Franalysis: The Peter Jok Free Throw Game

By Matthew Lundeen on February 22, 2017 at 10:00 am
Jok celebrates
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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Peter Jok led the Hawkeyes to victory over Indiana, but in a rather unorthodox manner for him: free throws.

points

Four Factors in Review

  Iowa 1st half IU 1st half iowa 2nd half IU 2nd half Iowa OT IU OT Iowa Game IU Game
Points Per Possession 0.99 1.02 1.10 1.07 1.87 1.34 1.16

1.09

Possessions 32 39 11 83

Shooting

shot chart

(Box score courtesy of ESPN. Makes are filled in.)

Iowa 2pt Near Rim 2pt Jumper 3pt FG FT
Attempts 42.9% 14.3% 42.9% N/A
FG% 62.5% 75.0% 20.8% 83.0%
Indiana 2pt Near Rim 2pt Jumper 3pt FG FT
Attempts 41.2% 16.2% 42.6% N/A
FG% 57.1% 54.5% 34.5% 84.2%

Shooting-wise, Iowa's efficiency was consistent all game long, as they shot 50% (eFG%) from the field in both the first and second halves. In the first half, the Hawkeyes took over half their shots from deep, instead of working the ball inside the way I thought they would given the fouling issues of Indiana's big men. In the second half, they went inside with the ball much more often, which not only helped them score more points in the paint, but it also helped them visit the foul line a lot more too, as Indiana's fouling issues kicked finally in and continued through overtime. 

The Hoosiers, meanwhile, also shot the ball well all game long, as they are wont to do. They started out the game en fuego, and it seemed as if they were going to bomb Iowa out of the building from deep, but then they cooled off and allowed Iowa back in it before halftime.

In the second half, they shot 61% (eFG%) from the floor, including 40% from downtown. Every time Iowa would chip away at the lead, Indiana would start to pull away again and Iowa had to fight back time after time. And even though it felt like Iowa was sometimes just giving up back-breaking thee-pointers only to futilely punch back with free throws, it was Indiana's turnovers that kept allowing the Hawks to claw their way back into the game. 

So, yes, Indiana wins this category. However, Iowa actually shot the ball better than they have in recent games, even though the three-point shooting continues to be be MIA. And while shooting often is the most important factor in basketball, this game is a nice reminder that the other factors matter, too. 

Advantage: Indiana

Turnovers

  Turnovers Turnover% Steals %of Turnovers Forced by Steals Points Off Turnovers Pts Off Turnovers Per Turnover Forced
Iowa 17 20.6% 10 45.5% 25 1.14
Indiana 22 26.6% 10 58.8% 18 1.06

Ah, turnovers. If free throws and fouling are why Iowa won on offense, then turnovers are why they won on defense. 

Don't get me wrong, both teams had turnover issues in this one, which is why this game was so close. However, Indiana's miscues always seemed to come at the worst possible time. For instance, in the final ten minutes of both halves, Iowa only gave the ball away a total of three times. Indiana, on the other hand, lost the ball five times in the final 10 minutes of the first half and six in the final 10 minutes of the regulation. Each time Indiana had the chance to close out the half, they started getting careless with the ball and Iowa was able to capitalize.

The best example of this came with four minutes left in the second half. Indiana had just hit a three to go up 66-58, and Iowa had punched back with yet another set of free throws that didn't seem as if they were ever going to be enough to get them over the hump. Then, Christian Williams gets a fast break layup off a Jordan Bohannon steal, and Thomas Bryant makes a lazy inbounds pass that Peter Jok steals, gets fouled, and makes two free throws. That was a scenario in which, thanks to turnovers, Indiana went from being up by six to just up by two in a matter of seconds. 

Overall, both teams had their efficient shooting negated by the fact that they each had quite a few empty possessions. Fortunately, those empty possessions were more costly to Indiana, as Iowa won the quality and quantity portion of this factor.

Advantage: Iowa

Offensive Rebounding

  Off. Rebounds Available Off. Rebounds Off. Rebound% 2nd Chance Points 2nd Chance pts/Off. Rebound
Iowa 13 36 36.1% 14 1.08
Indiana 16 37 43.2% 14 0.88

Offensive rebounding was probably the least important factor in this game. Not because it didn't matter, but because both teams ended up washing each other out, essentially. 

Indiana beat Iowa in the quantity battle, but thanks to outscoring the Hoosiers 7-0 on second chance points in the first half, Iowa was able to battle them to an overall stalemate on second chance points for the game. As a result, Iowa won the quality battle, as 14 second chance points on 13 offensive rebounds is better than 14 on 16. 

I'm calling this a push, but given how bad Iowa's defensive rebounding has been this year, coming up with a tie against such a good offensive rebounding team should really be considered a victory. 

Advantage: Push

Free Throw Rate

  FT Made FT Attempted FT% FT Rate (FTA/FGA)
Iowa 39 47 83.0% 83.9%
Indiana 16 19 84.2% 27.9%

For once, free throw rate was the most important factor of the game. It doesn't happen often, and this category usually feels like it gets the two sentence treatment before I move on. But in this game, free throws were the deciding factor.

My favorite stat from this game is the fact that Indiana had all of one foul in the first 11 minutes of the game. Making that even better, was the fact that they also had only two turnovers in the first 11 minutes of the game. As we all know, however, they would go on to commit 34 more personal fouls (and 20 more turnovers) in the last 34 minutes of play. That's an average of one foul committed per minute. That's bad. 

As I said coming into this game, turnovers and fouls would be Iowa's two biggest advantages, and that's what ended up happening. Indiana's foul trouble was so bad that four guys fouled out, and even Thomas Bryant had to play the last nine minutes of the game with four fouls. I initially thought it would be Iowa's big men living at the foul line (and to an extent they did), but instead it was Peter Jok who scored 22 of his 35 points via free throws. Making that line more impressive was the fact that 11 of his 15 points in overtime came from the foul line. 

Getting to the line 47 times is an accomplishment in its own right, but making 39 of them is another feat in itself. The Hawkeyes not only used Indiana's hilariously awful and undisciplined tendency for committing stupid fouls against them, but they took full advantage by knocking down 83% of their their free ones. They take this category in a landslide. 

Advantage: Iowa

Overall: Iowa Won 2 of 4 Factors

Players

 

Unsurprisingly, Peter Jok was the player of the game in this one. This was one of the oddest games of his career, seeing how normally a 35-point outburst from him usually includes at least four or so three-pointers. This one, however, did not.

jok

As you can see, he was pretty cold from long distance, making just one of his six attempts from out there. Inside the arc, however, he rarely missed. And it was Jok's senior intelligence that won this game for Iowa. He knew that his three-point shot wasn't falling, so instead of just sitting outside and chucking, he frequently posted up or attacked the middle of Indiana's defense and won this game at the free throw line for Iowa.

It's only fitting that in what should be remembered as "The Peter Jok Free Throw Game" that he not only broke Don Nelson's school record for free throws made in one game, but he also broke Reggie Evans' record for free throws attempted in a game.

Aside from Peter Jok, I'm going to gloss over everyone else. Not because they weren't important, but because Jok was the headliner and I also have real life things to get to. 

Tyler Cook had an awful night shooting the ball from the floor, but still managed 14 points. He was three for 11 around the rim, but the three he made were dunks. And that included a thunderous slam that was followed by an epic stare down of Thomas Bryant.

He also made eight of his 11 free throw attempts on the night, which helped offset the fact that he couldn't make anything that left his palm in the painted area.

Tyler Cook Dunk-o-meter Games dunks Dunks Per Game made field goals dunk rate projected season total
Tyler Cook 21 37 1.8 92 40.2% 44 (25 Games)
Sophomore Year Aaron White 21 38 1.8 92 41.3% 56 (38 Games)

And after looking at the dunk-o-meter, Cook's three dunks helped him bizarrely mirror sophomore year Aaron White's dunk pace. Again, though, keep in mind Cook's injury and the fact that White was able to pad his stats with a six dunk game against Coppin State, while Tyler Cook had to watch Delaware State and Stetson from the bench.

Next, Christian Williams got some much-deserved playing time in this one. Not only did he have one of his patented steal-and-slams, but he gave Iowa 10 points overall and had no turnovers, which is huge for him. He's been playing better as of late, and so long as he's not playing out of control and turning the ball over, he needs to be on the court more often for at least defensive purposes.

Nicholas Baer also had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He also threw yet another ball out of bounds off an opposing player, showing that he is one of the headiest players in the Big Ten. Oh, and he also did this:

I still can't believe he was a walk-on.

And last but not least, Ryan Kriener gave Iowa a solid 18 minutes off the bench. He only scored four points on 2-2 shooting, but he had three rebounds, three blocks, and one steal. Oh, and he also had a Dikembe Mutombo moment. 

This game truly had it all. From the Peter Jok free throws to the Tyler Cook stare down, from the Nicholas Baer putback slam to the Ryan Kriener finger wag. This game went from an ugly one where Iowa could never seem to get over the hill, to one of my favorite games of the season in a matter of moments in the latter part of the second half. The next two games on the road against Maryland and Wisconsin probably won't feel this good, so enjoy this one. It always feels good to break a three-game losing streak, but the way this game unfolded makes it much more enjoyable. 

Long live "The Peter Jok Free Throw Game!"

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