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‘Versatile’ Uthoff is first pick of PTL draft

[ 1 ] June 13, 2012 |

Jarrod Uthoff has been committed to the Iowa basketball team for only a week and yet he’s already achieved his first little milestone.

The 6-foot-8 Uthoff, who is transferring to Iowa from Wisconsin, was the first pick overall in Wednesday’s Prime Time League draft. He was selected by coach Randy Larson, who also serves as the PTL commissioner.

Larson coached Uthoff in the PTL in the summer after Uthoff’s junior year at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School. They stayed in touch even after Uthoff signed with Wisconsin and now they’ve been reunited.

“I loved him when I had him even though he was a high school junior,” Larson said of Uthoff. “I thought he played smart and really was our best passer. And, of course, he’s so versatile as a player.

“And we stayed in touch, and when he decided that he wanted to come to Iowa, we got even more in touch. I just like the kid. I like his feel for the game.”

Uthoff said last week that he would transfer to Iowa for the fall semester after being redshirted as a freshman at Wisconsin last season. He will have to sit out next season and pay his own way to school for one year because Wisconsin put the Big Ten schools on a restricted list.

“I take a guy that sets a tone,” Larson said. “Plus, you know he’s going to be excited to play. I just think he’s got a whole year to look forward at not playing. So I think these (PTL) games are going to be important to him, and that’s important to me as his coach.”

Incoming Iowa freshman guard Mike Gesell was picked second overall in Wednesday’s PTL draft followed by Iowa sophomore-to-be forward Aaron White and Iowa junior-to-be guard Devyn Marble, completing the first round.

Larson used his third pick on 7-1 incoming Iowa freshman center Adam Woodbury.

There are only four teams in the PTL this summer, which is two fewer than in previous seasons. Larson cut the number of teams because the Northern Iowa basketball team isn’t competing in the PTL this summer because of time constraints.

The PTL will kick off its season Tuesday at the North Liberty Community Center. Admission is free.

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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