By Brendan Stiles
With the 2012 Prime Time League now a thing of the past, I figured I’d conclude my coverage of it much like I have the past two years by compiling stats for everyone who participated this summer that will be a member of the Iowa basketball team during the 2012-13 season and sharing my thoughts on how I felt they fared playing in the PTL.
Once again, I stress that this should not be viewed as a “be all, end all” sort of thing, but rather a tool that could be helpful in projecting what people can expect to see with this team.
One name I want to quickly mention first is Patrick Ingram, who will play guard and was among the five recruits signed last fall by Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. Ingram didn’t play in the PTL this summer — he stayed back in Indianapolis to play in some all-star games as well as take part in a summer league out there — so for me to project how much of a role I think he’ll have this upcoming season when I wasn’t able to see him play in person doesn’t make much sense.
As for everyone else, below are each player’s stats and my observations on each:
Aaron White, So., 6-8, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 7 games, 27.3 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 61-of-120 FG (51 percent); 50-of-89 2P; 11-of-31 3P, 58-of-76 FT (76 percent)
Observations: White was easily the best all-around player in the PTL this summer, leading the league in both scoring and rebounding en route to being named its MVP. He had double-doubles in five games, including 22 points and 16 rebounds in his team’s championship win. As it stands now, White is the best player on this Hawkeye roster. Nothing more really needs to be added here because he’s a lock to start after the way he impressed in the Big Ten last season.
Devyn Marble, Jr., 6-6, Guard
2012 PTL stats: 6 games, 21.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 48-of-109 FG (44 percent); 38-of-73 2P; 10-of-36 3P, 20-of-33 FT (61 percent)
Observations: After starting the majority of last season at the point, Marble remains a lock to start again in 2012-13 but now has the luxury of being able to play out on the wing, which is what he was initially brought in to play. It’s safe to say that he and White will be Iowa’s top two leading scorers. The key to Marble’s success now as he enters his junior season is being able to build off his explosiveness, something he mentioned this summer as a part of his game being heavily emphasized by the Iowa coaching staff.
Melsahn Basabe, Jr., 6-7, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 7 games, 24.1 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, 65-of-127 FG (51 percent); 65-of-120 2P; 0-of-7 3P, 39-of-52 FT (75 percent)
Observations: Basabe had a very good summer. His look of determination was something that seemed to be coming back to him late last season and something that he carried over into the PTL this summer. Regardless of whether he returns to the starting lineup or remains one of the first guys to come off the bench at the start of the 2012-13 season, Basabe is still going to play 2o-plus minutes per game. I wouldn’t be surprised either way, but part of me feels the coaching staff ends up getting more out of him if he still comes off the bench, at least in the early part of the season.
Zach McCabe, Jr., 6-7, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 6 games, 19.2 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 44-of-82 FG (54 percent); 27-of-52 2P; 17-of-30 3P, 10-of-13 FT (77 percent)
Observations: If Basabe doesn’t return to the starting lineup, it’s because McCabe remains in it. He started 30 games for the Hawkeyes last season and now has the luxury of being able to move back to the 4, which is more his natural position. McCabe’s play in the PTL was such that I don’t see how any justification could be made for him being taken out of the starting lineup. He hasn’t done anything to this point that would warrant him not being on the court at the start of games. Regardless, McCabe’s going to play significant minutes for the Hawkeyes and his ability to fight for loose balls and not back down from the competition is something Iowa needs to possess if it’s going to continue rising up the Big Ten ladder.
Josh Oglesby, So., 6-5, Guard
2012 PTL stats: 5 games, 15.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, 27-of-52 FG (52 percent); 10-of-15 2P; 17-of-37 3P, 6-of-9 FT (67 percent)
Observations: Whether he starts or not, Oglesby is a guy who will play much more significant minutes for the Hawkeyes than he did one year ago. He’ll likely be at the 2 when he’s on the court. Oglesby looked stronger this summer than he did as a freshman, and he’ll remain Iowa’s top 3-point threat. Expect him to be a key contributor to this team, even if he’s one of the first guys off the bench.
Mike Gesell, Fr., 6-1, Guard
2012 PTL stats: 7 games, 21.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 8.6 APG, 58-of-125 FG (46 percent); 43-of-87 2P; 15-of-38 3P, 21-of-24 FT (88 percent)
Observations: Iowa fans, this guy is your starting point guard from Day One. Gesell is the real deal and it didn’t take watching that much of him in the PTL to figure that out. Gesell brings three traits to the table that warrant him starting and being a guy that plays anywhere between 25-30 minutes per game: 1. His confidence on the court is something most incoming freshmen don’t have right away. 2. He led the PTL in assists and will not only be Iowa’s assist leader next season, but at some point in his Hawkeye career might lead the Big Ten in assists, something Bryce Cartwright did two years ago. 3. Gesell will likely be the best free-throw shooter on this team with Matt Gatens no longer around. He’s the guy Iowa will want to have the ball in his hands during crunch time because nothing seems to really phase him. Again, barring injury between now and November, this is the Hawkeyes’ starting point guard when the season begins.
Adam Woodbury, Fr., 7-1, Center
2012 PTL stats: 6 games, 11.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 32-of-64 FG (50 percent); 32-of-64 2P; 0-of-0 3P, 4-of-14 FT (29 percent)
Observations: Even if Woodbury isn’t a starter when the season begins, he’s going to play starter’s minutes and at some point will eventually be in the starting five. Personally, I think he also starts from Day One like Gesell. For one thing, you can’t teach 7-1. Not only does Woodbury have the height, but the athletic ability as well. Don’t expect him to average a whole ton of points and rebounds. However, don’t be surprised if Woodbury averages anywhere between 20-25 minutes per game. I find it hard to believe someone of his caliber would be brought in only to play limited minutes, especially considering how his presence alone — especially at the defensive end of the floor — is something Iowa hasn’t had in years. The Hawkeyes didn’t have this kind of luxury last season, and there were games they lost where it was painfully obvious. Don’t worry about the stats. Use the eyeball test and it’ll be obvious why Woodbury will have a huge impact on this team going forward.
Gabe Olaseni, So., 6-10, Center
2012 PTL stats: 6 games, 16.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 39-of-77 FG (51 percent); 39-of-77 2P; 0-of-0 3P, 18-of-28 FT (64 percent)
Observations: Fran McCaffery called Olaseni the most improved player this offseason and his play in the PTL this summer may have been validation. Olaseni is light years ahead of where he was even just five or six months ago. The one edge I’d give him over Woodbury is being a better free-throw shooter. That being said, I don’t anticipate Olaseni starting. My feeling is he’ll be a guy that averages anywhere between 12-15 minutes per game and as long as he avoids foul trouble can really have an impact at the defensive end. If his offense continues to progress, that would only make things better for the Hawkeyes.
Eric May, Sr., 6-5, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 6 games, 18.8 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 45-of-87 FG (52 percent); 40-of-67 2P; 5-of-20 3P, 18-of-24 FT (75 percent)
Observations: While I don’t expect May to play many minutes this upcoming season — thinking in the 12-15 minute range — I do believe he’ll be a valuable part of this Hawkeye squad. Not necessarily because of his play on the court, but more so in terms of his leadership. Being the lone senior on this team, he’s a guy that’s going to be counted on to lead and set an example for the younger players. The test for May consists of two things: 1. Staying healthy. 2. Continuing to be aggressive like he was in the PTL this summer as opposed to looking tentative as he did at times last season. Again, his role on this team is bigger than some might give him credit for. It just might not translate into significant playing time, especially with the competition within the team getting better across the board.
Anthony Clemmons, Fr., 6-1, Guard
2012 PTL stats: 7 games, 13.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 34-of-78 FG (44 percent); 29-of-56 2P; 5-of-22 FG 3P, 20-of-26 FT (77 percent)
Observations: The number of minutes Clemmons plays as a freshman hinges heavily on his play at the defensive end. If he struggles early on, then his minutes will be extremely limited and Marble would probably spell Gesell at the point. However, if Clemmons can give Iowa quality minutes off the bench, he’ll see the floor more and it will benefit players such as Marble and Oglesby, who could then focus on their roles as wing players. He has the potential to be a very productive player for the Hawkeyes, but I would also stress patience with him here as well. As he continues to improve, I expect his role to increase. But right now, I’m not anticipating a whole lot.
Kyle Meyer, Fr., 6-10, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 7 games, 6.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 18-of-49 FG (37 percent); 16-of-43 2P; 2-of-6 3P, 6-of-8 FT (75 percent)
Observations: I don’t see Meyer being a major contributor to this team in 2012-13, and if any of the five incoming freshmen do end up redshirting, he’d be the likely candidate. If a redshirt isn’t used and Meyer plays next season, he gives Iowa another body inside, someone that could maybe be called upon in instances where both Woodbury and Olaseni are dealing with foul trouble. I don’t see him redshirting, and if that ends up being the case and he does see playing time as a true freshman, the number of minutes will be sparse right now.
Darius Stokes, So., 6-7, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 7 games, 4.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 10-of-29 FG (34 percent); 10-of-28 2P; 0-of-1 3P, 9-of-15 FT (60 percent)
Observations: Stokes has a role on this team and I definitely can see him being used in games where the outcomes are decisive one way or the other. I’ve seen some progress in his game, but I don’t expect much out of him this upcoming season, especially being a walk-on entering his third year in the program.
Jarrod Uthoff, #Fr., 6-8, Forward
2012 PTL stats: 6 games, 14.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, 34-of-69 FG (49 percent); 29-of-56 2P; 5-of-13 3P, 11-of-13 FT (85 percent)
Observations: I know Uthoff won’t be able to play in 2012-13, but he was the top overall pick in the PTL draft and the guy averaged a double-double in the PTL this summer. The Wisconsin transfer is someone who, when he becomes eligible again, could have an enormous impact for the Hawkeyes in the future. He can score, he can rebound and he seems to have a pretty flawless game. It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if he winds up being a starter once he’s eligible. Uthoff has that kind of potential.