“He’s actually more of a guard than a forward, to be honest with you. He’s a very talented ball-handler and jump shooter,” Basabe said of Uthoff. “He’s one of the more unique players that I’ve been around just for how tall he is and how he’s able to shoot pull-up jumpers and handle the ball.”
Redshirt freshman forward/center Kyle Meyer also enters the frontcourt mix, though it’s hard to see him playing much right away.
Jok, a 6-foot-6 freshman from Valley High in West Des Moines, was considered among the nation’s top prospects in the Class of 2013 before a knee injury. He seems fine now, having led the state’s highest classification in scoring at 23.6 points a game, including 42 percent from 3-point range.
Jok’s defense, like that of most freshmen, likely won’t be where it needs to be for quite some time. But the Hawkeyes struggled on 3s in 2012-13, shooting just 30.5 percent, and Jok will play if he can prove he’s capable of knocking down perimeter shots. Jok and junior Josh Oglesby will vie for time as a spot-up shooter off the bench.
“We know he can shoot the ball in the hole,” McCaffery said of Jok. “What we have to do is make sure he understands that we’re going to go to him. We’re going to set him up. We’re going to put him in a position where he can be successful. But he’s got to play the other end.”
Iowa’s experience level is almost unheard of in modern college basketball, with nine of its top 10 scorers back this season.
“Everybody is ready. They all know they’re going to get their number called. They prepare that way in practice, and they all complement each other in terms of skill set. I think that’s the way we’ve put this team together,” McCaffery said.