By Brendan Stiles
As I did following last summer’s Prime Time League action, I decided to compile final statistics from this year’s competition for each of the Iowa players on scholarship that were able to participate. Along with each player’s final stats, I’ll have a brief paragraph summarizing their PTL play and speculating what type of impact they could provide the Iowa Hawkeyes during the 2011-12 season.
Before I do though, I caution you all to take all of this with a grain of salt. How a player does in the PTL shouldn’t be the “be all, end all” some might make it to be. That being said, I do believe the benefit of having gone down to the North Liberty Community Center every night there were games this summer has provided a starting point for what to think about when October arrives and Fran McCaffery is conducting his first practice with the team.
The one I will get out of the way here first is the one who left — Anthony Hubbard. His 2011 PTL stats were as follows: 7 games, 23.7 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 5.4 APG, 58-of-120 FG (48 percent); 55-of-102 2P; 3-of-18 3P, 47-of-68 FT (69 percent).
Prior to his July 14 departure from the Iowa program, my honest belief was that Hubbard would have started at the 3-spot for the Hawkeyes from Day One. The feeling I got talking to other players before Hubbard left was that he would have made an impact. How dramatic, no one will ever know. But his ability to drive to the bucket and draw contact is something Iowa could have used.
Here are the final stats and my observations of the remaining 11 scholarship players who will suit up in 2011-12. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what I say, my hope is the following information proves somewhat helpful for you when basing your own opinions on the Hawkeyes and their upcoming season.
Matt Gatens, Sr., 6-5, Guard
2011 PTL stats: 9 games, 21.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 5.8 APG, 66-of-130 FG (51 percent); 48-of-77 2P; 18-of-53 3P, 50-of-57 FT (88 percent)
Observations: Gatens has always been in a leadership role for Iowa, but now that he’s entering his senior year, he will be counted on more than ever this upcoming season. Barring injury, he’ll be starting for the Hawkeyes at the 2-guard once again. He had a pretty decent summer in the PTL, scoring over 20 points per game, shooting a high percentage from the free-throw line, and leading his Falbo/Culver’s squad to the PTL crown.
Melsahn Basabe, So., 6-7, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 9 games, 24.7 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 92-of-185 FG (50 percent); 89-of-169 2P; 3-of-16 3P, 37-of-49 FT (76 percent)
Observations: There was uncertainty whether Basabe would even play this summer in the PTL as he was participating last month in a tryout for the USA U-19 squad. That didn’t materialize. However, Basabe averaged a double-double in both scoring and rebounding during the PTL and was starting to play more consistently as the summer progressed. Make no mistake, he will be a key figure for the Hawkeyes in 2011-12, and he knows it and seems to have embraced the spotlight.
Bryce Cartwright, Sr., 6-1, Guard
2011 PTL stats: 7 games, 19.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 7.0 APG, 48-of-113 FG (42 percent); 42-of-85 2P; 6-of-28 3P, 35-of-43 FT (81 percent)
Observations: Cartwright was the top overall pick in the PTL draft and was named the league’s MVP this summer. He wasn’t afraid to put his team on his back when need be, but the senior point guard is at his best when he’s able to get teammates involved. He averaged seven assists per game this summer, and after leading the Big Ten in assists last season during conference play, Cartwright takes pride in being able to distribute the ball to teammates so they can get theirs. Expect more of this from him, and also expect him to continue being that guy taking the last shot in late-game situations.
Andrew Brommer, Sr., 6-9, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 4 games, 10.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 16-of-34 (47 percent); 16-of-33 2P; 0-of-1 3P, 8-of-18 FT (44 percent)
Observations: He only played in four games this summer due to recovery from offseason knee surgery. But in the limited amount of minutes Brommer did play this summer, there was nothing that led me to believe he won’t start at center for the Hawkeyes as a senior. McCaffery wants Brommer to make the necessary strides to become a starter, and this is what I would expect to happen when November arrives.
Eric May, Jr., 6-5, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 8 games, 23.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.3 APG, 73-of-165 (44 percent); 64-of-130 2P; 9-of-35 3P; 29-of-46 FT (63 percent)
Observations: May was consistent throughout the course of the PTL, and that ought to be encouraging to Hawkeye fans after the struggles he had as a sophomore last season. McCaffery talked repeatedly last season about how he wanted May to be aggressive and confident in his game. This is what May demonstrated this summer. If he can carry that success over to the Hawkeyes this season, I have a feeling he’ll be back in the starting lineup, especially since Hubbard is no longer in the picture for Iowa.
Devyn Marble, So., 6-5, Guard
2011 PTL stats: 7 games, 27.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.0 APG, 78-of-158 (49 percent); 69-of-127 2P; 9-of-31 3P; 24-of-38 FT (63 percent)
Observations: No player looked more impressive this summer than Marble. He averaged 27 points per game, more than any Hawkeye player participating. He’s in a heavy competition to start at the 3-spot with Eric May, but regardless of whether he starts or not, Marble is going to play significant minutes next season. He could very well be Iowa’s version of Jason Terry, someone who comes off the bench to play the point for Cartwright (or possibly the 2 or 3) and still play 20+ minutes and give the Hawkeyes 10-12 points per game. No matter who ends up starting, that sounds pretty reasonable for a player who made strides late last season and has continued to do so this summer.
Aaron White, Fr., 6-8, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 10 games, 19.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.6 APG, 67-of-151 FG (44 percent); 60-of-118 2P; 7-of-33 3P, 47-of-59 FT (80 percent)
Observations: He won’t start right away, but White will become a fan favorite in Iowa City. This summer, he played a lot of 3 alongside Gatens and Basabe and scored the winning bucket in the PTL championship game. The 3 is his natural position, but he might be asked on occasion to play the 4. Either way, he’ll provide a boost for the Hawkeyes off the bench and down the road, could be that cog that stays in the starting lineup.
Zach McCabe, So., 6-7, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 9 games, 19.0 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 67-of-142 FG (47 percent); 48-of-86 2P; 19-of-56 3P, 18-of-22 FT (82 percent)
Observations: I came away more impressed by McCabe than I thought I would be. He became a more consistent player as the summer progressed. From talking with him, the feeling seems to be he’ll be asked to play more inside next season and will be the first guy off the bench for Basabe at the 4 whenever he needs a breather. McCabe said the coaches’ goal for him is to average 10 rebounds per game. If he were to do that (or even come close to doing that), it would be significant progress for him.
Josh Oglesby, Fr., 6-5, Guard
2011 PTL stats: 8 games, 13.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 38-of-92 (41 percent); 21-of-41 2P; 17-of-51 3P, 13-of-14 FT (93 percent)
Observations: Oglesby might be the biggest beneficiary of Hubbard leaving, because now I feel his minutes are going to increase. The feeling I get is that he’ll be playing behind Gatens at the 2, but could very easily play the point if asked. He was the best free-throw shooter in the PTL this summer, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see both him and Gatens on the court together in late situations when Iowa needs to sink free throws to put teams away. For a guy that will be asked to be a 3-point threat, he also shoots well inside the 3-point arc.
Devon Archie, Sr., 6-9, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 7 games, 6.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 21-of-50 FG (42 percent); 21-of-50 2P; 0-of-0 3P; 6-of-12 FT (50 percent)
Observations: I didn’t see anything from Archie that leads me to think he would start at center over Brommer. I do think Archie will get the first crack at coming off the bench to play the 5 in instances where Brommer is in foul trouble or needs a breather. If he struggles early on though, his minutes could decrease in favor of the freshman Olaseni, but for now, I think he still has a role on this team that he’ll get the chance to play early on.
Gabe Olaseni, Fr., 6-9, Forward
2011 PTL stats: 7 games, 7.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.7 APG, 21-of-34 FG (62 percent); 21-of-34 2P; 0-of-0 3P, 10-of-19 FT (53 percent)
Observations: Olaseni showed potential this summer. He struggled in June, but started to play a lot better in July, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence his PTL team started winning when his play improved. Olaseni will provide an impact at the defensive end. He can block shots and rebound very well. It’s his offensive game that needs the most work right now. I see his minutes being sparse early on, but as the season progresses, he could be playing a bigger role on this team.