Midseason Checkup: Prime Time League


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The Prime Time League teams have each played four games to this point in the season. The Daily Iowan takes a look at each team, how it has done so far this season and where it ranks in comparison with the rest.

1. BlendCard, 4-0

Randy Larson’s team has shown it’s the strongest team in the Prime Time League, sharing a 4-0 record with Pelling/HawkeyeReport.com. Guard Anthony Clemmons has proved he’s worked on his game during the off-season. His 94 total points scored are the fifth-most in the league right now. Teammate Dondre Alexander’s 98 is tied for third with Iowa center Adam Woodbury.

Forward Jarrod Uthoff has made a big impact, too, grabbing 42 rebounds through four games. That’s the third-most behind Woodbury and Zach McCabe. Larson’s squad has dominated the opposition during the last week of play.

Larson’s team has shown good team chemistry and supreme playmaking abilities. If the players continue to perform like they have, they’ll be a favorite to plow through the playoffs.

Pelling/HawkeyeReport, 4-0

The tandem of Gabe Olaseni and Zach McCabe has proven effective — the two have led their squad to an undefeated record. Olaseni has shown he’s an explosive player, providing numerous crowd-pleasing dunks each night.

McCabe has demonstrated he’s a threat from beyond the arc, and his versatility helps him score in the post. He’s grabbed 45 rebounds so far, and he has proven there’s more to his game than the foul-trouble that plagued him during Big Ten matchups.

Comfort Care /Gatens, 2-2

While the trio of Peter Jok, Woodbury, and Kyle Meyer are only 2-2 in Prime Time action, they have shown they’re one of the league’s most exciting teams to watch.

Jok is the league’s leading scorer with 114 points over the course of four games, and Woodbury is the third leading scorer (98) and leading rebounder (47) in the league.

Redshirt freshman Meyer has also showcased a threatening repertoire after sitting out the 2012-13 season. Meyer’s size gives him the ability to finish at the rim, but he also has a soft touch with his shots from beyond the arc.

This group might be the dark horse come playoff time. If their shots begin to fall and true team chemistry forms, they could compete with the top-two teams.

4. Armstrong of Skogman Realty, 2-2

While Armstrong has the same record as Comfort Care/Gatens, it is clearly the inferior team. It relies heavily on Mike Gesell to generate scoring chances for appears to be an offensively challenged team. Gesell is leading the league in assists and is second in points, tallying 10.8 and 26.8 per game, respectively.

Gesell carries such a heavy offensive burden that he had to hoist 37 shots in his team’s loss to Pelling/HawkeyeReport. Fellow Hawkeye Kyle Denning doesn’t provide much of a scoring threat.

Other than Gesell, Keith Steffeck is the lone player on the roster that can create shots — both for himself and his teammates. Offensive inefficiencies are the driving force behind this team’s .500 record.

5. Greater Iowa Financial /Vinton Merchants, 0-4

Coach Kevin Sanders’ squad hasn’t been as bad as its record indicates. The team is winlees becase, in large part, of the absences of Devyn Marble and Josh Oglesby. Marble missed the team’s second and third games because he was in Colorado Springs, Colo., trying out for Team USA. Oglesby’s absence is related to a broken finger he suffered in May.

Sanders’ team has performed well when Marble is in the lineup; he’s averaged 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game in the two contests he’s played in. Someone else on the roster has to step up and provide Marble with some offensive assistance, because Oglesby is out for the foreseeable future.

6. Culver’s/McCurry’s, 0-4

Much like Sanders’ team, Culver’s/McCurry’s struggles are due to the absences of two key Iowa contributors. Aaron White is likely done playing in Prime Time this summer, because he’s in Russia for the World University Games from now until (possibly) July 17. He was the first overall pick in the Prime Time draft, so there’s no question that the loss of him has significantly affected his team.

Hawkeye teammate Darius Stokes has been out of the lineup since suffering an ankle injury on opening night. Without White and Stokes, coach Ron Nove’s team has struggled to find consistent offensive production, resulting in a winless record.

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