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Jeff Peterson ponders a return to Iowa

[ 8 ] June 17, 2011 |

Jeff Peterson said Friday that he might consider ending his college basketball career at the same school at which he started.

The former Iowa point guard is looking to transfer for the second time since entering college, this time from Arkansas, where he played last season after transferring from Iowa in the spring of 2009.

“Honestly, if the situation was right I would definitely consider it,” Peterson said of transferring back to Iowa, where he played his freshman and sophomore seasons under former coach Todd Lickliter.

One thing that could make Iowa less appealing to Peterson is that he desperately wants to play in the NCAA Tournament before his college eligibility expires.

Iowa is considered a long-shot to make the NCAA Tournament next season after finishing 11-20 this past season.

Peterson also mentioned Texas A&M, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Boston College as schools being considered.

“It’s my last year and I still haven’t been to the (NCAA) Tournament,” said Peterson, a native of Springfield, Mo. “I’m just trying to make the most of it.

“I’m not going to lie to you and I don’t want to sound selfish or anything, but that’s a very big deciding factor as far as getting to that tournament. But I definitely wouldn’t rule out Iowa because I love it there.”

Peterson also has heard good things about Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, who was hired in late March 2010 after Lickliter was fired after just three seasons on the job.

Peterson still keeps in touch with former Iowa center Jarryd Cole, who played his senior season for McCaffery this past winter.

“Jarryd said he likes him a lot,’ Peterson said of McCaffery.

McCaffery tried to sign a point guard this spring, but came up short.

At this stage, senior-to-be Bryce Cartwright, who led the Big Ten in assists in conference games last season, is the only true point guard Iowa has on scholarship for next season.

Peterson made it clear when he left Iowa that it was strictly a basketball decision. He raved about the academics at the University of Iowa and he still does.

He just wasn’t happy playing in Lickliter’s system because Peterson wanted to play at a faster pace.

McCaffery also prefers to play at a faster pace.

“I didn’t get to see them play a whole lot but I hear the style is a lot different now,” Peterson said. “I do (follow them) a little bit just because I still have a couple buddies on the team and, obviously, I want them to do well, especially this last season because me and Jarryd Cole are friends. But I haven’t really got to see a whole lot of games.”

The 6-foot Peterson started 25 games as a sophomore at Iowa and was the team’s third leading scorer with a 10.6 per-game average. But he and three other players – guards Jake Kelly and Jermaine Davis and forward David Palmer – all quit the team shortly after the 2008-09 season.

“I tell everybody that I loved Iowa City,” Peterson said. “I really enjoyed the fans and just the people there in general. I really liked it down there a lot.”

“It was nothing personal. It was just all a business decision.”

Peterson decided to leave Arkansas, where he sat out the 2009-10 season under NCAA transfer rules, after Mike Anderson replaced John Pelphrey as the Arkansas coach shortly after last season.

Peterson averaged 6.3 points and 2.4 assists per games for Arkansas this past season. He also played the fifth most minutes on the team.

Peterson would be eligible to play next season if he earns enough credits to graduate this summer and if he is granted a waiver by the NCAA. He likely would have to file an appeal with the NCAA because he already has transferred once.

“I’m just trying to get this school stuff out of the way because I’ve still got to take two more classes,” Peterson said. “Then I was going to sit down with my mom and dad and figure everything out.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

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