Jordan Bohannon Earns Big Ten Player of the Week Honors

By RossWB on January 12, 2021 at 10:23 pm
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© Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Bohannon's brilliant performance against Minnesota in Iowa's 86-71 victory on Sunday resulted in a few superlatives. He set a new career-best in terms of assists, with 14 dimes dished out. And for the first time ever in his five-year Iowa career, he was named the Big Ten's Player of the Week: 

(Well, Co-Player of the Week, if you want to be technical about it...)

Bohannon was absolutely outstanding in Iowa's blowout victory over Minnesota; he scored 19 points on 5/8 shooting, including 4/7 from deep. His threes provided the explosive outside burst in the dynamic inside-out offense Iowa had working on Sunday with Garza dominating in the paint and Bohannon torching nets from afar. Garza's post dominance was also partly a result of Bohannon's efforts, though; 10 of JBo's 14 assists went to Garza and many of them were so inch-perfect that they set up Garza for wonderfully easy finishes at the basket. 

The Minnesota game was a clear high point for Bohannon, but he's been on an absolute tear over the last few games overall. In two games last week, Bohannon averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game, while making 61% of his field goal attempts (11/18) and a preposterous 63% of his 3-point tries (10/16). His 19 point-7 rebound-14 assist stat line was the first time since 2003 that a Big Ten player had posted a line like that, per Iowa. 

Over Iowa's last four games, Bohannon is averaging 18.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. He's making 66% of his shots from the field (25/38) and 63% of his attempts from beyond the arc (19/30). Those are NBA JAM-level numbers. A locked-in Bohannon, one who's shooting with this much confidence (and accuracy), is a very dangerous thing for Iowa's opponents -- and a tremendous asset to Iowa's offense. When JBo is cooking like this, Iowa's offense goes from difficult to stop to damn near impossible. 

It's been a joy to watch and exactly what we hoped to see when Bohannon shut things down last season for hip surgery with the intent of coming back for a fifth year in 2020-21. His comeback got off to a slow start in November and December, but he's been steadily improving and the results are plain to see in the last few games. 

How long Bohannon sustain this level of flamethrowing as a shooter? TBD. He's not going to shoot 63% from deep for the rest of the season, as incredible as that would be. But even if he cools down to more "normal" levels, if he can keep nailing 40-43% of his triples, it will be a huge boost to Iowa's offense. Keep firing away, JBo. 

Bohannon's torrid stretch has him on the verge of some school and Big Ten records, too, as Chad Leistikow noted over at The Des Moines Register. Bohannon has 568 career assists and is now just 45 back of Jeff Horner's Iowa record of 612 assists. He's averaging 4.9 assists per game this year, so if he maintains that pace he's about nine games away from breaking the record. Given that Iowa still has 14 regular season games to play (COVID-19 permitting) and (hopefully) more than a few postseason games as well, that record looks to be in serious danger. 

Bohannon long ago broke Iowa's record for career three-pointers made and he's now gunning for the the Big Ten record, which is currently held by Ohio State's Jon Diebler, who made 374 threes from 2008 to 2011. Bohannon has made 320 threes in his career, so he'll need another 55 to topple Diebler. He's averaging 2.8 made threes per game this season; if we round that up to three made triples per game, he'd need around 18 games to break the record at his current pace. That might be doable, if Iowa avoids losing any games due to COVID cancellations and if they can put together some good postseason runs in March (please please please please). Otherwise, Bohannon will need to up his overall average -- which is certainly possible if he has a few more 5- and 6-threes made binges like he's had lately. 

Whether Bohannon gets that record or not, though, it's been a lot of fun to watch him regain his form and even produce some of his best-ever performances in recent games. He's an elite shooter and a terrific passer and those skills have been on full display lately. Long may this run continue for him. 

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