THE MONDAY TIPOFF: A Week Later, Hawkeyes Get Help

By John Bohnenkamp

My best advice this Monday is the same as it was last Monday — look at the calendar.

It was exactly a week ago when Iowa guard CJ Fredrick entered his name into the NCAA’s transfer portal.

There was, of course, the usual handwringing that comes with such departures, the concern that coach Fran McCaffery wouldn’t be aggressive in going after replacements.

Within seven days, McCaffery had found an experienced post player, and the program’s all-time leader in 3-point field goals and assists was coming back for a sixth season.

That’s a good week.

Monday started with the official announcement that Filip Rebraca, a 6-foot-9 forward from North Dakota, had signed with the Hawkeyes. Then, in the afternoon, guard Jordan Bohannon announced he would be coming back to take advantage of the additional season granted by the NCAA during the COVID-19 pandemic year.

In Rebraca, the Hawkeyes get a player who averaged 16.8 points and 7.8 rebounds last season. He scored in double figures in 33 of his last 34 games, and had 20 double-doubles in his career with the Fighting Hawks.

“Iowa is the best overall fit for me, from the coaches and players to the school and culture,” Rebraca said in a statement. “All the coaches were honest and welcoming. Coach McCaffery and his staff already have shown signs that they trust me and have my best interests in mind. As well as that, I want to play with great players and people.

“The roster is filled with talented guys and sharing the court with them will be amazing. There is no doubt in my mind we will get along on and off the court. I want to be a part of this winning culture and see how I can help the program, my teammates, and coaches.”

“The first thing that is so incredibly impressive is that Filip has a complete skillset for a big man,” McCaffery said of Rebraca. “He is an athlete who understands how to impact the game in a variety of ways, is an excellent student, and is incredibly mature. He consistently produced at a high level, no matter who it was against. To get someone who has all those skills will blend very well with our players and program.”

Bohannon, of course, is no mystery. He is is Iowa’s career record holder in assists (639), 3-pointers made (364), free throw percentage (.887), and games played (143). He ranks ninth in Iowa career scoring with 1,638 points and is one of only three Hawkeyes with four 100-assist seasons, joining Dean Oliver and Jeff Horner. Bohannon averaged 10.6 points in the 2020-21 season, scoring in double figures in 15 games.

If anything, the week should be a reminder that offseason roster chaos is here, and isn’t going anywhere. The NCAA’s new transfer rule allowing players a one-time chance to move somewhere else without sitting out is going to cause all kinds of fluctuations.

Aprils, from now on, will have all sorts of ups and downs. Those programs that can adapt will be the ones who succeed.

Last week the Hawkeyes lost a talented 3-point shooter and arguably its best defender. Within seven days, McCaffery had found an experienced post player and brought back a player who can add to a historic career.

It’s why it’s going to be best to always look at the calendar before reacting.

Photo: Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon announced on Monday that he is coming back for a sixth season. (Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s