#44 Iowa Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes
2017-2018 Overall Rank: #44
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten
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Iowa failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013 last season, but the Hawkeyes should find themselves back in the mix for a ticket to the Big Dance in 2017-18. Last year was a transition season for Iowa as they lost four of their five starters from the 2015-16 season. This year, the Hawkeyes will be without their best player, Peter Jok, but everyone else on the roster returns. Jok was an all-conference player and his production will be greatly missed, but getting back every other contributor should lead to more consistency and wins for the Hawkeyes this season.
2016-17 Record: 19-15, 10-8
2016-17 Postseason:
Fran McCaffery
Coach Record:
137-101 at Iowa, 388-278 overall
Who’s Out:
Peter Jok is the only loss for the Hawkeyes, but his departure will leave a major void in the lineup. Jok finished his career as the 15th ranked scorer in Iowa history. As a senior, Jok was named to the first team All-Big Ten behind his 19.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals. Jok led the Big Ten in scoring and free-throw percentage, while also ranking third in made 3-pointers per game. Jok averaged six more field goal attempts per game than any other Hawkeye, meaning there is no clear-cut replacement for his scoring production. Iowa has an experienced team with chemistry, but they will need someone to step up as a go-to scorer this season.
Who’s In:
With just one departure, there isn’t much room to add new pieces, but Fran McCaffery did get two freshmen to join the Hawkeyes this season. Luka Garza is a 6-11 center who was a four-star prospect and a top-ten center in the nation. Garza averaged a double-double as a high school senior and played well on the Hawkeyes’ Europe tour in August. Jack Nunge is another big man who stands 6-9 and was a consensus three-star recruit. Nunge can play as a power forward that can stretch the floor with his shooting ability.
Who to Watch:
Iowa had two members on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team last season, both of whom are back for their sophomore years. Tyler Cook started 26 games as a freshman and ranked second on the team in scoring (12.3) and third in rebounding (5.3). Jordan Bohannon started the last 28 games of his freshman campaign at point guard. Bohannon averaged 10.9 points and a team-high 5.1 assists while shooting 41.6% from three. Cook and Bohannon will have the challenge of being leaders of the team as sophomores. Cordell Pemsl and Isaiah Moss were also impressive as freshmen. Pemsl started 14 games and averaged 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. Moss started the last 28 games of the year, averaging 6.5 points and 1.6 rebounds. Nicholas Baer is one of the more experienced guys as a redshirt junior this season. Baer won Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year and was the only player in Division I to total 250 points, 45 steals, 40 blocks and 45 threes in a season. Ahmad Wagner started 18 games as a sophomore, averaging 4.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Brady Ellingson is a sharpshooter who shot 47.1% from three last year. Dom Uhl struggled as a junior, scoring just 3.5 points per game after scoring 6.0 as a sophomore. Ryan Kriener and Christian Williams are also back as depth pieces for the Hawkeyes. Kriener averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds while Williams averaged 2.4 points and 1.6 assists last season.
Final Projection:
Iowa gets every player but one back from their team that won 19 games last season, including 10 in Big Ten play. The problem is that one departure is all-conference player Peter Jok. Jok was one of the best scorers in school history, and his departure leaves a major hole on the Hawkeye roster. Luckily, head coach Fran McCaffery gets the rest of his team back, including two members of the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. McCaffery also added two impressive freshman big men to the roster, rounding out a very impressive team on paper. The young guys who impressed last season will have bigger roles this year, and if they step up to the challenge, Iowa can make their way back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament
Projected Starting Five:
Jordan Bohannon, Sophomore, Guard, 10.9 points per game

Isaiah Moss, Sophomore, Guard, 6.5 points per game
Nicholas Baer, Junior, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Ahmad Wagner, Junior, Forward, 4.8 points per game
Tyler Cook, Sophomore, Center, 12.3 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 80.5 (31th in nation, 1st in conference)

Scoring Defense: 78.1 (299, 14)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (117, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.5 (207, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (55, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (54, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (219, 9)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (196, 12)
Assists Per Game: 17.7 (5, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (258, 12)
Madness 2017 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#110 Connor McCaffery
#111 Luka Garza
#157 Jack Nunge