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Gabe Olaseni first pick in PTL draft

[ 0 ] June 15, 2014 |
Gabe Olaseni takes it up in the paint during Prime Time League action June 23, 2013. Press-Citizen

Gabe Olaseni takes it up in the paint during Prime Time League action June 23, 2013. Press-Citizen

Gabe Olaseni was arguably the most improved player on the Iowa basketball team last season.

Much is expected of him as a senior next season, but also in the Prime Time League this summer. That was evident when PTL coach Kevin Sanders selected the 6-foot-10 Olaseni with the first overall pick Sunday.

All but one of the six players selected in the first round are members of the Iowa basketball team. The only exception was Northern Iowa forward Seth Tuttle, who was taken with the fifth pick.

Hawkeye forwards Jarrod Uthoff and Aaron White were selected second and third, respectively, while Iowa guard Mike Gesell was taken fourth and Hawkeye center Adam Woodbury was taken sixth to complete the first round.

“The PTL is not about who gets drafted where,” Olaseni said when contacted through the Iowa Sports Information Office. “It’s about us having an opportunity to play in a competitive environment on a different stage.”

A native of London, England, Olaseni more than doubled his scoring average last season from the previous season with a 6.5 points per-game average. He also ranked second in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds at 2.5 per game while helping Iowa make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.

Olaseni was one of just four players nationally who grabbed at least 160 rebounds last season to finish with more offensive rebounds (82) than defensive rebounds (81).

But it still was surprising that Olaseni went first in the PTL draft, considering White’s credentials as a two-time, third-team all-Big Ten selection.

The Northern Iowa basketball team also was well represented in Sunday’s draft after a two-year absence from the league. Tuttle was among 12 Northern Iowa players selected in the draft.

Former West High teammates Wyatt Lohaus and Jeremy Morgan, who will be reunited at UNI this coming season, both were taken in the second round.

Iowa had 13 players picked in Sunday’s draft, including incoming freshman walk-on forward Nicholas Baer, who played at Bettendorf.

Joining Olaseni on his team will be Iowa senior-to-be shooting guard Josh Oglesby, who was the first player selected in the third round. Incoming freshman shooting guard Brady Ellingson will team with Uthoff, while former junior-college point guard Trey Dickerson was selected to the same team as White with the 15th pick overall.

Dickerson is expected to miss the first one or two games before he arrives in Iowa City this summer.

Incoming freshman forward Dominique Uhl will play on the same team as Gesell, while junior-to-be guard Anthony Clemmons will play alongside Woodbury. Clemmons was picked seventh overall, followed by Iowa sophomore shooting guard Peter Jok with the eighth pick. Jok will play on the same team as Iowa walk-on forward Okey Ukah, who graduated from West High.

This marks the 28th year for the Prime Time League, which was founded by Iowa City lawyer Randy Larson. He still serves as the league’s commissioner, while also coaching a team.

The games will be played at the air-conditioned North Liberty Community Center beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday. There is no cost for admission.

Women: The Game Time League draft was also held Sunday. Iowa senior-to-be guard Samantha Logic was the first pick.

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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