After-thoughts from Iowa’s 83-63 victory over Rutgers:
--Freshman Jordan Bohannon probably had one of his best games to date and not only because he made five of seven 3-point field goal attempts. Bohannon was completely in control and never forced anything all night in an arena he’d never set foot in before. He had only four assists but did not turn the ball over. More and more, he seems to be the calming, steadying influence you hope to have in a point guard.
--You get the feeling Peter Jok will return to action Sunday when the Hawkeyes host Nebraska. The Hawkeyes have played some of their best basketball of the season without him and hopefully the young kids who played with so much effort and urgency in his absence can continue that even after he comes back. If you can blend one of the best pure shooters in the country with the cohesion we’ve seen against Ohio State and Rutgers, this is going to be a very tough team to beat.
--Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has said that when Jok returns, Nicholas Baer will go back to coming off the bench. Hopefully, he knows what he’s doing. One of the best things about the two games the Hawkeyes have played without Jok is that they’ve gotten off to a tremendously energetic start at the defensive end of the court. Baer has been the primary catalyst of that.
--Winning a road game Tuesday was very important because it offsets the home loss to Maryland. Iowa is now 5-5 with four Big Ten games remaining and you have to think if it can split its last eight regular-season games, it can land an NIT berth. The four remaining home games are against beatable teams — Nebraska, Illinois, Penn State and Indiana. That’s good because the four remaining road games are fairly daunting — Wisconsin, Maryland, Michigan State and Minnesota.
--Rutgers is a great offensive rebounding team and it really got going in that area in the second half Tuesday. The first time they got the ball in the second half, the Scarlet Knights got off seven shot attempts. And missed them all. There’s a reason they also are 304th in the country in field goal percentage.
--It’s amazing Rutgers has been as competitive as it has with limited perimeter offense. It has only four players who even attempt 3-point field goals and none of them are really great at it. It didn’t help that it lost one of those four players, Nigel Johnson, to an injury six minutes into Tuesday’s game.
--Senior Dale Jones did not get into Tuesday’s game, even at the end when McCaffery tossed walk-on Charlie Rose out there for a minute. Jones was in uniform but reportedly did not go through warmups because of some soreness in his knee. Guy can’t catch a break.
--Junior forward Deshawn Freeman has been a thorn in the Hawkeyes’ side both times Iowa and Rutgers have played. He had 17 points and 13 rebounds Tuesday after getting 19 and 13 in their previous meeting. He’s a somewhat undersized power forward with limited skills who plays with as much ferocity as any player in the Big Ten.