PTL Breakdown Part II

After analyzing how the returning Iowa players have looked in the PTL in Part I of its series, HN.com today reviews the play of the five Hawkeye newcomers - Doug Thomas, Alex Thompson, Carlton Reed, J.R. Angle and Seth Gorney - in Part II.

DOUG THOMAS

Strengths: Quite Simple - Dude can get up.

Doug possesses the kind of athletic ability not seen in Iowa City since Ricky Davis laced them up. DT excites the North Liberty Community Center with highlight reel flushes several times a night.

Shot blocking and rebounding are two other positive aspects of Doug's game. He is averaging 17.6 points and 10.6 boards per contest in the PTL.

Doug also shows an infectious personality making him well liked.

Weaknesses: No question, he needs to improve in his outside shot. And when I say outside, I'm talking outside of the dunk.

Doug must work on his form and his arc. He also gets careless with the ball at times.

Doug has a history of losing his cool, and although that hasn't happened in the PTL, he's easily frustrated when things aren't going his or his team's way.

What to expect in '04-05: Dunks, baby. Big time rim shakers.

Doug said he is ready to take on the role of garbage man; defending, rebounding and picking up the scraps left by Iowa's other talented offensive players.

I think that it can happen, but Doug tends to drift when playing without the ball. It is a role that might take some time to grow into.

I expect Doug to come off of the bench but play major minutes. His time will often be determined by matchups. He'll be a fan favorite and bring some much-needed energy to Carver.

ALEX THOMPSON

Strengths: All-out hustle all of the time.

Many PTL observers would select AT a league all-star and rookie of the year if there were such things. He really is opening eyes with his knack for being in the right place at the right time, and with his under appreciated athletic ability.

I will go on record as saying that his overall game is more advanced than Glenn Worley's was at this stage, and I believe Alex is positioned to exceed what GW did at Iowa. AT might not score 1,000 points, but he will help the Hawks win more basketball games.

Alex has averaged 19.9 points and 12.0 rebounds in the PTL. He also outplayed Doug in a head-to-head matchup, and played Greg Brunner even.

Not bad for a kid that probably got the least attention of anyone in this class.

Weaknesses: Alex needs to improve his strength. He too often gets pushed around inside on defense and settles for too many jumpers instead of establishing post position.

AT needs to work more on his outside shot and ball handling. He also gets tired because of his style and not being used to banging with bigger bodies.

What to expect in '04-05: Solid contributions.

Alex probably won't make the 10 o'clock news highlight reels a whole lot, but he'll do all of the dirty work.

I am hearing him being compared to Ryan Bowen, but AT is much more naturally gifted than the current Denver Nugget.

I would look to see Alex playing 15-20 minutes a game. Fans are going to love his game and applaud his heart.

CARLTON REED

Strengths: A lot of people talk about Carlton's offensive game. He's averaging 18.4 points on 60.7 percent shooting from the floor, including 40.5 on treys.

That's great, don't get me wrong. But I really like what this kid can do on defense. He plays up on the ball against smaller guards you would think to be quicker. He takes a lot away.

Carlton really does a lot well. He hits from outside, drives strong and sees the floor. His game is more advanced than that of Mike Henderson.

Weaknesses: I would like to see Carlton work on his handle, and like most freshmen, he needs to improve his strength.

Carlton also tends to drift on offense without the ball in his hands. Working on playing off of the ball should be a focus of his freshman season.

What to expect in '04-05: Even though the backcourt is loaded with talent, Carlton should slide in for 10-15 minutes a game and contribute.

This will be a great learning experience for CR as he'll be better prepared having faced the likes of Henderson, Jeff Horner, Pierre Pierce and Adam Haluska in practice.

Expect the going to be tough for Carlton in the non-conference season. But by the time the Big Ten rolls around, he should be in position to garner important minutes.

J.R. ANGLE

Strengths: I've probably seen J.R. the least out of the newcomers because of his late arrival, but you can tell this kid has played a lot of basketball. He just has shown that comfort level on the court.

Angle owns a nice touch from the outside and also likes to post up when given the mismatch. He looks to be pretty agile for his size and can play multiple positions, probably the 2 and 3 spots this year and the four possibly down the road.

J.R. is really easy to interview. He also seems to be well-liked by his teammates.

Weaknesses: Definitely needs to build his body. He is very thin.

I notice that he complains to the officials probably more than needed, and like the other young players, gets lost in the action at times.

He needs to improve his ball handling and understanding what is and isn't a good shot. Defense and passing skills also need to be upgraded.

What to expect in '04-05: If Iowa could afford to do it, I'd love to see it redshirt J.R., if for nothing else but to see him improve his strength.

That said, it probably won't happen. J.R. likely will work into the backcourt rotation at around 10 minutes a game. Angle can add perimeter shooting.

SETH GORNEY

Strengths: You can't teach size, and this kid certainly has that. He is a legit 7-footer with a big body.

Seth shows some nice offensive moves around the basket. He also rebounds pretty well as evidenced by his 8.9 rebounds a game in the PTL.

Weaknesses: Seth probably is the most timid of the players in this class. He is a soft-spoken kid which seems to translate to his play on the court.

SG does not yet show the foot speed needed to play strong post defense and struggles to get up and down the floor at times.

He also needs to keep working on his offense and take better shots. He is shooting just 41.5 percent from the floor in the PTL.

What to expect in '04-05: I would probably place him as my No. 1 choice to use a redshirt. You can see the talent there, but this big guy needs time to develop.

I just don't know if that's possible when looking at the roster. I'm not sure Iowa can get by with only Hansen, Thomas, Thompson and Brunner inside. Hansen is the only true center in that group.

It will be interesting to see what the coaches decide in regards to Seth. Maybe throwing him to the wolves would force his maturity. I only fear that it could stunt his growth as it did with Reiner.


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