'Big' matchup in Prime Time's third week

BY MATT CABEL | JUNE 27, 2013 5:00 AM

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Sunday’s top Prime Time League matchup was a contest of wit and skill at the top of the key between point guards Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons.

Tonight’s big matchup will be a battle in the low post between Iowa centers Adam Woodbury and Gabe Olaseni. The starting spot at center, while held by Woodbury for the entirety of the season, could be in jeopardy, as Olaseni has stated that his presence in the post has improved.

Woodbury said he is working on “everything” during the off-season to improve — early signs point to a better free-throw percentage, finishing at the rim, and becoming a more explosive player.

“It’s always a good task for me coming out here [to the Prime Time League],” Woodbury said. “… I’ll continue to grow every day out and continue to get better.”

Olaseni showed spurts of potential during the 2012-13 campaign, including a Carver-Hawkeye record 13 blocks in a single game against Illinois on March 5. He also worked his way into playing more minutes after only playing in lopsided wins or losses his freshman year.

Woodbury has found a bit of rhythm with incoming freshman shooting guard Peter Jok. A duel on the perimeter could also occur, because Olaseni’s team also includes forward Zach McCabe, who is capable of scoring points from beyond the arc.

“[Woodbury] just told me ‘Keep shooting; I’ll get the rebound,’ ” Jok said. “When I feed him inside, he finishes most of the time. It’s really great — I was happy when they told me he was on my team.”

Marble’s return?

Devyn Marble may also be return to participate in the league after being cut from the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team Camp.

Marble’s team is in clear need of a playmaker. Teammate Josh Oglesby has not played in a Prime Time game due to a finger injury. Marble’s team will compete against Iowa guard Mike Gesell’s team, who may be in trouble, should Marble play. The senior tallied 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists in his only game, on June 20.

In his last game, Gesell took on more of a facilitator role in a loss. The sophomore earned 21 points and 15 assists, along with 3 boards. While Gesell may be a pass-first point guard, Prime Time Commissioner Randy Larson believes Gesell may have to look for more shots to succeed in the league.

“Mike Gesell is my kind of point guard, in that he wants to be a team-first guy, he wants to be a pass-first guy,” Larson said on Sunday. “But with the talent where it is, he needs to be a scorer, too … That’s hard for Mike to go against his instincts, to try to be a scorer for his team.”

The evening’s other matchup will consist of Darius Stokes’ team against that of Anthony Clemmons and Jarrod Uthoff. Aaron White’s continued participation in the World Team tryouts takes away any possibility of seeing him matched up against Uthoff, unless the two teams should meet in the Prime Time playoffs.

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