I posted my first stab at a starting lineup for the 2022 Iowa Hawkeyes shortly after their loss to Oregon in the NCAA tournament. It was a bit of a coping mechanism for me, but something I always enjoy.
Since then, Jack Nunge and CJ Fredrick have transferred from the program, Connor McCaffery announced injuries, Riley Mulvey has reclassified to become a freshman NEXT year, Filip Rebraca has joined the program and Jordan Bohannon has announced he will come back for another season. So yeah, that is a lot of change.
Let’s take another look at things, and I am still not including Joe Wieskamp in these projections as I feel he will play professionally next year.
This exercise is aided somewhat by an interview Bohannon gave to Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register on Monday, where Bohannon revealed something possibly important: “He (Fran McCaffery) talked about the option of me playing the 2 this year and hunting my shot and that Joe (Toussaint) can set me up,” Bohannon said. “That I can be more of a scorer instead of facilitator.”
That revelation does one thing for me here, and that is to slide Joe Toussaint into the starting lineup at the point guard position. No, I have not forgotten that Connor McCaffery is on the team, but he didn’t play point guard last year (by and large) either. Bohannon was often the team’s primary ballhandler coming up the court, which got the team into their sets, which meant Bohannon wasn’t coming off screens right off the top of the play.
Joe T, it’s your time.
We can also slide Bohannon into the starting five as well…or rather, he never left. Nor did Keegan Murray, who will also be a starter. I also believe Rebraca will be a starter as the team’s best true center, with Riley Mulvey and Josh Ogundele fighting for backup minutes.
I have a hard time believing Connor will be healthy right when the season begins. I also think that Patrick McCaffery‘s emergence late in the year would have me leaning towards Pat being one of the starting five, even though ‘starting’ is not super relevant for every position, in my opinion. Rather, I would prefer to see Patrick, along with Keegan, Rebraca, Joe T and Bohannon receive starters minutes.
There are 200 player minutes per game. Five players on the floor at any one time, times 40 minutes per player. Put Bohannon, Rebraca and Keegan down for 30 minutes per game. Here is a quick stab at how the rest of the lineup could look, barring any other additions in the portal (which I think Iowa needs to pick up a forward or a combo-guard that can drive and defend).
You can see in the image on the right that it’s going to be a tough call for some of those minutes towards the end of the bench. I am also not saying this will be exactly how it goes, because how could anyone know that.
I just know that Bohannon has pushed the 30 minute mark in his career, Rebraca is used to that and Murray is the best player on the team and a star in the making.
I could see Joe T’s minutes moving higher some nights and Connor’s moving lower, or vice versa on other occasions. Then we have the development opportunities for players like Perkins, Ulis and Kris Murray this offseason. Perhaps Fran feels Kris Murray is his answer at the forward. Payton Sandfort or Riley Mulvey could arrive on campus and impress.
However, I feel very confident that the Top Six nucleus is going to eat up roughly 75% of the available minutes…or as confident as one can be in this every changing landscape of college basketball.