In the months leading up to the 2017-’18 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a glimpse at a Big Ten legacy, Jordan Bohannon, of the Iowa Hawkeyes, who checks in at No. 23 in the rankings. The Hawkeyes are hoping that the youngest Bohannon can captain the ship and lead the team back to the NCAA Tournament.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - #23 Jordan Bohannon:
- Eligibility: Sophomore
- Career Totals: 34 games, 1,005 minutes, 372 points, 76 rebounds, 175 assists
- 2016-’17 Averages: 29.6 min, 10.9 pts, 2.2 rebs, 5.1 asts, 0.1 blks, 0.9 stls
- Positional Role: Point Guard
The young Hawkeyes found themselves as darkhorse NCAA Tournament contenders, but their youthful inexperienced cost them in the opening game of the Big Ten Tournament. However, the plethora of underclassmen logged key minutes and made clutch plays as the season progressed. Bohannon’s personal progression was the fuel that propelled Iowa to 10 victories in league play and will be a key force in the up-tempo Fran McCaffery offense as the team looks to build off last season.
Bohannon’s biggest strength is his ability to hit the three-point shot. He finished his freshman campaign shooting an impressive 41.6 percent while averaging a little over six attempts per game. He torched the Maryland Terrapins in College Park for a career-high eight three-pointers on 10 attempts. However, his most memorable moment came on a scramble three with under 10 seconds left to give Iowa a win at the Kohl Center against his older brothers’ alma mater, the Wisconsin Badgers.
His three-point stroke earned him consistent minutes when the season began, but his high basketball IQ and perfect fit within McCaffery’s offense solidified a starting role before Big Ten play began.
The sophomore’s on court mental capacity will continue to grow and it is only a matter of time before he becomes an extension of the coaching staff. Bohannon is quietly placing himself to be the leader among his fellow youthful Hawkeyes.
Areas for Improvement
However, while he showed some great play as a freshman, Bohannon must improve getting to the free throw line. Specifically, just 55 free-throw attempts last season is not going to cut it this season. This is particularly notable given that he converted 85 percent of his free-throw chances.
His three-point ability will keep him away from the paint where he can draw fouls with more ease, but as opponents scheme to close out on him with a greater intensity, Bohannon needs to drive past the oncoming defender. As he adds this layer to his game, he should see a rise in free-throw attempts and his assist number as defenses abandon assignments to slow down his drive.
As Bohannon grows more comfortable in his role there should be an uptick in his defensive numbers. Averaging less than a steal a game as Iowa’s primary point guard is not the kind of defensive production the Hawkeyes need from their primary ball handler. He’ll need to display more active hands and increase his overall defensive awareness, but if his offensive instincts can carry over he should grow into a defensive nuisance.
Coming off of a season where he was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and named the Hawkeye’s Top Playmaker, Bohannon’s best case scenario is snagging an All-Big Ten selection.
The most likely case is that he continues to grow mentally and physically, while becoming a leader and shepherding the Hawkeyes to the top five in the Big Ten. If Bohannon can receive an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention then his season will be considered a great success and should set himself up nicely for the back half of his collegiate career.