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White top pick in 2013 PTL draft

Posted on 16. Jun, 2013 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa junior forward Aaron White has had team bragging rights the last two summers playing on teams that won the Prime Time League. On Sunday, White was selected with the first overall pick in the 2013 PTL draft by Ron Nove, the same man to coach him each of the past two summers.

White is coming off a sophomore campaign where he was second on the Hawkeyes in scoring and led the team in rebounding, averaging 6.2 boards per contest. Sophomore guard Mike Gesell was taken second overall for the second straight year, while senior guard Devyn Marble went third.

The intrigue lies with how often White and Marble play in the PTL this summer. The Hawkeyes’ top two leading scorers from last season will be in Colorado Springs, Colo., next week vying for roster spots on the U.S. squad for the World University Games next month in Russia. Both are expected to play in their PTL openers June 20, but their remaining availability depends on whether either or both makes Team USA.

“I think people are just so tempted by the prospect of coaching and having on your team such great players that they’re just willing to take the chance,” PTL director Randy Larson said. “We all hope they do make [the U.S. team]. But if they don’t make it, then you’ve got an awfully good player. I think that was the sentiment.”

After having only four teams in 2012 following UNI’s decision to no longer have players participating, the PTL will have six teams again this summer. Sophomore center Adam Woodbury was taken fourth overall. Redshirt sophomore forward Jarrod Uthoff was taken fifth overall by Larson and senior forward Zach McCabe rounded out the first round going sixth.

Last year, Larson had the top spot and to the surprise of many Iowa fans used that pick on Uthoff one week after the Cedar Rapids Jefferson product announced he would transfer to Iowa after spending the 2011-12 season at Wisconsin. When Uthoff was available for Larson again, there wasn’t any hesitation on the latter’s part.

“I was delighted because Jarrod, in addition to being the kind of player I wanted to have, was probably the best player left at that time,” Larson said. “I’ve had a kinship with him for a long time. I’m the only Prime Time coach he has ever played for.

“He wants to be the best player possible. He’ll do anything to be the best player possible and [Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery] is going to get that out of him.”

Completing the top 10 overall picks respectively were four Hawkeyes — junior center Gabe Olaseni, sophomore guard Anthony Clemmons, incoming freshman guard Peter Jok and junior guard Josh Oglesby. Redshirt freshman forward Kyle Meyer will team up with Woodbury, Jok and former Iowa guard Jason Price this summer after being taken 16th overall.

As for walk-ons, junior Darius Stokes will be paired with White on Culver’s/McCurry’s, while junior Kyle Denning and sophomore Okey Ukah will join Gesell on Jill Armstrong of Skogman Realty.

Senior Melsahn Basabe won’t be participating in the PTL this summer. Basabe, who grew up in the town of Glen Cove, N.Y., was given permission by McCaffery to return home for the summer and be close to family while working at a nearby pharmacy. The 6-7 forward is expected to be back in Iowa City prior to the Hawkeyes’ trip to Europe in August, which consists of exhibition games taking place in both France and Olaseni’s home country of England.

The PTL begins June 20 with one game featuring Culver’s/McCurry’s and Armstrong at 6 p.m. Central, followed by a pair of contests — Greater Iowa Financial Group/Vinton Merchants vs. L.L. Pelling/Hawkeye Report and Comfort Care Medicare/Mike Gatens Real Estate vs. BlendCard at 7:30 p.m. occupying both gyms inside the North Liberty Community Center. Games will be played every Thursday (sans July 4) and Sunday up through July 21, when the PTL’s championship game is scheduled to take place.

HAWKEYES IN THE PTL (team in parentheses):

1st (overall pick) — Aaron White (Culver’s/McCurry’s)

2nd — Mike Gesell (Armstrong)

3rd — Devyn Marble (Financial/Merchants)

4th — Adam Woodbury (Comfort Care/Gatens)

5th — Jarrod Uthoff (BlendCard)

6th — Zach McCabe (Pelling/Report)

7th — Gabe Olaseni (Pelling/Report)

8th — Anthony Clemmons (BlendCard)

9th — Peter Jok (Comfort Care/Gatens)

10th — Josh Oglesby (Financial/Merchants)

13th — Darius Stokes (Culver’s/McCurry’s)

14th — Okey Ukah (Armstrong)

16th — Kyle Meyer (Comfort Care/Gatens)

21st — Jason Price* (Comfort Care/Gatens)

35th — Kyle Denning (Armstrong)

indicates former Iowa player

AUDIO: One-on-One with Randy Larson (6/16/2013)

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