Jordan Bohannon started his final season mired in a shooting slump.
That now appears to be behind him.
Bohannon shot just 27.8% (17-for-61) from 3-point range over the first nine games of the season, his first games in nearly a year after undergoing two hip surgeries over the past two seasons.
But over the Hawkeyes’ last four games — all wins — Bohannon has found his vintage self.
Bohannon is averaging 18.5 points during Iowa’s current four-game winning streak and is shooting a blistering 63.3% (19-for-30) from 3-point range. He is shooting .63.9% (23-for-36) overall from the floor during the streak.
He was named the Big Ten’s player of the week after recording 37 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds and just one turnover in double-digit victories last week over Maryland and Minnesota. His 10 treys in the two games moved him into a tie with Northwestern’s Craig Moore for the sixth-most made 3s in Big Ten history (320).
“I just kept playing basketball,” Bohannon said. “I think that’s been my mindset going forward this entire season. I kind of realized I wasn’t going to be 100% physically and mentally right from the get-go of the season because I really haven’t played a healthy game in a year and a half, two years, so I knew I wasn’t going to be off and running from the start.
“I felt I was playing OK to start the season and I just kept playing and playing. Shots weren’t falling, shots were going in and out. I just wasn’t playing as well as I knew I could, so I just kept playing and kept having confidence like I always do. Everything I’ve been doing this last year and a half, two years is finally starting to pay off.”
A potent Bohannon is key for a team that is relying on consistently hot outside shooting this season. Iowa as a team is shooting 47.6% from distance over the last four games, making 40 of 84 attempts while holding opponents to just a 35.9% clip on 33 more attempts.
The Hawkeyes are shooting 38.2% from deep as a team for the season and 48.3% from the floor overall.
CJ Fredrick leads the team in 3-point accuracy at 52.2% (23-for-44). Luka Garza is shooting nearly 50% from 3 (21-for-43) and Keegan Murray is also shooting better than 42% from beyond the arc off the bench.
“The more 3-point weapons your team has, the harder you’re going to be to guard, provided the group of individuals are unselfish and team-oriented,” said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, whose team leads the nation in assists per game and assists-to-turnover ratio. “When you have the best low post player in college basketball (in Garza), you want to throw it inside, you want to get him the ball. But he’s equally effective at the 3-point line, which creates opportunities for others to flash into the low post and post up or drive the ball into a space that wouldn’t be there if Luka was always there.”
That would have come in handy with Michigan State scheduled to visit the Hawkeyes tonight. But, on Wednesday evening, Iowa sports information director Matt Weitzel said the game would be postponed out of an abundance of caution surrounding the health and safety of the participants.
Both schools will work with the Big Ten Conference to identify rescheduling options.
The Spartans would have posed a stiff test for the Hawkeyes, and one that they haven’t fared well in recently.
The Spartans lead the all-time series, 76-55, and have won five straight and 14 of 16 against Iowa dating to 2011. Michigan State rallied out of a six-point halftime deficit to beat Iowa in their last meeting, a 78-70 decision on Feb. 25 in East Lansing, Mich.
Iowa is, however, 35-26 against Michigan State in games played in Iowa City, but they haven’t beaten Michigan State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since toppling the then-No. 1-ranked Spartans 2015. Michigan State won the last meeting in Iowa City, 82-67, on Jan. 24, 2019, and in 1983 claimed the first-ever victory in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Aaron Henry (13.9 points) and Joey Hauser (11.8 points, 8.1 rebounds) lead a Michigan State team averaging 80 points per game.
“You know what you’re getting from Michigan State when you play them,” Garza said. “They’re going to be one of the most physical teams, one of the most aggressive teams, a team that pushes it in transition and a team that prides itself in being the tougher team and winning the war on the boards. We know going into this game we need to be able to rebound. We need to be able to be tough and work through the physicality.”
Garza, who leads the nation in scoring at 27.6 points per game, needs just 82 points to reach 2,000 for his career, and 199 to pass Roy Marble as the program’s all-time leading scorer.