The Iowa Hawkeyes got some tough news last week as the program learned that star forward Tyler Cook would be foregoing next season and entering the 2019 NBA Draft. The news wasn’t surprising, but it was still disappointing for fans that may have been holding out hope of Cook making a return.
Iowa big man Tyler Cook told @stadium he will remain in the NBA Draft and will not return to school.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 26, 2019
During his three seasons with the program, Cook finished as one of the more decorated Hawkeyes in recent memory. He was a monster on the boards and led multiple teams to the NCAA Tournament. He finished with 92 starts, 2,601 minutes, 1,315 points, and 619 rebounds. It was a remarkable career for the forward.
Most experts are skeptical of Cook making a significant impact at the next level, but he does still have a shot at hearing his named called in the second round on draft night. It will largely depend on how he does in individual team workouts and how the board falls. EIther way, he will get a shot to earn a roster spot during Summer League play.
For Iowa, there’s simply no replacing a player like Cook. He was an athletic freak that doesn’t show up at a place like Iowa on a yearly basis. The good news is that the departure doesn’t come as a surprise, so Fran McCaffery and his staff had plenty of time to get ready for Cook’s exit. That should help the replacements.
Whether next year’s Iowa squad can match the team’s success last season remains to be seen, but this news will certainly make it at least a bit tougher.