By Jason Brummond
NORTH LIBERTY — Anthony Clemmons finds himself in a familiar spot entering his sophomore season. He’s got something to prove.
Early in high school, teams backed off the guard and dared him to shoot from the outside. Every major conference college basketball coach passed on offering Clemmons a scholarship, except for Iowa’s Fran McCaffery.
Clemmons started 13 games as a freshman for Iowa, but he fell out of the lineup at the end of January and never returned. His minutes and play were inconsistent in the last few months of the season.
“I have to get back up,” Clemmons said. “I’m working. I want to get back in the lineup. I want to get my minutes up. I don’t want to be just an average Joe. I’m working to get to the next level. This has to be a year that I can show I can play with the top competition.”
Clemmons is focused on improving his outside shooting this summer and it shows. The guard scored 24 points on 5-of-7 3-point shooting on Sunday in his Prime Time League team’s 97-93 loss at the North Liberty Community Center.
It’s clear Clemmons has more confidence in his shot. He doesn’t hesitate, but he doesn’t force up shots, either. On Sunday, Clemmons nailed a nice step-back 3-pointer. A couple of times late in the game, Clemmons came down the court and pulled up behind the line for shots.
Those are the shots Clemmons works on at the gym — shooting off the dribble, using screens and step-backs. He said it’s all about the reps.
“When I’m shooting alone, I practice game-like stuff,” Clemmons said. “I practice going off screens and shooting on the gun. I don’t just sit and stand and do spot up 3s. It’s something that’s showing out here on the court.”
Allocating playing time could be challenging for McCaffery next season, especially in the back court. Presumed starters Devyn Marble and Mike Gesell are back. Clemmons, Josh Oglesby and incoming freshman Peter Jok will likely all be in the rotation.
The 3-point shot is where Clemmons feels he can most improve, and it’s where Iowa needs the most help. The Hawkeyes finished with the second-worst 3-point shooting percentage in the Big Ten last season.
Clemmons actually made 36 percent of his 3-pointers last season — the best of all the returning Hawkeyes. His 47 3-point attempts were sixth on the team.
“Everybody here is trying to get to the next level,” Clemmons said. “If I want to get there, I have to put that into my game. The PTL will translate to open gym and then practices and then games and then the tournament. That’s just something I’m working on and trying to put into my game.”
HAWKEYE HIGHLIGHTS: Senior Devyn Marble scored 35 points and recorded a triple-double to lead all Hawkeyes in Sunday’s PTL games. Marble added 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Peter Jok scored 33 points on 14-of-19 shooting. Josh Oglesby scored 26 points on seven 3-pointers.
Gabe Olaseni had 22 points and 15 rebounds. Adam Woodbury had 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Zach McCabe scored 25 points and Jarrod Uthoff added 15 points.
Kyle Meyer scored nine points.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball