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Thursday, June 16, 2005
 
PTL Thoughts, Night One
Like many other area residents, I stopped by North Liberty last night to watch the first round of Prime Time League action last night. It was exciting at times and boring at others, but I'll definitely be heading back next week to get my basketball fix again.

The biggest talk of the night seems to be Tony Freeman's performance. This is probably equally due to the fact that fans are anxiously waiting to learn if he'll live up to Coach Alford's hype and the fact that most of Iowa's players took the night off. Greg Brunner, Adam Haluska, Jeff Horner, Erek Hansen, and Mike Henderson were nowhere in sight, while Doug Thomas and Carlton Reed were sidelined with injuries.

Freeman's game (Team 5 vs. Team 6) was the only one that I saw in full, and I'm probably lucky it worked out that way. His team made a fairly big second half comeback with some hot three-point shooting. The game had some great individual performances, too, including UNI's Ben Jacobson, UNI verbal commitment Jordan Eglseder, Wisconsin recruit Jason Bohannon and Iowa's Alex Thompson. Team 6 was playing with only seven guys, and the 7-ish foot Eglseder was their only post threat, but he more than held his own against Thompson on the glass and on the offensive end. It's hard to learn much about a guy in just one game, but he looks like he could eventually be solid in the MVC. Jacobson could probably end up being my favorite player in the PTL, with his ability to both handle the ball and knock down shots from anywhere. Remind me to go to a UNI game or two next year.

So right, back to Freeman. He seemed nervous early on, as he threw a couple passes out of bounds for unforced turnovers. He looked more poised as the game wore on, and showed some great ballhandling ability. His passes started finding guys, and he single-handedly ran off the last 20 or seconds of the first half and came away with 3 points for his effort. Again, it's far too early to draw any conclusions, but a guy who can dribble and pass can play ahead of Mike Henderson on my team just about any day.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
 
More PTL Roster Info
I was typing up each team's roster for the PTL, which starts tomorrow, until I realized it was already elsewhere online. See the rosters here.

I'm looking for one team to sort of root for - a team I secretly cheer for while remaining outwardly objective. I would make sure to attend each of that team's games and brag to my friends when "my team" advanced through the playoffs. My first option seemed like team 7, since they're sponsored by my landlord and that gives me a minor connection to the team, but I don't think I can get behind a squad that's half UNI players. My next option is probably Team 1, led by Greg Brunner. Seems like they have good post players and good ballhandlers, though they could be hurt by not having many perimeter shooters.

For the five or so of you who might see this - any early prediction on which team will take the championship? I say Brunner leads his team to the title for the third straight summer.
Monday, June 13, 2005
 
Prime Time Rosters
The Prime Time League draft took place over the weekend, with Hawkeye players filling the top six spots. In case you aren't familiar - the Prime Time League is an annual summer league featuring players from Iowa, UNI, and several high schools and small colleges in eastern Iowa. Some players from past Iowa squads also participate.

This year's league has eight 10-player teams. Each team will play nine games (two per week) until the playoffs begin on July 20. Here's how the first round broke down -

1) Greg Brunner, Iowa
2) Jeff Horner, Iowa
3) Adam Haluska, Iowa
4) Mike Henderson, Iowa
5) Alex Thompson, Iowa
6) Erek Hansen, Iowa
7) Erik Crawford, UNI
8) Seth Gorney, Iowa

Yes, it's way too early to over-analyze a summer league draft, but.....Mike Henderson at 4th overall? Let's just say I was pleased when Crawford slipped to my landlord-sponsored team in the 7 hole. Ben Jacobson (UNI) was available for the draft but will miss the first two weeks of league play, so he fell to the second round.

To my dismay, Doug Thomas won't be allowed to terrorize opponents (or his coach) - he's sitting out with a broken hand. I can only imagine how much fun he would be to watch in an open-court, no defense league.

Newcomer Tony Freeman was taken in the second round (team 5). I'm very interested to see him run a team. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he's ahead of Henderson on next season's depth chart.

Well, I'm drawing scornful looks from the librarians who want to shut down for the night, so I better head out. I'll post the rest of the rosters when I get a chance tomorrow.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
 
It's About (Prime) Time
Nearly three months after they last played, and two months after I last wrote a post for this site, Iowa's basketball players are returning to the court to play in the 19th annual Prime Time League. Whether you want to see the new recruits play, check up on your favorite returning stars, or see the talent from around the state and past Hawkeye squads, head up to North Liberty and check out the team. I should be able to make it to some of the games, so check back here over the next few weeks for thoughts on what I see.

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