By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – I feel very confident in saying that Jordan Bohannon will shut it down after playing against Iowa State on Thursday in order to be eligible for next season.
I’m not saying it as fact just yet, but the chance of him not shutting it down seems about as likely as Nebraska playing in the NCAA Final Four this season.
My hunch, or prediction, or gut feeling, or whatever you want to call it is based on what I heard from a reliable source almost three weeks ago who said that Bohannon planned to have surgery on his other hip in late December, and then take a redshirt.
I have since heard it from several other sources, as have some of my colleagues on the Iowa beat.
It hardly is a secret that Bohannon almost certainly will shut it down after the Iowa State game. It’s all over social media and on message boards.
Bohannon had hip surgery in late May, and now apparently, his other hip is giving him trouble to where it requires surgery, according to sources.
The television broadcasting crew for Iowa’s game at Michigan this past Friday even said during its broadcast that Bohannon’s other hip was now bothering him.
Bohannon was asked about his decision after Monday’s 72-52 victory over Minnesota and he called it still day-to-day, suggesting that he still hasn’t made a final determination.
That contradicts what I've been told, but I respect Bohannon’s right to say what he wants if he truly believes that keeping his decision secret for now is in his, and in his team’s, best interest.
It just has felt all season that Bohannon would ultimately shut it down.
It was established early on that he could play in up to 10 games without exhausting his eligibility for next season, and that seems to have been the plan since the beginning.
Thursday's game against Iowa State will be Iowa's 11th game this season, but remember, Bohannon didn't play against Cal Poly, so he's one behind his team and that sets up perfectly for him to face the Cyclones before shutting it down.
The senior point guard talked after Monday’s game about how tough it’ll be to not finish the season with fellow senior and best friend Ryan Kriener, should Bohannon choose to redshirt.
They were in the same recruiting class and have been roommates throughout college.
But Kriener won’t be around next season, so there would be an adjustment for Bohannon on the court, but more so off it.
“With Ryan Kriener being my best friend, it’s going to be tough if I do decide to shut it down for the season because he’s someone I came in with and now we’re really good friends and I’ve been his roommate for four years,” Bohannon said. “We’ve even talked about it. This is going to suck if I do decide that way.
“But like I said before I had my surgery in May that I wanted to get my body right and be happy for once. And whatever that is going to be, I’ve just been taking it day by day.”
Maybe I’m reading too much in to the last part of that comment, but Bohannon seems to be saying that he isn’t entirely healthy, and hasn’t been for a while, and he’s tired of it and wants to fix it.
The good news if Bohannon shuts it down is that Iowa has some depth in the backcourt with sophomore Connor McCaffery, redshirt freshman C.J. Fredrick, true freshman Joe Toussaint and graduate transfer Bakari Evelyn all part of the rotation.
The bad news is that Iowa will be losing one of the greatest clutch shooters in program history.
You’d be hard-pressed to find another college player who has made more game-changing, or game-winning 3-point baskets, than Bohannon.
He is also a reliable ball-handler and an underrated passer.
Bohannon didn’t score against Minnesota on Monday, but he compensated with 10 assists and no turnovers.
The lightning-quick Toussaint is likely to gain much of Bohannon’s playing time, and that would give Iowa a different look on both ends of the floor.
Toussaint still is suspect as a 3-point shooter, but his quickness is rare for an Iowa player in recent years.
Evelyn also should have more opportunities to contribute without Bohannon.
As for Fredrick, he already is starting and playing significant minutes, but his role should expand without Bohannon, especially when it comes to being asked to make pivotal 3-point shots.
Iowa has relied on Bohannon to fill that role, but Fredrick has shown signs this season that he also could do it.
Fredrick is also taller than Bohannon and has shown a willingness to take big perimeter shots.
But Bohannon has shown a willingness, and the ability to make big shots for over three seasons. It'll be weird, and probably uncomfortable at first, for the players, and for the coaches, to not have Bohannon available to take those clutch shots at the end of games.
By playing in 10 games this season, Bohannon also will have improved his chance of breaking the Big Ten’s record for career 3-point field goals made if he can stay healthy next season.
That is supposedly a record that Bohannon covets, and why wouldn’t he?
Bohannon has made a school-record 282 3-points baskets and is chasing Jon Diebler's Big Ten record of 374 treys, which he set at Ohio State from 2007-11.
Bohannon has made at least 79 3-point baskets in each of his first three seasons at Iowa, so Diebler's record would be well within reach with another full season to play.
It always is a big thing when Iowa and Iowa State square off in men’s hoops, but Thursday’s game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames will have even more drama because of Bohannon’s unusual situation.
It's uncertain if Bohannon will announce his decision immediately after the Iowa State game.
But if he doesn't, it's only delaying the inevitable.
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