The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Peter Jok to explore draft options

Iowa guard Peter Jok is cheered by the bench after hitting a three pointer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Northwestern, Sunday, January 31, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 85-71. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)

The Iowa men’s basketball team could look remarkably different next season, as its two leading scorers may be playing in different uniforms.

Junior Peter Jok will test his NBA chances this offseason, with a deadline to declare for the draft of May 25th.

This does not mean Jok won’t return to the Hawkeye sidelines, only that he will seek input from NBA personnel and will have the option to return for his senior season.

The news was first reported by Marty Tyrell of 1700 The Champ, a Des Moines radio station.

With the graduation of senior star Jarrod Uthoff in May, Jok leaving to pursue the professional leagues prove disastrous for the Hawkeyes.

The pair represented the bulk of the Hawkeyes scoring, with Uthoff leading the way at 18.9 points per game, and Jok close behind at 16.1. No other Hawkeye averaged over nine points.

Losing all five starters should certainly raise the alarm for Hawkeye fans, as Iowa would likely run its offense through the 6-foot-6-inch Jok next season, the only returning starter should he choose to stay for his senior year.

While several bench players saw action this season, they played inconsistently. The experience the Hawkeyes lose will be impossible to replace in one season, but to have one starter back next season would certainly help in developing both the bench and incoming class of players.

In terms of draft stock, Jok does not rank among the top 150 2016 draft prospects on’ s 150 list and has not attracted the pro attention Uthoff has this season.

In general, Jok still needs to work on his defense and ball handling, but he was without a doubt the Hawkeyes’ most prolific scorer throughout the season, thanks mostly to his shooting ability.

He scored a career high 29 in Iowa’s Big Ten tournament loss to Illinois, but was held to 11 in Iowa’s season ending loss to Villanova in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Jok has the blessing of the coaching staff, head coach Fran McCaffery said in a statement. Jok is also not alone in seeking NBA input among Big Ten underclassmen.

Most notably, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue is pursuing a similar evaluation from NBA experts.

“The rules regarding exploring NBA opportunities are different than they have ever been. Peter wants to take advantage of those opportunities and we fully support him.” McCaffery said in the statement.

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