Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
Anthony Clemmons Leads His Team To PTL Title
By Jeremiah Davis (Story) and Josh Christensen (Video)
NORTH LIBERTY Without Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff on the court Sunday afternoon for the Prime Time League championship, team BlendCard knew it had a challenge ahead.
Led by Iowa's Anthony Clemmons, BlendCard defeated Greater Iowa Financial Group/Vinton Merchants 96-78, to claim the Prime Time League title. BlendCard coach Randy Larson knew it would be a good opportunity to see what his team had without Uthoff, who is in Estonia playing in the Four Nations Cup.
"I think that's one of the reliable motivational things that you have is to say, 'Let's prove we can do it together,'" Larson said.
Uthoff and Clemmons were named co-MVPs of the Prime Time League as teammates on BlendCard. For Clemmons, who finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds in the win, being named a co-MVP was a humbling feeling.
"It's unbelievable because last year, I wasn't even one of the nominees," Clemmons said. "I wasn't even spoke of or put in the same category as MVP."
Larson has seen Clemmons improve this summer. Clemmons has become more of a "pass-first guy" and tried not to take many shots early in the shot clock. He also saw improvements from last season in Clemmons' ability to make decisions, score and adjust to the athleticism of his competition. Larson doesn't foresee Clemmons struggling in those areas this season at Iowa.
"I think those adjustments are well on their way to being things of the past, and I think you'll see him be an important part of this Iowa team," Larson said.
In the second half of the championship game, Iowa teammate Devyn Marble began guarding Clemmons and tried to force him into making an error. Clemmons believes it was a matchup that is only going to make him better.
"Devyn is a different type of player," Clemmons said. "He's actually another person that helps my game as I face bigger opponents."
Marble finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. When he considered what himself, Josh Ogelsby (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Clemmons were able to do in the championship game, Marble feels the Hawkeyes bench will be even deeper in 2013-14.
"I just feel like guys can come in and you won't lose a beat," Marble said. "We have a lot of capable scorers and shooters and guys that can score in a variety of ways and make plays."