By Don Lund
It’s 25 years and counting for the Prime Time Basketball League in the North Liberty Recreation Center, and with the big crowds and good talent, the league will be going for years to come.
It’s a chance to see the new recruits for the Hawkeyes, the current players and some former Iowa players including Darrel Moore, Jason Price and Duez Henderson.
Plus, there are some talented UNI athletes and small college players from around the region.
I had a chance to see two of Iowa’s new recruits, Anthony Hubbard and Josh Oglesby, on the first night and both started out strong.
Anthony took a little time to get going, scoring only six points in the first half of his first game but heated up in the second and finished with 26.
I thought he did a good job of getting his teammates involved and also showed he can post up and make free throws when the game is on the line.
“I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but just knowing the guys and getting used to them was what I was looking for,” said Anthony, who also had four assists and 13 rebounds.
Anthony said the campus in Iowa City and the fact that Bryce Cartwright led the Big Ten in assists were important factors in choosing the Hawkeyes to play basketball.
“We’ve got a lot of weapons and if we can get things rolling early I think we’ll have a pretty good season,” Anthony said.
Devyn Marble has been working out with Anthony and likes what he sees so far.
“He’s got a Big Ten body already,” said Devyn, who played in all 31 games last year, starting six. “He’s a great passer, he loves to distribute the ball, he can shoot, he can drive and he’s a creator… exactly what we needed on the court.”
Josh, who scored 10 points, is known for his outside shooting. He hit a three but also showed he can pass and play defense.
“It’s fun coming down here for the summer,” said Josh, who was teamed up with Eric May. “Eric is a real athletic guy and knows the game. I like playing with all the Iowa players. I scrimmaged with them a couple of times and the competition is so good.”
Josh grew up a Hawkeye fan.
“It’s a dream come true for myself and my family,” said Josh. “I just thank Coach McCaffery, my family and God every day for what they’ve done for me and what I’ve done for them.”
May and Marble, who both started last year, had real good opening games.
Eric dropped in 24 points and led his team with six assists.
He started last season strong but got nicked up and is healing fine.
“We were competing in every game and now that we’ve got one year under our belt it will allow us to play the up-tempo system even more,” said Eric, who had 25 starts last year and was Academic All-Big Ten.
Devyn led all scorers with 32, looks stronger and plays with a lot more confidence.
“I had fun,” said Devyn about last season. “We struggled and it was frustrating at times but I had fun and I learned a lot. My ball handling is real good right now. I’ve been working on that all summer, my midrange game and my jump shot. I think I’m a lot different then I was last year.”
Andrew Brommer, who is recovering from knee surgery, really likes the new system of up-tempo and fast breaks.
“I feel like the system really tailors to my versatility,” said Andrew, who played in all 31 games and shot 57 percent from the field. “I really liked the system last year and I flourished in it.”
I saw the other new recruits play on the second night. Aaron White and Gabe Olaseni both showed different skills that should help the Hawkeyes.
Aaron is a solid 6-8, 215, shows a decent outside shot and can mix it up inside. I like the fact that he is always hustling.
Gabe is long at 6-10, 225, and will be counted on to block shots. He needs to work on his offense but the Hawks should have enough scoring.
Anthony Hubbard looks like he has the best chance to break into the starting lineup. The other three will add depth and athleticism to the team.
You could start with Bryce Cartwright at the point, Anthony Hubbard or Devyn Marble at the shooting guard, Matt Gatens at the small forward, Melsahn Basabe the power forward and Andrew Brommer at center.
That means the bench includes Eric May and Josh Oglesby, who can play the shooting guard and small forward. Zach McCabe, Aaron White and Darius Stokes could play both small forward or power forward while Gabe and Devon Archie can play the post.
Those are some nice combinations you can come up with.