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IOWA CITY — Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery filled his final men's basketball scholarship with 6-foot-6 shooting guard Maishe Dailey, which means he's all in with sophomore Christian Williams and incoming freshman Jordan Bohannon as his point guards next year.
The Hawkeyes, who finished 22-12 overall last year, lose four-year starter Mike Gesell as well as part-time point guard Anthony Clemmons. Thursday, McCaffery told The Gazette he's confident both Williams and Bohannon can handle the position in his system despite their limited experience.
'If you're running set plays continuously, you kind of need that guy,' McCaffery said about a primary point guard. 'Otherwise everybody's driving and kicking and making plays. If we're going to be a transition and motion team primarily, you have to have multiple people who can make a play off the dribble. You can't be, 'All right, everybody get the ball to the point guard and go get to your spots.' That's not how we play anyway.
'If you look at the collective ball handling of our team, our guards can handle it. Our forwards, a guy like Nicholas Baer, handles it well, I'm not worried about it.'
Williams, who stands 6-6, saw limited action at the point last year. He played in 20 games and scored only 27 points with six assists and six turnovers. But he scored 16 of those points in Iowa's final five games, including eight against Big Ten champion Indiana. He's also versatile and can play off the ball.
'I like that about him, especially because he defends,' McCaffery said. 'He offensive rebounds, and he's like a unique point guard. You can play him off the ball and play Jordan and obviously some of the other guys might have to bring it down, too.'
Bohannon, 6-1, was voted Mr. Basketball in Iowa two months ago. He averaged 25.8 points a game for Linn-Mar.
Dailey averaged 13.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists rebounds a game for Beachwood High School, a Division III school in Ohio State. He decommitted from Rutgers in March after Coach Eddie Jordan was fired. Iowa assistant Sherman Dillard first recruited the left-handed Dailey, then McCaffery became interested.
'We watched him and went up there to see him and had him in for a visit,' McCaffery said. 'A great personality, and I think his skill set really fits well with our style of play. He's got a chance to be really good. We're very excited.
'He can really pass it. He can shoot the 3. He can catch and alley oop, he can bring it down. A really versatile skill set, and I think a really good court demeanor as well.'
Iowa no longer has an open scholarship provided junior guard Peter Jok returns this year. Jok, a 6-6 shooting guard, averaged 16.1 points overall and 17.3 in Big Ten play last year. He has entered the NBA draft's testing period where he can work out for teams and receive feedback. If Jok doesn't sign with an agent and withdraws from the draft by May 25, he's eligible to return. Jok was not invited to next week's NBA scouting combine in Chicago but has multiple workouts planned.
'He's still going through the process,' McCaffery said. 'I think the world of him. Obviously I want to coach him next year. But I want him to be able to enjoy this experience and see where it goes because he's earned that.'
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