Tonight starts Prime Time League in North Liberty and 14 Hawkeye Basketball players will be in action starting tonight and continuing every Thursday and Sunday through July 21 excluding July 4.
After two years of playing with four teams, the league has expanded to six teams with the addition of more players from other schools.
Tip-off is 6 p.m. tonight for the first game that will put Jill Armstrong of Skogman Realty vs Culver’s/McCurry’s in Jones Gym. This matchup features Aaron White on Culver’s, who was the first pick of the draft for the second year in a row. This could be his only appearance as White and Devyn Marble will try out for Team USA’s University games team that will travel to Russia.
Darius Stokes, who will give Culver’s a nice size advantage, joins White.
They will play against Skogman Realty, led by Mike Gesell who is joined by two other Hawkeye walk-on’s Okey Ukah and Kyle Denning.
Then following that game there will be two games tipping off at 7:30 p.m, Directly following the first game in Jones Gym will be Comfort Care Medicare/Mike Gatens Real Estate vs BlendCard.
The young Hawkeye trio of Adam Woodbury, Peter Jok and Kyle Meyer leads Gatens Real Estate. This is the most interesting team to me because of their addition of former Hawkeye Jason Price. Price won the Chris Street award and was a team captain during the 1999-2000 season. Price has played abroad and also coached a lot of youth basketball abroad, something that I think has the potential to help the three with the least amount of experience.
The other game tipping off at 7:30 p.m. in Roberts Gym is Greater Iowa Financial Group/Vinton Merchants vs L L Pelling/Hawkeyereport.com. Iowa Financial Group arguably got the best shooting duo of Hawkeyes with Marble and Josh Oglesby.
They will take on the best front-court with Zach McCabe and Gabe Olaseni, who I think have a very good chance to make a run at the championship if McCabe is shooting well.
As mentioned before, I think Price’s influence on Jok, Meyer and Woodbury could pay huge dividends. He has experience coaching that age group abroad, which allows them to take him seriously enough while simultaneously playing alongside him. A great way to gain experience.
Next to that, it will be our first look at Jok post-high school and we’ll see some of the work he’s been able to put in so far this summer. He played a lot of iso-ball in High School and it’ll be interesting to see if he continues to rely on the iso as a crutch.
Josh Oglesby ended the season on a bit of a higher note, but it was still a very bad year for him. After hitting just over a quarter of his three-pointers during the season, we’ll be able to see if his three point shot has improved at all.
Jarrod Uthoff has heard some very high praise and he hasn’t even stepped on the court yet. I wasn’t overly impressed with Uthoff during last year’s summer league, but if Uthoff shows improvement he’ll be able to snag quite a few minutes.
Something I’ll be looking for is seeing how all of these players fit together. Coach Fran McCaffery is going to have a very hard time fitting this many capable players into a lineup that allows them the minutes they need.
Note: Melsahn Basabe will not be participating and is at home in New York working and spending time closer to family this summer. (Release here)
Power Rankings Week 1 (Team/Hawkeye Players/W-L)
- Culvers (White/Stokes) 0-0
- Iowa Financial Group (Marble/Oglesby) 0-0
- Hawkeye Report (McCabe/Olaseni) 0-0
- BlendCard (Uthoff/Clemmons) 0-0
- Comfort Care (Woodbury/Jok/Meyer) 0-0
- Skogman (Gesell/Ukah/Denning) 0-0
Directions to the facility from the league’s website.
All games are played at the North Liberty Community Center located at 520 W. Cherry St., North Liberty, IA 52317 (air-conditioned). To get there from Interstate 380, take exit 4 to North Liberty and turn right on Hwy. 965 and then left on Cherry Street, and you will see the Community Center right away on your left. To get there from Dubuque Street north out of Iowa City, just turn left (west) on Cherry Street and go several blocks, and it will be on your right.