Jordan Bohannon’s record-breaking Hawkeye career comes to an end with NCAA Tournament loss

The NCAA’s all-time leader in games played among men’s basketball players — Bohannon appeared in 179 games across six seasons — just played in his last one.


Gabby Drees

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon drives the ball down the court during the first round of the NCAA Men’s Championship between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Richmond Spiders at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y., on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Bohannon earned two rebounds. The Spiders beat the Hawkeyes, 67-63.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Tears rolled down Jordan Bohannon’s cheeks as he sat at a press conference minutes after Iowa’s loss to Richmond in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The sixth-year point guard’s voice cracked. Head coach Fran McCaffery patted Bohannon on the back as he answered his final question as a Hawkeye.

The NCAA’s all-time leader in games played among men’s basketball players — Bohannon appeared in 179 games across six seasons — just played in his last one.

“Just thanks for giving me a chance,” Bohannon said when asked about his final message to Hawkeye fans. “It’s been some of the best years of my life.”

The fifth-seeded Iowa men’s basketball team lost, 67-63, to 12th-seeded Richmond in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. Bohannon scored six points and made two 3-pointers against the Spiders. The 6-foot-1 guard ends his career as the Big Ten’s all-time leader in 3-pointers (455), Iowa’s all-time leader in assists (704), and a 2,000-point scorer (2,033).

Bohannon banked-in a game-winning 3-pointer in Iowa’s win over Indiana in the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament last Saturday.

The Hawkeyes ended up winning the conference tournament title and Bohannon was named to the all-tournament team. The former Linn-Mar High School standout ran around in circles in disbelief after his game-winner against the Hoosiers only five days ago.

After Thursday’s upset loss at the KeyBank Center, Bohannon was in disbelief for a different reason. The Hawkeyes couldn’t carry their postseason success over from the Big Ten Tournament to the NCAA Tournament. His career was over.

Sitting with teammates Connor McCaffery and Keegan Murray to his left and head coach Fran McCaffery to his right, Bohannon recalled the difficulties in getting his career started. Besides Iowa, the only programs to offer Bohannon scholarships out of Iowa were DePaul, Drake, and Northern Iowa, according to 247Sports.

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“There’s not a lot of people in the country that believed in me out of high school,” Bohannon said. “I faced a lot of adversity coming back, you know, a couple of hip surgeries, dealt with a lot of injuries. And I can honestly say this last year, I put my heart and soul into this team.”

Bohannon has been a mainstay of Iowa’s starting rotation since his freshman season in 2016-17.

After playing in 10 games during the 2019-20 season, Bohannon redshirted to undergo hip surgery. Last season, his fifth at Iowa, was thought to be his last, but Bohannon took advantage of the extra year of eligibility afforded to him by the NCAA and came back for a sixth season. The sharpshooter wanted one more chance to make a postseason run at Iowa.

Bohannon started this season as Iowa’s starting shooting guard, as opposed to playing the point guard spot he’d played in his first five seasons. After being moved back to point guard at the start of February — at the time, the Hawkeyes had lost three of their last four games — Iowa won 12 of 14 games on its way to its first conference tournament title since 2006.

“That’s somebody that takes great pride in wearing that jersey,” Fran McCaffery said of Bohannon. “His leadership, his mental toughness, it epitomizes what a true competitor is, and he came here to make a difference. Just watching him come back and perform at the level that he did and then come back to lead a team that needed his leadership… you hope one day to be able to coach guys like that, and so I’m really proud.”

“These two were part of that, them two, and I feel like they’re a really big part of our program and will forever be a big part of our program,” Murray added about Bohannon and senior Connor McCaffery, who may have also played his last game at Iowa.

Bohannon finished his college averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range.

There won’t be any more transition 3s from No. 3 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Different college athletes will benefit from the Name, Image, and Likeness rights that Bohannon advocated for. Bohannon won’t get a chance to leave his shoes on an opposing team’s court or make any more “memz.”

Thursday’s game aside, Bohannon made plenty of good memories in his time as a Hawkeye — memories he won’t soon forget.

“Hopefully I left this jersey in a better place than where I found it,” Bohannon said. “That’s all I wanted to do when I came here. I didn’t care about my individual statistics, nothing like that. I just wanted to make Coach proud. I just wanted to make my family proud and this whole entire state.

“I just want to thank every single Hawkeye fan. Hopefully I inspired them to do something great with their lives, and I can’t put into words what it’s meant to be here wearing this jersey.”