UW Health Sports Medicine 

Lucas at Large: Catching up with Jason Bohannon

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While some UW fans might have had a heightened level of anxiety at Iowa watching the Badgers hurl brick after brick at the basket during the first half, Jason Bohannon wasn't sweating a few misses. JBo has been there, done that.

"You just have to have the confidence to shoot the next one when it's there," said Bohannon, the former Wisconsin sharpshooter, who had games when he wasn't all that sharp. His remedy? Just keep shooting.

Bohannon_Jason_12_31_09a_sm.jpg"They'll be a lot better in the second half," Bohannon promised at halftime of Wednesday night's game in Iowa City. Poor shooting, he confirmed, can be contagious, having a snowballing effect on a team. One miss, all miss.

"But it's the same way when you make a couple of shots - one make, all make," Bohannon added. "There were a couple of times in the first half where they had an open shot and hesitated. That's not good for any kind of shooter.

"Coach (Bo) Ryan will do a good job in the locker room at halftime and the second half will be different. When those open looks are there - like they were in the first half - they just have to have confidence in themselves to keep shooting."

Bohannon was spot-on with his commentary (he might have a future on the Big Ten Network). In the second half, the Badgers shot 52 percent (15-29) and they also made half of their attempts in overtime to claim a 62-59 win at Iowa.

Bohannon had a good seat for the comeback - second row behind the UW bench. He walked into Carver-Hawkeye without drawing boos, too. That was the usual reception when the former Mr. Basketball in Iowa played for the Badgers.

What's Bohannon doing today?

"I'm in between jobs," he said.

Basketball jobs.

Bohannon, a Marion native, was on the roster of the Iowa Energy, an NBA Development League team based in Des Moines, Iowa. While appearing in 12 games, he was averaging a little less than five minutes of playing time.

"I got a lot of good practice time and competition - and some minutes here and there," said Bohannon, who was recently put on waivers. "They have a lot of veterans like Curtis Stinson (Iowa State) and Courtney Sims (Michigan)."

And that made it more difficult to find his niche. "Now I'm looking to get over to Europe," Bohannon said. "I want to play basketball as long as I can wherever it may be. I really don't have it out of my system yet."

To this end, Bohannon's backcourt partner last season, Trevon Hughes, had an initial bump - he was cut by a team in Slovenia - before finding a home on a roster in Latvia. Such are the vagaries of the profession.

When his playing days are over, Bohannon believes coaching might be an option. "I don't know at what level," he said. "But I definitely have the itch to stay around basketball. A lot of players can never get that itch out of their system."

Bohannon is a good frame of reference for the development of a former UW teammate - Jordan Taylor, who's one of the top point guards in college basketball. Bohannon has seen a steady growth in Taylor's overall game.

"Even as a freshman, he came in and handled himself with a lot of poise," Bohannon said. "He's always had a kind of swagger about him. He always knew to make the right decisions. Plus, he was strong and he took care of the ball."

There was also a leadership quality to Taylor. "Maybe it doesn't come out right away with young players but you can see it in their personality," he said. "It's not so much verbal but how they handle themselves and direct people.

"Seeing his growth from his freshman year - even seeing his growth from last season to this season - is amazing. And all of the guys on the roster when he was a freshman knew what he was capable of doing."

Bohannon is anxious now to see how the UW matches up with No. 1 ranked Ohio State. "Everyone had their doubts about them," he said of the Badgers who were picked for the second division of the Big Ten. "It's always like that."

J-Bo has been there, done that, remember.

"A lot of publications don't give the Badgers the best pub," Bohannon went on. "That's kind of sad considering what they've done under Coach (Bo) Ryan, which is a tribute to him since they always manage to beat the predictions."

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