The much-anticipated showdown between Iowa point guards Anthony Clemmons and Trey Dickerson had its moments but ended with Clemmons doing what he always does in the Prime Time League.
Clemmons scored 26 points and made a pivotal 3-point basket in the closing minutes to lead his team to a 114-111 victory over Dickerson’s team in the PTL championship game Thursday at the North Liberty Community Center.
Clemmons has been on the PTL championship team in each of his three seasons in the summer league.
“I’m going to try and make it four next year,” said Clemmons, a 6-foot-1 junior-to-be from Lansing, Mich. “I’ve been talking about this since I got on campus. I’ve been talking to the players in the locker room. I love to win, and I hate losing more than I like winning.”
Clemmons’ team prevailed despite being without 7-1 Iowa center Adam Woodbury, who is playing for a select team in Estonia and Finland, along with Hawkeye point guard Mike Gesell. Regina star Drew Cook also missed Thursday’s title game while vacationing with his family.
Clemmons’ team fell behind early by double figures before trimming the lead to 56-49 by halftime. Clemmons said he was OK with his performance, which also included grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists.
“I think I could have finished a lot more at the rim better than I did today,” Clemmons said. “But I’m going to have those types of games. I’m happy we got the win, though. That’s all that matters.”
As for Dickerson, his most crowd-pleasing moments came on the three occasions in which he delivered an ally-oop pass to Iowa all-Big Ten forward Aaron White for a rim-rattling dunk. The 6-1 Dickerson finished with 13 points and matched Clemmons with six assists. But Dickerson also missed all six of his shots from 3-point range.
His matchup with Clemmons became a focal point after Clemmons said two weeks ago that Dickerson didn’t deserve all the hype he was receiving coming from junior college.
Dickerson said a week later that he wasn’t upset because he believed that Clemmons was trying to help him by removing some of the pressure.
Clemmons then spoke with Dickerson before Thursday’s game.
“I talked to Trey before we even got here,” Clemmons said. “He’s a tremendous player. A lot of people are excited to see him play. A lot of people were excited to see this matchup. I’m happy to have him. He brings another competitor to our practices and our games.”
Dickerson described his pre-game conversation with Clemmons as casual and friendly.
“We were just talking about how we were going to have fun competing and stuff like that,” Dickerson said.
The 6-9 White did more than just dunk during Thursday’s game. He finished with game-highs in points (37) and (21) rebounds in a losing effort. White also developed a bond with Dickerson on the court while playing together in the PTL.
“He really sees the floor,” White said of Dickerson, who played his freshman season at Williston State College in North Dakota last season. “You can tell he has a great feel. On a couple of the (dunks) I was like, ‘OK, he saw it.’ I didn’t have to yell or anything. It’s just a feel.
“That’s really going to help us. He’s great in transition. You saw a couple times. He’s his own fast break with how quick he is.”
Clemmons returning to his freshman form when he started 13 games also would help Iowa next season. He fell out of the rotation and played sparingly down the stretch for an Iowa team that made the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2006 despite losing seven of its last eight games.
Clemmons said he gained more confidence with his performance in the PTL this summer. He made an effort to be more aggressive.
“I find myself in trouble when I stop being aggressive,” Clemmons said. “I think I had probably seven minutes throughout the game (tonight) when I wasn’t aggressive. Just because I miss a couple shots doesn’t mean I stop being aggressive. So I think that’s going to be a big key to my game this year, just staying aggressive.”
Reach Pat Harty at 339-7370 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball