By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – For Iowa senior guard Peter Jok, making jump shots from long range is the easy part.
He made it look easy this past week on his way to earning Big Ten Player of the Week accolades on Monday.
The 6-foot-6 Jok averaged 28.5 points, six rebounds, two steals, and two assists in two games against Seton Hall and UT Rio Grande Valley. He made all 10 free throw attempts and shot 59 percent (20-of-34) from the field, including 44 percent (7-of-16) from 3-point range.
Jok recorded his first career double-double in Iowa’s 91-83 loss to Seton Hall last Thursday, posting career highs in scoring (30) and rebounding (11). The West Des Moines native became the third Hawkeye over the last 20 years to total 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in a single game. Reggie Evans did it twice, while Aaron Fuller did it once.
Jok was highly efficient in Sunday’s 95-67 win over UT Rio Grande Valley, totaling 27 points, two steals and one rebound in only 19 minutes of action. Jok made 9-of-13 field-goal attempts and equaled a personal best with five three pointers
He was asked after Sunday’s game on a scale of one to 10 where his confidence level was with regard to his jump shot.
“My confidence in myself and my jump shot and my game has always been high,” Jok said. “But this year, I’m a senior now, so I see everything slow. I’m just playing at my pace. I’m not letting them rush me or anything.”
This marks the second time that Jok has received a player of the week honor. He is the only returning starter from last season’s team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Jok and the Hawkeyes (3-1) return to action Friday when they travel to Destin, Florida, to compete in the Emerald Coast Classic. Iowa will face No. 7 Virginia on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Jok is averaging 24.3 points per game after four games. And though it’s early, he could be the first Hawkeye to average at least 20 points per game for a season since Adam Haluska averaged 20.5 points in the 2006-07 season.
Jok said Sunday that he started feeling comfortable with the pace of the college game near the end of last season. He made second-team all-Big Ten last season and then worked hard over the summer playing at different speeds.
“Changing pace from fast to slow and slow to fast, and also reading the defense,” Jok said. “So that really helped a lot, too, and watching film.”