Take a long, deep breath Hawkeye fans, Peter Jok is back and seemingly ready to lead this young Iowa team during the 2016-17 season:
"This is going to be my team. I want to be the leader. I'm ready to get my degree and lead this team next year."
Chad Leistikow was the first to break the news of his NBA or NCAA decision earlier this afternoon:
BREAKING: Peter Jok tells me he is returning to Iowa for his senior season.— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) May 20, 2016
In his article on Hawk Central, Leistikow said that the 6'6" shooting guard met with members of his "inner circle" -- which also included Iowa head coach, Fran McCaffery -- before ultimately deciding on whether or not to return.
I may be speaking for myself, but Jok's decision isn't really a shock for some of us that have followed this process closely. While it was extremely smart to test the NBA waters and gather as much information as possible (which is exactly why this new rule was put into place), Jok ultimately wasn't one of the 70-plus players invited to the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week. While that doesn't exactly ensure he WOULDN'T have ultimately been drafted -- according to that same report from Leistikow, Jok made such a good impression on the New Orleans Pelicans it put Jok back in a holding pattern -- a thumb injury that he suffered after was the proverbial nail in the NBA coffin... for now.
With that decision now in his rear view mirror, Jok can now take the feedback both he and McCaffery obtained during the process and put it to work.
Knowing where and what Jok has already overcome in his life and basketball career, it wouldn't be at all shocking if this lit a nice little flame for the Iowa wing. And now that he's back, Jok surely will be a preseason candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year and conference first team honors after averaging 16.1 points per game as a junior.