We heard all about how good of a shooter Jordan Bohannon was coming out of Linn-Mar High in Marion, IA. Although you probably could've guessed just by his last name that he could shoot the ball. His older brother Matt is UNI's all time leader in three point field goals made.
Yet, we really didn't get to see Jordan light it up until Tuesday night in South Bend. Before the game he was shooting just 30% from beyond the arc, but buried 7 of his 15 attempts in the game against Notre Dame. That bumped his season long percentage up to 37%. It almost looked like a starting role gave Bohannon more confidence as opposed to coming off the bench.
As impressive as he was shooting the ball, he was equally as impressive when it came to setting up his teammates and taking care of the basketball. He had seven assists to just one turnover for Iowa in the game. After turning it over a combined 7 times in two games down in Florida, he did a nice job of settling down and not trying to do too much with the ball. It looked like the added confidence helped him slow the game down a bit.
Sophomore Christian Williams had been starting, but Bohannon brings more scoring to the table. Williams helps Iowa more on defense, but his season high is 6 points and he averages just 2 a contest. Fran McCaffery has to decided which one gives his team a better chance to win and right now the answer has been Bohannon considering he's played more minutes than Williams has in 6 of the 7 games this season.
This is the first true freshman point guard to start a game since Mike Gesell and over the first 7 games, they compare nicely. Bohannon has scored 54 points to Mike's 53, but Jordan has 10 more assists through 7 games than Gesell did his freshman season.
So we ask, fact or fiction, Jordan Bohannon has cemented himself as Iowa's starting point guard?
Fact. And I'd say fact only if for a bit of continuity. First off, he proved himself on the offensive end and gave them another shooter in the starting lineup alongside Jok. I had small issues with the current starting five because Jok was the only shooter when he was joined on the perimeter by Uhl, Baer, and Williams. Also, Uhl and Baer fill similar roles. Cordell Pemsl and Ahmad Wagner fill similar roles. I thought one of Pemsl/Wagner should start and one of Uhl/Baer should start. Then roll with Cook, Jok, and the point guard. I think we'll see that moving forward.
Continuity is important. And you can't just keep changing your mind at point guard. Fran hasn't done that or anything but going back to Williams would really start a flip-flop trend that you can't afford to have at the point guard position. Bohannon plays faster and moves the offense faster, and is a better shooter. Williams is the better defender. So it's clear what Fran wanted. It'd be hard to see Bohannon give that spot up now as I'm sure it was a move with next year in mind as much as anything.
I think it's fact as well. You could kind of see this coming if you kept track of minutes logged. I know you don't have to start to play big minutes, but it was clear which point guard Fran was most comfortable with over the course of the first seven games. Mainly because Bohannon played more minutes that Williams in 6 of the 7 games.
Derek is right, he helps Iowa a lot more than Williams does on the offensive end and gives teams another player to game plan for right out of the gate rather than being able to focus on Jok and then on Bohannon. Instead, teams now have to figure out how to keep both of them from getting their shot off. That's going to be a tall task. And that was already evidenced in the game on Tuesday.
Notre Dame clearly did not want to give Peter Jok anything easy, and they didn't. That is evidenced by his 4-20 night, but they really struggled with Bohannon. It was to the point where Mike Brey switched Matt Farrell off of him and put Steve Vasturia, a much longer defender, on him to bother his shot.
Jordan Bohannon is here to stay.