The Daily Iowan

Tyler Cook brightens Iowa’s dim offense

Iowa’s offense hasn’t been consistent, but Tyler Cook has.

Iowa+forward+Tyler+Cook+shoots+a+3+over+Ohio+State+center+Micah+Potter+during+an+Iowa%2FOhio+State+men%27s+basketball+game+in+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Thursday%2C+Jan.+4%2C+2018.+The+Buckeyes+defeated+the+Hawkeyes%2C+92-81.+%28Joseph+Cress%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a 3 over Ohio State center Micah Potter during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a 3 over Ohio State center Micah Potter during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a 3 over Ohio State center Micah Potter during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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Tyler Cook is a threat to opposing defenses.

He proved that last season by being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in his first season as a Hawkeye.

More importantly, though, Iowa needs him.

He proved that the past two games in Carver-Hawkeye when he was one of the few players who could get anything going on the offensive end.

“He’s been great this season; he’s been a guy that we can really rely on when we need buckets in a very necessary time of the game,” forward Nicholas Baer said. “We’re going to continue to go to him. He’s a phenomenal player, and a phenomenal low-post scorer, and really highly active for us.”

The Hawkeyes have looked lost on offense ever since Big Ten play picked back up on Jan. 2, when they suffered a 75-68 loss to Michigan in Carver.

Luckily, they had Cook to keep the game relatively close. The sophomore from St. Louis posted 28 points and 8 rebounds in what was one of his best offensive performances of the season.

Cook was the only player in double figures until the tail end of the second half, when the game was essentially decided.

In Iowa’s 92-81 loss to Ohio State on Jan. 4 in Carver, he was once again one of the only bright spots the Hawkeyes had.

This time, four players scrambled their way into double-digit scoring, but Cook led the way.

Iowa’s leading scorer lived up to his title, leading the team with 21 points to go along with 9 boards.

On a night in which Iowa took a lot of bad shots, Cook found a way to keep his team in the game, cleaning up missed shots and getting points on extra possessions.

Cook racked up 6 offensive rebounds after being challenged by head coach Fran McCaffery to be even better than he was against the Wolverines, and his effort on the offensive glass helped Iowa to 24 second-chance points.

The Hawkeyes fell into a hole early when the Buckeyes went on a 16-1 run early in the first half. They tried to make a comeback early in the second, but again it fell short. Cook was one of the few bright spots.

“Everybody knows Tyler Cook is our guy,” McCaffery said.

It was one of those nights for Iowa in which the shots weren’t falling. That was especially a big problem when Cook wasn’t on the floor.

He picked up two fouls early in the first half, and Iowa’s offense suffered when he wasn’t on the hardwood.

Consistency has been a problem for the team on offense. There have rarely been nights in which one player can be counted on to score a plethora of points, but Cook has done just that.

Even after the success, he has had, he wants to get better, just as McCaffery challenged him.

“There’s always more I can do,” Cook said. “I’m nowhere near the player I can be or will be, so my job is to continue to work on that every day. Whether that’s offensively, on the ball defense, off the ball defense, moving without the ball. Whatever it is, there’s always room for improvement.”

Click below for more photos

Iowa players are introduced during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Nicholas Baer bumps chests with teammate Maishe Dailey during introductions of an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook attempts a layup during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon collides with Ohio State guard C.J. Jackson during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon passes a ball while midair during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Ryan Kriener and Dom Uhl cover Ohio State forward Kieta Bates-Diop during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Isaiah Moss covers Ohio State forward Jae'Sean Tate during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Isaiah Moss drives to the hoop during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon dribbles while an Ohio State players lays on the ground after colliding with him during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon shoots during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Luka Garza looks to shoot while being covered by Ohio State forward Andre Wesson during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Luka Garza reacts after drawing a foul during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann erases writing off of a whiteboard during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

A fan calls out during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State forward Kieta Bates-Diop pulls down a rebound away from Iowa forward Ryan Kriener during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Mashie Dailey reacts while being surrounded by Ohio State players after batting for a jump ball during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State guard Andrew Dakich gestures to a teammate during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook shoots a 3 over Ohio State center Micah Potter during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Brady Ellingson looks to the lane during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon shoots a 3 while being covered by Ohio State guard Andrew Dakich during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Cordell Pemsl prepares to shoot a free throw during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery reacts to a call during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann watches play during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State forward Jae'Sean Tate attempts a shot over Iowa forwards Luka Garza and Nicholas Baer during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery reacts to a play during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

An official guides Ohio State forward Jae'Sean Tate while inbounding a ball during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Maishe Dailey attempts a layup during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon shoots a 3 during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Maishe Dailey shoots a 3 during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State guard Andrew Dakich reacts after going for a rebound during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Fans leave the arena during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State forward Kieta Bates-Diop attempts to drives past Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Ohio State guard C.J. Jackson kicks backwards into Iowa guard Maishe Dailey during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery calls to players on the bench during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Tyler Cook shakes hands with Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon walks off the court during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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About the Writer
Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Pete Ruden is the Sports Editor at the DI, where he has worked since the beginning of his college career. He has covered a variety of sports at the DI, including football, men’s basketball, baseball, wrestling, and men’s tennis. Currently a junior, he served as a sports reporter his freshman year, before becoming the Assistant Sports Editor his sophomore year.

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