Game #1: Falbo's/Culver's 112, Monica's/L.L. Pelling 105
Devyn Marble's team (Monica's/L.L. Pelling) seemed headed for a blowout victory, but a furious comeback by Falbo's/Culver's in the last eight minutes led to a comfortable victory for the team of Matt Gatens, Melsahn Basabe and Aaron White. The "Big Three" of Gatens, Basabe and White went for 28, 29 and 27 points respectively, and Gatens afterward could be heard promising "not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven" wins in the PTL this year.*
* Not really.
- The game seemed to turn when Duez Henderson committed an unnecessarily hard take-down foul on Matt Gatens as Gatens went up for a breakaway lay-up. Gatens was fine, and there was no apparent animosity over the foul, but it was weird (the normally amiable PTL crowd even seemed a little shocked and angry about it). Duez seemed to be enforcing his own personal "no lay-ups" rule, which was odd, because the two rules of the Prime Time League are "all lay-ups allowed" and "don't injure the Iowa players." A flagrant foul was called, Gatens went on to make both free throws, and the comeback was on.
- Aaron White sported a freshly buzzed head and had a nice game. His outside shot wasn't falling, but he played solid defense (recording several steals) and got out on the break well. He finished a few and-ones with touch at the rim, made an impressive reverse lay-up off glass, and completed an alley-oop. His smooth offensive game will probably be his calling card next year, as well as his red hair and extreme, SPF-50 paleness. This combination of attributes suggests several possible nicknames for the incoming freshman: Big Conan O'Brien, Orange Whip, Ginger Kid, and, in homage to former Cincinnati star James "Flight" White, Aaron "White" White.
- Basabe had a much better game this time around, which may just be a result of him getting his legs back after traveling, or could have be due to the absence of Devon Archie on Monica's/L.L. Pelling for most of the game (the Press-Citizen reported that Archie was suffering from shin splints).
- Marble played well, once again for Monica's/L.L. Pelling. Darryl Moore added 19 points and Anthony Lee had 22, but the team went on a scoring drought toward the end of the game. This team, as athletic as it is, lacks outside shooting and gets in trouble when they settle for jump-shots (so maybe they are the Miami Heat doppelganger here).
Coach's Corner/Two Rivers Bank 104, McCurry's/Gatens 92
I only caught the beginning of this game, but Anthony Hubbard's team won again and improved their record to 3-0. Hubbard had a good line, going for 26 points, 17 rebounds and 9 assists. Eric May had 29 on 11-21 shooting for McCurry's/Gatens, and Josh Oglesby had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.
Jill Armstrong 103, Iowa City Ready Mix/Vinton Merchants 78
I caught the first half of this game between Zach McCabe's team and Bryce Cartwright's team. Mainly I was interested in getting a first look at Gabe Olaseni, the incoming Iowa freshman who plays for Iowa City Ready Mix/Vinton Merchants. He didn't play a ton, but from what I saw, he looks like he has the physical tools to be a difference-maker on defense. He's still quite skinny, but tall (6'10") and with very long arms. He also displayed impressive quickness yesterday, running out on shooters at the three-point line to contest shots. He didn't show much polish on offense (1-3, three points) and went 1-4 from the free-throw line. He can probably provide some valuable minutes spelling Brommer and Archie, but I imagine his impact will be somewhat akin to Archie's last year -- a plus on the defensive end, a minus on the offensive end. And while he can certainly block shots, he is still so skinny that shorter players were able to frequently knock him off his defensive position. Iowa is so starved for big men, though, that whatever minutes he can provide will be worth something to the team. Long term, he has all the tools one could hope for to be a major presence on defense, and, if he gains some strength and develops a few post moves, on offense as well.
Marc Sonnen is a nice player for UNI (he scored 19 for Iowa City Ready Mix/Vinton Merchants), but he has a creeping case of Chris Andersenitis, also known as Birdman's Disease or Illustrated Man syndrome. Here's hoping it stops at the Jason Williams stage and he never succumbs to the desire to tattoo "free bird" on his neck.
- Zach McCabe had a good line, going 8-15 for 19 points, but the real star for Jill Armstrong was ex-City High player Eric Washpun, who went 11-13 (and 7-8 on threes) for 31 points.
- Cartwright struggled from the field, going 5-18 for 16 points, but ran the pick and roll well and added 8 assists.
No write-ups for this Tuesday's game, as I won't be able to attend. The PTL is off for Fourth of July weekend, and will return on Tuesday July 5th.