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Clemmons leads Uthoff-less team to Prime Time League championship

BY MATT CABEL | JULY 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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Anthony Clemmons told the media on July 18 to “get ready for a show” for Sunday afternoon’s Prime Time League championship game.

And what a show it was.

The sophomore — who was named co-MVP of the league along with teammate Jarrod Uthoff — did a little bit of everything during the game. He scored 32 points, dished out 3 assists, and grabbed 10 rebounds in his team’s 96-78 win over Devyn Marble’s and Josh Oglesby’s team.

“We just let the game come to us, instead of making the big home runs,” Clemmons said. “We played together, and that got us the victory.”

Clemmons and his teammates —playing without Uthoff, who left July 20 for Estonia, where he’ll play with the East Coast All-Stars — used a balanced attack to stifle Marble, Oglesby, and teammates, who shot primarily from beyond the arc.

The shots didn’t seem to want to fall; numerous attempts went in and out.

“Sometimes, it’s going to be like that,” Marble said. “You can’t let it frustrate you — you have to find ways to get around it. I kept telling the guys to keep shooting; we’re a good team. The shots just didn’t fall.”

The Marble and Clemmons matchup was a telling tale of the match, primarily on defense. Clemmons held Marble to 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting, including 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Clemmons cut past Marble and the ensuing defenders to find a clear lane for a lay-up late in the first half. On Marble’s ensuing defensive possession, he stripped the ball from Clemmons’ hands and went coast-to-coast for a dunk on the other end of the floor.

“Devyn is a different type of player,” Clemmons said. “He has length, and he has quickness. His ability to move laterally is unbelievable. He’s another person that helps my game as I start to face bigger opponents.”

Marble had similar things to say about his matchup with Clemmons.

“If I don’t really challenge him, what’s he getting out of it?” he said.

Basketball is a game of runs, and Sunday’s championship was full of them. Clemmons and company started the game off on a 6-0 run in the game’s first three minutes and never trailed in the game.

The matchup was at its closest in the first half, when the score was 6-5 with 16 minutes remaining in the first half. 

Every time that Marble’s and Oglesby’s team cut the deficit to single digits, a player on Randy Larson’s team — usually Clemmons or teammate Dondre Alexander — hit a 3-point shot that brought the deficit right back to double-digits.

The second half in particular was all Clemmons and Alexander. A 51-36 advantage at halftime turned into a 22-point deficit for Marble and Oglesby with nine minutes remaining in regulation.

“We knew from the beginning that we had to win the game with defense,” Larson said. “They’re an offensive-oriented team, and if you get them guarded, Josh doesn’t get open shots, Devyn doesn’t get to get going, then you have an advantage. We needed the game at our pace.”

And although Marble went further than he ever has in the summer league — although he didn’t get a championship — Marble still learns and still evaluates his game through how he plays in the league.

“That’s the key out of the [Prime Time League]: going a little bit out of your comfort zone, doing stuff you wouldn’t normally do. Just so you get better at it,” Marble said. “Maybe you take a shot you might not take during the season just so see how you’ve progressed. Trying different things and being comfortable in doing that — it comes with confidence.”


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