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Fran Speaks: The Opener

What’s the ball coach got to say?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Iowa vs Tennessee Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Well well well, were’ just over 24 hours away from the start of 2019-2020 men’s basketball season. A season that’s full of questions! Iowa is replacing at least two starters on the floor with the departures of Tyler Cook and Isaiah Moss, and may have to fill in a third spot pending Jordan Bohannon’s status this year.

So Fran McCaffery, heading into his tenth season at Iowa. I’d say there’s medium expectations despite Iowa’s winning a tournament a year ago. But I’d be lying if I said I’d be somewhat disappointed if Iowa weren’t to make it to the second weekend of the dance for the first time under Fran, all things considered.

To get a couple things out of the way: Ryan Kriener is fine after sustaining an ankle injury in the exhibition on Monday, Fran says he doesn’t treat his sons any differently and Fran said he’d take a “couple more” signees in the upcoming recruiting class.

On to the news! First up we get the Bohannon questions out of the way.

Q. Fran, what’s a reasonable workload for Jordan for games these days, 15, 20 minutes?

Might be a little bit more. We’ll see how he’s doing that week, how he’s doing that particular day.

Q. Is he more of a wing guy in your mind now?

Not necessarily, no. I feel very comfortable with him with the ball, and I think he needs to be utilized in both ways. That makes him harder to guard.

Q. Have you made any decisions on redshirts?


Every year Fran is getting more and more like Kirk. There might’ve been a snort in there.

Bakari Evelyn could be an interesting wrinkle in the story of Iowa basketball this year:

Q. A quiet night for Bakari the other night. What have you seen out of him?

He’s been really good. He’s been a good player for us, incredibly versatile, understands things. He’s a new guy, but he’s not a young guy. He kind of knows where to be, does things instinctively on defense. He’s a really good passer and a really good shooter. He didn’t shoot a ton the other night.

Q. Is he more of a 2 in your mind, not a 1?

He’s both, equally.

Uh huh.

Q. What do you tell a freshman going into their first college action going into the game? Do you give them a piece of advice or do you just let them

We take a very businesslike approach to games, and we try to keep it consistent so that it’s not something that you’re highlighting to make them think -- we don’t want them to overthink it. Just want them to, hey, guys, here’s the scouting report information, you have to process it and understand it. These are the things we think we’re going to be able to do on offense, these are the things we think we’re going to be able to do on defense. Stay true to that and then don’t try to overpenetrate. Don’t try to get out of who you are and go make a play that’s not there because that’s when the mistakes come.

I thought Joe went in a couple times, maybe ill-advised but that’s kind of who he is. He was really good with that. I want him getting in the paint. I want him attacking the paint because when he does, he typically finds people, either at the front of the rim or shooters around, and he’s also a good finisher for a guy who’s not that big. So I would prefer to see him driving the ball.

There was surprisingly little Joe Wieskamp chatter this presser.