Who's the favorite to win Prime Time?

BY DI STAFF | JULY 22, 2015 5:00 AM

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Marion Iron

Ex-Hawkeye star Jess Settles’ Marion Iron team may have lost to Dan Ahrens’ Jill Armstrong Team earlier in the season, but it heads into the playoffs with a roster clicking so well that no one’s beating it.

The four-guard attack that Settles has at his disposal is one unlike any other in the Prime Time League.

Northern Iowa’s Wes Washpun has an extra spring in his step at point guard, providing an explosive style of play that, when he’s on, is a nightmare for teams to deal with.

Former Iowa star guard Matt Gatens gives the team experience and a skilled scoring threat from the wing, while Hawk Brady Ellingson could be the best pure shooter the league has to offer.

And then there’s incoming Hawkeye Andrew Fleming. I mean, the man hasn’t even played college ball yet and could well be named Prime Time MVP.

No one plays harder. No one plays with more confidence. He shoots a lot, yes, but shoots as if he perpetually remembers his last make only. He’s on fire, especially after dropping 42 last week in the absence of Gatens and Ellingson.

At this point, I just don’t see anyone stopping him. Nobody has.

Ahrens’ squad has the top seed in the playoffs after finishing 5-1, and it is the other team to beat it the Prime Time playoffs.

Adam Woodbury gives it a legitimate presence down low, something that Settles and Company lack.

And Dondre Alexander is a game-changing guard but can easily lose a game for his team with his often-careless play.

Bottom line? Settles’ team has just too many weapons at this point, and it is led by what looks like an emerging star in Fleming.

— Charlie Green

Armstrong Team

When the Prime Time playoffs begin, the league feels more top-heavy than I recall it being last summer, with two teams seeming having distinguished themselves as the top of the class. Ahrens’ Armstrong Team, however, has the physical game-changers to earn the nod over Settles’ Marion Iron.

The 7-1 Adam Woodbury stands alone as a physical specimen in Prime Time, and he has dominated the post and glass. He has shown a tendency to experiment with a midrange jumper in the summer league, but I expect Ahrens to aggressively post him on the low block, where he can get a look over anybody.

Furthermore, 6-5 guard Dondre Alexander is the driving force on the perimeter, and he is, quite frankly, the most physically gifted guard in the league.

Complementing Woodbury, Alexander’s relentless attacking can overwhelm opposing defenses, and his ability to get hot from the outside can make the offense unstoppable. The duo is also a defensive nightmare both inside and out, and Alexander has the vision to incorporate a talented roster.

Ahrens gets major points for drafting Iowa’s Okey Ukah, one of the only players in the league who would have been able to put up a fight against Woodbury. Together, they form an imposing frontcourt, which meshes beautifully with a bevy of talented guards and wings around them.

Wayne State sophomore Kendall Jacks has been very impressive as a combo guard this summer, and Northern Iowa’s Spencer Haldeman and Luke McDonnell, as well as Mount Mercy’s Malik Williams, have contributed to an offense that can make shots from the outside and be a handful in transition.

All together, this team has the best blend of physical superiority, depth, defense, and the ability to score points. Three games and one week from now, Ahrens and his team will celebrate a well-deserved title victory.

— Kyle Mann

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