This one stings.
Overall it was a fun game to watch (with a great crowd on hand), but nevertheless a difficult way to end a season not lacking in highs and lows—and a tough way for Peter Jok’s career to come to a close.
Speaking of, I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say: Peter Jok, thank you for all of your accomplishments in a Hawkeye uniform and godspeed.
The Hawks got out to a fast start (at least offensively), building an 11-4 lead before three minutes had ticked off the scoreboard. Unfortunately for Iowa, though, the flaws that have plagued this team consistently this season flared up again; namely in the form of poor defense and an excess of turnovers (oh and terrible free throw shooting, but more on that shortly).
The Horned Frogs were able to exploit lackluster defense on the part of the Hawkeyes all game, managing to connect on 51% of their shots and 10 three-pointers. It was a sight not all that dissimilar from Iowa’s showing in the Big Ten Tournament versus Indiana, at least on that end of the court.
That sieve-like defense might have been enough to win had the Hawkeyes been able to make free throws.
In case you missed it on account of your eyes bleeding, Iowa finished 8-19 from the charity stripe, most of which came in the second half. Simply put: that’s a tough stat to overcome, especially when the lion’s share of those misses came in crunch time.
But that’s enough frustrating stuff, I’d prefer to look back on this game and season fondly, yeah?
It was a fitting game for Jok to end his career with, considering for a large segment (ha) of the game he just couldn’t miss. He ended with 22 points and a career badass card, to be redeemed at any point in the future.
Oh and there was this Jordan Bohannon guy, you may have heard of him? Good ol’ BOCANNON dropped 25 points and 13 assists and single-handedly gave every Hawkeye fan a reason to be exceedingly excited about the future of this team. Good looks JoBo.
Speaking of the future, Tyler Cook was effective on the block throughout. Yeah, the 7 turnovers weren’t great, but 16 points on 7-7 shooting makes up for that in a big way. Either way, Cook’s ability to post up and score inside consistently (see: game tying shot with 6 seconds left in regulation) will be huge going forward.
So there you have it: the 2016-17 basketball season is in the books.
It was a frequently frustrating, often exciting several months of hoopyball. Ultimately, though, it left me with one big takeaway:
The future is bright in Iowa City.