Tyler Cook confirmed Friday what has been rumored for several weeks.
He has filed for early entry into the NBA draft.
Iowa’s sophomore forward announced that he has submitted the necessary papers to enter the draft and go through the process of gauging interest from NBA teams.
He does not plan to hire an agent, however, which leaves open the possibility that he could return to the Hawkeyes for next season. The NBA draft is not until June 21, and Cook has until June 11 to withdraw his name from the draft pool.
Cook said in a news release issued by the university that he reached the decision following conversations with Iowa’s coaches and his family.
"It is my dream to play professionally, and not hiring an agent at this time allows me to see where I stand," he said. "I am following God’s plan, and I am thankful for this opportunity. I appreciate all of the support that I continue to receive from Hawkeye nation"
The 6-foot-9 Cook made the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team in 2016-17 and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick as the Hawkeyes went 14-19 this past season. He led the team with averages of 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game and ranked in the top 10 in the Big Ten in double-doubles (7) and field goal percentage (.566).
He is the second Iowa player in recent seasons to submit his name for the draft. Peter Jok did the same thing following his junior season in 2016 but opted to come back to Iowa for another year.
"Tyler should take advantage of this opportunity, and we fully support his decision," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "I have spoken with Tyler and his family in depth and believe this is the right decision.
"This relatively new rule is a positive one for those in pursuit of their professional dreams. Peter Jok went through it in 2016 and found it to be beneficial as it allows athletes to gather information through workouts and interviews from NBA personnel. We will assist Tyler every way we can throughout this process."
Cook frequently has mentioned his desire to play in the NBA. One of his closest friends at St. Louis’ Chaminade High School, Jayson Tatum, already is starring for the Boston Celtics.
McCaffery said earlier this season that he has watched Cook work diligently toward that goal "because he studies it and he wants it."
"He’s got confidence in himself, whether it’s shooting the ball, driving the ball," McCaffery said. "He competes, he plays hard. It goes back to his preparation. He’s in the gym all the time, and I mean all the time now and throughout the whole year. He has a really good demeanor to play this game, a combination of competitiveness and intellectual approach, and you’re seeing him continue to get better."
There also were rumors that Cook might transfer to Missouri, where some of his St. Louis friends play, but the sophomore shot down that speculation a week ago, stating on Twitter that he never considered going to Mizzou.