By Brendan Stiles
The Prime Time League opens its 26th summer of existence Tuesday evening with a doubleheader of basketball games inside the Roberts Gym at the North Liberty Community Center.
With only four teams this year, the scheduling format has changed. All games after Tuesday will be played on Sunday afternoons with the exception of the championship game scheduled for July 24.
As usual, the names of the six teams are solely based on league sponsors. The first game will take place at 6 p.m. Central, with the second one immediately following.
Jill Armstrong/Skogman Realtors vs. Vinton Merchants/Mike Gatens Real Estate, 6 p.m.
Of the two games being played Tuesday, this one has the biggest headlines. For one, a total of eight current Hawkeyes and one former player are featured on these two teams. This also features two of the biggest names from Iowa’s 2012 recruiting class — point guard Mike Gesell, who was the second overall pick in last week’s PTL draft, and center Adam Woodbury, who was the ninth pick.
In addition to seeing Gesell and Woodbury play, this is also the first chance Iowa fans will get this summer to watch incoming transfer Jarrod Uthoff, who was the top pick in last week’s draft by Merchants/Gatens. Uthoff will join the Hawkeyes as a walk-on after transferring from Wisconsin this past spring and will redshirt during the 2012-13 season.
The Merchants/Gatens squad featuring Uthoff and Woodbury also includes junior forward Zach McCabe and sophomore guard Josh Oglesby. McCabe started 30 of Iowa’s 35 games last season and averaged 7.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Oglesby averaged 6.4 points per game as a freshman last season and had a 24-point outing in Iowa’s 103-89 loss to Indiana on Jan. 29.
As for Armstrong/Skogman, teaming up with Gesell will be junior forward Melsahn Basabe, incoming freshman forward Kyle Meyer, sophomore walk-on forward Darius Stokes and former center Jarryd Cole (2007-11), who played professionally in Iceland this past year. Basabe averaged 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season and also led the Hawkeyes with 36 blocked shots, while Stokes appeared in 12 of Iowa’s games as a redshirt freshman.
Culver’s/Iowa City Ready Mix vs. L.L. Pelling/McCurry’s, 7:30 p.m.
The latter PTL contest between Culver’s/Ready Mix and Pelling/McCurry’s features five current Hawkeyes, one of which is incoming freshman guard Anthony Clemmons and Iowa’s top two returning scorers.
Culver’s/Ready Mix is headlined by sophomore forward Aaron White, who hit a last-second shot in the championship game to guide his squad to the PTL crown. As a freshman last season, White emerged into the starting lineup and became one of the most consistent players Iowa had in the final stretch. He was third on the Hawkeyes in points averaging 11.2 points per game and led the team in rebounding with an average of 5.7 boards per contest.
Joining him on Culver’s/Ready Mix are Clemmons and Iowa’s lone senior, forward Eric May. As a junior, May averaged 4.3 points per game while starting in 21 of the 33 games he appeared in last year.
Meanwhile, Pelling/McCurry’s has junior guard Devyn Marble and sophomore forward Gabe Olaseni. Marble is Iowa’s top returning scorer after averaging 11.5 points per game as a sophomore. Starting in 27 games last season, Marble was also second on the team in assists with a 3.6 average and led the Hawkeyes with 53 steals. Olaseni appeared in 18 games last season and had totals of 26 points and 22 rebounds.