We knew before the season that this was going to be the Year of Jok, but I'm not sure any of us expected the tremendous shooting displays that we've seen so far. He's torching nets around the Big Ten (and beyond) at a pretty unreal rate -- and if he keeps it up he's going to be all over the Iowa record books.
Through 18 games, Jok is averaging 22.9 ppg, over four points per game more than the next closest scorer, Illinois' Malcolm Hill (18.6 ppg). He's seventh in the entire nation in scoring per game and he's tops among major conference scorers. No Iowa scorer has averaged over 20.0 ppg since Adam Haluska in 2006 -- and Jok is on pace to shatter that.
He's also threatening one of the more hallowed records in the Iowa record books -- most points in a single season. John Johnson has held that record since 1970 with 699 points, but Jok is bearing down on it. Through 18 games, he has 413 points (almost 100 more points than the second-best scorer in the Big Ten, Caleb Swanigan, who has 328). He's set to play at least 14 more games (13 more regular season games, plus at least one Big Ten Tournament game) and if he maintains his current scoring pace, he should score an additional 320 points, which would give him 733 points for the season -- easily enough to surpass Johnson's all-time record. His current pace would also see him officially claiming the record against Penn State at home in Iowa's final regular season game -- that would make for one hell of a Senior Day.
Jok posted a 29-6-8 last night, which was an absolutely stellar all-around performance. The scary thing is that performances like that are becoming almost normal from Jok this year. It was the third time in Iowa's last four games that he's posted at least 25 points.
Peter Jok has scored 25 points or more 8x this season, a total that is first in the Big Ten and ties two others for second nationally.
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) January 13, 2017
He is getting buckets at a phenomenal rate this year and his consistency has been truly remarkable. He's not doing this once in a while, he's doing this almost every single night out -- despite the fact that other teams know how dangerous he is and gameplan to slow him down.
Jok is also chasing down some other raw shooting stats. The all-time Iowa single season record for field goal attempts is 535 by Fred Brown in 1971. Jok has 304 so far and at his current rate of 16.9 attempts per game, he's on pace to hoist 540 shots this year. John Johnson set the single season made field goals record in 1970 with 289 made buckets. Jok has made 138 so far and at his current rate of 7.7 made field goals per game, he's on pace to make 245 buckets -- so he's got some work to do to catch Johnson for that mark. (Realistically, he's not getting that record unless Iowa has deep runs in the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA/NIT Tournaments or unless he goes absolutely supernova from the field over the rest of the season.)
And while Jok's 3-point shooting has produced some unbelievable highlights so far this year, he's not likely to grab any of Iowa's single season records there, either. Chris Kingsbury holds the all-time Iowa record for most made 3s in a season with 117 (!) in 1995. Jok has made 58 so far this year and at his current rate of 3.2 makes per game, he's on pace to make another 44 3s, which would give him 102 total. That would be a sensational amount and easily put him at #2 all-time (Justin Johnson's 93 makes in 2008 currently ranks #2 on the list), but catching the King isn't gonna be easy. Nor is he likely to catch Kingsbury for the single season three-point attempt record. Kingsbury jacked up a staggering 297 attempts in 1995, while Jok has thrown up 142 so far this year. At his current rate of 7.9 attempts per game, he's set to attempt another 110 3s, which would give him 252 total, well behind Kingsbury's record (it wouldn't even get him to #2 -- Justin Johnson attempted 269 3s in 2008). Kingsbury doesn't hold the single season record for best three point percentage -- that's owned by Kent McCausland, who made 52.2% (70/134) of his triples in 1997. Jok is shooting a career-best 41% from deep, but he's not going to make up 12 percentage points the rest of the way unless he goes on one of the most incredible extended 3-point shooting binges in recent memory.
While Jok's usage has gone up, his efficiency has also increased. He's converting with career-best shooting percentages across the board -- 45.4% from the floor (topping last year's 43.1%), 41% from 3-point range (a tick better than last year's 40%), and 91% from the free throw line (ahead of 85% last year and 90% as a sophomore). He's just become one of the most incredible scorers that Iowa has ever had, especially in the modern era (to say nothing of the improvements in his overall game, like his career-best numbers in rebounds and assists). All of which makes his omission from the Wooden Award's midseason Top 25 utterly ridiculous. Are we really supposed to believe there are 25 players in college basketball playing better than Peter Jok is right now? Because that is a damned lie.
But whatever. If the Wooden Award wants to miss the boat on Jok, let 'em. It's their loss. In the meantime, we shouldn't make the same mistake. One of the major storylines of this Iowa basketball season has been the performance of Iowa's fearless freshmen class and how good the likes of Cordell Pemsl, Jordan Bohannon, and Tyler Cook in particular have been so far this year. And there's no question that they've been very impressive and they make the future of Iowa basketball (along with some of Iowa's incoming recruits) very, very exciting indeed. But let's be sure to savor Jok's incredible outings, too, because we haven't seen something like this at Iowa in a very long time -- he's mounting an assault on the Iowa record books unlike anything we've seen in ages.
Plus, he does stuff like this on a regular basis:
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) January 13, 2017
Go Peter Jok Awesome.