Hubbard leads Prime Time squad to No. 1 ranking

BY SETH ROBERTS | JUNE 28, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Prime Time League is three games into its 25th season, and The Daily Iowan breaks down the action to produce the first edition of its weekly rankings.

1. Coach’s Corner/Two Rivers (3-0)

On two occasions this summer, Coach’s Corner/Two Rivers has been scheduled to play in the North Liberty Community Center’s old gym.

On two occasions this summer, league Commissioner Randy Larson has been forced to move the games to the newer, bigger gym to accommodate the number of fans who flock to the facility to catch a glimpse of Anthony Hubbard.

The Iowa small forward with the famous background has been superb — and is a large reason Coach’s Corner is No. 1 — but he has received plenty of help from a supporting cast made primarily of Northern Iowa players. Anthony James has scored 56 points in two games, Chris Olivier has been a steady presence in the paint, and Chip Rank is heating up from 3-point range; he has hit six of his last nine from behind the line.

2. Falbo’s/Culver’s (2-1)

What a difference two players can make.

Falbo’s/Culver’s didn’t have Matt Gatens or Melsahn Basabe in the season-opener and stumbled out to a 31-point loss to an offensively challenged Ready Mix/Vinton squad. The pair has played in both the team’s two games since then, though, and it’s no coincidence that Falbo’s went from scoring just 65 points in its first game to 96 and 112 points in its second and third.

3. Armstrong/Kroeger (1-2)

Armstrong/Kroeger coach Dan Ahrens wasn’t happy with Iowa sophomore Zach McCabe when the Hawkeye showed up 45 minutes late for the team’s season-opener. McCabe appears to be making amends, though. His production has increased in each of the past two games; his scoring jumped from 12 points in game two to 19 points in game three, the second-best on the team.

The squad had the bad luck of opening the season with the top two teams in the league, but it should be back over .500 next week after games against Monica’s/Pelling and McCurry’s/Gatens.

4. McCurry’s/Gatens (1-2)

Through three games this summer, Eric May has looked like the player many thought he would be for the Hawkeyes last season. He’s scoring (26.3 points per game), rebounding (5.0), and dishing out plenty of assists (5.0).

He hasn’t had much help, though, and he’ll need more consistent efforts from his supporting cast to have any chance to repeat as Prime Time champion.

5. Monica’s/Pelling (1-2)

Monica’s/Pelling has been a classic case of good but not good enough.

Offensively, the squad is one of the better teams in the league; its 99.7 points per game is second only to Coach’s Corner at 100.3. Defensively, though, Monica’s/Pelling is in the Prime Time cellar at 99 points per contest.

The 0.7-point difference simply isn’t enough, as has been proven by two-straight close losses.

6. Ready Mix/Vinton (1-2)

The Prime Time is an offense-oriented league, and it’s fairly common for a team to score 90 points in a game and still lose.

Ready Mix/Vinton hasn’t helped itself by scoring just 78 points in each of its last two games, dropping its season average to a league-worst 84 points per contest. The ray of hope is that the team has posted the league’s best defensive numbers thus far, although the 82.7 points per game is skewed by its 96-65 win over a Falbo’s squad missing its best two players in the first week of the season.

Player of the Week: Anthony Hubbard

Hubbard has done a little bit of everything in his first three Prime Time games. The 26-year-old Hawkeye has averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists, and missed a triple-double on Sunday by just one helper.

The only knocks against Hubbard thus far have been a couple missed dunks and a 68 percent free-throw rate.

The DI’s Prime Time rankings will be published every Tuesday. Teams are ranked by overall record, and tiebreakers are decided by record over the past two games.

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