HI Publisher Rob Howe spent a lot of summer nights in North Liberty watching the Prime Time League. The following is a list of scouting reports for the Hawkeyes in the league.
I feel for the Iowa basketball fanatic. While I might not be certifiable like some of you folks, I would love nothing more than to report on a successful turnaround under Coach Fran McCaffery.
Maybe that's what drew me to so many Prime Time League nights this summer. In the past, I usually attended anywhere from a quarter to a half of the contests. This year, I missed two nights, including Sunday's title game won on a last-second shot by incoming Hawkeye freshman Aaron White.
The main draw, of course, was much-hyped JUCO transfer Anthony Hubbard. Ironically, he left the team after a month for reasons that have created plenty of speculation.
I've been asked in the past to write up an analysis of what I saw at the PTL. I've mostly have been uncomfortable doing so. Either I didn't feel like I saw enough of the action there in a given year or the league's style makes it tough to file an accurate judgement.
I'd like you to keep the latter in mind when you read this overview of what I saw this summer. The PTL and the Big Ten are as different as me and Michael Jordan. He plays more defense.
However, I was able to focus on Hawkeye players on a lot of nights. I then returned home and edited video from the action I had shot to uncover things I may have missed the first time through.
So, for all of those folks that asked in the past and even those you couldn't care less, here's a breakdown of Iowa scholarship players from the PTL:
McCabe told me that he will play most of his minutes in 2011-12 at the four spot. That made my scouting of him differ from what I'd expect from a three.
The Sioux City product looked much more comfortable doing some of the dirty work at power forward compared to some struggles he endured at SF last winter.
McCaffery has told McCabe he wants 10 rebounds per game from him. That was probably asking for a tad more than the sophomore could be expected to deliver.
However, McCabe rebounded and screened very well from the four this summer. He also proved to be an above average passer from that position.
No matter where McCabe shows up on the floor, he's probably going to get some open looks as a fourth or fifth option most possessions. He needs to be able to knock down those shots to help this team.
He connected on some of those this summer, but the stroke is still too inconsistent.
The Ohio native showed me a lot this summer. It wasn't that I went in expecting a project, White was just better than I thought he would be.
White showed his skill but also featured a lot of intangibles. He looked like the Brian Cardinal type that opponents despise but becomes a home team favorite.
White has a knack for winning the 50-50 balls. He shows up in the right place at the right time and makes the sneaky plays, like stealing an inbounds pass or baiting the opposition into mistakes.
White proved he can score going to the basket. He's surprisingly strong at finishing near the rim, utilizing angles when he's outmuscled.
I did not see a consistent outside shot from White or a whole lot of damage done in a mid-range game. He did most of his work dribbling into the lane and spinning free, something that will be much harder to accomplish in the Big Ten.
While White got by with his slight frame in the PTL, he'll need to muscle up quite a bit before the season tips. That's typical of most incoming freshmen.
The first night I watched Gabe, he'd just gotten off a plane after a visit home to London. Helooked raw. I was concerned.
I don't think any Hawkeye in the PTL improved more from the first time I saw him to the last than Olaseni. By the end of the season, he looked comfortable and was a factor.
Gabe won't blow anyone away with an array of moves in the post, but he understands his limitations and plays to his strengths. He's quick off of the floor and does enough on the offensive end to require attention from the opposition.
Olaseni's defensive game clearly is ahead of his offense. He has a good feel for from where the shot is coming and helps well.
He also is put together much better than former Hawkeye Kurt Looby, to whom he's drawn comparisons. I actually don't think the two have that much in common on the floor.
I still wonder how effective he'll be on offense once the scouting reports reflect his limited package in the post. I also was not blown away by his rebounding. He needs to work on positioning and he gets out of it while trying to block too many shots.
Other than Gatens, Oglesby looked like the only Hawkeye player comfortable shooting from behind the arc. He's developed a smooth stroke and I liked that he didn't force it.
What surprised me the most about Oglesby was his ability to handle the ball and pass. He saw the court very well.
Oglesby also wasn't afraid to stick his nose in there as a rebounder.
I don't like to overstate the obvious, but like White and many incoming freshmen, Oglesby is slight of build. He probably will have to overcome that throughout his first season.
My other concern for Oglesby would be quickness against college level guards on defense. I saw several athletic players break him down in the PTL.
In the interest of full disclosure, I probably saw Archie the least of any Hawkeye in the PTL. He suffered early on with some shin splints and those were the nights I watched his team.
In the limited minutes I caught Archie, he looked pretty much like the same player we've seen in his time at Iowa - limited on offense, runs the floor pretty well and can defend.
Consistent positive play has eluded Archie and Brommer throughout their careers. We've seen flashes of breakouts only to be disappointed by regression.
These senior big men need to figure it out. If they don't, Olaseni is more than capable of stealing minutes at the five.