clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

IOWA HAWKEYES PLAYER PREVIEWS: PETER JOK

New, comments

After an offseason full of DUMB JOK, is 2013's sole freshman still in the mix?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Peter Jok

Bio: Sophomore, 6'6, 200 lbs. (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Last season: 9.4 minutes per game, 4.4 points per game, 34.8% from three, two offseason arrests for moped-related stupidity

What we saw last season: On the court, Jok showed exactly the kind of progression we hope to see from a true freshman.  He saw ample playing time against non-conference patsies like UNC-Wilmington (20 minutes, 11 points) and Abilene Christian (20 minutes, 15 points), but moved down the bench when Iowa saw actual competition (9 minutes, 0 points against Xavier; 8 minutes, 2 points at Iowa State).  In other words, he arrived with enough talent to outplay low-major starters, but not enough to be an expected contributor in Big Ten play.  He went over a month without scoring a point as Iowa battled through the B1G -- he scored 2 against Minnesota on January 19 and did not score again until posting 6 on Michigan State on March 6 -- but he played serious minutes during Iowa's late-season implosion, and managed double digits in the Hawkeyes' NCAA Tournament loss.  There was a spark of something there, which is enough for a guy with the raw ability Jok showed.

And then his career damn near ended off the court.  It began with an April 26 arrest for mopeding while intoxicated, an arrest invited when Jok took his bike for a spin without a safety flag or rear taillight cover.  Three months later, Jok was again arrested, this time for driving while barred.  This time, the arresting officer cited Jok's moped, which was missing a safety flag and taillight cover.  In other words, Jok had his career flash before his eyes over $100 in moped safety equipment, then took that same moped out for another spin on a barred license and with the same equipment still broken.  That's one dumb Jok right there.

What we expect this season: The fact that Jok's still on the team -- and back in good standing -- shows two things: For one, McCaffery might be a bit more lenient on dumb-but-fairly-harmless issues than his counterparts; driving while intoxicated is never condoned, but buzzing around on a moped at .082 is about as harmless as DUI can be.  But more importantly, it shows that Fran sees a future for Jok in this program.  It's easy for a coach to take the extreme stupidity shown by Jok in April and July and use it as pretext to lose a player that doesn't factor into his plans.  It's more difficult when that player figures to contribute.  Fran has shown he will take the PR hit of keeping Jok, so there likely has to be a payoff.

With that said, Jok needs to show a more consistent perimeter jumper.  While it looks gorgeous, Jok's jump shot was on target less than 35 percent from behind the arc; for a team as challenged from the perimeter as Iowa was in 2013-14, a big freshman guard/wing making 40 percent would have gotten serious playing time.  If Jok gets there this year, he should find the court regularly.  Even if Josh Oglesby shows some improvement, Iowa is going to frequently want multiple outside gunners on the court as targets for Trey Dickerson and Mike Gesell passes from the lane.  Unless Jarrod Uthoff suddenly finds his form, the only other player meeting that criteria is freshman Brady Ellingson.  And Jok is going to play more than Ellingson, barring apocalypse and famine and pestilence and war.  Or a third moped incident.

Best case scenario: Jok uses this summer's issues as motivation to get focused on the court and comes out firing, beating out Oglesby for a starting position by December and posting double-digit scores most nights as Iowa's primary perimeter threat.  He augments his shot with a fake-and-drive game to punish onrushing perimeter defenders, and starts to resemble an extremely poor man's Nik Stauskas.  This is unlikely, but yes, it is possible.

Most likely scenario: Jok becomes a main fixture of Iowa's rotation, playing small forward when the Hawkeyes go small and shifting out to shooting guard when matchups dictate.  There is some modest improvement in his interior game, but Jok largely remains a perimeter threat with a slightly improved jump shot.  Something like 15 minutes per game with corresponding stats (5-8 ppg, 2-3 rpg, 1-2 apg) is about right.

One request: Get that damn taillight fixed.  For the love of God, Peter, that is really stupid.