By Pete Ruden
Jordan Bohannon is a point guard. Sure, he’s a great shooter, but that doesn’t make him a shooting guard.
Bohannon’s playmaking ability sometimes gets overlooked because of his prowess and the impact he makes from behind the arc, but his 5.3 assists per game ranks second in the Big Ten, behind only Cassius Winston of Michigan State.
Anytime a player racks up double-digit dimes in a college game, it’s pretty impressive, especially when it’s against a team as good as Ohio State, which is what Bohannon did on Jan. 4.
At the team’s media day, Fran McCaffery said Bohannon’s game reminds him of Stephen Curry — a point guard.
In fact, Iowa struggles when McCaffery puts Bohannon at the 2. Maybe part of it is because no one else on the team is capable of running the point, but no one else has the ball-handling skills or passing skills that Bohannon displays each game.
People must also be forgetting that Bohannon is 6-feet tall. That is very undersized for a legitimate shooting guard. When thinking of short NBA 2-guards, the mind floats to guys like Allen Iverson and Monta Ellis, neither of whom was a true shooting guard.
Iverson — who I personally consider more of a point guard — and Ellis were combo guards. They were capable of playing both positions, just as Bohannon is. But both Iverson and Ellis excelled in one part of the game exceptionally: scoring.
While scoring is obviously an important part of Bohannon’s game, his playmaking is an element that is equally important. The Hawkeyes are a better team when they move the ball, and Bohannon is a big part of that.
By Adam Hensley
Jordan Bohannon, whether fans want to admit it or not, is not a true point guard.
By design, he’s Iowa’s primary ball handler. He plays the 1. So yes, Bohannon is Iowa’s point guard.
But a true point guard? No.
Sure, Bohannon can facilitate when called upon, but he does his best work off the ball, coming around screens, and firing away from downtown on fast breaks. He’s a shooter, not a facilitator.
He’s had a solid season when it comes to assists, but Fran McCaffery’s offense — by design, a high-scoring, fast-paced, run-and-gun system — runs through the post and Tyler Cook this season.
Iowa’s scoring is down from last year. Some of that can be attributed to the departure of Peter Jok.
But Jok was Iowa’s primarily ball handler. He frequently took on double teams (sometimes triple teams, depending on the situation), which opened the floor for Bohannon.
Bohannon played the point last year, just as he does this year. But he had plenty of open looks because he played off the ball. He didn’t take the ball up on every possession last season as he does this year.
Instead, he found himself able to move around without the ball, flying around screens — the perfect weapon in McCaffery’s offense.
This season, there is no veteran, consistent shot creator on the team. Iowa’s team is more balanced, but this season, Bohannon has to be that primary scorer, not a facilitator.
Look at his performance against Indiana. When Iowa fell behind, Bohannon’s shooting — not his passing — sparked Iowa’s run. In the Hawkeyes’ last win, a victory over Minnesota, Bohannon went off, hitting shots from all over the court, as Iowa’s catalyst.
Sure, Bohannon does a fine job running the point, but he’s better playing off the ball.