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Iowa Hawkeyes Men’s Basketball 2021-22 Season Preview: A Step Back

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Regression doesn’t necessarily mean falling off a cliff.

Iowa v Cincinnati
Fran McCaffery smiling!
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

I. Recap Of Last Season

Iowa entered last season with the loftiest expectations on a basketball team in long, LONG, time. With consensus All-American, and eventual Naismith Award winner, Luka Garza anchoring the team. The team had it’s best regular season since at least 2006, and highest tourney seed since 1987. And while the team expected to compete for their first conference title since 1979, they were effectively boxed out with a few weeks to go and ended up with the 3rd seed in the conference tourney, and played to that seed. Then the NCAA tourney happened and like every other team in the conference, it did not go well.

II. Roster

Departures

Naismith award winning Center Luka Garza and SF Joe Wieskamp are off to the NBA, SG CJ Frederick is headed back home to play for Kentucky, and injury plagued Jack Nunge transferred to Xavier to be closer to family.

Arrivals

PF Filip Rebrača transferred in from North Dakota, and Freshmen Wing Payton Sandfort and C Riley Mulvey

Notable Returnees:

SG Jordan Bohannon is back for his 6th year of torching nets from deep, and playing negative defense. F Keegan Murray was great as a Freshman last year and should fill up the stat sheets this year. Coaches kids F Patrick and G Connor McCaffery are solid contributors and should be looking for a step forward from the likes of PG Joe Toussaint, F Kris Murray (Keegan’s twin brother), G Tony Perkins, and PG Ahron Ulis.

Projected Depth Chart

Starters: PG Joe Toussaint, SG Jordan Bohannon, F Keegan Murray, F Patrick McCaffery, F Filip Rebrača

Definite Bench Contributors: PG Ahron Ulis, G Connor McCaffery, G Tony Perkins

Need to step up due to lack of depth in the front court: F Kris Murray, C Josh Ogundele

Freshmen, so who knows: G Payton Sandfort and C Riley Mulvey

III. Outlook

Iowa is definitely taking a step back this year. But there is a lot of talk about them falling off a cliff, and I just don’t see that happening. Bohannon can go off and fire 5+ 3s on any given night, Keegan Murray looks like a legit all around player and has potential to leave for the NBA early. Anyone with a legit inside game is going to abuse Iowa, but this team should be better on defense overall (low bar, but still), and offense has never been an issue for any of the McCaffery teams. They’ll score in bunches, give up a bunch, and win more than they lose.

The non-conference schedule is pillow soft, might be the softest in the conference, so the team should have some time to gel and gain confidence without a whole lot of risk of losing. However, it’s not gonna help their RPI or whatever the hell the committee uses, now. And that’s going to be important, as I think this team may be a bubble team.

IV. Predictions

Alright, let’s see what my fellow sickos think:

Meanwhile, MNW is trolling.
Boiler## and I gotta fight, now.

Welp, there you have it. Pretty wide range there. What say you commentariot?

Poll

How does Iowa Basketball do this year?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Ope, there’s a cliff, there. <15 wins
    (4 votes)
  • 6%
    Big step back, wrong side of .500, no postseason.
    (7 votes)
  • 36%
    NIT BABY!! over .500 losing conference record.
    (37 votes)
  • 42%
    Bubblicious! Sneaking into the tourney ~20 wins
    (43 votes)
  • 5%
    Comfortably in the tourney, winning conference record. >20 wins
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    HERE COME THE HAWKS!!! CONFERENCE CHAMPS, NATTY!! WOO!!
    (4 votes)
101 votes total Vote Now