Undefeated showdown headlines Sunday's Prime Time League action


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Prime Time League competition will resume on July 7 in the North Liberty Community Center. The action will be headlined by an early matchup of undefeated squads when Hawkeye Anthony Clemmons’ team takes on the dynamic duo of Zach McCabe and Gabe Olaseni at 3 p.m.

Head coach Randy Larson’s team possesses its own version of a “Big Three” in Clemmons, Jared Uthoff, and former West High standout Dondre Alexander. Clemmons is the Prime Time League’s fifth-leading scorer, averaging 23.5 points per game. The sophomore has showed consistency with his outside shot, connecting on more than half of his 3-point attempts this summer.

“It’s just a confidence thing,” Clemmons said. “It’s me walking into the gym saying, ‘I’m going to dominate.’ ”

He is in the zone right now and has scored on demand — all while keeping his teammates involved, dishing out 6.8 assists per contest. His and Iowa teammate Uthoff’s willingness to make plays for others has driven their team to 4-0 record.

“I’ve got two guys who set the tone by being unselfish in Jared and Anthony,” Larson said. “That just goes such a long way in the summer league. It’s certainly the biggest pleasure about coaching this group of guys.”

The unsung hero of this group has been Alexander. The West High product was suspended for a portion of his senior season and decided to quit the team. As of now, he’s Larson’s leading scorer, to the tune of 24.5 points per game. Alexander’s 10.3 rebounding average has aided a team that lacks a true interior presence.

“My impression of him when I watched him the last two to three years at West High was that he’s just really skilled,” Larson said. “He’s a tremendous defensive player. A guy who is skilled, a great defensive player, and also a great athlete is unusual. He’s a special player.”

Unselfishness, the emergence of Alexander, and an up-tempo style of play have been the driving forces behind Prime Time’s top-scoring offense. Larson’s squad has lit up the scoreboards, averaging 114.8 points through its first four contests. Its potent attack might cause problems for head coach Kevin Lehman’s inside-out method of play.

It may be surprising to some, but Larson’s squad’s opposition on July 7 possesses a 4-0 record led by the inside tandem of McCabe and Olaseni. McCabe is Prime Time’s second-leading rebounder, collecting 11.3 boards a game. His ability to knock down perimeter shots stretches the defense and gives Olaseni room to operate in the post.

“We just play well as a team,” McCabe said. “Everyone is making open shots and that puts less pressure on me and Gabe.”

Olaseni might be the most improved Hawkeye. The London native has an expanded offensive arsenal, focusing on his touch around the rim and pick-and-pop game.

Iowa’s backup center’s explosive athleticism enables him to throw down game-changing dunks, alter opposing shots on the other end, and control the area underneath the rim.

The Hawkeye players are excited about the opportunity to prove their team is the best in this weekend’s showdown.

“It’ll be fun; I think our team is playing really well right now,” McCabe said. “Gabe is playing really well.”

“I’ve been hearing a lot of things about that team,” Clemmons said.

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