Players drafted for Prime Time League

BY TOM CLOS | JUNE 14, 2012 6:30 AM

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Incoming Iowa transfer Jarrod Uthoff was selected as the top overall pick in the 2012 Prime Time League draft on Wednesday.

The Wisconsin redshirt freshman went first in a draft, in which eight of the top 10 players selected were Hawkeyes or Iowa alumni. Head coach and league Commissioner Randy Larson, who possessed the No. 1 pick, said choosing the 6-8 forward to lead his team was a no-brainer.

"I had him in the Prime Time League before, and I loved coaching him," Larson said. "[Jarrod] had a great feel for the game and it's going to be a special coming out party."

Larson said that because the sophomore is forced to sit out next year because of NCAA rules, Uthoff will be motivated to leave everything he has on the court.

"It's his return as an Iowa Hawkeye," Larson said. "I've been in close contact with him in the last couple of months, and he's going to be excited about these games because he didn't play last year."

The time Uthoff spent under Badgers head coach Bo Ryan overrode any concerns Larson had about the lack of playing time the underclassmen endured the past year.

"He's young and inexperienced, but he just had a year of very good coaching," Larson said. "He faced very good competition, so I think he'll be comfortable."

Incoming Iowa recruit guard Mike Gesell was chosen second overall by head coach Dan Ahrens, who said that Gesell's athletic ability separated him from the rest of the pack.

"Speed is the difference," Ahrens said. "He may be the fastest guy out here, so I'm happy with the pick."

Freshman forward Aaron White and junior guard Eric May were paired together as the top two picks by Shawn Nove, filling in for head coach Ron Nove, who couldn't be present at the draft.

Shawn Nove said that the combination of May and White is exactly what he was looking for in the draft.

"We wanted White because he can go inside and outside, plays hard, and is so unselfish," Nove said. "May runs the court really well and pushes the ball up-court and can make shots."

Iowa sophomore guard Devyn Marble selected with the final pick of the first round by coach Kevin Lehman.

"Marble was my top pick because of the ability to create his own shots," Lehman said. "He's coming into his maturity and is making great strides for the Hawkeyes."

Lehman came back with the first pick of the second round to select former Northern Iowa guard Ali Farokhmanesh, who has been playing overseas since he graduated from UNI, in 2010. The coach said that building a team around Marble and Farokhmanesh is the perfect strategy to use because of the style of play the Prime Time features.

"This is an open-court, guard-oriented league," Lehman said. "I try to draft combo guards like Marble and Farokhmanesh early because it really is an up and down league."

Iowa sophomore forward Melsahn Basabe, sophomore forward Zach McCabe, incoming Iowa freshman Adam Woodbury, and former Iowa guard Jarryd Cole rounded out the top-10 selections of the ten-round draft.

Prime Time will kick off on June 19 in the North Liberty Community Center.

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