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Harty: Who would you take first in the PTL Draft?

[ 0 ] June 12, 2012 |

Prime Time League commissioner Randy Larson was asked recently who he thinks would be the first player selected in Wednesday’s PTL draft.

He paused for a few seconds before giving a broad answer.

“Any of five or six guys could be picked number one,” Larson said. “Everything is up in the air.”

Larson then reeled off a list of potential No. 1 picks that included former Iowa center Jarryd Cole, current Iowa players Devyn Marble, Melsahn Basabe, Aaron White, Zach McCabe and Eric May and future Hawkeyes Adam Woodbury, Mike Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff.

“Somebody might say, `hey, you know what,” I’m picking Jarryd Cole,’” Larson said of the 6-foot-7 Cole, who used up his eligibility at Iowa in 2011 and now plays professional basketball in Europe. “He’s going to be there every game. He lives and works here. His girlfriend is here.

‘He’s trying to keep his game going to move up to a higher division in Europe. He’s a great guy that leads his team well.”

Larson, who also coaches in the PTL, has a pretty good idea who he’d take with the first pick, but he declined to be specific.

“I’m probably going to hold off on that,” Larson said. “I want the guy that I pick to think that if I would’ve had the first pick I would have taken him.”

Larson believes even without the Northern Iowa players competing in the PTL this summer that the talent level will be high.

The 7-1 Woodbury, who picked Iowa over North Carolina, is now expected to play a full PTL schedule this summer after he didn’t make the USA U18 national team.

The 6-8 Uthoff also will compete in the PTL after saying last week that he would transfer to Iowa for the fall semester. He was redshirted at Wisconsin as a freshman this past season.

Larson reduced the number of PTL teams from six to four after learning that the Northern Iowa players wouldn’t be available this summer.

Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson decided against having his players participate in the PTL this summer mostly because of time constraints. The NCAA has a new rule that allows college coaches to work with their players four times a week during the summer. Jacobson feels that having to work out four times a week in addition to playing in the PTL was too much for his players to have on their schedule.

Larson said cutting to four teams would assure that the talent level doesn’t suffer. Each team will have at least two current Iowa players and one former Iowa player on the roster.

“It will actually be better the level of competition or the level of talent in the league per team,” said Larson, who started the PTL in the summer of 1987 in order to give University of Iowa players a more structured environment in which to compete over the summer.

Former Iowa guard and City High graduate Matt Gatens is not expected to play in the PTL this summer because he’s in the process of working out for NBA teams in preparation for the NBA draft later this month. Gatens first stated playing in the PTL in eighth grade.

“He doesn’t want to disappoint his team by not being able to be there because he’s off to a tryout,” Larson said of Gatens, who ended his college career in March as Iowa’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,635 points.

The PTL will play its games at the North Liberty Community Center beginning next Tuesday. Admission is free and the games will be played in an-conditioned gymnasium.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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