After having July 4 off, Prime Time League competition will resume on Sunday July 7 at the North Liberty Community Center.Sunday’s league action will be headlined by an early matchup of undefeated squads when Anthony Clemmons and company take on the dynamic duo of Zach McCabe and Gabe Olaseni at 3 p.m.
Head coach Randy Larson’s team possesses their own version of a “Big Three” in Clemmons, Jared Uthoff, and former West High standout Dondre Alexander. Clemmons is the Prime Time League’s fifth leading scorer averaging 23.5 points per game. The Black and Gold sophomore has showed a newfound consistence in his outside shooting, connecting on more than half his three point attempts this summer.
“It’s just a confidence thing,” Clemmons said. “It’s me walking into the gym saying ‘I’m going to dominate.’”
Clemmons’ is in the zone right now and he’s been able to score on demand, while keeping his teammates involved, dishing out 6.75 assists per game through the first four contests. His and Hawkeye teammate Uthoff’s willingness to make plays for others has driven their team to an undefeated start.
“I got two guys that set the tone by being unselfish in Jared and Anthony” Larson said. “That just goes such a long way in the summer league. It’s certainly the biggest pleasure about coaching this group of guys.”
The unsung hero of this group has been Alexander. The West High product was suspended for a portion of his senior season and decided to quit the team. As of now, he’s Larson’s leading scorer, in addition to being the third most prolific scorer in the Prime Time League averaging 24.5 points per game. Alexander’s 10.25 rebounds a contest have aided a team that lacks a true interior presence.
“My impression of him when I watched him the last 2-3 years at West High was that he’s just really skilled,” Larson said. “He’s a tremendous defensive player. A guy that’s skilled, a great defensive player, and also a great athlete is unusual. He’s a special player.”
Unselfishness, the emergence of Alexander, and an up tempo style of play have been the driving forces behind the Prime Time Leagues top scoring offense. Larson’s high octane offense has lit up the scoreboards putting up 114.75 points a game through their first four contests. Their potent attack might cause problems for head coach Kevin Lehman’s inside-out method of play.
It may be surprising to some, but Sunday’s opposition possesses a 4-0 record led by the inside tandem of McCabe and Olaseni. McCabe is the Prime Time League’s second leading rebounder, collecting 11.25 boards a game. The senior’s and his teammates’ ability to knock down perimeter shots stretches the defense and gives Olaseni room to operate in the post.
“We just play well as a team,” McCabe said. “Everyone is making open shots and that puts less pressure on me and Gabe”
Olaseni might be the most improved player on the Hawkeye roster and he’s showing off his development in this summer. The London native has an expanded offensive arsenal, focusing on his touch around the rim and pick and pop game. Iowa’s backup center’s explosive athleticism enables him to throw down game-changing dunks, alter opposing shots on the other end, and control the painted area.
Two more contests follow the battle of unbeatens at 4:30 p.m. One matchup will feature battle between a pair of winless teams as Devyn Marble’s team looks to secure their first victory against Coach Ron Nove’s group. The other game will be a feature two teams looking to go above the .500 mark, with the league leading scorers – Mike Gesell and Peter Jok- going head to head.
All eyes at the North Liberty Community Center will be focused on the matchup of undefeated teams on Sunday afternoon. Hawkeye players are excited about the opportunity to prove their team is the best in this weekend’s showdown.
“It’ll be fun, I think our team is playing really well right now,” McCabe said. “Gabe is playing really well”
“Yeah [I’m excited],” Clemmons said. “I’ve been hearing a lot of things about that team.”