IOWA CITY, Iowa — Peter Jok came off a screen. He’d fire a shot.
Peter Jok sat in the corner. He’d fire a shot.
Peter Jok got the ball in traffic. He’d fire a shot.
If Iowa’s 91-74 victory over Kennesaw State proved anything on Friday it’s that the Hawkeyes will be at their best when Jok fires away.
“None of us are upset that he’s shooting the ball 19 times,” said forward Cordell Pemsl about Jok’s 27 point performance.
Honestly, Pemsl prefers when Jok is shooting. When he goes 11 of 19 it draws the defensive attention toward the All-Big Ten senior guard. It opens up lanes for Pemsl to score 10 points in 16 minutes. With all eyes on Jok no one notices the freshman forward in the post.
“He definitely is a guy that will allow myself to get buckets and Tyler (Cook) and other big men to get buckets because they have to double him. If he is coming off of screens as much as he is, and that is what we are trying to do, he is getting the opportunities that he needs, but also once he starts hitting a few shots they have to honor that.”
There isn’t always much to learn from a guarantee game against an opponent like Kennesaw State. But one thing became evident in the opener. Iowa’s offense doesn’t just run through Jok. It needs him to become an effective volume shooter for his teammates to maximize their potential.
“If I am scoring the focus is really on me, which opens up for other players,” Jok said. “Like Cordell, he did a great job tonight and we went to him and they couldn’t stop him down low.”
Jok putting up a 20-point night isn’t a surprise. He’s the only returning starter on a young and inexperienced team. Iowa will lean on him the way football coach Kirk Ferentz wants to rely on his running game.
The surprise is how much Jok hoisting up shots helped the rest of the Hawkeyes score more buckets.
“He pretty much has the green light,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s good for at least four bad shots a game, but they’re good shots, he’s taking them.”
Iowa won’t complain when Jok eyes a basket. He’s the best offensive player and scorer. It’s strange to say, but he may be capable of helping to facilitate the offense without passing the ball.
“I am not a selfish player,” Jok said. “Sometimes I got to be selfish, but at the end of the day it’s all about the winning. If I got to take 30 shots to win I’ll do it. If I have to take 10 shots to win I’ll do that too.”
No bad shot for Jok, it might become the motto for the season.