NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa _ Sometimes the Prime Time League delivers interesting match-ups.
One of those popped up on the schedule Monday night when Iowa incoming freshman Brennan Cougill faced off against UNI senior-to-be Jordan Eglseder. Fans looked forward to seeing the in-state big men battle down low.
Little doubt existed that the experience won out in that tilt. Fortunately a sideshow proved more intriguing. Hawkeye newcomer Eric May and old timer Darryl Moore traded highlights while digging in against each other.
May and Moore share a lot in common besides the first letter in their last names. They each stand about 6-feet-2 and like to mix it up on their way to the basket.
Early in the game, May drove passed Moore on the right baseline. The youngster thought he would glide in for the two-hand jam, when the crafty veteran recovered to pin the ball against the backboard. May laughed on the other end of the floor as he stuck out his hand to Moore in acknowledgment of a good play.
May finished with a game-high 26 points on 11 of 15 shooting from the floor, which included 2 of 4 from beyond the arc. Moore finished with 10 points on 4 of 8 field goal shooting.
Cougill rolled up 24 points and 11 boards, but many of his scoring came after the game was well out of reach. Eglseder notched 24 points on 8 of 9 shooting from the field to go with nine rebounds.
May and Eglseder's team won, 104-86, in a game that wasn't as close as the final score would indicate.
I caught up with May and Moore after the game. Below is a transcript of that conversation:
How does it help you going up against someone like Darryl Moore? He's getting old, but he's still athletic.
He's strong, too. He's real strong. I learned that quick. He has experience. Maybe I had a step on him, but he recovered. He put my shot right in the backboard on that block. He's still good. He's athletic, too.
I've heard you compared to Matt Gatens. Is your game like his?
Matt is a really composed player. I hope it's like his. That would be a compliment if it is. He can shoot better. That's what I'm working on, though, is that part of my game. Just to hear it's like his, that's a compliment.
Do you see yourself as a 2-3, kind of going between those two?
Yeah, I do. I'm not going to be able to just keep driving all of the time in the Big Ten. The competition just gets bigger and the guys are getting tougher. So, But that's where I see myself, the three position.
How is the transition to college going? Do you feel like you're getting acclimated to the life?
Yeah, it helps me a lot. I just got down here about a week and a half ago. I like being down here. I start classes (Tuesday), so I'm getting settled in.
Are you going to miss football when that time comes around?
I'm sure I will once that comes around. Right now, I'm enjoying basketball. But I think I'll miss it a little bit.
During the spring, people got down on the program after four guys transferred. What's your view of things here?
With those guys leaving, it's just an opportunity for guys coming in. I'm just trying to take advantage of that. I'm excited. I like the guys coming in. We're all playing well in the open gyms, and really getting used to each other.
That didn't concern you at all when that happened?
It surprised me. I mean, yeah, when something like that happens, it's a pretty big change. You're going to be concerned. But I'm not upset about it. I'm just ready to move forward.
Moore on May:
He's strong. It's not like he's getting to the basket and guys are bumping him around. He finished one that I blocked. He got it up there strong. I think he's strong. His jump shot is going to get better. If he can mix that in with the drive, I think he's going to be tough.
The thing is, we play different positions. We've got a total different mentality. He's aggressive. He's going to be more aggressive than I was on the offensive end. He'll score more points. I played mostly the three, but in Coach (Tom) Davis' system, the three wasn't really a wing man. I ran straight to the block. He's going to play the wing and I think it's going to benefit him. He's going to get in there and get some boards and he can bang. I'm looking forward to seeing him.