. under Fran, minus Devyn Marble's senior season. Is he quick enough to penetrate into the lane? How well can he distribute? It's hard to say (although he does fling a few very nice assists in those clips, if nothing else). Under Fran, Iowa has seemingly been looking for a quick point guard that can break defenses down, get into the lane, and create easy scoring opportunities for teammates. It doesn't really look like Bohannon is that type of point guard.
That said, if his shooting can hold up in college, he could create opportunities for Iowa in other ways. Gesell's three-point shooting has been poor (he's a 30% shooter from deep in his Iowa career, including just 27% last year), which has made it easy for defenses to sag off him -- teams don't fear him hurting them from deep. If Bohannon can make defenses play more honestly, it could free up some space for the rest of Iowa's offense to operate.
Bohannon may not be the slam dunk commit we might have hoped to see Iowa land at PG, but he's very much in keeping with the sort of recruits that Fran has landed time and again at Iowa -- hard-working, coachable kids with some good skills who are a bit under the radar, recruiting-wise. His track record at developing guys like that into productive players at Iowa is pretty good, too, so which bodes well for Bohannon. Bohannon's commitment also continues the curious in-state trend of Iowa's 2016 recruiting class:
In case you don't speak Twitter handle, that would be referring to all three of Iowa's 2016 recruits: Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener, and Jordan Bohannon. Iowa hasn't added a single in-class prospect since Peter Jok in 2013 and in fact prior to this year, Fran had only signed four in-state prospects, period, at Iowa -- Jok, Adam Woodbury (2012), Josh Oglesby (2011), and Zach McCabe (2010). (Jarrod Uthoff was, of course, a transfer and Mike Gesell is technically from just across the river in Nebraska.) Iowa also has verbal commits from three of the top in-state prospects in upcoming years, Connor McCaffery (2017), Joe Weiskamp (2018), and Patrick McCaffery (2019), so there's no doubt that Fran & Co. are doing an impressive job of locking down the state.
Three in-state recruits in one year is certainly out of the ordinary -- Rivals' recruiting database goes back to 2002 and I couldn't find another Iowa class in that span that included three kids from the state of Iowa -- although I suspect it speaks more to the Iowa coaches' perception of the quality of the in-state kids in this class than anything else. They haven't been shy about going out of state to grab players, so if they're adding so many in-state guys, it's because they genuinely like them. Pemsl was a guy they identified early on, Kriener is a prospect who began emerging as a real find after a breakout summer, and Bohannon is another guy with rising stock (and the fact that he happens to play a position of considerable need doesn't hurt matters, either). In any event, welcome aboard, Mr. Bohannon -- it will be nice to finally get to cheer for that surname again.