Preview: Some Hawkeyes Have History with UNI’s A.J. Green

December 14, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Almost three years later, Jordan Bohannon can’t shake the nightmarish memory. It’s especially been at the forefront of his mind this week.

His high school career ended in crushing fashion. Cedar Falls knocked out his Linn-Mar squad on a buzzer beater in March of 2016. It happened in the substate final, meaning he would never play in the state tournament.

Bohannon, now an Iowa junior, will meet up with the guy who hit that game-winner Saturday when the Hawkeyes play Northern Iowa in the Big Four Classic (6 p.m. CT, BTN). A.J. Green is a freshman with the Panthers.

“There’s a little bad blood, I guess you could say because he hit the game-winner to end my senior campaign,” Bohannon said Thursday here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “That’s something I’m always going to remember the rest of my life.”

Bohannon was smiling when he delivered the above statement. Even if he said it with tongue somewhat planted in cheek, the competitive guard has thought about some revenge in the likely last meeting against Green.

Green will be a key player on the Hawkeye scouting report. The newcomer leads UNI (4-5) in scoring (15.8 PPG). No other Panther is averaging double figures in points.

“He’s a really good player, really good pull-up game. He shoots the ball pretty high up on his shooting form, so it’s hard to contest his shots. He’s worked really hard to get to this point and he’s been having a great freshman year,” Bohannon said.

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Green shares a history with guys on the Iowa roster beyond Bohannon. He played AAU with Hawkeye freshman Joe Wieskamp beginning with they were in 6th grade.

“I guarded him in practice. It will be a lot of fun,” Wieskamp said.

Both Green and Wieskamp reached the state tournament last season. The former captured the title with his Cedar Falls team.

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“He’s a great player. It was awesome just to watch him lead his team to a championship,” Wieskamp said.

With it being the likely only college meeting between the former AAU teammates, this one is for bragging rights.

“I don’t really look at that at all. I’m just excited to play him. I think it will be a fun game,” Wieskamp said.

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Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery has watched a lot of Green. His sons, Connor and Patrick, played with the same AAU program, the Iowa Barnstormers.

“His game is pretty complete. He can dribble, pass and shoot. He’s got size. He can score in bunches. He can load people up,” the coach said.

Green isn’t a one-man band. Former Dubuque Senior High standout, Luke McDonnell, ranks second on the team with 9.1 points per game. Fifth-year senior Wyatt Lohaus, an Iowa City West grad and son of former Hawkeye Brad Lohaus, averages 8.2 points and is a tough defender. Trae Berhow leads the team with 6.4 an outing to go with 7.9 points.

“They have a lot of ways they can go. They have kind of gone small at times. AJ’s got the ball most of the time. He’s kind of the key to everything. But they are surrounding him with people who can make shots, who can make plays, so that makes him dangerous,” Fran McCaffery said.

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