Uthoff, East Coast All Stars place third

BY CODY GOODWIN | JULY 29, 2013 5:00 AM

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Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff was selected to be a part of the East Coast All-Stars earlier in July. He’s the fourth Hawkeye in three years to be picked to the team and play a series of games overseas — Zach McCabe was selected to last year’s squad, while Matt Gatens and Bryce Cartwright were selected to the 2011 East Coast All-Stars.

Uthoff and the All-Stars recently just completed competition at the Four Nations Cup in Tallinn, Estonia. The team went 2-1 in the competition, good enough for third place.

East Coast began competition with a 71-68 victory over Belarus. The game served as a learning experience for the American team — they had to adjust to different contact rules.

The lesson took some time as four East Coast players fouled out of the first game. Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas tallied five fouls in the first 11 minutes of play.

“It’s crazy, it’s hard to adjust,” said East Coast teammate and Connecticut forward Philip Nolan said according to the 2013 team’s website.

The second game involved a much more balanced attack on the offensive end, allowing East Coast to cruise to a 93-75 victory over the Republic of Slovakia. West Virginia’s Eron Harris led all scorers with 21 points.

Uthoff tallied 5 points and 4 boards in the second contest, including 2 blocks — an improvement from his first game, where he was essentially a nonfactor despite playing more than 16 minutes.

Tournament host Estonia topped the East Coast All Stars in the third game, 88-79, marking just the first loss of the tournament for Uthoff and Company. The Hawkeye went 2-of-4 from the field and finished with 4 points.

Unfortunately for the East Coast All Stars, the tiebreaker allowed the team to finish third — Belarus topped Estonia, 87-77, creating a three-way tie at the top. The tiebreaker was a point differential in head-to-head matchups.

Under the tiebreaker, Belarus finished first, and Estonia placed second.

The All Stars also played an exhibition game before the Four Nations Cup began. The Americans matched up against Rapla, a team from Parnu, Estonia.

In front of 225 local children, Rapla topped East Coast, 87-77. Uthoff scored 2 points and grabbed 4 boards in the effort.

Guy Rancourt, the men’s basketball coach at Lycoming College, coached the team.

Since the summer of 2006, Rancourt has coached the East Coast All Stars. Each team has toured Europe and played against international competition. Rancourt has coached players from Louisville, West Virginia, Duke, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, among others.

This year’s team included Uthoff, Christmas, Nolan, Harris, Providence’s Kadeem Batts, Syracuse’s Mike Gbinije, Notre Dame’s Tom Knight, Lycoming’s Justin Miller and Michael Rudy, Louisville’s Russ Smith, Northern Colorado’s Tate Unruh, and Binghamton’s Jabrille Williams.

Uthoff’s stint with the East Coast All Stars adds to the international theme for the Iowa men’s basketball team this summer. Hawkeye Aaron White traveled to Kazan, Russia, with Team USA for the World University Games. In August, the men’s basketball team will fly to the United Kingdom and France to play a series of exhibition games.

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