IOWA CITY, Iowa — Fran McCaffery can’t pick a Peter Jok moment. It’s too hard to do.
There was the 42-point game against Memphis. Or the time he set a school single-game free-throw record with 22 against Indiana. Or the way he responded off the court while overcoming his back injury.
All of those moments were just from this season. No, McCaffery can’t pick one, probably because Jok’s impact will last long after his college career ends.
McCaffery credits Jok with being as vital as anyone on his staff with bringing to campus the current crop of players, including the much-hyped freshman class.
“A lot of guys are here because of him,” said McCaffery during a Friday teleconference. “He did such a great job as a recruiter, selling this program, selling our style, selling this institution and what it’s like to live here.
“I will be forever thankful for him for that because he has hosted pretty much all the guys we have.”
McCaffery believes players are the most important part of the recruiting process. They can tell recruits what it is really like to play for him and live in Iowa City.
No one McCaffery brought in has done it better than Jok.
“There is no substitute for that,” McCaffery said.
The same could be said for his production on the court, especially this season. Jok is putting together a Big Ten Player of the Year-caliber season, averaging 20.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
The 6-foot-6 native of Sudan is a three-year starter with 1,436 career points. He earned second-team all-conference honors last season. The Thursday night win at No. 22 Wisconsin means Jok has won in all 14 Big Ten arenas.
Senior Day is against Penn State on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, BTN). Fellow senior Dale Jones is dealing with a knee issue and may not play. Jok will start, getting one last chance to play at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I couldn’t be happier that he is enjoying the success that he has,” McCaffery said. “He is going to be playing for a long time.”
No matter what Jok does in the future, nothing may top for McCaffery what he did as a recruiter the last four years.