clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Iowa Basketball Positional Preview: The Point

New, 3 comments

Iowa returns Jordan Bohannon and ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Iowa Basketball positional previews! We’ll wind through the point, the wing, and the post to take a look at who returns and what we think they can do for the Hawkeyes in 2017-18!

2016-17 Positional Recap

This time last year, Iowa was facing a void at point guard as Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons both graduated. On the back of a strong defensive performances to close the season, Christian Williams entered as the presumptive starter. After a rocky six games to begin the season, Fran McCaffery switch to Jordan Bohannon who immediately stole the starting spot (and hearts of Hawkeye fans) for the remainder of 2016-17 and into the indefinite future.

As the season closed, Bohannon put a bow on the best individual offensive season from the PG position since Devyn Marble’s senior year and one could argue - it would be a silly argument - Baby Bo’s season was better. He finished with a line of 10.9 points and 5.1 assist per game while shooting 41.6% from three. Christian Williams tallied 2.4 points, 1.6 assists, and 0.8 steals per game in 12.7 minutes.

Starter

Jordan Bohannon, 3 (SO)
6’0”, 180 lbs, Marion, IA (Linn-Mar)

Simply put, Bohannon put the Big Ten on notice with his impressive freshman season. He set Iowa freshman records for assists and three pointers and carries a chip on his shoulder. It resulted in a place on the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team.

KenPom high water mark: Against Michigan, JoBo went 6-8 (3-5 from three) had six assists and zero turnovers, amassing an Offensive Rating of 205. It should be noted that KenPom offensive rating does not account for cajones, otherwise:

OH YEAH, THAT’S THE STUFF

KenPom low water mark: Bohannon went 0-8 against Michigan State with one assist and posted an offensive rating of 6.

Reasonable Best Case Scenario: Jordan Bohannon builds on his freshman year and maintains his efficiency from outside and improves his two-point shooting with a modest increase in scoring workload. He grows into a top 50 KenPom player for assist rate (30.4% of teammates’ shots were a result of a Bohannon assist, good for 62nd in the country) while cutting down on turnovers (21.1% of Bohannon’s possessions ended in a turnover). He remains a secondary scorer but a constant threat whenever he crosses the half-court stripe. His defense improves.

Reasonable Worst Case Scenario: As teams key on Bohannon heavily, he suffers in all areas of his offensive game, namely shot-making and turnovers. Offense becomes a chore as Gesell-like dribbling at the top of the key stagnates Fran’s motion offense. He remains a defensive liability and teams are able to generate significant offense through their point guards.

Per Game Prediction: 28 minutes, 13 points, 5.5 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers

Backups

Christian Williams, 10 (JR)
6’5”, 200 lbs, Decatur, IL (St. Teresa)

Brady Ellingson, 24 (RS JR)
6’4”, 196 lbs, Menomonee Falls, WI (Hamilton)

Maishe Dailey, 1 (SO)
6’7”, 195 lbs, Beachwood, OH (Beachwood)

While Williams took the bulk of backup point guard minutes last year, both Ellington and Dailey played spot minutes at both, with Dailey’s being primarily garbage time.

Reasonable Best Case Scenario: Williams, Ellingson, and/or Dailey all carve out roles behind Bohannon as backup point guards. Williams overcomes lingering back issues and solidifies as a change of pace option when Iowa rolls out defensive-oriented lineups. Ellingson, on the back of a great summer, is able to replicate Bohannon’s role when serving at the point and Iowa’s offense loses limited firepower. Fran is even able to slide Bohannon as the shooting guard in select minutes to reduce his ball handling duties.

Reasonable Worst Case Scenario: No one is able to fill the minutes when Bohannon sits on the bench, resulting in either a) a heavily fatigued JoBo who is forced to average well over 30 minutes a game or b) burning Connor McCaffery’s redshirt during his walk-on campaign.

Roster Fodder

Connor McCaffery (FR)
6’5”, 200 lbs, Iowa City, IA (West)

Austin Ash (FR)
6’2”, 160 lbs, Cedar Rapids, IA (Mount Vernon)

McCaffery has stated he will redshirt this year to focus on baseball. Austin Ash got buckets in high school.

Reasonable Best Case Scenario: The redshirts stay on if both choose to sit out this year. Or Austin Ash becomes Iowa’s human victory cigar.

Reasonable Worst Case Scenario: Either is forced into meaningful minutes this year.

Summary

Iowa is in great shape for the next three years with Bohannon manning the point. His lights out shooting provides an exciting dimension to an already potent offense and his game is well-suited for Fran’s style. If cream can rise to the top behind him, Iowa is well-positioned to be multi-faced at the position and adapt to multiple styles of play.

One more time, with Celine Dion.

Never gets old.