Analysis of Iowa’s new basketball players, PTL videos

I’m getting a pretty good feel for Iowa’s new players and how they will contribute in the upcoming season. At the end of the Prime Time League this month, I will write a full analysis of how Iowa basketball shapes up entering the 2009-2010 season. But here’s a look at the newcomers and how I think they can contribute for Iowa.

Iowa coaches will expect only one of the four new players to start, while the other three will contribute in different roles. Freshman Cully Payne will start at the point. Freshman Brennan Cougill will see significant time in the post. Freshman Eric May will play in spurts but his time will be determined by real practice and the non-conference schedule in November. Junior Devon Archie will split time at power forward.

Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing's Cully Payne (3) brings the ball down the court during the team's game against Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys on the opening night of the Prime Time League, June 15, 2009 at the North Liberty Community Center.  (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing's Cully Payne (3) brings the ball down the court during the team's game against Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys on the opening night of the Prime Time League, June 15, 2009 at the North Liberty Community Center. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Payne (6-foot) will start and run the show for Coach Todd Lickliter. He’s got plenty of talent, but he’s young and will make mistakes. He’s the first true point guard under Lickliter and demonstrates more interest in running an offense and getting the proper players into position than his predecessors. Payne can shoot fairly well and can drive at times, too. He has struggled in the PTL with more athletic defenders, like Kirkwood’s Kaylon Williams, and can be beaten off the ball by quicker ball-handlers. I’d say he’s a little more skilled at the point than Jeff Peterson but has a lot to prove to match Peterson’s toughness. It’s likely he’s in for a long season squaring off against Penn State’s Talor Battle, Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas and Michigan’s Manny Harris. He’ll do OK but he’ll take his lumps.

Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys' Eric May (7) puts up a shot over Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing's Eric Coleman (53) during their game July 6, 2009 at the North Liberty Community Center.  (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Mike Gatens Real Estate/McCurrys' Eric May (7) puts up a shot over Imprinted Sportswear/Goodfellow Printing's Eric Coleman (53) during their game July 6, 2009 at the North Liberty Community Center. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

May (6-5) is a tremendous athlete. He’s perhaps the most versatile player on the team. He can play inside and outside. He guards at least four positions and brings as much intensity as any player on the court. He’ll contribute by playing hard, but he doesn’t have a defined position right now. I look for May playing about 15 minutes a game rotating from shooting guard to power forward at times.

Cougill (6-10) will see about 40 percent of the action in the post as a back-up to Jarryd Cole. Cougill is a skilled passer and a good shooter. He has decent moves in the post and works hard. He struggles against more physical big men. His conditioning also is improving, but not a strength. The good thing about Cougill is he’s aware of his deficiencies and working on them daily. Right now he’s more of a finesse post player but in two years could be a real solid inside player.

Iowa forward Devon Archie takes the ball up strong against Iowa post Brennan Cougill during PrimeTime League action at the North Liberty Community Center on Monday, June 29, 2009. (Benjamin Roberts/Freelance)

Iowa forward Devon Archie takes the ball up strong against Iowa post Brennan Cougill during PrimeTime League action at the North Liberty Community Center on Monday, June 29, 2009. (Benjamin Roberts/Freelance)

Archie (6-9) is the most athletic player on the team. He’s sleek, can jump and has good moves to the basket. He’s a decent passer and makes good attempts to set screens, a bonus in Lickliter’s system. But Archie doesn’t play real physical and doesn’t appear to fight for position under the basket. He’s a different player than sophomore forward Aaron Fuller, which will make for a good combination at the position. Archie compares favorably with former Iowa player Kurt Looby.

Bottom line: These players will contribute this year but won’t save the world. They likely will supplement their teammates and fill the required roles. Payne, Cougill and May will help build a foundation for Iowa’s future, but like many freshmen, they will experience the lows before the highs.

Here are a couple of highlights from Monday’s Prime Time League:

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5 Responses to Analysis of Iowa’s new basketball players, PTL videos

  1. PKane says:

    Thanks for the report, a couple of questions tho..

    Do you really think Lick will want Archie at PF? I thought Lick typically likes a 4 man with at least a mid-range jumper. I was anticipating (well… guessing) that We would see either Cole or Cougill move to the four on offense and Archie down low and then on defense you could switch back (Archie 4 Cole/Cougill 5).

    How do you think we will try to guard Kailin Lucas, Manny Harris etc. who do we put on them?

  2. scottdo says:

    Archie fits the power forward mold, but I think Aaron Fuller will start at the position. Fuller can shoot the 3 and has gained a great deal of strength this offseason. I’d say after Jarryd Cole, Fuller is the second-most improved player since March.

    I’d recommend a zone defense, but that likely won’t happen. Most people will notice Jake Kelly’s absence on offense. However he easily was Iowa’s best defender and always guarded the opponent’s best player. I’d say Payne will have to guard the point, maybe Gatens or May.

  3. PKane says:

    Great thanks for the reply. I’m glad Archie does fit that 4 role, I was having a hard time imagining him banging bodies with some other bigs.

    Haha ya it seems the only time Lick uses a zone is when we have 7 players. I’d prefer to have 11 and man-to-man if those are my options! Hopefully he’ll figure something out.

  4. Bill Maas says:

    Really, how much can you tell about guys when they are playing essentially pickup games? Let’s wait until practice starts to see how these guys fit in. Speculating at this point is ridiculous. The only thing we know is that most of these guys will play because they have to.

  5. Chuck Wagon says:

    I think Scott is on target with his analysis of these players except for Cougill. He is more like 6’8, not even close to 6’10 and because of his lack of athleticism I think he will play behind Brommer for the back up center roll. He does have a soft touch but I just dont think he can compete at the Big 10 level this year.

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