Jennings headlines Game Time League

BY CHARLIE GREEN | JUNE 17, 2015 5:00 AM

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It’s that time of year — the Game Time League is back in action. The action will kick off in North Liberty at 6:30 p.m. today, with a myriad of different story lines and talent across the board. The league consists of a number of Hawkeyes from 2015’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 squad, and seeing them square off against each other should make for an intriguing summer.

A few Hawkeyes from last season are absent, including Atlanta Dream first-round draft pick Sam Logic (we imagine she’s pretty busy). Melissa Dixon, who graduated, will also not participate, and neither will last summer’s MVP Ally Disterhoft, whose team steamrollered through league play en route to winning the championship.

But plenty of new faces figure to add an element to the competition — including a few incoming Iowa freshmen.

Without further ado, here are the predictions for 2015 season:

Most Valuable Player: Whitney Jennings (Guard, Iowa)

Jennings gave a little taste last summer of the flare she was to bring to the Iowa program. With a dazzling display of ball-handling ability, the youngster made defenders look silly on a regular basis.

Her speed and relentless drive to push the ball up the floor continually put pressure on her opponents. A quick first step made her a nightmare to defend when attacking the basket, and sheer athleticism allowed her to finish at the rim against taller players.

Tack on a freshman campaign in Big Ten competition that saw her average 8.1 points per game, and Jennings should be primed for a big summer.

Preseason All –Game Time team

G: Jennings: See above

G: Tania Davis (Iowa)

The five-star incoming freshman won Michigan’s Miss Basketball in 2015 and could bring to Game Time what Jennings brought last summer. ESPN ranks her as the 12th best point-guard recruit in the country for her age.

F: Courtney Straight (Truman State)

Last summer, Straight demonstrated her ability on both ends of the floor. Stifling perimeter defense and deadly range on her jumper make her more than just a quality role player.

F: Chase Coley (Iowa)

The 6-3 Coley played last season as a freshman, so now has a year of college experience. She was a dominant rim protector last summer, and her athleticism allowed her to run the floor on the break and create mismatches in the post.

F: Bethany Doolittle (ex-Iowa)

Not much needs to be said of the graduated, player-coach Doolittle. She started her last 104 games (three seasons) as a Hawkeye. Her length, experience, and polished skills in the post make her an obvious choice.

Champion: Brendan Unkrich and Company

Unkrich’s squad consists of a couple players who may well prove me wrong on my selections above.
Kali Peschel has Big Ten experience with the Hawks and is a player her teammates can consistently feed the ball to in the post. Forward Hannah Stewart is an incoming Iowa freshman, a four-star recruit, according to ESPN, and the 16th ranked player at her position.

Add Straight’s defense and perimeter shooting, and this looks like the most well-rounded team Game Time has to offer.

Doolittle’s team also has an interesting supporting cast, complete with Iowa’s Hailey Schneden and St. Ambrose’s Brette Logic, Sam Logic’s younger sister.

Unkrich, for the second year in a row, looks as if he has the team to beat.

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