By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – There are some things that you never would expect to do in life, like climbing the Empire State Building, winning millions in the lottery or covering an Iowa men’s basketball game in which the opponent is named Lindsey Wilson College.
I did one of those things on Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and giving away the location should tell you that it had nothing to do with climbing a tall building or winning the lottery.
An NAIA team from a college in Kentucky that I didn’t even know existed faced Iowa in an exhibition game, and what looked to be a mismatch on paper played out that way on the court.
Iowa bolted to a 17-5 lead and that was it from a drama standpoint as the Hawkeyes would go on to prevail 96-58 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Senior point guard Jordan Bohannon didn’t start the game, but he was among the first two players off the bench for Iowa, along with senior forward Ryan Kriener .
Bohannon attempted his first shot with slightly less than 9 minutes left in the first half and swished it from 3-point range.
His basket drew a nice ovation from the fans, who were happy to see how much progress Bohannon has made since having hip surgery in late May.
Bohannon still hasn’t decided if he will play this season or ultimately take a redshirt, but the fact that he was able to play on Monday is encouraging.
Iowa’s starting lineup on Monday consisted of sophomore Joe Wieskamp, junior Luke Garza and sophomore Jack Nunge on the frontline and sophomore Connor McCaffery and redshirt freshman C.J. Fredrick in the backcourt.
The 6-foot-6 Wieskamp scored 16 points in the first half and finished with 19 points overall.
Fredrick scored 18 points on a 6-of-7 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
"The preparation during the redshirt season just kind of all came together tonight," Fredrick said. "A lot of shots up in the gym. A lot of days in the weight room. I believe in myself and my teammates believe in me, and I was able to shpw that tonight."
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery was not surprised that Fredrick made such a significant contribution.
"I saw exactly what I expected to see," Fran McCaffery said. "A guy who's got a complete game. I thought he was terrific. He shot it. He drove it, moved without it, defended and got on the glass. He's a terrifc player."
Iowa had five players who scored in double figures, including freshman forward Patrick McCaffery with 12 points.
Connor McCaffery, who is Patrick's older brother and the oldest of Fran McCaffery's four children, also led Iowa with 11 assists and three steals..
Iowa returns three starters from a team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. But Iowa is also without its leading scorer and rebounder from last season as forward Tyler Cook skipped his senior season to enter the NBA Draft.
Iowa also has to replace shooting guard Isaiah Moss, who transferred to Kansas as a graduate student, and sixth-man Nicholas Baer, who used up his eligibility last season.
And for those wondering, Lindsey Wilson College is a United Methodist College in Columbia, Ky. Degree programs are offered at the associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. The college's sports teams compete in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA.
The men's basketball team has made eleven National Championship appearances in its history, and boasts three Mid-South Conference Championship wins in 2005, 2012, and 2013. In the 2012–2013 season, the men's basketball team reached the highest ranking in team history at number 3, won the regular season conference title, and finished 26–4 overall.
Monday's mismatch didn't really say a lot about Iowa's potential, but it served its purpose as a tune-up for the regular season.
Iowa will begin the season for real on Friday at 8 p.m. when it faces Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in the season opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.