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Jeff Peterson transfering to Florida State

[ 2 ] June 29, 2011 |

Point guard Jeff Peterson said Wednesday that he spoke to Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery and assistant coach Kirk Speraw about transferring back to Iowa for his senior season.

Peterson said McCaffery also offered him a scholarship for next season, but Peterson instead will attend Florida State for his senior season.

“I did give it a lot of thought,” Peterson said of transferring back to Iowa. “I still speak to numerous people there. I did give it thought just because they said the style of play has changed and, obviously, I’m very familiar there. And I love Iowa City. I definitely gave it a lot of thought.

“But I had to do what I feel was the best basketball decision for me. Right now, I just feel like (Florida State) was probably a better decision. And I’m going to be able to get my Master’s (degree) down there.”

Peterson played extensively as a freshman and sophomore at Iowa under former coach Todd Lickliter before transferring to Arkansas in 2009. He sat out the 2009-10 season at Arkansas as required by NCAA rules and then played last season as a junior.

Arkansas then changed head coaches with Mike Anderson replacing John Pelphrey shortly after last season.

Peterson decided that it was in his best interest to leave Arkansas and the Springfield, Mo. native chose Florida State for a number of reasons, including the strength of the program.

Florida State has made the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons under veteran coach Leonard Hamilton whereas Iowa is coming off four consecutive losing seasons.

Florida State also has a void at point guard whereas Iowa has Bryce Cartwright returning for his senior season after leading the Big Ten in assists in conference games last season.

“I really felt like it was a great situation for me,” Peterson said of why he picked Florida State. “I didn’t want the whole process to get drawn out too much.

“It’s not like I’m an 18-year having never been through the recruiting process. I’ve been through it a few times.”

Peterson said Florida State was the only school he visited and that his contact with Iowa never went beyond phone calls.

He left Iowa after the 2008-09 season, along with three other players, because he was unhappy playing in Lickliter’s slower-paced system.

McCaffery prefers to play at a faster pace, which is partly why Peterson considered making a return. McCaffery also tried to sign a point guard this spring, but failed to do so, leaving a scholarship open.

The NCAA has a rule that allows players who have finished their undergraduate degree to transfer elsewhere and play immediately.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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