Live blog today, video interview with Jarryd Cole

July 1, 2009
Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys' Jordan Eglseder (UNI, 53, right) tries to get past LL Pelling Company/Iowa Ready Mix's Jarryd Cole (Iowa, 50, right) during their Prime Time League game on Wednesday at the North Liberty Recreation Center. Cole scored 32 points, including 20 in the first half. Eglseder finished with 24.

Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys' Jordan Eglseder (UNI, 53, right) tries to get past LL Pelling Company/Iowa Ready Mix's Jarryd Cole (Iowa, 50, right) during their Prime Time League game on Wednesday at the North Liberty Recreation Center. Cole scored 32 points, including 20 in the first half. Eglseder finished with 24.

Mike Hlas, Marc Morehouse and I are live blogging from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. today about Iowa sports. That’s everything from football to hoops. Here’s the link:

Here are a few thoughts about last night’s Prime Time League action:

I’ve seen every player in the Prime Time League at least twice. So far, no player has impressed me quite like Jarryd Cole.

The Iowa junior has completely recovered from his knee injury as a freshman. He dominated UNI’s Jordan Eglseder in their head-to-head matchup on Wednesday. Cole scored 32 points, including 20 in the first half. He’s strong, intense and competitive. He’s also regained all explosiveness lost because of his left ACL tear two years ago. He’s also much quicker than most post players and tons better than he was last season.

Perhaps what impressed me the most after his last two games was how much Cole HATES to lose. He absolutely detests losing. Both games he sat by himself stewing after the game. He even tossed a remark to a couple of teammates about playing harder after the game.

Most PTL players compete like they would at the local YMCA. They play real hard on the court, then walk away like it’s a family game in the driveway. Not Cole. He’s everything Iowa needs right now from a leadership perspective.

Outside of Cole, I’d say I think Anthony Tucker has played well, and Eric May has impressed me with his strength and overall game.

In about a week, I’ll give my complete assessment of Iowa basketball right now, including the newer and veteran players. As you can imagine, Iowa basketball is a work in progress right now.


PTL observations, June 22 edition

June 22, 2009

I covered tonight’s Prime Time League matchup pitting UNI center Jordan Eglseder’s team against incoming Iowa freshman Brennan Cougill and his squad.

It was pretty much a mismatch despite what the statistics say. Eglseder, a 7-foot-1 incoming senior, scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Cougill scored 24 pounds and had 11 rebounds. But Eglseder sat out much of the second half and dominated Cougill in the first half.

Cougill had only one rebound and no assists in the first half. Eglseder was much more powerful and Cougill didn’t have any answers for him.

“I wasn’t hitting my shots,” Cougill said. “I wasn’t aggressive enough. I wasn’t rebounding. All around, it wasn’t a good game.”

Cougill, who stands 6-foot-9, is obviously talented. He passes the ball well, is a good outside shooter and has a good inside game. But it was clearly man vs. boy when he faced Eglseder. It’ll benefit Cougill in the long term to face Eglseder. This winter he’ll face Eglseder in a real game along with even more talented post players like Iowa State’s Craig Brackins, Michigan’s DeShawn Sims and Pudue’s JaJuan Johnson. Taking lumps now only will help Cougill in the future.

The game belonged to incoming Iowa freshman Eric May, who scored a game-high 26 points on 11 of 13 shooting. He sank a pair of 3-pointers and had one thunderous dunk. He was competitive, physical and athletic.

 

Iowa incoming sophomore Matt Gatens watched the game with his father, Mike, only a day after Matt Gatens had an appendectomy. Matt Gatens won’t play in the PTL for at least a week. Iowa incoming sophomore John Lickliter suffered a sprained left ankle last week in a PTL game and was in a walking boot. It’s undetermined when he’ll return to PTL action.


Random PTL videos, a look ahead to the Cougill-Eglseder matchup

June 19, 2009

 

Incoming Iowa freshman Brennan Cougill gets his first real taste of major college basketball on Monday when he faces Northern Iowa’s Jordan Eglseder.

Cougill won’t be able to match up physically with Eglseder, that’s pretty much obvious. Eglseder stands 7-foot-1 and weighs about 300 pounds and has been played Division I basketball for several years. I’m just interested in how Cougill uses his skills to combat Eglseder’s advantages. If Cougill can compete for rebounds, make good passes, hit shots in the paint and the perimeter and play good defense, it will be telling toward his development this year.

Cougill plays for Vinton Merchants, which includes future Iowa teammate Anthony Tucker and UNI’s Kerwin Dunham and Jake Koch. Eglseder plays for Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys, which includes incoming Iowa freshman Eric May, Iowa’s John Lickliter and UNI’s Brian Haak. That game begins at 6 p.m. Monday in the older gym at the North Liberty Recreation Center.

Here’s some random PTL action from Wednesday:


PTL round two tonight: Tucker vs. Gatens

June 17, 2009

Tonight’s Prime Time League game has a few interesting match-ups. I think tonight I’m going to focus on Team No. 1 (Jill Armstrong) against Team No. 6 (Vinton Merchants). It’s at 6 p.m. in the new gym at the North Liberty Recreation Center.

Team No. 1 features Iowa’s Matt Gatens, the Prime Time League’s top overall pick, and at least four players with past, current or future Northern Iowa ties. Gatens scored a league-high 27 points in the opener, while teammate Matt Schneiderman, formerly of UNI, hit 25.

Team No. 6 boasts current Hawkeye Anthony Tucker, former Iowa player Darryl Moore and future Hawkeye Brennan Cougill. I want to watch Tucker tonight to see if his strength and conditioning have paid off. He was a dynamite outside shooter early in Iowa’s season before his illness, suspension and ultimate banishment for poor grades. I’ll chart a few notes about Cougill, but I’m really interested to see how he competes against UNI’s Jordan Eglseder next Monday.

I’ll throw down a few observations tonight shortly after the game and then write a story for Thursday’s version of The Gazette.


PTL analysis from first night, Cully Payne video interview

June 16, 2009
Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing's Cully Payne (3) pulls up for a shot over Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys' Jordan Stoermer (23) during their game on the opening night of the Prime Time league Monday, June 15, 2009 at the North Liberty Community Center.  (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing's Cully Payne (3) pulls up for a shot over Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys' Jordan Stoermer (23) during their game on the opening night of the Prime Time league Monday, June 15, 2009 at the North Liberty Community Center. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

A few thoughts on last night’s game featuring multiple Iowa, Northern Iowa and other collegiate players:

I was impressed with incoming Iowa freshman Cully Payne. He’s young and hasn’t had to guard Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas or Michigan’s Manny Harris, but Payne brings the right temperament and swagger to the the point guard position. He’s listed at 6 foot (he might be a shade under), but he moves well with and without the ball. He’s left-handed, physical and has a decent shot. He can push the ball up the court or slow it down in a half-court set. He’s a different player from Jake Kelly or Jeff Peterson in that he’s a natural point guard.

Iowa’s Aaron Fuller carries more weight and looks much stronger. As a freshman last year he weighed 199 pounds. He’s now heavier than 220. That strength will help him defend power forwards in the post. That weight could be good for one more rebound and two more points a game. That could be a four-point turnaround in any game.

Iowa’s Devan Bawinkel still prefers the outside shot. Bawinkel, an incoming senior captain, caught the ball on the left wing about 17 feet from the basket.  He took three dribbles toward the hoop and could have pulled up for an eight-foot jumper or even drove to the hoop but instead passed the ball to the top of the key. He may need to hit a few jumpers when they’re available, even if they’re not beyond the arc.

UNI’s Anthony James and Antonio Jones are explosive, much more than any of Iowa’s guards or forwards. They combined for 32 points and could really move the ball up and down the court. Jones, a junior-college transfer from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, averaged 11.5 points last year in the Jayhawk Conference, the best juco league in the country. I think Jones can be real good.

Incoming Iowa freshman Eric May is better than advertised. He can play inside and outside. He’s competitive and explosive. During one offensive set, May, who stands 6-4, took the ball and charged at ex-UNI center Eric Coleman, who is four inches taller and probably 60 pounds heavier. May lowered his shoulder like a fullback and ran into Coleman, drawing a surprising blocking call. Coleman had an irritated look and neither player slapped hands after the play. May scored 20 points and I can see him challenging Fuller and Devan Archie for serious minutes at power forward this year.

UNI’s Jordan Eglseder showed great touch from the outside, along with solid inside skills. Eglseder, who stands 7-1 and weighs about 300 pounds, scored 25 points and was active at both ends of the court. I’m really interested to see how he competes against incoming Iowa freshman Brennan Cougill on June 22.


Initial thoughts from the PTL in North Liberty

June 15, 2009

My initial thoughts from the Prime Time League on Monday:

I covered the game pitting Cully Payne, Aaron Fuller, Devan Bawinkel on one side and Jordan Eglseder and Eric May on the other. Payne, the point guard, was terrific in his debut. He distributes the ball well, has good movement and can shoot from the outside. He’s unselfish and gets other players involved in the game. He’s a major asset for the Iowa program, although it’s too early to tell at what level he will impact the team.

Fuller is much bigger and stronger inside. May is a hard-nosed kid who’s unafraid of going after the ball. Eglseder has slimmed down and looks solid.

Payne’s team won 89-74. Payne scored 12 points and had two assists. Eglseder led all scorers with 25 points.

At some point this evening I’ll have video of Payne and my story for Tuesday’s paper up and online.


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