By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – On March 7, the Iowa men’s basketball team honored its four seniors just prior to tipoff of the regular-season finale against Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
But now two of those seniors have decided to return for another season.
First it was starting guard Jordan Bohannon, who announced earlier in the week that he would return for a sixth season in the program, and then reserve shooting Austin Ash announced Thursday evening that he also would return for a fifth season after having been in the NCAA transfer portal. Ash also will play next season on scholarship.
Ash posted a tweet in which he said “let’s run it back.” A video was also embedded in the tweet showing highlights of Ash’s career as a walk-on. Most of the highlights were of him making long-range 3-point baskets.
Ash never has cracked the rotation, but the 6-foot-3 Cedar Rapids native has made some wild 3-point shots, mostly in mop-up duty, but his range is quite impressive.
Ash is certainly not shy about his long-range shooting talent as she showed when asked during an in-season zoom conference who would win a 3-point shooting between he and Bohannon, who is Iowa’s all-time leader in 3-poiunt baskets with 364 in 143 games played.
Without hesitating, the 6-foot-3 Ash picked himself.
Ash and Bohannon both participated in the Senior Day ceremony before the Iowa’s final regular season game at Carver-Hawkeyes Arena, along All-America senior center Luka Garza and senior walk-on forward Michael Baer.
Bohannon hopes to better utilize his 3-point shooting prowess by switching from point guard to shooting guard.
Creating a spot for sophomore point guard Joe Toussaint is also be part of Bohannon’s motivation to switch positions.
With shooting guard C.J. Fredrick having entered the transfer portal after starting in each of the past two seasons, Iowa needs 3-point shooters, and Ash could help fill that need while coming off the bench.
Ash is known for cheering enthusiastically from the Iowa bench during games. His teammates seem to feed off his energy and support, and will now have another season to play with Ash.