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Big Ten Basketball Should Get Ready for Iowa's Melsahn Basabe

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 11:  'Herky', mascot of the Iowa Hawkeyes performs during the game against the Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 11, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
B.Senior Analyst IJune 28, 2010

Iowa's summer basketball league, Prime Time League (PTL), is off to a high-scoring start for at least one new Hawkeye.

Prime Time is a place for high school, college, and professional players around the state of Iowa to hone their skills in preparation for the season.

Over the past two decades, several great Iowa basketball greats have participated in PTL, including NBA players like Ryan Bowen, Reggie Evans, and Ricky Davis.

"[Davis] was by far the most electrifying high school player that I have seen come through the PTL," remembered former Hawkeye legend Kenyon Murray.

Incoming freshman Melsahn Basabe appears to be following in Davis's PTL footsteps.

Cedar Rapids Gazette writer Scott Dochterman labels Basabe an "electrifying dunker ." He has been the star of the summer on both ends of the court, and has proved he can take control of a game when he needs to.

“I wanted to play hard to show people I respected the Iowa fan base,” Basabe mentioned in a post game interview. “But I put pressure on myself. I don’t want to embarrass myself.”

If his Prime Time League stats are any indication, the 6-7 power forward shouldn't have to worry about embarrassing himself come Big Ten Conference action.

The New York native continues to put up impressive numbers, averaging over 34 points and 10 rebounds a game in the three league match-ups so far this summer. He is also shooting better than 50 percent from behind the three-point line.  

Granted, he isn't going up against John Wall or Evan Turner on the court in North Liberty—He isn't going up against armless scrubs, either. 

According to ESPN Insider Magazine , Basabe is an "aggressive scoring forward with a versatile attack. He is athletic and extremely mobile, able to run and finish in transition, or score on the offensive glass with a quick second leap. He loves to face-up and take opposing four-men off the dribble."

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery hopes Basabe's quickness and ability will help out the somewhat weak Iowa front-court.  

Fellow front-court teammate at Iowa, Jarryd Cole, isn't playing this summer while he recovers from knee surgery, but he has watched Basabe in league play and likes what he sees so far.

“He's adjusting really well to the college game,” says Cole.

Hopefully he can adjust to the Big Ten quickly, too.

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