Uthoff showing all-around game in Prime Time

BY KYLE MANN | JULY 02, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa swingman Jarrod Uthoff is coming off his first season playing in the Black and Gold, and after showing fans that he could potentially be a lethal scorer some day — possibly as early as this next season — Uthoff is showing everyone at the Prime Time League that he’s much more than merely a scorer.

Uthoff has been the lone Hawkeye for Dan Ahrens’ team — incoming freshman Brady Ellingson has been unable to make it to Iowa City — and Uthoff has performed admirably as the most notable player on a team. 

Surrounded by Northern Iowa guard Jeremy Morgan and forward Bennett Koch, as well as the ultra-talented Dondre Alexander of State Fair Community College in Missouri and Malcolm Moore, formerly of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Uthoff has his team atop the standings at 2-0 and has led the squad in seemingly every way possible.

At 6-9, the Cedar Rapids native has used his size and versatility to his advantage. Sharing rebounds with Koch, who is fourth in the Prime Time in rebounds at 10 per game, and Moore — who is fifth at 9.5 — makes it all the more impressive that Uthoff ranks third in the league and first on his team at 11 per game.

In their Week 2 win over Kevin Lehman’s team, featuring Iowa forward Okey Ukah and Northern Iowa big man Seth Tuttle, Uthoff led the game with 14 rebounds and also had 3 assists. This came after a Week 1 performance in which he had 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.

“I try to be an all-around player,” Uthoff said. “I do a little bit of everything.”

Uthoff’s high-school coach at Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Stu Ordman, said Uthoff has always been a player who is not only able to do everything but very willing.

“What set Jarrod apart was his commitment to a team concept,” Ordman said. “He really was for the team, and I think the other guys appreciated that. He’s always been a gifted passer, and I think he really enjoys making good passes. Hopefully, he’ll show he’s improving in that direction.”

Uthoff averaged fewer than 1 assist per game last year, but he is working this summer on his ability to create with the ball in his hands, as well as to add strength to his listed 208-pound frame.

“I’ve been in the weight room a lot,” he said. “I’ve been work a lot on my handles and my shot.”

If Uthoff proves able to continue his dominance on the boards as well as become a weapon as a playmaker, the junior seems to have an incredibly promising pair of seasons ahead of him.

Fifth in the Prime Time at 20.5 points per game, Uthoff has scored the ball as well as fans would like and thus far, has done a good job of getting to the hoop and drawing fouls, converting on 6-of-8 of from the line. Ahrens has been impressed and has high aspirations for Uthoff moving forward.

“I think Jarrod has the highest basketball IQ of anybody I’ve had,” Ahrens said. “He’s a phenomenal basketball player; he can do it all. His upside is unbelievable.”

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