<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d8865224\x26blogName\x3dHawkeye+Hoops\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://hawkeyehoops.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://hawkeyehoops.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d1162862754422728162', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
Monday, July 11, 2005
 
From The Bleachers
I was back in North Liberty tonight for what turned out to be some of the most exciting exhibition basketball I think I have ever seen. Most of the fun stemmed from the up-tempo action taking place on the court, but I also derived a certain geeky satisfaction from remembering to bring a pen so I could take notes and keep track of individual scores.

Tonight was each team's seventh game of the Prime Time League season, and I quickly noticed how much more cohesive the teams were compared to their performance from the two or three other nights I showed up to watch. Plays were smoother, passes crisper, athletes more conditioned, and alley oops better coordinated. Heck, I think Erek Hansen even hung onto a couple passes! Just kidding, I didn't see his team play tonight. (All joking aside, I heard he played pretty well.)

Team Seven 101, Team Three 87
From the six o'clock matchups I chose to watch Team 3 against Team 7, which featured Iowa's Adam Haluska and UNI's Grant Stout against Erik Crawford and Matt Schneiderman, who are current and former Panthers, respectively. My main reason for watching this game was that I hadn't seen Haluska play yet this summer. That will probably be my reason to watch his team again on Wednesday, because Adam hardly played tonight. For whatever reason, he spent 1/3 to 1/2 of the game on the bench. When he was on the court, Haluska used his athleticism to post up for short bank shots and layups, but his jump shot was consistently off the mark, and he only finished with 11 points. This game turned into a showcase of current and former UNI players. It was close until about 7:00 remained, then Crawford led a charge that enabled Team Seven to pull away.

I was very impressed with Stout from UNI in this game. I'll admit that I didn't see the Panthers play much last season, so I'm a little unfamiliar with the UNI guys in the PTL. The talent from UNI in this league has been eye-opening. Back to Stout - he handled the interior well, making the close shots and grabbing lots of rebounds, but his range was a surprise to me. He knocked down four treys, and added excellent defense. I didn't keep an official count, but he must've blocked at least three or four shots. Crawford reminds me a lot of Haluska - both are strong, quick wingmen who are just as comfortable slicing toward the basket as they are burying their opponents with threes. He and Haluska guarded each other when both were playing, and Crawford easily won the matchup. He took over the game late with some hot jump shooting and finished with 27 points.

Note - The game was tied 4-4 when I first showed up, so there are eight points unaccounted for in the following list.

Leading Scorers, Team 7
Erik Crawford, UNI..........................27, four 3FG
Jared Josten, UNI...........................15
Daniel Bohall, Iowa.........................13
Matt Schneiderman, ex-UNI...........12
David Haywood, ex-Chicago HS....10
Ev Pedescleaux, UNI.......................9
Carlos Taylor, SE CC......................7
Travis Brown, UNI............................2
Nick Iversen, Kirkwood.....................2
Jimmie Hobart, Iowa City HS...........0

Leading Scorers, Team 3
Grant Stout, UNI.............................27, four 3FG
Adam Haluska, Iowa.......................11
Atila Santos, UNI.............................11
Dallas Hodges, Wayne St...............11
Brett Wessels, Iowa.........................7
Justin Wieck, Iowa............................5
Kevin Andrews, CR Xavier HS.........5
Brian Haak, UNI.................................3
Brett Baumgart, Grandview..............3

Team One 108, Team Five 100
This looked like a fun matchup on paper, and it played out as an even better game on the court. It presented matchups like Greg Brunner (1) posting up the kid (Alex Thompson, 5) who's trying to earn minutes alongside him in the upcoming season, Kenyon Murray (1) taking on a similarly-styled former Hawk (Duez Henderson, 5), and the Chicago native, future team PG (Tony Freeman, 5) taking on Brooks McKowen(1), a former Mr. Basketball in Iowa and the state's all-time leading high school scorer.

This game was fast-paced and intensely fought throughout, and you could sense that the crowd was really enjoying it. Team 1 started on an eight point run, but former Hawk Jason Price went on a ridiculous tear to bring Team 5 back. He hit five threes before the midpoint of the first half and had 17 points at the break. Price handled the scoring load while his teammate Tony Freeman seemed to struggle against the bigger, more physical McKowen (that would change). Team 1 was much more balanced in the first half - Brunner, Murray, and UNI's Dylan Grimsley each hit two first half threes and had 14, 10, and 9 points, respectively, at intermission. Team 1 held the slimmest of leads at 47-46.

In the next half, Freeman picked up right where Price left off. He dropped four bombs from outside the arc in the first 5:30. He could not miss on his jump shot (OK, he did miss one or two, including an ill-advised deep shot late in the game), and wound up with 22 second half points and 7 threes overall. I also thought his quickness defensively was a real asset, as he held McKowen to 10 points.

Funny thing was this - you got the feeling that hardly anyone noticed Freeman's Alford-esque torching of the defense, because the second half belonged to Greg Brunner. He pulled out all the stops - there were easy putbacks off rebounds, slick up and under moves, turnaround jump shots, and the ever-increasing barrage of three pointers. He even owned the crowd, drawing a round of chuckles with a "I didn't hear anything" remark after his teammate made a clearly audible slap at the ball. At this point, Brunner can do no wrong (which is more than I can say about this lonely bystander. The picture might not be clear, but that is in fact Mr. Pierce).

The much discussed weight loss, in my mind, makes Brunner more agile in the post. He seems to go from offensive rebound to easy layup more quickly than ever. Increased quickness shouldn't hurt his defense, either. Thompson looked quite frustrated with his inability to do anything against Brunner in the first half. Alex scored two buckets as soon as Greg went to the bench for a breather, and Team 1's coach wisely sent him back in. I know it's only a summer league and too far away from the start of the season to get too excited, but I'm getting giddy about what this guy (I'd say "kid" if it weren't for the hair) could accomplish during his senior season. I'd expect plenty more shots from spots like here and here this year. We'll get a good guage of where Brunner is rather soon when he and Jeff Horner try out for the World University Games.

As for tonight's game, Brunner was way too much down the stretch. He poured in 29 second half points to help his team pull away in a game that was tied with under six minutes to go. Brunner also pulled in a game high 17 rebounds.

Worth noting - Team 5 connected on a jaw-dropping 20 three-pointers. Team 1 managed "only" 15.

Leading Scorers, Team 1
Greg Brunner, Iowa...........................43, six 3FG
Dylan Grimsley, UNI..........................20, four 3FG
Kenyon Murray, ex-Iowa...................16
Marcus Leloux, ex-NW College.........12
Brooks McKowen, UNI......................10
Rodney Jackson, Kirkwood.................6
Ron Steverson, ex-Clinton CC............1

Leading Scorers, Team 5
Tony Freeman, Iowa...........................25, seven 3FG
Duez Henderson, ex-Iowa...................22
Jason Price, ex-Iowa...........................20, six 3FG
Alex Thompson, Iowa..........................14
Mason Stewart, UNI...............................9
Shaun Logan, Kirkwood.........................4
Nate Swetalla, Augustana......................3
Dain Swetalla, Augustana......................3

Ahhhhh, it feels good to blog again. I hope you agree.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger