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Uthoff's return highlights Prime Time

BY KYLE MANN | JUNE 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Prime Time League is set to play its third set of games tonight at the North Liberty Community Center, and after one week of play in the books, fans are starting to get an idea of what to watch for.

Hakweye Jarrod Uthoff has been absent in the first two games of the summer because of what has been portrayed as a very minor ankle tweak, and fans should expect to see him in action this week, said his coach, Randy Larson.

“Everybody just wants to play it safe,” Larson said.

Should everything work out — Uthoff and Dom Uhl, who has played well in Uthoff’s absence — will square off at 6 p.m. against Iowa’s junior-college transfer Dale Jones, freshman Brandon Hutton, former Hawkeye Melsahn Basabe, and  Northern Iowa’s Paul Jesperson.

Uhl and Uthoff are two of the lengthiest players in the league, but they’ll encounter the team best equipped to defend them.

Also at 6 p.m., the sharpshooting duo of Mike Gesell and Matt Bohannon will take on a team distancing itself from the others, led by Adam Woodbury.

Woodbury is averaging 21 points and 18.5 rebounds in the first two games with better than 50 percent shooting from the floor. The squad has received significant contributions from Okey Ukah and Wayne State’s Kendall Jacks.

What could set this team apart down the line, however, is Prime Time ringer Dondre Alexander.

Alexander was a standout performer in his time at Iowa City West and was among the more impressive scorers in the league last season.     Currently playing ball at William Penn, onlookers will notice Alexander soon after arriving.

“He’s as good as anybody in this league,” coach Dan Ahrens said. “If he played football, he could be a first team All-Big Ten wide receiver. So he’s as good as he wants to be.”

Indeed, Alexander drives to the rim as forcefully and as relentlessly as any of the Division-I players, and he logged 21 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds in his first game on June 18. He was unable to make the trip to Waterloo on Sunday, however; each game early in the summer allows he and Woodbury to build chemistry on the go.

“We don’t really know what to expect from each other yet,” Woodbury said. “It’s still going to take a couple of games for us to get used to each other, but he’s a really good player.”

The nightcap this week should be an exciting one, and with shooters all over the floor, it could be the highest-scoring game of the evening.

Northern Iowa’s Wes Washpun is the lead guard of a team with former Hawkeye Matt Gatens, as well as young Iowa shooters Brady Ellingson and Andrew Fleming. Fleming led with 25 points as the team combined to score 102 in Waterloo, making 45 percent of its 3s.

They will be matched up with Anthony Clemmons and Northern Iowa’s Jeremy Morgan, who will certainly be up to the challenge of matching the pace and offensive firepower.

There’s plenty to keep an eye on in Prime Time this week, as the action has been exciting thus far and doesn’t project to drop off at all tonight.


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