The University of Iowa basketball powers did something very strange today. They cancelled a three-star recruit's (Rivals) Official Visit this weekend. That's right, White Magic and the Iowa Basketball squadron called off an official visit from Michigan point guard Austin Price because they are expecting a "verbal from someone else."
From Hawkeye Insider, Rob Howe's Twitter Account:
The oddities continue.
Again, from Howe:
If you don't know who Peter Jok is, the first thing you need to comprehend is that the 6'5", ESPN No. 1 ranked player in the state of Iowa is "Cold. Point-blank. Period.".
Got that? Good.
Now on to the details. Jok was once one of the hottest recruits in the state of Iowa, let alone the nation. Coaches and recruiting specialists were chalking Jok in as a Top-10 lock for the 2013 recruiting class. His inherent ability to shoot the basketball, undeniable size and rare versatility to play both the small forward and shooting guard positions made him a target with a giant bull's eye on his back.
That is, until he ended up falling victim to a few injuries. The main offender, a partially torn patellar tendon in his knee, has forced coaches to tentatively watch Jok from a distance.
Here's the full outlook of what happened, from the Courier-Journal:
"Jok suffered a torn patellar tendon as a freshman in high school and played through the pain of the injury as a sophomore. He had surgery but came back too soon, causing the injury to hamper some of his play during his junior year."
With that said, all signs are pointing up as Jok is expected to make a full recovery and perform at the level he was so accustomed to as a young basketball savant.
In the same Courier-Journal article, Jok said:
“It took me a long time to come back, but it feels good..It feels way better now than it did. I’m just now getting back, so that’s good.”
This will more than likely shoot him back up the rankings as he is currently listed as the 43rd best small forward on ESPN. A ranking that is, in my expert opinion based on watching 30 minutes of YouTube highlights, is way too skewed.
Enter Fran McCaffery.
Considering that most coaches are taking a "wait-and-see" approach to the hopeful returning stud, McCaffery seems to be taking a more aggressive one, moving in to swoop Jok up before other calls start pouring in.
If in fact Howe's sources are correct and Jok is expected to verbally commit this weekend to the Black & Gold, this could arguably be the best signing for the Iowa program in quite some time. It has been a lifetime since top Iowa talent considered Iowa City as the home of their basketball careers. The signing of Jok along with Adam Woodbury could change the future of recruiting intrastate Iowa for the Hawkeyes for years to come.
If not forever.
The sooner the Hawkeyes get Jok to commit the better. In fact, this should have happened weeks ago.
We will have to wait and see if it all pans out as described above, but if it does, Fran is already worth the $1.3 million base salary for 2012-13. He would have done the unthinkable. He would have gotten a top-tier recruit to commit to the Hawkeyes without even having dorm rooms with recliners.