Slick-passing Hawkeyes romp to exhibition win

Slick-passing Hawkeyes romp to exhibition win

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Iowa logo on ball

An Iowa basketball sits on the court during Iowa basketball media day Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY — Jordan Bohannon was able to get out and shake off some of the rust from five months of post-operative inactivity.

Meanwhile, most of his teammates showed very little rust at all as the Iowa basketball team was impressive in its first public appearance of the season.

Joe Wieskamp, CJ Fredrick and Luka Garza combined to score 53 points, Patrick McCaffery gave glimpses of what sort of athleticism he’s going to supply and older brother Connor orchestrated everything masterfully from the point as the Hawkeyes romped to a 96-58 victory over Lindsey Wilson College in a preseason exhibition game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes shot 55.7 percent from the field, 64.3 percent before halftime, and put on a passing display that produced 26 assists on 34 made field goals.

"Guys are just sharing the ball," said Wieskamp, who scored 19 points in less about 17 ½ minutes of playing time. "This team is very unselfish. If someone is more open than you, the ball is going to go to them. That’s just our team mindset, and I think that’s going to happen all season long."

The trio of Wieskamp, Fredrick (18) and Garza (16) was especially efficient, combining to make 18 of 23 shots from the field.

It has been expected that Wieskamp and Garza will carry a large share of the scoring load for the Hawkeyes. But no one connected with the team seemed surprised that Fredrick, a 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman playing his first game, was 4 for 5 from 3-point range while playing tough defense and error-free basketball at both ends.

"I saw exactly what I expected to see: A guy that has a complete game," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.

Wieskamp was more excited than Fredrick himself at the way his roommate played in his debut, telling reporters, "There’s more to come."

Fredrick shrugged it off, admitting he wasn’t really nervous.

"Right before I ran out, there was kind of some giddies from playing in front of a big crowd again but there was really no nerves," he said. "Having that redshirt year gave me a lot of confidence. I felt ready for the moment."

The same was true of Patrick McCaffery, who bounced back from a rocky start to finish with 12 points. He supplied an exclamation point when he took a pass from brother Connor and slammed home a basket that gave Iowa its largest lead of the night, 90-46.

"I didn’t think he was going to dunk that in transition when I threw it to him," said Connor, who got the last of his 11 assists on the play. "That was impressive."

The outcome was decided long before that. Lindsey Wilson, an NAIA school in Columbia, Kentucky, scored the first three points of the game before Iowa reeled off 12 straight points, including back-to-back 3s by Fredrick. By the time Iowa’s starters went to the bench for the first time it was 25-7.

Wieskamp scored Iowa’s last nine points of the half to inflate the lead to 53-23 before the Blue Raiders’ Payton Cundiff banked in a 3 at the halftime horn.

Bohannon, who underwent hip surgery in May and has been working hard to be ready for the season, entered the game to a loud ovation with 13 minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the first half.

The senior guard said the reception from the crowd was "cool" but he was even happier when he fired in a 3-point field goal a few minutes later.

"I actually got a little bit of goose bumps after I shot that one," he said. "It’s been a long process these last five or six months. It’s been quite the grind …

"Emotionally and physically this is probably the most I’ve had to deal with because I’ve never had an injury like this before. It was great to hit that first shot. It was pretty emotional."

He didn’t score again the rest of the night, but Fran McCaffery liked what he saw from Bohannon.

"I thought he was pretty good," McCaffery said. "His passing was tremendous, he moved well, he hit the 3 right off the bat. We're just going to go slow with him."


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