Gesell, Basabe, Cole team up in Prime Time

BY CARLOS SOSA | JULY 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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An incoming Iowa freshman. A Hawkeye junior-to-be. A former Black and Gold player.

Jill Armstrong of Skogman Realty pulled out a 103-96 Prime Time League win over Culver's/Ready Mix on Sunday thanks to the trio of Mike Gesell, Melsahn Basabe, and Jarryd Cole. The three combined for 66 points.

"I was just playing my game," Cole said. "Making sure that I'm available for my team, and when I get the ball, making sure I do something positive."

Cole finished the game with a team-high 24 points, going 8-of-16, and he snared 8 rebounds.

Cole has been coach Dan Ahrens' most dominant and reliable player this summer, consistently scoring more than 20 points a game. He's one of the older players in the league — a 2011 Iowa grad — and he is able to establish himself in the paint and play a different role than the one he had during his tenure with the Hawkeyes.

"First and foremost, I become a threat," Cole said. "When I was here at Iowa, I was more of a role player. I wasn't the offensive threat, but now, I've become someone you have to respect. That takes pressure off the other guys."

Cole's dominance allows Gesell and Basabe to excel.

Basabe is able to feed off Cole's consistent play with dominant performances of his own. The junior-to-be matched up with another Iowa star, Aaron White, for the majority of Sunday's game. White has been on a scoring tear as of late, scoring 120 points in the first four games of the season.

Basabe had to battle him on Sunday.

"Really, I'm motivated to go up against anybody," Basabe said. "I feel like I have something to prove every time I step on the court. And Aaron is at my position, so obviously, we're going to compete."

Except for one game, Basabe has scored 20 points as consistently as a Cole. He finished the game with 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Gesell had a double-double, scoring 20 points and dishing out 11 assists. As Iowa's future starting point guard, Gesell has competed at a high level.

But on Sunday, he competed with another Iowa point guard, Anthony Clemmons.

Clemmons, along with White, were the only bright spots for Culver's/Ready Mix, which can't seem to catch a break.

Clemmons played aggressively and attacked the basket regularly.

"I've been telling him to just play basketball," Basabe said. "Anthony has talent, but he's been thinking too much. I told him to play like he's playing at the park — just attack."

Clemmons finished the game with 20 points, and White provided another excellent performance. He finished the game with 27 points and 13 rebounds.

Coach Ron Nove's team was efficient against the strong showing that Cole, Basabe, and Gesell brought to the court. The squad scored when it needed to but just couldn't put it together on the defensive end.

"We just got to get stops," Iowa guard Eric May said. "We're giving up a lot of points. It's hard to win and puts a lot of pressure on us to score a lot of points. It's not like we're getting blown out, but it's just frustrating."

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