By Brendan Stiles
NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — Iowa freshman guard Peter Jok has a desire to become a well-rounded player and over the course of his Hawkeye career, he just might become that.
But ask any of his teammates, whether they’re current Iowa players or guys he’s playing alongside in the Prime Time League this summer, and they’ll all tell you the same thing as far as what impresses them most about Jok — his shot.
“He’s a shooter,” said redshirt freshman forward Kyle Meyer, who is PTL teammates with Jok and sophomore center Adam Woodbury this summer. “He’s definitely a shooter.”
At the beginning of his game Sunday, Jok not only got nothing but net on his first two 3-point attempts, but his shooting stroke almost made what he did look effortless. When he has the time available, Jok said he tries to get in over 1,000 shots per day. During a routine one-work workout, he’ll attempt 100 shots from each spot on the floor.
Through two PTL games, Jok has scored 57 points and shot 21-of-38 from the floor, including 7-of-14 from behind the arc. His play thus far has left quite the impression on another one of his PTL teammates, former Iowa guard Jason Price. He said Jok has the type of athleticism as a wing that he believes could be of huge benefit to the Hawkeyes in 2013-14.
“He shows a lot of promise of being a good perimeter player, a wing player that’s going to be able to get up and down the floor, knock down some shots and get to the basket,” Price said. “He shoots it so easy and I think he’s going to be able to shoot it deep.”
In addition to potentially providing a much-needed boost for an Iowa squad that shot an underwhelming 30.5 percent from 3-point range last season, Jok’s ability to knock down shots could also open things up inside.
“When he can spread the floor with his range, it’s only going to benefit us,” Woodbury said.
Comfort Care Medicare/Mike Gatens Real Estate 93, Greater Iowa Financial Group/Vinton Merchants 81
As for Jok’s PTL squad, Comfort Care/Gatens bounced back from an opening night loss by picking up a 93-81 win Sunday afternoon over Financial/Merchants, who once again saw itself short-handed.
After dropping 35 points in his PTL debut June 20, Jok tallied 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. He was just 2-of-6 from behind the arc, but found success Sunday by showcasing his mid-range game and attacking the rim, two areas of his game Jok said he wants to improve between now and November.
Woodbury put together another double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Meyer came away with nine points and eight rebounds, both of which were improvements off his first game.
Helping Woodbury this summer has been bulking up in terms of strength. He said he has already noticed an ability to jump higher than he did before and also believes he’s more suited now to play a more physical game than he was a year ago. As for Meyer, he has found himself becoming more mature off the court after redshirting last season while on the court, he’s looking to become better defensively and play with more flexibility.
Financial/Merchants was again without the services of junior guard Josh Oglesby, who is currently dealing with a finger injury, as well as senior guard Devyn Marble. Marble is currently in Colorado Springs, Colo., taking part in the Team USA training camp for the World University Games.
BlendCard 115, Jill Armstrong of Skogman Realty 100
In what appeared to be Sunday’s marquee game, it was the 1-2 punch of sophomores Jarrod Uthoff and Anthony Clemmons that paved the way for BlendCard to remain unbeaten through two games with a 115-100 victory over Armstrong, who is now 1-1.
Both players put consistency on display Sunday with their second straight contests of 20-plus points. Uthoff finished with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting after dropping 26 points three nights earlier, while Clemmons improved off his 23-6-5 effort in BlendCard’s opener by tallying 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, all while spending the majority of the game guarding fellow sophomore guard Mike Gesell.
The aspect of consistency is something Clemmons said he is striving for as he transitions away from his freshman campaign.
“I had some good games and I had some down games,” Clemmons said. “My goal for this year is to stay consistent, play with more of a sense of urgency, play with a lot of energy and bring it every night.”
In defeat, Gesell finished with his second straight double-double by coming away with 21 points and a game-high 15 assists while sophomore walk-on Okey Ukah also recorded a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
L.L. Pelling/Hawkeye Report 109, Culver’s/McCurry’s 98
Pelling/Report moved to 2-0 this summer with a 109-98 win over a short-handed Culver’s/McCurry’s squad that remains winless.
Once again, Pelling/Report received dominating performances by both senior forward Zach McCabe and junior center Gabe Olaseni. McCabe finished with his second consecutive double-double this summer by posting game-highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Olaseni came away with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting and seven boards in the victory.
For McCabe, the emphasis of his offseason hasn’t been so much what he does on the court, but more so with the conditioning side of things. Much like teammate Melsahn Basabe at this time last year, McCabe has spent the last two months cutting down his playing weight from the 235 pounds he was listed at during his junior year.
“I got a little bigger than I think I was supposed to be, so just getting slimmed down and getting my body back to where it was, I think it will be good,” McCabe said.
Culver’s/McCurry’s was without the services of both of its Hawkeye representatives Sunday. Junior forward Aaron White is currently alongside Marble in Colorado Springs, while junior walk-on Darius Stokes didn’t play as the result of an ankle sprain suffered last week.
*PTL play resumes Thursday evening at the North Liberty Community Center, starting at 6 p.m. Central when Pelling/Report takes on Comfort Care/Gatens. Two games will follow at 7:30 p.m. — Armstrong vs. Financial/Merchants and Culver’s/McCurry’s vs. BlendCard. Be sure to visit HawkeyeDrive.com for ongoing coverage of the PTL this summer.