Jok and Woodbury form potent inside-out duo


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Sunday afternoon’s contest was supposed to feature Josh Oglesby against future Hawkeye teammate Peter Jok in a matchup of two players competing for minutes in head coach Fran McCaffery’s deep rotation. Oglesby was unfortunately not in attendance Sunday afternoon — for the second-straight game — and Jok seized the opportunity to showcase his offensive arsenal.

Iowa’s 2013 Mr. Basketball didn’t waste any time finding his rhythm against head coach Kevin Sanders' squad. Jok hit two 3-pointers and a fade-away jumper in the game’s opening minutes. His early offensive outburst opened up the floor for Adam Woodbury and his teammates.

Woodbury played well off the Valley product, tallying 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting in addition to 10 rebounds and 4 assists en route to a 93-91 victory. Jok finished the contest with 22 points, making 8-of-16 shots from the field.

“Peter is good, and he’s going to be a good asset to the team,” Woodbury said. “He’s got some shooting that we really need to spread the floor. Anybody who can shoot 3s and spread the floor makes my job a little easier. If I can find those guys and make shots, it spreads the floor.”

Jok has impressed in a pair of league contests thus far, flashing a sweet shooting touch that the 2012-13 Hawkeye lineup desperately needed. Iowa was one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country last season, finishing 317th nationally out of 347 teams in 3-point field goal percentage, averaging 30 percent from beyond the arc.

“People know me as a shooter, but I can do more than that,” Jok said. “But if Coach wants me to focus on my 3s, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

A 3-point presence such as Jok makes everything come easier for big men such as Woodbury. The sophomore center seemed to have more operating room to do damage in the post Sunday.

Woodbury finished in traffic, crashing the boards and hitting midrange jump shots with the added space, something the 7-footer struggled with over last season’s Big Ten campaign.

Floor spacing was an issue for Iowa last year, too, which made it difficult for Woodbury and Company to establish any kind of presence down low. Jok’s 3-point shooting should help the Hawkeyes generate more perimeter scoring chances, allowing the team’s big men to produce more interior scoring opportunities.

Jok has been consistent from beyond the arc, converting 46 percent of his 3-point attempts during his first two Prime Time League games. Yet his offensive game isn’t limited to just long range — the former Valley High star is also capable of taking his defender off the dribble, finishing in traffic, and draining a smooth step-back jumper.

Jok’s shooting ability and Woodbury’s post game has potential to create a formidable duo on the offensive end. Neither player will be the focal point of the Hawkeye attack next season, but there’s a belief that they can be in the years to come.

“Peter is very gifted, but he’s never had a chance to play with a big who can score,” said Ray Swetalla, who coaches both Jok and Woodbury this summer. “He’s just got to learn floor spacing by playing farther away so teams can’t trap or we can get it out for a shot or drive. He’s a smart kid; he’ll figure it out.”

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