Iowa takeaways: Jok's injury, free throws, Crean's love

Chad Leistikow

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Thursday’s Iowa-Indiana basketball game was a battle. Peter Jok’s body was proof of that.

The Iowa junior swingman was asked after the Hoosiers’ 85-78 win about how he got hurt.

Jok’s response: Which time?

“There was a lot of plays I got hurt — pulled my shoulder down, hurt my calf, poked my eyes,” the sharpshooter averaging 15.3 points a game said.

Jok hobbled to the sideline after getting kicked in the back of the leg during a second-half scrum. He returned, but he wasn’t as effective.

“I’m a little sore, but I’ll be good — ready to go for Sunday (against Minnesota),” Jok said.

Uthoff's green light

Jarrod Uthoff tied a career high with 20 field-goal attempts Thursday. He made eight of them and scored a game-high 24 points.

He agreed that he was probably forcing the issue a bit.

“I was definitely pressing at the end. I had to shoot. We were down,” Uthoff said. “I shot quite a few shots today. They all felt good. Sometimes they don’t go down.”

But without Uthoff, Iowa wouldn’t have rallied from a 36-20 deficit. He scored seven straight Iowa points during a stretch to put the Hawkeyes up, 59-56.

“I think he took a couple you’d probably say were ill-advised. But he makes those 28-footers, you know?” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “You know I give him the green light, so I don’t say a word to him. Because I think you need to treat him that way. He’ll get it going at some point.”

Ugh, the bench

Iowa had zero bench points Thursday to Indiana’s 28. But it’s true, the Hawkeyes’ four primary reserves didn’t get much playing time — and they only took four shots in 31 combined minutes.

For the first time since Dec. 2 in an overtime win over Florida State, Iowa’s five starters played at least 30 minutes each.

“I don’t really like to do that,” McCaffery said.

But he felt compelled to, with the crowd of 17,472 probably the loudest Iowa’s seen since Dec. 10 at Iowa State. The bench, led by forwards Dom Uhl, Nicholas Baer and Ahmad Wagner, has been key to Iowa’s rise to the national top five — and it’s going to be key moving forward. Thursday, they just couldn’t get into a rhythm.

“It was a little uncharacteristic of those guys, I thought. I kind of rode the starters more than I usually do, in fairness to those kids that didn’t score,” McCaffery said. “It was a decision I made. I thought (the starters) were playing well.”

Those free throws

Several Iowa players were asked about Iowa’s struggles at the free-throw line — 13-for-23, 56.5 percent.

That was essentially the difference, considering Indiana shot 18-of-21, 85.7 percent.

“No reason. Just sometimes they don’t go in,” Woodbury said. “That’s the game of basketball.”

Iowa won’t face a tougher road environment the rest of the year.

Parting shot

Indiana coach Tom Crean essentially said after the game that he hasn’t heard it louder in Assembly Hall. Those who were there might have a hard time disputing that point.

“I think that (record) decibel level was broke tonight a couple times in the game,” Crean said, “because it was excruciatingly loud.”

Indiana played a great game, and it still had to hang on for dear life against the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes.

“Iowa is everything that they’re made out to be,” Crean said. “They’re everything we thought they would be, from watching them on film.”