Iowa men’s basketball freshmen Josh Dix, Dasonte Bowen detail progression

The guards come into the program under different circumstances but are expected to contribute during their first seasons as Hawkeyes.


Grace Smith

Iowa guard Dasonte Bowen dribbles down the court during an Iowa men’s basketball practice at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. Bowen shot 52.7 percent from the field, 47.4 percent from the 3-point line, and 90 percent from the foul line the summer of 2021 playing for the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

Iowa men’s basketball freshmen guards Josh Dix and Dasonte Bowen are progressing ahead of their first seasons.

Dix, who’s from Council Bluffs, broke his right leg’s tibia and fibula while competing for Abraham Lincoln High School in January. The injury needed surgery and ended his prep career prematurely.

But at Tuesday’s media availability, head coach Fran McCaffery said he expects the combo guard to be ready when the season starts in November.

“I expect him to be ready Sept. 1,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “So, when that happens, it will be full go and we’ll see what happens. But right now, he’s, I think, in a really good place physically.

Detailing his path to recovery following the first major injury of his life, Dix said McCaffery called him a day after his surgery to tell him to take his time returning to the court.

He said he first did a lot of ankle movement before moving to knee movement, taking off his walking boot for those sessions. Dix then advanced to walking, jogging, and squats.

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As for summer practices, the 6-foot-5 wing isn’t allowed to participate in contact drills yet, though he started working out with his teammates last week. He estimates his jumping ability off his right leg is at 75 to 80 percent of what it was before sustaining the injury while putting his running capacity at 90 percent.

Dix said while he’s not dealing with pain at the moment, there are days when his right leg gets sore, as it’s not as strong as his left.

Conversely, the 6-foot-3 Bowen is healthy ahead of his freshman season.

The Boston product is participating in contact sessions and adjusting to the faster pace of play.

The ESPN four-star recruit averaged 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game as a senior at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.

At point guard, junior Ahron Ulis is the Hawkeyes’ most experienced returning student-athlete after Joe Toussaint transferred to West Virginia.

“Wherever coach needs me for us to win, that’s where I’m going to play for sure,” Bowen said. “I mean, I compete every day, and I still have to get better every day.”

McCaffery said junior Tony Perkins and sixth-year senior Connor McCaffery are also options to run the point.

Despite describing himself as a scoring guard, Bowen said he’s not a selfish player as he can pass the ball and get his teammates involved to help his team win.

Bowen said he wants to add to his 175-pound frame to prepare for the Big Ten’s physicality.

“I committed quite some time ago, so I had the whole season ahead of me in high school as well, so I wanted to try to keep the main focus on winning that year,” Bowen said. “But I was definitely excited to get here, so I’m happy I’m here right now.”