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Can Iowa Hawkeye Guard Peter Jok Reach the NBA?

Breaking down Peter Jok’s senior season and NBA draft projection.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After another fantastic season for Peter Jok, it’s time to evaluate Jok’s game and what his NBA chances are. Let’s first start by reviewing Jok’s senior season. The season started with high expectations for Jok, as he was the one lone starting senior.

He was expected to lead a roster full of freshmen and sophomores. Not only did he lead the team by becoming more vocal on the court, but he carried the offensive load while the team struggled in the non-conference season.

Jok continued to carry the Hawkeyes at the start of Big Ten play. He was great against Michigan, Nebraska, and Purdue. Jok scored 20 plus in upsets over Michigan and Purdue and 34 in a loss against Nebraska. After the monster performance and win over Purdue, Jok was averaging 23 points per game, easily leading the Big Ten.

Shortly after the Purdue game, Jok suffered a back injury, causing him to struggle in the three-game losing streak against Northwestern, Maryland and Illinois. The senior decided to sit out the next two games against Ohio State and Rutgers. Coming back after two games of rest, Jok’s game still looked slightly off, and his numbers showed for the remainder of the season.

Even with the scoring dip after the back injury, he still led the Big Ten in scoring (19.9), made all-conference first team and was named honorable mention All-American. He also helped Iowa make a final push in conference play when the team finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak.

Unfortunately the momentum came to a halt when the Hawkeyes lost their first game of the Big Ten Tournament. The team went on to lose their second game in the NIT against TCU. Although Iowa missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four years, this was clearly a rebuilding year, Jok and the young Hawkeyes should not be disappointed. The next step for Jok will be participating in the NBA Draft Combine.

Strengths

Obviously Jok's strength as a player is his outside shooting. He shot 40% from three during his junior season and shot 38% this season. Although Jok is streaky at times, he has the ability to hit contested shots off the catch. Jok's ability to hit from distance and knock down pull up jumpers, are two NBA transferable skills that will intrigue NBA teams.

Weaknesses

Jok really struggles to finish at the rim. He shot just 46.7% on two point field goals this season and it wont get any easier at the NBA level. Jok also struggles to create in one-on-one situations. His go-to move off the dribble is a simple pull up jumper. He’ll need to add more moves to his offensive game if he wants to fit in at the next level.

Although there isn’t many weaknesses in Jok’s offensive game, there are some on the defensive end. Jok doesn't have the foot speed to guard at the NBA level, he struggled with quick guards throughout his Iowa career. And although Jok’s defensive effort has improved each season, he still struggled to stay in front of his man way too often this season.

Head coach Fran McCaffery often played zone this season because of a young roster that wasn't ready for winning college level defense. The team playing zone didn’t help Jok’s campaign of showing NBA scouts that he’s gotten better in that aspect of the game, especially because he still had his fair share of lapses this season.

Outlook

Although Jok had an excellent senior season, he hasn’t really gained any traction on the NBA draft boards. He’s no where to be found on the DraftExpress mock draft and is ranked as the 17th best prospect of the NCAA senior class.

Jok will have to gain as much momentum as he can in the upcoming NBA Draft Combine. The best way to gain needed momentum is for Jok to post the best shooting numbers in the field in the spot up shooting competition.