David Palmer - I was hoping to get a look at this kid on Monday, but got locked into watching Tyler Smith for a full game while David was playing in the other gym. It turned out to be worth the wait. Looking at Palmer, you would think he creates havoc on the low block with his height and size. I was pleasantly surprised to witness is agility on the perimeter. He has a super touch from 17 feet, and you could imagine him being able to extend that to the 3-point line without much difficulty. He runs the floor very well and delivered a couple of nice flushes on the break Wednesday night. He told me he's looking to work on his post game this summer, and that showed as the weakest part of his offensive game. He hangs out on the perimeter almost exclusively when he could take advantage of his height against smaller players. I also felt like he can handle the ball pretty well for a player his size. He definitely needs more time toning his body and getting in condition for the rigors of the Big Ten, but I like his skills for a big man. If coach Alford and staff get make him a consistent threat in the block, he could be a real threat in the this conference.
HALUSKA UPDATE: Adam left his game on Monday after taking a Tyler Smith knee below his belt. He didn't play on Wednesday after being taken to the hospital on Monday. He attended the action Wednesday and sat on the bench. I spoke with the senior-to-be. He told me that he was still feeling pain in the abdomen and had bruising in the injured area but there wasn't a rupture. He said he'd be back in PTL action on Monday.
STILL GOT IT: Former Iowa player Darryl Moore has been among the top players in the PTL for years, and he showed he still has some hop in his step on Wednesday. He grabbed a pass well above the rim, pirouetted, and threw it down reverse style, easily the top dunk I've seen in the first week of action.
You have a couple of nights of playing in the Primetime League. What do you think?
You play with a lot of local, good talent, a lot of my teammates. It's fun.
What parts of your game are you working on this summer?
I want to continue to knock down the perimeter shot, consistently; back to the basket; run the court; rebound; just my overall game. I want to be an all-around player, a complete player.
Are you an inside player or an outside player?
I'm an inside player, but I play with skills. I shoot a lot of jump shots. Me and the coaching staff are going to work on my back to the basket moves this summer and my year off. I want to be a little bit more inside.
How do you feel strength and conditioning wise?
I'm getting a lot stronger since I've been here. I'm in a lot better condition. I was a fairly strong guy, but now my strength has really come along. It's really improved my overall game. I've been rebounding better.
How do you keep your head in it, how do you keep yourself motivated knowing you're not going to play this year?
Because I know that this could the year that puts me to the next level. This year is the year I can get accustomed with this team with these coaches and this program and the way that they play. But it's a year for me to get better as a player and as a person, also. I think that Coach Alford and Coach Neal and Coach Garrett and Coach Buckley and all of those guys are going to help me do that.
How long have you been in Iowa City?
Since June 1.
What do you think?
I like it. I like it a lot. I've had a lot of fun since I've been here. It's great hanging out with these guys. And it's good to have Tyler Smith from Tennessee with me also; to be here; to be a big time player also.
What are you doing with your free time? Are you working, taking classes?
I have a job here and when I'm not working I'm in the gym.
What job are you doing?
I work at the Sheraton.
OK. Tyler told me he works at Holiday Inn. You guys are getting all the hotels.
(Laughs) (We're) hitting the hotels up.
How did you end up here?
When I transferred a lot of other schools had a lot of interest, but when it came down to it Iowa was just a great fit. Coach Alford. Coach Neal. And it didn't (hurt) that Coach Billy Garrett came also. He was already coming, and he told me that this team has the makings of a Final Four team. I was like, "Ah, I don't know." I checked out the roster. I did my homework. He was right. With the guys that we've got coming in and the guys we've got now, we're going to be a real good team.
How much the success that Iowa had last year influence your decision?
It was big time. I come and see guys like Brunner and Horner and Erek Hansen here day in and day out still working with this team and still a big part of this team. I understand the bond that everybody has here, and I like it.
What made you decide to leave Seton Hall?
Well, my coach got fired, Louis Orr. And frankly, I just didn't like (Orr's replacement) Bobby Gonzalez (from Manhattan). I'm not a New York kind of guy. I don't like his style of play, his style of coaching. Coach Alford, his style really feels like my style. So, I came here.
Do you feel you're a Big Ten player? I don't know how well you know the league.
Well, I committed to Illinois first. So, I guess it was just meant for me to be in the Big Ten but maybe just not Illinois. Maybe I was always meant to be a Hawkeye.
What went into the decision to play in the PTL with the pros less than a month away?
I just needed to get a little run, get some good competition. As you can see, I'm playing less defense than I normally do (laughs). I'm just standing in the middle of the lane, not jumping around. I'm not trying to get hurt. I'm just trying to run up and down a little bit and just keep the flow of the game in.
What's the offseason been like for you?
It's been a lot of rigorous work just trying to stay in shape, trying to open as many doors as I possibly can.
Do you feel like you've opened some?
We're hoping. I don't know. I guess we'll see next Wednesday. And then, we'll see after that. It's all about what you can do and how you can set yourself up.
Are you learning this business side of this thing now?
Very much so. I'm not playing for Charles City. I'm not playing for Iowa. I'm playing for myself right now, trying to get myself into a situation that I can get on a team and make some money. Then, once I get on that team, I'll start playing for somebody.
Have you had some contact with teams?
Yeah. I worked out for some teams. I have a couple of workouts left. I'm leaving here the end of this week and just trying to do whatever I can.
Who are you working out for and who did you work out for?
Dallas and Sacramento and then we had 12 teams come into the facility when I was in LA. I working out with Dallas and hopefully Minnesota and hopefully Seattle, also.
What kind of feedback have you gotten?
I've gotten some summer league offers. They like the way that I play. I play hard/ I don't cause a lot of problems. They're just trying to see, It's a game right now, It's back and forth.
How long did it take you to let go of the Northwestern State game or have you let go of it?
Ah, it's always going to be a part of me. I still haven't watched the game from high school where we got beat to go to state and I'll never watch that game either.
How much time have you spent with Jeff (Horner)?
We've been talking. I went to LA for a month and he stayed back here and worked out. We kept in touch and talked about everything. Since I've come back, we hang out. We both understand that we're going through.
What do you think of some of these young guys like Tyler Smith, David Palmer, Cyrus Tate?
They're very skilled. It's all about they're young right now. They've got to get used to playing in the Big Ten and playing that style of basketball. They work extremely hard. They're going to be fun to watch.
You kept about leaving this program in good hands and heading in the right direction. Do you see that happening with these young guys?
I think we left them with great guys. We left them with a great coaching staff. The coaching staff knows who to recruit because they know what it takes to be successful.