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Prime Time in, Game Time out

Hawk Talk

I’ve already talked about Game Time shutting down this summer after 16 years of playing in North Liberty.
It’s kind of sad for me because I was there at the beginning helping Randy Larson, who also runs the Prime Time League, get Game Time going.
Prime Time moved to North Liberty in 2001 because it was air-conditioned, but there was only one basketball court at the time and there would be three games a night for Game Time, four for Prime Time.
I kept the stats and sometimes did play by play for North Liberty Television.
The first season in 2001, Lindsey Meder was going into her senior year and Jamie Cavey was going to be a freshman.
Game Time had four teams that summer.
At one-time Iowa State, Drake and the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) played in the league, which made it really competitive.
A couple of years later the North Liberty Recreation Center added another gym and there were only two games per night for the men and women.
It was fun to see the new Hawkeye freshmen coming in, especially Samantha Logic, who was a top-10 recruit.
A couple of years ago I saw Melissa Dixon go off, hitting 13-26 3-pointers and scoring a Game Time record 63 points.
Last summer, Kathleen Doyle, also a top recruit, scored 54 with layups, 3-pointers and free throws.
I also got to know the players a little more as sometimes they helped run the shot clock when we were short-handed.
With the new NCAA rules that only two players per team, including freshmen, plus the coaches can work out with the players five hours a week in the summer, Game Time went down.

Prime Time is up and running and Hawk fans got a chance to see Iowa newcomers Jack Nunge and Luka Garza who are both 6-10 and both bring an inside presence the Hawks didn’t have last year.
Luka is more of a true center while Jack can go outside and drill a 3-pointer.
Jack is being compared to Jarrod Uthoff and Aaron White because of his ability to shoot outside and run the court.
“Jack is an outside player, kind of like Uthoff,” said Randy Larson, Prime Time coach and director. “The nice thing about that kind of range is that Jack can play center.”
Randy said Garza reminds him of Adam Woodbury.
“Luka is probably a little more advanced offensively than Adam was,” said Randy. “But if he can play as smart and as hard as Adam did, he’ll be a real catch.”
Randy also thinks Iowa has as much talent at top as bottom, and coach Fran McCaffery will have a challenge finding minutes for each player.

As luck would have it, Jack and Luka were matched up against each other in the second Prime Time game Sunday at the North Liberty Recreation Center.
Jack also had teammate Brady Ellingson and UNI Panther Klint Carlson on his team.
Luka teamed up with UNI Panther and former West High Trojan Wyatt Lohaus and Hawkeye Maishe Dailey.
The two big boys came through and gave the Iowa fans something to cheer about.
Luka opened up the game with a 3-pointer and finished with 41 points and 10 boards.
I really liked the way Luka attacked the basket and went right at Jack.
Luka hustled the whole game and showed a solid presence down low.
Luka’s team, Westport Touchless Auto, was leading 97-95 when Brady Ellingson, who plays for Vinton Merchants, hit a 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds left to win the game, 98-97.
Jack had 35 points, 13 rebounds and showed he can play inside and out.
“Jack is a great player,” said Brady. “He is a skilled guy and great to play with.”
Tyler Cook was the No. 1 pick and I was watching a “30 for 30” show on ESPN about the Laker-Celtic rivalry last week and I thought James Worthy reminded me of Tyler.
Both were unbelievably explosive and both had highlight dunks with either hand.
Tyler had 22 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in his first Prime Time game.
Tyler played in the other gym, so I didn’t see him play.
Jordan Bohannon was the No. 3 pick and he teamed up with Ryan Kriener and the rest of their team to score 80 points in the first half as L.L. Pelling crushed the Jill Armstrong team, 128-100.
Both Jordan and Ryan had 27 points at half.
Jordan finished with 35 points (eight 3-pointers), nine boards and four assists while Ryan scored 38 points and had seven rebounds and three assists.
Jordan had 175 assists last season which is the most ever by and Iowa freshman.
A lot of people, including me, thought Jordan would be a good shooter but didn’t know he could be that good of a passer.
No Hawkeye, except Jordan, has ever had three games in a row with over 10 assists and 10 points in each game.
“That something I was kind of starting to work on with my assists,” said Jordan. “I knew I could get a lot of people open that way. I know my shots started falling at the end of the year. With the style we run offensively, it really opens a point guard’s game a lot. He (coach McCaffery) gives me a lot of freedom to do what I want with the ball.’’
Jordan set the Iowa freshman 3-point record with 89. Matt Gatens had the old mark with 52.
Jordan also likes the two new big guys.
“They’re going to be big-time for us,” Jordan said. “Jack reminds me a lot like Uthoff how he plays. He’s long and can step back and shoot the three, he can drive in the paint and it’s hard to contest his shot.”
Jordan also said, “Luka is going to be a monster on the glass. They are going to be fun to have on our team. Both can screen and both can get rebounds.”
Ryan Kriener provided a spark off the bench and at 6-10, showed a nice midrange game.
“With my versatility I can really play anywhere and I feel like I can fill in with a lot of different rotations,” said Ryan. “So far, open gym games have been really competitive. There is no matchup that is easy. You have to battle everyday.”
Randy thinks Ryan might be the best overall big man with inside and outside skills.

It’s just the first game and Cordell Pemsl is being held out because of injury.
A lot of good talent to watch and some good matchups.
I’ll catch up with Prime Time at the end of the season.