IOWA CITY — Jordan Bohannon remains noncommittal publicly about whether Thursday will be his last game of this season with the Iowa men’s basketball team, but the time to decide is nigh.
Ten is the number of games the senior guard Bohannon can play before applying for a redshirt season. He has played in nine of Iowa’s 10 this season, having sat out the Hawkeyes’ Nov. 24 rout of Cal Poly.
No. 10 is at Iowa State Thursday. It was hardly a coincidence Bohannon skipped Cal Poly in order to play at Hilton Coliseum without losing his redshirt option.
“It’s a game we circled since we lost there two years ago, my sophomore year,” Bohannon said Monday after the Hawkeyes’ 72-52 home win over Minnesota.
He said he knew before the season that if he would be “shutting it down” after playing 10 games, “I had to realize how I can help this team, stretch-wise. I knew it was going to be a tough stretch.”
Bohannon had hip surgery in May. He recovered and rehabbed quickly enough to be ready for the start of this season. He is averaging 24.9 minutes and 8.4 points per game. He has made 282 3-pointers in his career. He is 33.3 percent (18-for-54) from that distance this season after hitting 41.1 percent over his first three.
He didn’t score in the Minnesota contest but was extremely effective with 10 assists and no turnovers, and he played good defense.
Bohannon sat out the Cal Poly game because of what Hawkeye basketball’s Twitter account called “hip soreness.”
“My body was pretty banged up that week,” Bohannon said. “I knew if I would play back-to-back games (later that week in Las Vegas) I had to take a rest and not practice for a little bit. That led to us getting a big win against Texas Tech. I’m glad I made that decision.”
Bohannon scored a season-high 20 points to go with six assists and played 33 minutes in Iowa’s 72-61 victory over then-No. 12 Texas Tech. The next night, he was held to three points in 23 minutes in Iowa’s 83-73 loss to San Diego State.
One might assume if Bohannon knew he was going to try to play this entire season he would have said so by now. He’ll announce his decision between the end of Thursday’s game and Iowa’s following contest, against Cincinnati Dec. 21 in Chicago.
“I’m just still taking it day by day, trying to make it not much of a drama, dilemma, like a lot of people are trying to,” he said. “I’ve always been someone who cares about the team more than myself. I care about winning.
“With (teammate) Ryan Kriener being my best friend, it’s going to be tough if I do decide to shut it down for the season because he’s someone I came in with and I’ve been his roommate for four years, and we don’t even talk about it. It’s going to suck if I do decide that way.”
Bohannon’s teammates undoubtedly would agree. They’ve already lost starting forward Jack Nunge for the season to a knee injury and freshman forward Patrick McCaffery hasn’t played since Nov. 11. They also know playing major-college basketball from Nov. 8 until at least mid-March isn’t for those who are suffering physically.
“Like I said before I had my surgery in May,” Bohannon said, “I want to get my body right and be happy for once.”
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