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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sophomore Peter Jok has enough talent to become the face of the Iowa program someday.
But first, he'll look to rebuild his reputation following a pair of offseason arrests.
Jok was arrested on his moped twice since the end of last season — once for drunk driving, once for driving with a revoked license. He pleaded guilty to both charges. He served a four-day jail sentence last month.
There's little doubt that the 6-foot-6 Jok has a chance to develop into an All-Big Ten player for the Hawkeyes. But another slip-up could put Jok's future with the Hawkeyes in jeopardy.
Jok was suspended by coach Fran McCaffery in July and reinstated six weeks later. He and the Hawkeyes (20-13, 9-9 Big Ten in 2013-14) open the season on Nov. 14 against Hampton.
"I learned a lot. It's in the past now, and I'm focused on the present and the future," Jok said Thursday.
Jok still has a chance to show why coach Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes think so highly of him.
Jok was once considered among of the nation's top recruits, but many schools were scared away after he tore his patella tendon as a freshman. Iowa stuck with him, and as a senior Jok led Iowa's top classification in scoring while averaging 42 percent from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes didn't ask much from Jok last season. They were one of the deepest teams in the country, and like many freshman Jok needed to work on his defense and conditioning.
But Jok offered brief glimpses of the player McCaffery hopes he'll become.
Jok scored 15 points against Abilene Christian and had 14 with seven rebounds in a win over Drake. He mostly rode the bench during Big Ten play, but Jok came up big in Iowa's first NCAA tournament game in eight years.
Jok was 4 of 5 from the floor and scored 10 points in just 16 minutes of an overtime loss to Tennessee.
"When he gets hot, you want to be on the floor with him," Iowa point guard Mike Gesell said. "He can get his shot off on anyone. He'll shoot the lights out."
Though Jok finished with just 4.4 points per game, his NCAA tournament performance appeared to be a promising end to his first year in Iowa City.
Then he got busted — twice.
But Jok won't miss any games after serving a suspension during the summer.
"I have addressed that. He's good to go," McCaffery said when asked about Jok's status.
Iowa's biggest concern heading into 2014-15 is how to replace the offensive production of departed star Devyn Marble, who averaged 17 points a game last season.
Jok could emerge as one of the guys to help fill that void.
He's already one of the best shooters the Hawkeyes have, and he's got the ability to take defenders off the dribble and finish at the rim.
But Jok will need to show he's in better shape and can consistently defend in order to earn more minutes this season.
He's also got to stay out of trouble.
"If he wants to be a starter, wants to play starter's minutes, he's got to be in the best shape of his life. And I think he's really worked hard at that this summer," McCaffery said.
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