Point/Counterpoint: Who will be the first pick in the Prime Time draft?

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 13, 2012 6:30 AM

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Jarrod Uthoff

Hawkeye fans are itching to see Jarrod Uthoff play basketball in Iowa once again, and the 6-8 forward is a good bet for the first draft pick because Prime Time coaches know he'll be itching, too. Itching to make a good impression, that is.

Uthoff, hailing from Cedar Rapids Jefferson, signed with Wisconsin and redshirted for the Badgers in 2012. But Uthoff announced in April that he'd transfer. He chose Iowa after a long — and public — decision-making process.

Uthoff's nearly two and a half month decision built up tremendous anticipation, and now all of Iowa City wants to see him in action on the court.

The hoopster has taken some flack for coming to Iowa. Uthoff was barred from transferring to any Big Ten school, so he'll have to pay his way through school for a year and stay off the court for an entire season before he can put on an Iowa uniform.

He's been criticized for choosing the Hawkeyes, so now he's ready to stun the fans and get them on his side. Uthoff is motivated to make the best of his first opportunity to play under the watchful eye of Iowa basketball fans.

Uthoff averaged a whopping 26.1 points per game during high school, the most in the state. He racked up 11.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game his senior year, too.

But Uthoff hasn't won the heart of the Hawkeyes yet — he's going to try to do that this summer in the Prime Time League. The coaches know it and know that having someone with that kind of drive in a summer league — not to mention outstanding stats from high school — couldn't be a bad choice for a first draft pick.

— by Molly Irene Olmstead

Aaron White

Aaron White will hear his name called first Wednesday night in the Prime Time League draft because of his expectation-exceeding freshman season with the Hawkeyes in 2012.

Any team that misses out on the opportunity to draft him, first or otherwise, is missing out on a team player and an overall strong performer.

Look at his numbers — they don't lie: 11 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, and even a 3-point percentage of .279.

Throughout the 2011 season, White went from being the sixth man to earning a starting role. He did a fantastic job of making plays and saving possessions with his rebounding. He came off the bench in his first regular-season game and led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 19 points in 18 minutes.

White continued to have a positive effect to the team as the season progressed. None of his performances were bigger than his 25-point performance against Dayton in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. His offensive prowess even triggered praise from the Dayton coach.

He helped bring Iowa basketball back into national attention with its upset wins over nationally ranked teams. To top it all off, he was a big factor in his team's win during last year's Prime Time championship game. What coach wouldn't want to draft a member of a championship team?

White will give his team assets that no other Iowa player does: an ability to get down into the paint, block shots and score from beyond the arc. The attention he receives and his ability to help out his teammates adds a lot to his value as well.

Sounds like a No. 1 draft pick to me.

— by Matt Cabel

Devyn Marble

Devyn Marble's skill quality has steadily improved since he has been at Iowa. The Hawkeye community has watched him come into college as a raw and inexperienced player and grow to be effective on the court and a leader on the team.

He has shown that his ability to make improvements is endless. He only averaged 5.7 points per game during his freshman season in 2010 and shot 38 percent.

But then came the 2011 Prime Time.

The coaches didn't expect much, and Marble was picked 10th in the draft. Marble surprised them when he was able to shoot on command any way that was available. Mid-range, driving to the hole, and 3-point shots looked easy for him.

Marble's defense intensified as the games went on. He became a dangerous man to try passing near. He had an outstanding showcase of the hard work he had put in during the postseason.

Marble's team finished with an average record of 3-4 before playoffs, but it was expected to be one of the more competitive teams stretching for the championship. An ankle injury stopped Marble's playing time, which hindered his opportunity to be the league MVP. His team ended up losing in the first round, but fellow Hawkeye Devon Archie and Temple's Anthony Lee both stated that the team would have won if Marble was able to participate.

Marble started 27 games and stepped up when Hawkeyes needed him to. He averaged 11.5 points per game and led the team in steals. In the last game of the 2011-2012 season against Oregon, Marble had a personal best of 31 points, which is the most a Hawkeye has ever made in a National Invitation Tournament game.

With another Big Ten season under his belt, Marble should be the No. 1 draft pick.

— by Taylor Axelson

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