IOWA CITY — Jordan Bohannon is playing.
No doubt. No question.
Despite missing two weeks with a mysterious injury that no one wants to talk about, Iowa’s junior point guard said there is no way he will sit out the Hawkeyes’ regular-season opener tonight against UMKC at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"First game of the year? Come on. You guys know me better than that," Bohannon told reporters Wednesday.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery wasn’t quite as definitive when asked about Bohannon but said he thought there was a good chance he would play after missing a preseason closed scrimmage against Missouri and an exhibition game against Guilford College.
He said Bohannon practiced a little bit on Tuesday and would do the same on Wednesday.
"If everything goes well, I think he'll play," McCaffery said. "I think we just see how he does, see how he's feeling. If he's ready to go, he'll go. If he gets sore, we'll take him out. There's really no other way to plan for that."
Bohannon said he is "100 percent, as I always am" and that the injury may be "a blessing in disguise."
"I’ve been able to work on my conditioning a little more," he said. "Obviously, I’d rather be on the court with them battling every day, but I was able to run some stairs, do biking every day, work on ballhandling, simple stuff that has really been beneficial to me that I wouldn’t have been able to do. … Hopefully, that will carry over later in the season because I was able to have a little break."
Everyone has been a bit evasive about what prompted Bohannon to be sidelined for so long. McCaffery has repeatedly referred to the injury as a "deep bone bruise" without specifying exactly what body part was affected.
Bohannon was absolutely no help in resolving that question.
"Don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t know what you’re talking about," he said when asked about the ailment. "I feel 100 percent. I’m excited to play Thursday."
Is this something that happened in practice?
"I’m not really sure how it happened," he said.
Why so much mystery?
"I’ve always been a mystery, haven’t I?" he snapped with a smile. "Nothing new there.
"It’s nothing serious," he added, "nothing for anyone to worry about."
Is this related to the foot problems he experienced last season?
"You guys are always worried about my foot, aren’t you?" Bohannon said. "My feet are fine."
One thing is certain: The Hawkeyes are a better team with a guy who is the only player in NCAA history to record 80 or more 3-point field goals and 150 or more assists in each of his first two years of college.
"He adds a whole other dimension just with his shooting ability," freshman guard Connor McCaffery said. "Obviously, it stretches the defense. Whether a team’s playing zone, man or whatever, paying attention to him, everybody has to be one step closer to him, opening up space for other people."
Tonight’s opponent, UMKC — aka the University of Missouri-Kansas City — already has played a game. The Kangaroos visited Loyola-Chicago on Tuesday night, losing 76-45 amid a raucous atmosphere in which the host Ramblers unveiled their NCAA Final Four banner.
"Tough environment for I think anybody …," Fran McCaffery said. "They played really well. I thought UMKC fought them hard. He (head coach Kareem Richardson) has some new bodies that he's working in. He's got some guys back that he likes that are really good. His guards are good.
"He's got a little more size. So they have more flexibility now. They can go big. They can go small. They defend. They change defenses. Nothing's changed there. So it's a tough opener, I think."