Should he stay or should he go? Peter Jok announced that he would be testing the NBA Draft waters on Wednesday, and he and Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery followed up on that news yesterday. First, Jok:
"I would like to take advantage of the opportunity that is now presented to underclassmen in going through the process of obtaining input from NBA personnel so that I can make an informed decision about my future. For me, this whole process is for experience to see how it all works and then return to work on my game.
"It's comforting having the support of coach (Fran) McCaffery and staff. Coach will continue to be a valuable resource for me during this process. If it's not the right time for me to make the move to the NBA, I'm excited about returning and leading our team next season."
"The prevailing feeling is he'll come back and go through it next year, and be in a better position to handle it next year."
"If you're asking what I think," McCaffery said under that second-round scenario, "I don't think he would go, and I don't think he should go. And that's what I would tell him."
If the NBA scouts and front office personnel tell Jok that he's likely to be a first round pick -- thanks for the memories, Pete. If the NBA scouts and front office personnel tell Jok that he's likely to be a second round pick at best (which seems like the more likely scenario, frankly) -- welcome back to Iowa, Pete. Can't wait to see you light up Big Ten scoreboards next year.
The changes the NBA has made to the early entry process are advantageous for players and there's really no reason not to explore your options under the new rules. Best of luck to Jok as he goes through the process.
Brother, can you spare a point guard? On this week's installment of the On Iowa podcast, The Gazette's Scott Dochterman and Marc Morehouse spend a lot of time discussing the future of Iowa hoops and what next year's team might look like. Both agree that a graduate transfer point guard -- an experienced player who could step in and contribute right away -- would make a lot of sense for Iowa hoops next year and may even be inevitable. (Neither seemed particularly convinced that either Christian Williams or Jason Bohannon would be Iowa's starting point guard next year.) I agree: it would make a lot of sense for Iowa to add a graduate transfer PG, although the lack of a scholarship to hand out (all 13 of Iowa's scholarships for 2016-17 are presently accounted for) is an impediment, as is the notion that Nicholas Baer may or may not have "dibs" on the next available scholarship. Still, transfers are a way of life in modern college basketball, so we'll have to see how things shake out there. Stay tuned.
In other point guard news, Christian Vital, a 3* recruit out of Connecticut, recently decommitted from UNLV after they fired their coach (Dave Rice) earlier in the season. Why do we care? Because he's allegedly "heard from" UConn, Louisville, Alabama, West Virginia, and... Iowa. Iowa definitely appears to be showing some interest in him:
Had a good conversation with Fran McCaffrey today!— Christian CV Vital (@I_AMCV) March 22, 2016
Vital is a Class of 2016 recruit and, again, Iowa has no currently available scholarships -- the key words there likely being "currently available." You can check out Vital's highlights below:
Dolla dolla bills. The Big Ten is the last of the major sports conferences to renegotiate its media rights and while the ideal time to cash in on the media rights bubble was probably a year or two ago, given that ESPN and Fox Sports have announced several cuts in recent months, Big Ten football and basketball games are still highly-coveted assets among sports broadcasters, so the league (and its members) should still get a very nice chunk of change from this new round of negotiations. As the Sports Business Journal reports, though, it's more likely that Big Ten rights will be parceled out among several different networks rather than aligned with one primary partner. In other words, don't be surprised in Big Ten games are on ABC, ESPN, CBS, Fox, Fox Sports 1, and (of course) BTN. There's even a chance that NBC (and NBC Sports Network) and the Turner networks (TNT, TBS) could end up with some Big Ten games.
Go Iowa (Energy) Awesome. DJ Stephens of the Iowa Energy threw down an outstanding alley-oop dunk last night:
- Iowa's certainly not the only team that got absolutely shredded by Villanova in this NCAA Tournament if that makes you feel any better about last Sunday's hamblasting:
1.60 points per possession for Villanova. The best offensive game for any team the ENTIRE SEASON— Jordan Sperber (@hoopvision68) March 25, 2016
- Jordan Bohannon was named Mr. Basketball for Iowa in 2016:
- Chic Ejiasi is leaving the director of player development position at Iowa to be the director of player engagement for the Tennessee Titans. Ejiasi is the first and so far only person to serve as director of player development at Iowa. Best of luck to Ejiasi with the Titans.
- You can vote in the Elite 8 of Hawkeye Nation's Best in the Nest bracket right here. Aaron White vs. Jarrod Uthoff? Chris Street vs. Andre Woolridge? Roy Marble vs. BJ Armstrong? Ronnie Lester vs. Don Nelson? Decisions, decisions.