It hasn’t been a traditional offseason for the Iowa basketball program, but through it all, Joe Lunardi believes they are still an NCAA Tournament team.
Given all the Iowa basketball team has gone through the past few months to even sniff Joe Lunardi’s preseason bracketology release is impressive.
In the span of a few short months, the Iowa basketball team has seen two shooting guards (one of which was starting guard Isaiah Moss) transfer, one junior declare (and go unselected) in the NBA Draft, one assistant coach depart, and star point guard Jordan Bohannon opt for surgery that could likely result in him missing the entire season.
Fortunately, for the Iowa basketball team, three guys are returning from redshirt who figure to play prominent roles on next years squad. In fact, two of the guys, Cordell Pemsl and Jack Nunge, already have played prominent roles in previous years squad so they are ready to go. The other, redshirt freshman CJ Fredrick has reportedly looked great in camp.
Moreover, 2019 recruits Joe Toussaint and Patrick McCaffery figure to be instant impact guys at key positions. Toussaint is a dynamic point guard while McCaffery is a lanky and lean forward who can shoot the three and handle the ball well.
Last but not least, the Iowa basketball team brought in graduate transfer Bakari Evelyn to help fill the void left by Bohannon at point guard.
When all said and done, the Hawks could be missing five guys who played key minutes from last year’s team and have six new guys in the rotation. At this point, it’s a complete guessing game how this will all mesh together, but seeing the Hawks check-in as the number 9 seed in ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s most recent bracketology release gives me reprieve about this upcoming season.
The games still need to be played, but after a tumultuous offseason, there are still a few believers that the Iowa basketball team is talented enough to return to the NCAA Tournament. How well the new guys all mesh will be the difference in whether they come in hot and as a higher seed or if they falter down the stretch and limp in with a 9 or 10 seed like last season.