Opening Night at The PTL

The Prime Time League opened another season Monday Night in North Liberty. Senior Writer Rob Howe took in the action and filed this report, which includes an interview with Jarryd Cole and observations on Iowa's three freshmen. It's free to all visitors of


What did you think about your first night of Prime Time?

It was fun. It was everything I expected. It was a fast, up-and-down pace. I got a good run in. I got a W, too. That's good, too.

Were you surprised by the number of fans that were here?

Actually, I am. I didn't think this many was going to be here. It's good. I like the turnout.

How long have you been in Iowa City?

About two weeks.

What have you been doing?

Summer school. Working out with the team.

How many classes are you taking?

I'm taking two; about six hours.

Have you gotten to know the knew coaching staff pretty well?


What are your thoughts?

They're real nice. We've been talking off and on before I got here. As you might know, Coach Lickliter came down to my house for Easter Dinner. He came out and spilled his guts. I fell in love.

He seems like a real players' coach; it's all about you guys.

Exactly. And I'm loving it, too. He's all for us and I'm all for him.

How hard was that time when the coaching change was made and you weren't really sure where you were going?

The beginning was real rough. It was all coming at me so fast and I couldn't make a distinct decision. I just took my time, let it all come to me and the best happened.

What has been the biggest adjustment?

Probably running an extra 10 feet on the court. It's crazy. You get pretty winded. But I've been conditioning and lifting weights. Everything is all good.

OBSERVATIONS: On the opening night of the PTL, I watched the three freshmen and did my best to analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

I won't try to knock anybody with my following view, in large part because I've been guilty of it myself, but I'm going to avoid saying so-and-so is going to be a player based on watching him for a few minutes on the opening night of the PTL.

The last few years, I went to the PTL, grabbed as many interviews as I could the first three nights and posted them as quickly as possible and basically was done. I still plan on interviewing each Iowa guy and posting some interviews, but I'm going to focus more on observations and scouting reports this summer.

I'll attend as many PTL nights as I can and come back with different observations. I hope that by the end, we might be able to see some recurring views of guys and maybe where things were aberrations instead of just watching one night and saying, "Oh, this guy can't play in the Big Ten."

Here are things that I liked and didn't like in regards to the three freshmen that I focused on Monday night in North Liberty:

Jarryd Cole: The first thing that popped out at me was his awesome physical appearance. He already possesses a Big Ten physique and knows how to throw his weight around in a productive manner.

The second thing that jumped out was his height. He's listed at 6-7 in the Scout database, but I would say he's more in the 6-5 to 6-6 range. I don't want to make a big deal out of this because I still think he can be productive.

Cole impressed me with his defense. He was able to guard big guys and also step out on the floor and stick with wings. He moved his feet well.

Cole did hit a jumper from around the free throw line, but his game is mostly near the basket. He delivered a couple of put-back dunks that were impressive.

Overall, I would say that his post game looked like it needed polishing. He gets off balance and has to force some things.

He talked about his conditioning and adjusting to the longer court in the interview. He did seem to be laboring at times getting up and down the floor.

Jeff Peterson: Listed at 5-11, and I wouldn't say he's any taller than that. He does have a solid build and can withstand contact on his way to the basket.

The thing that I noticed about Peterson was his willingness and ability to play defense. He takes baseline and recovers nicely. His hands and feet are quick.

At the end of the first half, Peterson was running down the shot clock for a final look. They ran a clear out and drove Justin Johnson to the basket for a left-handed lay-up.

He took one jumper that I remember and it looked flat, but he does have the ability to get to the basket and deliver the ball to open teammates.

Jake Kelly: As I thought, the people trying to compare Jake's game to that of J.R. Angle's were/are way off base. The two are completely different.

Kelly stood out as the most polished offensive player among the three freshmen. He showed a very quick first step, the ability to drive it with both hands and pull up quick off his move to shoot a smooth looking shot.

Jake's biggest issue will be strength. Of the three newcomers, he clearly has the most work to do in the weight room.

Kelly looked like he plays with an edge and extreme confidence. He looked like the freshmen least intimidated by Monday's new environment.

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