The 2013-14 Iowa Hawkeyes return nearly every key contributor, and should be Fran McCaffery‘s best Iowa squad so far.
Because of this, there were not many open scholarships and the Hawkeyes only signed one player, small forward Peter Jok. The only key player lost from the 2012-13 squad is small forward Eric May, whose production had dropped significantly from his freshman year, as players like Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White became the focal points of Iowa’s offense.
But the signing of Jok was a good one, as McCaffery has signed a player who can afford to bide his time before contributing down the road.
May started the majority of Iowa’s games this past year, but was not relied on for much. The one thing he could provide was solid outside shooting as he was one of the best shooters on the Hawkeye squad.
That is why the signing of Jok, the top-ranked prospect in the state of Iowa, was so key. McCaffery signed the Sudan native after a junior season in which Jok shot 37 percent from downtown. Besides that 3-point stroke, Jok has great size for a perimeter player and his ability to attack off the dribble is improving.
This may seem like much ado about nothing. After all, Iowa’s recruiting class consists of a single three-star recruit. But as history has shown, it’s not necessary to be a big-time recruit to have a big-time impact for the Hawkeyes. White is a former three-star recruit himself, but already led Iowa in rebounding and was second in scoring as a sophomore.
If Jok can rise to that level as quickly as White, Iowa fans will be ecstatic. Even if he cannot, Jok will still be an asset for the Hawkeyes down the road.
Brian Fox is a Big 10 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @RealBrianFox