The Prime Time League, the premier summer basketball league in North Liberty, held its draft last night, and many Hawkeyes went in the early rounds (including Bryce Cartwright #1 overall). Here are a few stories to watch out for as the league season begins this weekend:
1) Will Melsahn Basabe play?
If Mel doesn't make the U19 USA national team and is available to play, Culver's/IC Fitness (nickname: The Fightin' Paradox) looks to be the dominant team in the league, with a line-up featuring Basabe, Matt Gatens, incoming Hawkeye freshman Aaron White, and ex-field house star point guard Andre Murphy. Without Basabe, this team still has talent, but not, you know, Melsahn Basabe talent.
2) Did Pa Swatella overreach?
Dain Swatella went in the second round to Iowa City Ready Mix/L.L. Pelling (The Fightin' Aggregate), coached by ... Ray Swatella, Dain's father and former coach at Augustana College. Swatella the younger, a 6'10" power forward currently playing in Spain, will certainly have a size advantage in the PTL, but was he a better choice than the players who went after him, such as Gabe Olaseni, Melsahn Basabe, Daryl Moore, or Matt Morrison? Will this possible case of mild nepotism sow dissension on the team as it has before in so many little league baseball squads? Can the fragile summer league survive? The answers are: a) dunno, b) no, and c) yes.
3) What would it be like if Bryce Cartwright had gone to UNI?
This question will be answered in short order, as the Ready Mix team features Cartwright, Swatella, Olaseni, then basically the entire UNI bench: Marc Sonnen, Seth Tuttle, Marvin Singleton, Jr., Nathan Buss and Jevan Lyle. This actually looks to be an interesting team, with the exciting possibility of Cartwright throwing up alley-oops to Olaseni, the Panther bench raining in threes (if they are anything like Panthers of yore), and Swatella getting more than his fair share of orange slices and starting at short stop when he totally doesn't deserve it, not to mention the chance to see another Roy Marble relative play (Devyn's cousin Steven McCarty Marble).
4) So how good is this Anthony Hubbard guy?
This is a more serious question. Hubbard went in the first round to the Coaches Corner-Three Rivers Bank team (the Fightin' Plutocrats), and his stint on the team will give most Iowans their first glimpse of the 26 year-old small forward. Should be fun. His team is also infiltrated with Panthers (Chip Rank, Anthony James, Deon Mitchell and Christopher Olivier), and features former City High star Malcolm Moore (who is set to play for Tim Floyd at UTEP this fall).
5) Will anyone score against Devon Archie's team?
Archie went in the first round to Hawkeye Title and Settlement/Vinton Merchants (The Fightin' Title and Settlement Specialists), and will team up with Devyn Marble, Anthony Lee (set to play for Temple this fall), former Hawks Darryl Moore and Duez Henderson, and Tennessee recruit Wes Washpun. This looks to be the most athletic team in the league, with plenty of height and perimeter quickness to harass opposing shooters. Not sure where their offense will come from, but blocks and steals leading to run-out dunks should feature heavily.
6) Has the swelling gone down for Ali Farokhmanesh?
While watching a Gilmore Girls marathon last spring, I checked in on Twitter and found message after message expressing concern that the former West High star Farokhmanesh had developed some sort of testicular growth ("watermelon balls", "bowling ball-sized onions", and "elephant balls" were some of the non-clinical terms bandied about). The comments were obviously written in a state of high fear and concern, as they were usually in all-caps and followed by several exclamation points. My hope is that whatever medical problems Farokhmanesh had last March have abated and he will be ready to play. His team (the Jill Armstrong Fightin' Jill Armstrongs) should have plenty of three-point fire power, as it features Farokhmanesh, Zach McCabe and Matt Bohannon.
7) How are Eric May and Andrew Brommer doing?
May and Brommer will team up on the Gatens/McCurry's squad (The Fightin' No Obvious Jokes Here), and it will be interesting to see how the two are playing this summer. Both saw their roles somewhat limited on the Hawkeyes as the year went on after early flashes of potential, and hopefully they can use this summer to get their minds and games right for next year. Brommer especially will be a critical part of the team next year, so hopefully he can use the PTL to curb some of his bad habits, like fouling every 15 seconds (Brommer's mantra for 2011: No touching). This team also features incoming Hawkeye freshman Josh Oglesby, and it will be fun to see him play.
The Prime Time League begins this Sunday, June 19th at 3:00 pm, and will feature games twice a week on Sundays and Tuesdays until the championship on July 24th. I'll try to go to a few games and write back with impressions of the new Hawkeyes.