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Wisconsin basketball: Iowa Hawkeyes 2019-2020 preview

Will Iowa make it back to the NCAA Tournament or is there another Frantrum on the horizon?

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Illinois vs Iowa David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


Nickname: Hawkeyes

Conference: Big Ten

Location: Iowa City, Iowa


Head coach: Fran McCaffery, nine years (174-132 record at Iowa)

2018-19 record: 23-12 overall (10-10 in Big Ten)

Last time in NCAA Tournament: 2018, lost in second round to Tennessee

Top three returning scorers:

  • Luka Garza, junior, center, 13.1 ppg
  • Jordan Bohannon, senior, guard 11.6 ppg
  • Joe Wieskamp, sophomore, forward, 11.1 ppg

Key losses:

  • Tyler Cook (14.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg)
  • Isaiah Moss (9.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg)

Exciting newcomer: Patrick McCaffery unsurprisingly committed to Iowa early on in his high school career. The 6’9” freshman will make the short journey from home in Iowa City to play for his Father Fran after a touted high school career. McCaffery was the No. 1 player in the state of Iowa, but appears he will need to bulk up in his time at Iowa. His height is unmatched at 6-foot-8, but weighing just 175 pounds may cause a challenge when playing down low. Still, he appears to run the floor well and has the touch to be able to shoot from outside.

Date of game: Monday, January 27th, 7:30 p.m. on BTN
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa

Preview: Iowa looked liked it may have all of its starters back after their NCAA Tournament loss a year ago, but the question mark surrounding senior guard Jordan Bohannon appears like it might prevent that. Bohannon had hip surgery this off season and the current expectation is for him to miss significant time for the Hawkeyes. That greatly hurts a team that also lost it’s top player from a season ago in Tyler Cook. Still, Iowa has some real talent returning lead by Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp in the front court. Connor McCaffery will take over at one of the guard positions, while his brother Patrick appears he will work his way in off the bench. The Hawkeyes also landed Joe Toussaint, a transfer from Valpariso, to help provide some depth in the backcourt.

Iowa appears to be in that middle cluster of Big Ten teams that could finish anywhere from third to ninth in the conference. The names on paper are well known, but the possible long term loss of Bohannon greatly hinders this team’s ability and takes away the best shooter on the Hawkeyes roster. It appears that Iowa will rely heavily on the front court duo of Garza and Wieskamp to score, as all other guards combine for zero career starts. If the unproven talent makes a step up, the Hawkeyes could be dancing, but if not they appear to be a bubble team at this point in the season.

Prediction: Badgers squeak out a tough victory on the road 68-62 that gives the resume a boost.