Iowa basketball offseason disaster continues

Iowa trailed Tennessee 44-19 before storming back to tie the game at 71. Twenty-five points would tie for the largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history. What a moment it would be to advance the Iowa basketball program into the Sweet 16.

Since then, it’s been all bad news for Hawkeye hoops. Iowa was flattened in overtime as Tennessee escaped historic futility, and that was just the start of the Hawkeyes’ downfall that has continued through today.

He didn’t know it at the time, but right after the second-round loss to Tennessee, Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp talked about his high expectations for the team going into next season.

“We realize that the guys in this locker room are going to get right back to work,” Wieskamp said. “We’ve got so much talent in here. It’s going to be a great offseason. I already know that. We’ll be back. I promise you that.”

It made sense at the time. Why shouldn’t Iowa fans be excited? The Hawkeyes were only expected to lose reserve senior big man Nicholas Baer with the entire starting 5 and everybody else coming back. If the roster stayed intact, this is surely a tournament team and likely starting next season in the top 25.

But it didn’t, and the Hawkeyes are in trouble looking ahead to the 2019-20 season.

The departures

Shortly after the season ended, reserve junior guard Maishe Dailey transferred to Akron. He was phased out of the rotation and not expected to be a big part of the team next year anyways, so not a huge deal.

Days later, three-year starter Isaiah Moss announced he’s leaving and will play for Arkansas next season as a graduate transfer. That’s a big deal.

Iowa’s leading scorer and rebounder Tyler Cook left college early for the NBA Draft despite a good chance of not being selected on draft night. Wieskamp put his name into the draft, but it would be a major shock if he doesn’t come back to college for his sophomore year.

The injury

This one happened today and is the reason this article is being written. Iowa basketball announced sharp-shooter Jordan Bohannon will undergo surgery on his hip on Wednesday.

Nobody really knows how long he will be out, but it’s possible he uses a redshirt and takes the whole year off to be ready for 2020-21.

Just like that, Iowa may be down three starters it expected to have.

Missed transfers

Iowa was mentioned as a possibility for a few transfers looking for a new place to play with Notre Dame’s DJ Harvey as well as Marquette’s Sam and Joey Hauser.

Harvey narrowed his options down to Vanderbilt and Iowa but ultimately chose Vanderbilt.

The Hausers were incredible longshots from the beginning, and that’s going to happen because they’re headed to Wisconsin, as we reported weeks ago.

Iowa needs desperate help right now and should find somebody with two scholarships available.

The future

We’ll see what Iowa can do in the grad transfer market, but it would be the greatest achievement of Fran McCaffery’s career to carry the Hawkeyes to the NCAA Tournament. Remember, this was a 10 seed last year that needed last-second 3-pointers to beat Northwestern, Rutgers and Indiana. Now you’re taking three starters away from that team.

I considered writing an article to suggest McCaffery is an early hot seat candidate for next season, but he just received an extension last year with a big buyout. He’ll be around a while.

This offseason mess will open up playing time for McCaffery’s sons Connor and Patrick. Sooner or later, Iowa basketball will become a McCaffery family reunion.

The Hawkeyes were an overtime session away from the Sweet 16 in March, and that seems like such a long time ago given the disaster of an offseason it’s been in Iowa City.

What a difference two months can make.

Leave a Reply