Iowa Makes HUGE Jump In Rankings & Has Big Ten Player of the Week
The Iowa men's basketball team continues to do things it hasn't done in a long time. They made a big jump in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls and for the second consecutive week, Iowa has the Big Ten Player of the Week. That's something the program hasn't done in many years.
Iowa leaps from 16 to number 9 in the newly released AP Poll and from 19 to 9 in the Coaches poll. Iowa is the second-highest ranked Big Ten team behind Maryland (#7). The number 9 ranking is the highest Iowa has been ranked under Fran McCaffery. The 2013-14 team was ranked number 10 in late January of 2014. The new number one team in both polls is Oklahoma (15-1), who plays at Iowa State tonight on ESPN's Big Monday (8 p.m./ESPN).
The Big Ten could easily have chosen either Jarrod Uthoff or Peter Jok as the Big Ten Player of the Week, so which one took home the award? The weekly honor goes to Peter Jok. Jok averaged 19.5 points per game in victories over Michigan State and Michigan and shot 58 percent from the field on 14 of 24 shooting. He was also 7-of-11 from 3-point range and averaged 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 steals. He made just one turnover in 59 minutes played.
Jarrod Uthoff had a tremendous week as well. Uthoff averaged 19 points per game, pulled down 14 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and zero turnovers in 63 game minutes. His only, very minor, negative was his shooting percentage for the week was 36.8% percent.
Iowa's Mike Gesell won the award last week. Today marks the first time Iowa has had back-to-back players of the week in the Big 10 since 2006 when Adam Haluska (January 30) and Jeff Horner (February 6) claimed the honors. The last two weeks are the first time in the history of the program that two Iowa athletes have won the award back-to-back, and neither shared it with another conference player.
[via ESPN and Iowa Sports Information]