December 5, 2023


Professional waiter experts

The Hyball: Start Payton Sandfort Over Jordan Bohannon

The Hyball is a weekly Iowa men’s basketball column

It came to me during one of our bad losses this week.

Why does Jordan Bohannon start over Payton Sandfort? That’s right — we’re going there, baby!

Current 2021-22 stats:

  • Bohannon: 10.0 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 35.7% FGs
  • Sandfort: 4.9 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 38.5% FGs

The latter is doing that playing 10.1 minutes a game. The former? Nearly triple that at 29.1 minutes a game. And yeah, J-Bo is out there against better competition, but in your heart of hearts, do you believe Sandfort couldn’t give us similar numbers? His upside certainly intrigues; stroke looks pure and trigger looks quick.

Bohannon’s play, nearly all season long, has not at all passed the eye test or the stat test. He rarely gets to the rim, plays absolutely no defense, and even the trusty old shot is starting to slip. J-Bo’s career three point percentage, best to worst:

  • 43.0% (2017)
  • 41.6% (2016)
  • 39.0% (2020)
  • 38.3% (2018)
  • 32.8% (2019; the 10 game surgery season)

This season, ESPN has him at 34% — good for No. 38 in the Big Ten conference and his second worst shooting percentage of his career. You know who’s also at 34% and one spot below J-Bo? Payton Sandfort, yo.

You want to talk assists? I’ll even leave out this season’s 1.5 per game (as he did transition from the 1 to the 2). But even if we just look at the first five years:

  • 5.4 (2017)
  • 5.1 (2016)
  • 4.4 (2020)
  • 3.4 (2018)
  • 3.3 (2019; the 10 game surgery season)

Once again, it’s that dip-dip-dip. And it’s seemingly translating across the board. Not that J-Bo was ever a rebounder…

  • 3.1 (2020)
  • 2.4 (2018)
  • 2.2 (2016)
  • 2.2 (2017)
  • 1.6 (2019; the 10 game surgery season)

…but he’s at a career worst 1.1 this year. It genuinely feels like his presence on the floor is more ceremonial than out of necessity. Like this is Iowa’s version of the Kobe contract.

Unless he is injured, it boggles my mind to see a sixth year player regressing like this. Eli Brooks is currently in a similar role at Michigan, and though he was never going to be the best player on the court, some nights, it feels like he is based on experience and IQ alone; dude is a psychological force out there, like Professor X getting his pupils in line. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect this same type of leadership and intangibles from someone who first suited up for Iowa when Obama was still in office.

But what about defense?

I’m not saying Sandfort will be great shakes on defense either, but at 6’7”, he does have six inches on his senior counterpart. And, again, if J-Bo is out there for shooting only*, this seems like the logical replacement if we aren’t going to throw Kris Murray into the starting mix (and… why aren’t we, exactly?).

(* – shouldn’t say that, as he generates more “are you sure they’re watching the same game as me?” announcer praise as anyone outside of Connor McCaffery himself)

Not sure if this is some seniority/respect thing, but, man, after last year’s zero point showing to bow out against Oregon, not really sure why any type of starting spot was ever guaranteed for Bohannon — even though that sixth year always was.

The Hyball

“Most people use statistics like a drunk man uses a lamppost; more for support than illumination.”

Last Week

1/27 – Purdue 83, Iowa 73: Forgot to write about this after it happened. What I remember:

– We are too small to expect any type of great things to happen — in a long term sense — with this season

– This game was not fun; we just couldn’t make a dent in it

– Also, we lost by enough that all of this was purely funny to me

1/31 – Penn State 90, Iowa 86 (2 OT): Sadly, we’ll remember this game forever.

I mean, not because of that. That was funny. Sound all the way on for that video of course.

No, we’ll remember it for a wrenching, dysfunctional double OT loss –*and* it going back to back with the women losing to Ohio State/squandering a 43-piece from Caitlin Clark. Honestly, it’s about as dark of a basketball night as Iowa fans will ever get (on court-wise).

oh fuck also

Can we give this man the fucking ball in crunch time?

More diplomatically put, Cody.

This Week

2/2 – Iowa at Ohio State (16): Meh.

UPDATE: Postponed. Really wish I hadn’t written that long preview.

2/6 – Minnesota at Iowa: Fine.

Caitlin Corner

Saw Queen C — second fucking row! — on Friday after realizing the Iowa Hawkeyes were playing in my backyard literally one day removed from my “Really gotta see her live” column.

Major takeaways:

– Her passing vision is a gift that sometimes can be its own burden (it’s like having a PhD but being told to repeat undergrad; I say this with zero disrespect to any of her teammates; there are probably less than 10 basketball players in the world who would play completely appropriately with her; the great ones see the game differently)

– Her shiftiness does not come through on TV as noticeably as in person; it’s like she’s covered in Crisco and always going downhill

– I want to see her even more after seeing her just once; look at this shit

– Think she’s only gonna get more expressive and animated as her career goes; not saying she’ll hit the late career Diana Taurasi level (few do), but there is more in there than she’s showing us, so far

* * *

And hell yeah, let’s talk Ohio State.

Those two remind me of this Drake verse:

Still runnin’ the game, don’t ask me about the practice
You go on vacation, don’t ask me about relaxin’
Not sure if you know, but I’m actually Michael Jackson
The man I see in the mirror is actually goin’ platinum

Replace Michael with Steph Curry. And yeah, we took the L — but I just don’t give a shit. I shook my head in pure belief/disbelief at Clark’s various plays over five times in the second half alone.

OK, put Michael back in. All the way in:


(Let this be known as the one time I was more excited about a Kemba comp than an MJ one, but if you saw that tourney run, you know.)

Good. It will continue to grow, because Caitlin Clark delivers like the 1st and 15th.

I will end this section — that once again should’ve been the intro of this column — here:

That feels like the appropriate level of respect. But I still want much, much more. Updated my Twitter banner this week:

Watch Caitlin Clark Play Basketball

…then I got an actual professional graphic designer (my buddy Crooks) to do it. Peep here.

Brad Davison Is Definitively A Senior.

You: We’ve scheduled a ceremony for Brad Davison?
Me: Is he finally going to prison?!

Obligatory Michigan Section

M took it on the chin to MSU over the weekend (not too different than the Iowa-Purdue game, except they were on the road). I already talked about the weird ass 40+ foul game against Northwestern last week, but Ant Wright had a breakdown of a random ass play that was super illuminating for a low hoops IQ individual like myself.

The Mini-Hybrid

I love Joe Burrow, and this section is going to be entirely tweets about him.

/heart eyes emoji


/nods in such a satisfied way, it’s as if nothing bad can or ever will happen

I know I said Burrow only, but this is LSU, so there’s a segue:


* * *



Bill Walton’s Western Civilization 

OK, it isn’t Walton — but can I be forgiven for thinking it could’ve been?

No Context College Basketball
Wrapping It Up…


Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at]