Jarryd Cole says he's back from a knee reconstruction he underwent as a freshman and it looked like it in this summer's PTL. HN.com Senior Writer Rob Howe has watched the Hawkeye captain through the summer and filed this scouting report.
The captain returns for his junior season and feels 100 percent healthy for the first time since December of his initial college campaign. Cole says that he's cleared the mental hurdle associated with coming back from knee reconstruction. It really was showing in how Iowa's big man performed in the Prime Time League.
Cole always played with passion and drive, but it appears his body is allowing him to deliver what his heart and mind desire. Cole has played close to the basket in his first two college seasons, but this summer really displayed a nice perimeter game. He didn't launch a lot of treys, but the ones he did were true. I surely don't expect him to play from the outside in, but it's nice to know he can take a taller opponent out on the floor and be effective on the pick-and-pop play. Cole also seemed to have that burst back this summer that he showed early in the freshman season when he beat out Cyrus Tate
for the starting power forward spot. Cole also looked to have improved his free throw shooting, but that sometimes can be the product of less pressure. I was always impressed with Cole's passing ability, and he continued to show off that aspect of his game this summer.
Cole always impressed me with his ability to maneuver his way through traffic inside and get the ball up and in against taller defenders. On the other end of the floor, however, Cole needs to improve his defense. It's not like players in the PTL are locking down like Dennis Rodman, but Cole gets caught flat footed too often. He also needs to be better at help defense and getting better position against some of the taller guys he will face. Cole also could use some work on his ball handling. It's not that he'll be brining the ball up the floor, but he would benefit from being able to dribble consistently from the high post.
Cole impressed as much if not more than any other Hawkeye in the PTL. He showed off the skills that made him a rising name in recruiting late in his high school career in the KC area. Cole looked prepared to take over some of the scoring punch lost to graduation and transfers. As I said above, the key will be for Cole to be an inside presence on both ends of the floor and run the offense from the post that the coaches expect.