Peterson was ‘frustrated’ at Iowa, likes fit at Arkansas

May 8, 2009
Iowa's Jeff Peterson, left, and Wisconsin's Joe Krabbenhoft go after a loose ball during the first half of the teams' game Feb. 11, 2009, in Madison, Wis. Peterson suffered a pulled hamstring in the game, which turned out to be the final game of his Hawkeye career. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Iowa's Jeff Peterson, left, and Wisconsin's Joe Krabbenhoft go after a loose ball during the first half of the teams' game Feb. 11, 2009, in Madison, Wis. Peterson suffered a pulled hamstring in the game, which turned out to be the final game of his Hawkeye career. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

Former Iowa guard Jeff Peterson said he was frustrated at times during his two-year tenure with the Hawkeyes. That’s why he left the school and will transfer to Arkansas.

Peterson called the situation at Iowa “unfortunate.”

“It’s just that whole atmosphere down there,” Peterson told The Gazette and KCRG. “I think it will fit me a little bit better.

“I think the main thing at the end of the day is I’m more comfortable and more happy.”

Peterson, who stands 6 feet, earned a scholarship with Arkansas, but will not play next year because of NCAA transfer rules. He can play two more college seasons.

Peterson was one of four Iowa players to leave the school since the end of the basketball season. Joining Peterson in the exodus was Jake Kelly, Jermain Davis and David Palmer. Peterson started Iowa’s first 25 games at point guard before pulling a hamstring against Wisconsin, which ended his season.

“I say that I wasn’t fully happy with the whole situation,” Peterson said. “But I think I can be really happy at Arkansas.

“During the season I continued to give it my all. I had 11 guys on the team … I couldn’t let them down, just for personal reasons. It did get frustrating, but I definitely didn’t give up.”

Peterson said he and other players discussed the team’s situation before he thought about leaving, but it wasn’t until after the season, he said.

“I guess before the final decision was made, obviously rumors started circulating,” he said. “So there was some type of discussion between everybody.”

Peterson finished third in scoring with 10.6 points a game and led the team with 106 assists. He suffered a broken left wrist in the Big Ten opener at Ohio State but played through it until his hamstring injury. He had surgery on March 17 and still wears a cast over his left wrist.

The injury prevented Peterson from passing the ball and dribbling effectively.

“Just anything with that bending motion,” he said. “I couldn’t get full range. I had less than half range during the season, so at times it really bothered me. But I just tried not to come up with any excuses and get through it. It was painful at times.”

Peterson took only one visit because he wanted to focus on his classes, he said. Peterson was named academic all-Big Ten this year. He will attend Arkansas’ business school. Arkansas is about two hours from his hometown of Springfield, Mo., but he said Arkansas’ location didn’t enter into his decision.


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