By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – One of the worst kept secrets in Iowa City became official on Monday when Iowa point guard Jordan Bohannon announced that he would have surgery on his other hip and not play again this season.
“It has been an incredibly difficult last six-to-nine months dealing with what I’ve had to go through,” Bohannon said in a release. “The unwavering support from Hawkeye nation, team, coaches, friends and family has meant the world to me.
“I’m looking forward to finally being 100 percent and will be doing everything I can to help this team out from the sidelines the rest of the season.”
Bohannon’s decision came as no surprise as I was told by a very reliable source more than three weeks ago that he planned to shut it down after playing in the Iowa State game in order to have surgery on his other hip, which in this case is his left hip.
Bohannon had surgery on his right hip in late May and was expected to need about five to nine months to recover.
But he was healthy enough to have appeared in 10 of Iowa’s first games 11 games this season, and he showed flashes of his old self at times.
But it never felt like Bohannon was in it for the long haul this season.
And now, there finally is some clarity with his decision.
"I could not have more respect for Jordan and the way he has fought to get back on the court for this team," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said in a release. "Ultimately, I want what is best for Jordan, knowing that he will work even harder following Thursday's procedure."
Bohannon could play in 10 games during the first semester and still be eligible for a medical redshirt.
There was some hope that Bohannon might choose to play all of this season with Iowa having exceeded expectations with an 8-3 record that includes victories over Texas Tech, Syracuse and Iowa State.
Bohannon even addressed that possibility after the Iowa State game this past Thursday, but he also admitted to being sore and to wanting to play a full season with no health issues.
He will have the opportunity to do that next season, assuming there are no setbacks with the second medical procedure.
Bohannon’s absence now means that Iowa is without one of the greatest clutch shooters in program history.
The former Linn-Mar star already holds the Iowa record for most 3-point baskets made with 282, and has a chance to break Jon Diebler’s Big Ten record of 374 treys.
The 10 games that Bohannon played in this season could ultimately prove to be difference in him breaking the Big Ten record because they were almost like bonus games.
He also played significant minutes in the 10 games, so there will be an adjustment without him.
Bohannon reportedly hasn’t practiced much at all this season, and that should have allowed for the players and coaches to deal with his absence.
Iowa still has decent 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. Sophomore Joe Wieskamp is also capable of playing in the backcourt.
What Iowa doesn’t have without Bohannon, though, is a proven shot maker with the game on the line.
Wieskamp or one of the other guards could prove capable of filling that important role, but only time and performance will tell.
The good news is that Iowa has one of the top centers in the country in junior Luka Garza, who leads the Big Ten in scoring. Iowa also some extended time to prepare for its next game with this being finals week. So that should help the players adjust to life without Bohannon.
The first test will come on Saturday when Iowa faces Cincinnati at the United Center in Chicago.
Should the game come down to the final seconds and with Iowa needing somebody to make a key basket, it’ll be interesting to see how Fran McCaffery and the players handle it without their best shooter.
Bohannon is also considered one of the team’s top leaders and has been the face of Iowa basketball since he joined the program in 2016.
He and senior forward Ryan Kriener have been roommates throughout college and are now best friends.
So this decision had to come with mixed emotions.
But it hardly came as a surprise.