116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — It took two minutes and four seconds Thursday in the fourth game of his sixth season. The Big Ten’s King of Threes is Jordan Bohannon.
Bohannon, as entrenched in University of Iowa men’s basketball as Herky, Hawkeye Elvis, and the Iowa Pep Band playing Journey’s “Separate Ways,” set the Big Ten Conference’s record for career 3-pointers Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Bohannon made his record 375th three with 17:56 left in the first half of Iowa’s 108-82 victory over Alabama State. He added three more 3s before leaving the game with 7:31 left.
It was 3-Point Night all the way around for the Hawkeyes. They made a program-record 20, in 44 tries. Alabama State stayed in a zone defense, and Iowa kept taking what was there. Nine different Hawkeyes made at least one 3-pointer, with the 20th coming from walk-on Luc Laketa, his first points here.
The old mark was 19, against Savannah State in 2018. Bohannon made six of them that game.
Murray had 26 points in 22 minutes. But this was Bohannon’s night. The Linn-Mar High graduate broke the 10-year-old mark that Jon Diebler of Ohio State had held for a decade.
Diebler played in 144 games and attempted 900 3-pointers for the Buckeyes before beginning a playing career overseas. Bohannon broke Diebler’s mark in his 147th game, on his 933rd 3-point try. Diebler played 4,688 minutes. Bohannon has played 4,383.
Diebler called Bohannon after the game to congratulate him.
The first time Bohannon looked at the list of the Big Ten’s career 3-point leaders?
“Freshman year in high school,” he said after the game. “I knew I could break some records when I got to Iowa, and I got the opportunity. I knew how hard I worked in high school.
“I knew the amount of people that doubted me, before I stepped on campus. … But people like that have helped to get myself motivated to play these types of games. You’ve got to have a ‘why’ in everything you do. If you don’t love what you do then there’s no point to it.”
“You think about it, it’s pretty amazing,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said, “A lot of really good players in this league, a lot of really good 3-point shooters in this league.
“You have to work really hard to accomplish something like that. Without talking about in the offseason, on your off-days. I’m talking about since you’re a little kid dreaming one day to be able to play at this level and perform consistently the way he has. It’s truly been impressive. I’m just happy for him, I’m proud of him.”
Bohannon also is Iowa’s career leader in games played, assists and free throw percentage, and is eighth in scoring with 1,688 points.
He surprised many in late April when he announced he was returning for a sixth season. That was available because he took a medical redshirt in 2019-20, and because the NCAA gave all 2020-21 athletes a blanket eligibility waiver for an extra season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I love putting the Iowa jersey on, I love playing for Coach McCaffery, I love playing in front of Iowa fans, and that’s why I came back,” Bohannon said.
Bohannon has dealt with injuries in his Hawkeye career, to say the least. He had plantar fasciitis in his right foot for parts of two seasons. Discomfort went to a hip, leading to an offseason surgery after the 2018-19 season. He played 10 games in 2019-20 before shutting it down to get surgery on his other hip.
As he often has done, Bohannon gave credit to team trainer Brad Floy for his help.
“There’s been a lot of tears shed after games, not knowing if I could play the next game,” Bohannon said. “I think I have the most injections out of any athlete that’s ever gone through Iowa. Whether that’s hips, my fingers, my foot …
“That’s why it makes this so special, the dark times that you go through. Because they’ve set myself up to work through to get to the good times.”
Thursday night was the birthday of former Hawkeye quarterback Gordy Bohannon, the father of Jordan and three other Division I basketball players, Jason, Zach and Matt. Jordan said it was fitting the record was broken on Gordy’s birthday since his dad spent so much time with him as he worked on his shot, “getting my form since I was a little kid.”
Murray recorded his fourth-straight game of at least 24 points, getting all but two in the first half for the 4-0 Hawkeyes.
Freshman Payton Sandfort of Waukee sank five 3-pointers and had 21 points, eclipsing his previous high by 13. Not bad for a fourth game in college.
Sandfort was an eighth-grader when Bohannon was an Iowa freshman. A couple weeks ago, Bohannon said, Sandfort told him “Dude, you’re like my hero.”
“I hope he breaks my record when he gets to senior year,” Bohannon said, “because I think he has the ability to do that.”
“I made, what, my seventh (career 3-pointer) tonight,” Sandfort said. “so still a long ways to go.”
Iowa junior guard Joe Toussaint had a career-high 11 assists and 11 points. Backup forward Kris Murray had a career-high 17 points.
The Hawkeyes played without starting forward Patrick McCaffery, (12.0 ppg), who had what Iowa called a lower body injury before the game. Fran McCaffery said he expects Patrick to be back for Iowa’s next game.
Alabama State (0-5) played its fifth road game in 10 days. It heads home to Montgomery, while Iowa will stay home to play Western Michigan Monday at 7:30 p.m. Western Michigan lost to Division II Saginaw Valley State Thursday, 80-63.