Clemmons makes a difference in Prime Time Title hunt

BY KYLE MANN | JULY 21, 2014 5:00 AM

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The members only played well enough for a four-seed in a tournament of six, but after round one of the Prime Time League playoffs, Randy Larson’s team is coming together at the right time and looks to be a serious contender for the title.

Led for most of the season by Hawkeye center Adam Woodbury and Northern Iowa guard Matt Bohannon, Larson’s team owns two of the league’s elite performers. Woodbury finished the regular season averaging 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game; Bohannon provided 28.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. The duo was first and second in Prime Time scoring.

Now, however, the team has added Iowa guard Anthony Clemmons. He missed the first two weeks of Prime Time and had a limited contribution in Week 3, but he has played magnificently in the past two games.

“It took him a while to get acclimated, but it’s good to have him playing well,” Larson said. “He’s so eager to please I think he was pushing too hard, but he wants to prove himself.”

And prove himself he has. In likely the most impressive win of the entire regular season, Clemmons led his team to a 98-76 upset of the previously undefeated team coached by Dan Ahrens and led by Jarrod Uthoff. He complemented a dominant performance by Woodbury down low with 26 points and 9 assists on 11-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.

The 6-1 junior stayed in rhythm for the first week of the playoffs and scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go along with 6 assists and 5 rebounds in a 100-96 win over Ray Swetalla’s team.

“I’ve got my mentality back,” Clemmons said after spending some extra time training at home in Michigan. “I’m trying to be more consistent; shooting the ball, trying to make the right plays, and being aggressive. I feel like that’s when I’m at my weakness when I’m not staying aggressive.”

Should Clemmons keep up the aggressive look he’s had in the last two weeks, Larson has a real chance to win the league he runs. To go along with Clemmons’ strong performance, Woodbury also scored 19 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists. Bohannon, as usual, led the way with 28 points and also had 7 boards and 3 assists.

Where Ahrens’ team once boasted the most dangerous “big three” in the Prime Time with Uthoff, Jeremy Morgan, and Dondre Alexander; Woodbury, Clemmons, and Bohannon now seem to have overtaken the throne. Similarly, where Ahrens once seemed the favorite to win the title, Larson’s squad is now the team getting hot at the right time.

“I love where’s [Clemmons’] game is at,” Woodbury said. “He’s a quick, athletic guard who loves to pass and can get to the rim. These last two weeks we’ve started to mesh really well, and the team is clicking on all cylinders; I think we’re a tough out for anybody.”

The road to the championship for Larson’s team, however, does not end with Ahrens’ team; rather, it goes through it. The two will meet for a Week 4 rematch in the second round of the playoffs, and while Ahrens and Uthoff will look to seek revenge for an upset, Larson and his team hope to validate it.

“We’ve got everyone back and playing well now,” Larson said. “If we can control what we want to control and play the way we can play, we should win.”

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