Tyler Cook's time as a Hawkeye comes to an end; he's entering NBA draft

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Iowa forward Tyler Cook took a long look at turning pro a year ago before coming back for his junior season.

But that was his last one in the black and gold.

Cook announced Friday that he's planning to hire an agent and will definitely put his name in for the June 20 NBA draft. The 6-foot-9 power forward's Iowa career concludes with him as one of only nine players in program history to total more than 1,300 points and 600 rebounds.

Tyler Cook helped Iowa rally in the second half to force overtime in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last month. It was his last game as a Hawkeye. Cook announced Friday he's going to pursue an NBA career.

“What a ride! These past three years have been arguably the most important of my life,” Cook posted on social media. “Going through what we did as a team allowed me to learn more than I can put into words. This year my teammates and coaches challenged each other to simply be better, and we did that. Although we feel we could have been playing longer, we achieved our goal of getting this program back to the NCAA Tournament. I’m honored that I was able to be a part of that.

“After weighing my options both last year and now, my family and I, along with the help of my coaches, have decided to enter the 2019 NBA Draft and hire an agent. This has been my lifelong dream. I am excited and ready to take on the challenge of making these dreams come to fruition. I want to thank each and every person who has supported me throughout my time at the University of Iowa.”

Cook was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the media this season after leading Iowa in scoring scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.6), while ranking fifth in the Big Ten in free throws attempted per game (6.1).

The native of St. Louis, Missouri, posted a team-best six double-doubles this season and is one of 15 players in Iowa history to record at least 15 career double-doubles.

On Thursday, Iowa freshman forward Joe Wieskamp announced that he is exploring the NBA draft process but has not hired an agent. He has until May 29 to decide whether to return, as Cook did a year ago.

“We fully support Tyler’s decision to pursue his professional goals,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said in a news release. “It has been an honor to coach Tyler the past three years and watch him develop both as a player and person. We are thankful for Tyler’s significant contributions that he has made to our basketball program. My staff and I look forward to supporting Tyler in the next steps of his journey.”

Iowa finished 23-12 this season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Cook's three years. The Hawkeyes beat Cincinnati in the opening round before losing in overtime to Tennessee.

Mark Emmert covers University of Iowa athletics for the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen.