Pemsl, Fredrick back Bohannon on and off the floor

Jordan Bohannon is currently recovering from hip surgery, but he has the support of his teammates on and off the hardwood.


Megan Nagorzanski

Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl looks to pass during Iowa's game against Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on December 6, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones 98-84.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

After lighting up the college basketball world with his clutch buckets from deep last season, Jordan Bohannon underwent hip surgery in May, and his status for the 2019-20 season is up in the air.

Bohannon already knows someone who has been through the recovery process.

Pemsl took a redshirt last season after having surgery to remove hardware surrounding his knee from a previous surgery, so he knows what it’s like to be forced to sit out.

“I just told him, ‘You got to stay positive, and there’s a reason for everything, and what happens, happens for a reason,’ ” Pemsl said. “I mean, he wasn’t playing even close to 100 percent last season, and he was doing the things he was doing. I just told him, ‘When you get back and you’re yourself again, then you’re going to realize that this was all worth it, that this wait was all worth it.’

“It’s going to be a long next six months for him, but when he gets back, he’s going to be a serious problem.”

Whether Bohannon redshirts or not, Iowa will get players who have redshirted back on the floor, including Pemsl, forward Jack Nunge, and guard C.J. Fredrick.

Fredrick is the only one without actual game experience, but he could fill an important void as a shooter if Bohannon does indeed miss the season. And he could potentially do even more.

“I consider myself a really good shooter,” Fredrick said. “But I would say through this past season, I’m more than that now, which I’ve really been pleased with the way my game is transforming.”

Kriener takes over Greece

Hawkeye forward Ryan Kriener played a different style of basketball when he represented the USA East Coast All-Star Team in Athens, Greece.

“Different country, they played a little different,” he said. “It was a lot more fast-paced, a lot more fluid. The ball doesn’t really stick over there. And they’re a lot more physical on certain aspects of the game.”

Kriener averaged 4.7 points per game with 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in three contest. His squad won each game, toppling Greece Amyntas (83-61), Greek Athens Select (77-61), and the Greek U19 National Team (63-61).

Kriener said he didn’t take a lot of shots from beyond the international 3-point line, which is where the college arc will be next season, but he said other things he learned can translate to his play on the floor in the Black and Gold.

“I think it can help me just from a pace, rebounding standpoint,” he said. “Because everyone over there hooks and holds arms like that’s what they’re paid to do.”

Taylor returns to Iowa City

When Iowa assistant coach Andrew Francis left the program for Cal, coach Fran McCaffery had to make a tough decision. His staff had been together each year since he was hired, which made the decision even more key, given the program’s recent coaching stability.

McCaffery ended the search with the hiring of Billy Taylor, the Belmont Abbey head coach and former director of basketball operations for the Hawkeyes, as well as a familiar face for the program.

Taylor’s last season in Iowa City came in 2016, so he’s familiar with some of the older players on the roster.

He’s definitely familiar with the McCaffery family as well, serving as incoming freshman Patrick McCaffery’s godfather.

The elder McCaffery recruited Taylor before hiring him onto his staff at North Carolina-Greensboro. They also worked alongside each other at Notre Dame as assistants.

That familiarity has Taylor excited about whatever is to come in his future wearing the TigerHawk.

“My relationship with Fran goes back now 30 years, so it’s unique to have someone hire you for the third time,” Taylor said. “… I think our families and our lives are pretty well intertwined with each other. Hopefully, it speaks to the kind of man that Fran McCaffery is. I think so much can be made or said and people see highlights, but they don’t know the man.”

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