Iowa Men's Basketball

Last dance at Wisconsin for former Badgers fan Jordan Bohannon

Iowa senior guard was once a regular at Kohl Center, as a fan

Jordan Bohannon gets opposing fans riled up even when that isn’t his intention.

During the Iowa men’s basketball team’s weekly video conference with reporters Tuesday, the Hawkeye senior guard was asked what it would have taken for him to have signed with Wisconsin out of high school given he has often said Iowa was his “dream school.”

“It would have taken $20,000 in a McDonald’s bag for me to go to Wisconsin,” he said, laughing.

The reference was to Dan Patrick’s comment last month saying Tennessee football coaches gave recruits cash in McDonald’s bags on their visits to Knoxville.

A website devoted to Badgers sports hopped on Bohannon’s comment. Evan Flood of 247Sports had a post with the headline “Jordan Bohannon takes shot at Wisconsin with McDonald’s bag joke.”

To which Bohannon responded on Twitter Tuesday night: “No shots taken, shots were taken at NCAA and how idiotic their system is. I loved Wisconsin growing up. They didn’t want me and I wanted to go to Iowa.”

 

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Bohannon had already said Tuesday that Wisconsin was his favorite team as a boy and made it clear he would have liked to have gotten a scholarship offer from the Badgers even though he favored Iowa. He attended dozens of games in Madison because he had two brothers who played for Wisconsin.

“That school has always been a part of me,” Bohannon said. “I respect the entire coaching staff and everything my brothers went through with Coach (Bo) Ryan, Coach (Greg) Gard and Coach (Gary) Close.

“It’s mutual respect from our family to theirs.”

Thursday night, Bohannon makes presumably his last Kohl Center visit as his 11th-ranked Hawkeyes (15-6, 9-5 Big Ten) play No. 21 Wisconsin (15-7, 9-6) at 6 p.m. (ESPN). It will be a sentimental journey.

Jason Bohannon, the first of the four Bohannon brothers who went from Linn-Mar High to Division I basketball, played at Wisconsin from 2006-2010. Like Jordan, he was an Iowa high school Mr. Basketball.

Jason played in 135 games for Ryan, starting in every game over his last two seasons and averaging over 10 points per game both years. Zach Bohannon followed Jason to Wisconsin after transferring from Air Force, and was on the Badgers’ 2014 Final Four team.

The Bohannons’ father, Gordy Bohannon, was a Rose Bowl quarterback at Iowa. His third son, Matt Bohannon, was a standout on a pair of Northern Iowa NCAA tournament teams during his career from 2011-2016. Jordan went on his own path by choosing the one closest to home.

This Bohannon has 1,519 points and an Iowa-record 337 3-pointers. He is 13 assists from tying Jeff Horner’s school-record 612.

“I wanted to go to Iowa and that was the school I dreamed of playing at,” Bohannon said, “but also Wisconsin was right there.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“I wore Wisconsin jerseys to school. ... It was always about Wisconsin. Iowa was always in the back of my mind just because of my dad playing there.”

Wisconsin didn’t offer Jordan a scholarship, while Iowa’s Fran McCaffery took a liking to the state’s leading Class 4A scorer of 2016.

In March 2017 at Kohl, the Hawkeyes’ Peter Jok missed a jumper in the lane with 15 seconds left and Iowa down 57-56. Cordell Pemsl rebounded, and whipped a pass to freshman Bohannon. He sank a 3-pointer with 9.7 seconds remaining, and Iowa won, 59-57.

 

“He’s not afraid to take big shots in any game,” Jok said afterward. That is still the case four years later.

It might have been too much for Iowa fans to take if another Bohannon been plucked from Wisconsin’s coaches from the heart of Hawkeye territory.

“They just thought I wasn’t talented and skilled enough to play at this level,” he said.

“Coach McCaffery was one of the few in the entire country that really had that confidence in me that I knew I had in myself as well.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Now it’s time for Bohannon’s last dance in Madison. It seems unlikely to be a quiet one.

Comments: (319) 398-8440; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.