Bohannon: no typical freshman

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoJason Bohannon is not your typical college freshman. For starters, he plays for the No. 4 basketball team in the country. Second, rather than riding the bench, Bohannon actually gets a significant amount of playing time. Finally, when he does see playing time, he plays nothing like a freshman.Through Saturday’s win over Northwestern, Bohannon is averaging 4.3 points in 14 minutes per game. Additionally, he is shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc, 42 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.Although his numbers are not spectacular, Bohannon has earned much praise from teammates and head coach Bo Ryan for his consistency, as evident by his assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.3.”He really takes care of the ball well; he isn’t out there forcing things and throwing the ball around,” starting senior guard Kammron Taylor said.Bohannon’s journey to Madison is certainly an intriguing one. A native of Iowa, Bohannon grew up watching his father, Gordy, play quarterback for the Iowa Hawkeyes. But unlike other athletes who followed in their father’s footsteps, Bohannon chose to play on the hard court instead of the gridiron.”It’s cool to be the son of the Iowa quarterback, but I’ve just got to make a name for myself,” Bohannon said.Bohannon did just that in high school as the star of the Linn-Mar basketball team. As a sophomore, he led his team to a Class 4-A state championship and was named both Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa and Mr. Basketball in Iowa his senior year. These high accolades led to Bohannon being recruited heavily by Wisconsin, Iowa and Stanford.In the end, after much consideration, Bohannon felt Wisconsin was simply the right place for him over his father’s alma mater of Iowa.”I visited them both, but a lot of things about Wisconsin — the fans, the coaches, the players — convinced me that this is where I wanted to be,” Bohannon said.As a freshman this season, Bohannon has had quite a number of things to get used to, the toughest being time management.”It’s been a tough transition, but I’ve gotten used to it now, and Joe [Krabbenhoft] has helped me out a lot with my priorities,” Bohannon said.But Bohannon has adjusted quickly, and his teammates have taken notice. While he has been extremely efficient in the minutes he’s received off the bench, Bohannon’s strongest aspect of his game has obviously been his shooting.”Jason’s strength is shooting,” junior guard Michael Flowers said. “I think he should shoot every time he touches the ball.”Yet, perhaps the most impressive thing about Bohannon has been his poise as a freshman.”He has so much confidence,” Flowers said. “Even though he is in and out of games and gets different amounts of playing time from week to week, he still maintains his confidence.”And Taylor thinks Bohannon is further along in his first year than the senior guard was three years ago.”He’s stronger than I was as a freshman and he was more ready to play sooner than I was,” Taylor said.Bohannon’s poise was on display in the Badgers’ 57-46 win over his dad’s Hawkeyes two weeks ago. While it was a homecoming for him, it didn’t seem as if everyone was happy to see him.Even with many friends and family members looking on at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Bohannon was booed loudly upon entering the game, and despite playing only three minutes, he was heckled every time he touched the ball. Nevertheless, he appeared unfazed and relaxed as he drained a deep 3-pointer the first time he touched the ball.”That had to have been one of Jason’s best feelings ever,” Flowers said of Bohannon’s 3-pointer. “Everyone on the team was happy for him.”With Bohannon and fellow freshman guard Trevon Hughes, the Badgers’ future in the backcourt looks very bright. “Jason and Trevon are going to be real good,” Taylor said. “That backcourt is going to be scary.”last_img read more