Really Overdue 2010 D-League Draft Review
November 15th, 2010
Unequivocally, the NBA Draft is my favourite night of the year. In a few short hours, the entire landscape of the best league of the world’s best sport can be changed beyond all recognition. Infusions of talent, mind-boggling trades, wonderful quotables and brave shirt-and-tie combinations are guaranteed; one short evening of drama gives us repercussions and discussion points that can last for years. Whereas sport must always ultimately be able the guys in the uniforms, the men in the jackets have their time to shine on that night. And as an aspiring man-in-a-jacket, its lure is magnetic to me.
The D-League draft does not have the same lustre, for a few reasons. For one, it’s not got the same talent level; for two, the repercussions are far less substantial for teams with lower fanbases and far greater roster turnover than the big league compatriots. Lesser calibre players on a far smaller stage must inevitably have lesser impact, less coverage, and thus less lure.
However, whereas the NBA draft has only 2, the D-League draft has 8 rounds. With 16 teams in the league, that means there are 128 draft picks on offer. 128 players means 128 draft capsules, 128 attempts at analysis, 128 opportunities to hunt for trivia, and a good many opportunities to learn.
That was something I wasn’t going to pass up.
There follows, therefore, an extended look at the compelling protagonists of the 2010 NBA Developmental League Draft. Little consideration is taken for team need, for draft night is about the players.
1st: – Reno Bighorns – Nick Fazekas, Nevada
Even though he was drafted by the Mavericks with the 34th pick in 2007, and even though he signed to a two year guaranteed deal with the team, Fazekas only ever played 9 minutes with Dallas, and was cut a few months into his first season to open up a roster spot for the Jason Kidd trade. The Clippers picked him up for the remainder of that season, and in limited minutes, Fazekas played extremely well; he shot 57% from the floor, grabbed 19.1% of all available rebounds, and had a PER of 19.8. However, due to their cap space aspirations, L.A. didn’t keep him. Fazekas has since spent most of his last two seasons in France, where last year in an injury-shortened season he averaged 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24 minutes of 9 games for Dijon.
Despite not having the best couple of years – not helped by injury – Fazekas absolutely has the talent to be in the NBA. And he probably should be. He can score from inside and out, rebounds incredibly well, and is big enough defensively. By putting himself into the D-League, Fazekas is now set up for a call-up that he may well get. Teams like Chicago, Denver and Indiana could use him already.
2nd: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Alan Anderson, Michigan State
After going undrafted in 2005, Anderson played a couple of years with the Bobcats. He didn’t play especially well, and struggled with injuries in his second year (which led to him being cut in November, and picked back up again 4 months later). Anderson was a solid if unspectacular all-around player at Michigan State, who tried to make his niche in the NBA as an athletic defender/slasher. He has since toured the upper echelons of Europe, playing in Italy, Russia and Croatia, before spending last season in Israel with Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Again battling various injuries, Anderson averaged 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 27 minutes of Euroleague play, shooting 34% from three point range. He’s athletic, good defensively, can slash, has a decent enough jumpshot (better from mid-range) and can make plays for others; on the downside, he’s also prone to over-penetrating, being a bit ball-dominant and a ball-stopper. Nevertheless, even if his style of play doesn’t do it for you, there’s always production there.
3rd: – Maine Red Claws – Magnum Rolle, Louisiana Tech
Try as they might, Indiana couldn’t find a roster spot for Rolle, so he comes to the D-League to earn a pay packet that’s only just over half of the $50,000 guaranteed that he left Indiana with. Rolle wasn’t allocated to Indiana’s affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, who instead have Bucks camp cuts Chris Kramer, Billy Rush and Tory Jackson as their assigned players. So Rolle now joins the Red Claws, affiliate of both the Celtics and the Bobcats. While this ultimately doesn’t change anything – he can still sign with whichever NBA team he so chooses, and always could – Maine isn’t close to Indiana. So it doesn’t help the Pacers that much.
Rolle has been covered a few times in the last few months, the most recent of which was in part 2 of the NBA training camp battle round-up thing. He didn’t play well in his limited preseason minutes, yet this didn’t change Indiana’s opinion of him. They sought to keep him. Unfortunately for Magnum, they didn’t seek to keep him enough, and decided to cut him instead of the guaranteed contract of Solomon Jones. Solomon could now repay them by starting to rebound the ball again.
4th: – Texas Legends – Matt Rogers, Southwest Baptist
Rogers went to training camp with the Bobcats, after not appearing with them (or with any team) in summer league. He came into camp as one of the great unknowns, largely unheralded out of Division 2 Southwest Baptist, and with the added caveat of missing most of his senior season with a torn ACL. At that time, in part 1 of the training camp round-up, I wrote this about him:
Charlotte have since added Matt Rogers, a 6’11 centre out of Division 2 Southwestern Baptist, which sounds more like a profession than a university. Rogers is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered in January, which won’t help his already incredibly limited chances; nevertheless, the Bobcats like what they see. Despite going to such a small school, he didn’t have to; Rogers also had offers from Purdue, Georgia and Iowa State, but turned them down in favour of going to a Christian school. In 2008-09, Rogers averaged 18.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game, shooting 51% from the field, 40% from three and 76% from the line. He made the MIAA All-Defensive Team in all four seasons, was the DPOY twice, and was the overall MIAA Player Of The Year once. No film seems to exist, but here’s a really big picture of the man.
Rogers played in 3 preseason games for the Bobcats; in only 14 minutes, he grabbed 8 rebounds, snagged 2 blocks, and got up 7 shots. He missed them all, but the per minute numbers there are pretty special. They’re also highly insignificant; nonetheless, they still represent his career to date. Rogers shoots jumpers, blocks shots, is 6’11 tall and is white, so poor man’s Raef LaFrentz comparisons are inevitable. It’ll be interesting to see how true they are.
5th: – Springfield Armor – Vernon Goodridge, La Salle
Another training camper, Goodridge went to camp with Golden State, and had previously been to summer league with the Nets and Sixers, at which time I wrote this about him:
Once intriguing, Vernon Goodridge absolutely and completely fell off the map. He enrolled at Mississippi State aged 21, and barely played for two seasons. He then sat out a year while transferring to La Salle, and then averaged 6.7ppg, 5.9rpg and 1.6bpg in 2008-09 for the Explorers at the ripe old age of 25. His professional career since then has involved one stop (in a Dominican Republic minor league with the catchy name of the ABASAPEMA) and one dismissal from the team (for an undisclosed breach of contract). That begins and ends the chronicles of Vernon Goodridge so far.
Goodridge didn’t play especially well in summer league, not doing much else but foul, and he played only 5 preseason minutes. He is an intriguing mix of size and athleticism; he can block shots, rebound, foul you in both good and bad ways, run the court, jump, and has a bit of a hook shot with his right hand. What he doesn’t have, however, is a CV. Goodridge turns 27 in February yet has almost nothing to show for it, save for a solid if unspectacular season at La Salle. And a 25 year old man of such athleticism probably needed to do better than 7/6. Goodridge still has time, and the D-League represents a good place to develop (hence the name). A good season here, in which he does what he does well, adds a left hand, hits his foul shots and threatens a double-double nightly, and his professional career will be in full swing. Time is running out, though. He started very late.
6th: – Iowa Energy – Chris Lofton, Tennessee
Chris Lofton is probably the best shooter in this draft, or any draft. He’s only 6’2, which is roughly Eddie House size, and he shoots the ball comparably to House. Not as quickly, but almost as well. Lofton, a testicular cancer survivor, played in Spain last year, splitting time between Caja Laboral and Estudiantes Madrid and averaging 12.7ppg in ACB play. And in Turkey in 2008/09, Lofton played for Mersin and averaged 20 points per game, highlighted by a 61 point outing that included 17 made three pointers. If you weren’t convinced by the explicit House comparison of above, then maybe that will validate it. However, he doesn’t do much other than shoot jumpshots; he’s not a threat around the basket, he doesn’t rebound or create, he’s not particularly good defensively, and he’s also not exceptionally quick. And while his jump shot is always good, his shot selection sometimes isn’t. Lofton, therefore, is still a bit of a one trick pony.
It’s a hell of a trick, though.
7th: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Robert Vaden, UAB
You can pretty much take Chris Lofton’s scouting report above, and apply it to Robert Vaden. Vaden, too, is a shooting specialist, who demonstrated this when he averaged 16.9 points per game for Italian Lega Due team Aget Imola last season, shooting 40% from three point range on almost 8 three point attempts per game. The 6’5 Vaden is bigger than Lofton, offers slightly more defensively, yet does even less within the paint and is equally underwhelming athletically.
Vaden was drafted 54th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder (via the Charlotte Bobcats), yet was not allocated to the Thunder’s self-owned D-League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers. Nevertheless, the 66ers traded point guard Mustafa Shakur to RGV in exchange for this pick, bringing Vaden back into their stable. (Shakur had been allocated to Tulsa as a returning player, a unison further enhanced by his midseason stint with the Thunder last season.)
8th: – Utah Flash – Brandon Costner, North Carolina State
Last year was Costner’s professional season, and he missed much of it due to injury. When he did play, he was almost as inconsistent as his minutes. Costner spent the year with Belgium team Dexia Mons-Hainaut, and finished the year with Belgian league averages of 9.5ppg and 4.3rpg, yet it wasn’t a smooth ride. He took more three pointers than twos, and almost took more FT’s than two’s as well, cementing his transition into a perimeter player. Yet despite his perimeter play, Costner is no small forward; he’s a not-especially-athletic-but-talented 6’9 face-up power forward, and a power forward only. He’s everything Marcus Fizer wanted to be. Fizer, however, was (is) much bigger and a far better rebounder. (When he wanted to be, at least.) Costner doesn’t rebound well, defends largely via the foul, and spends increasingly little time around the basket. Nevertheless, he makes shots.
9th: – Dakota Wizards – Chris Johnson, LSU
Johnson is fresh from a training camp stint with the Boston Celtics; however, he was not an allocation player of the Maine Red Claws. They instead opted for Boston’s other camp cuts; Stephane Lasme, Mario West and Jamar Smith. About him in training camp, I wrote this:
Johnson is a former LSU big man who graduated in 2009, averaging 7.7ppg, 7.2rpg and 2.7bpg in his senior season. His first professional career was a disjointed affair, featuring only short stays in both Poland and Turkey, and he did not play in summer league this year. Johnson’s shot blocking skills are self-evident, and he’s an athletic 6’11 interior player, which is always intriguing. However, he’s thin, not good at physical play, and not a good offensive player, turning it over too much and being unable to finish at high percentages around the basket. Unless it’s a dunk, of course.
Johnson never played for the Celtics in preseason and thus awaits his NBA debut. Like Goodridge, he’s been more potential than production thus far.
10th: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Obi Muonelo, Oklahoma State
Muonelo played with Goodridge on the Sixers summer league team, at which time I wrote this about him:
Muonelo is a fairly athletic wing player and a shooter, whose shot selection has improved over the years. To go with that athleticism, he is very strong, and can play good defense on opposing wings when he wants to. He also became an interested rebounder in his junior season, when Oklahoma State played a four guard lineup and needed someone (anyone) to do it.
[However], he has no stand-out characteristics about his game. Muonelo is prone to bad shots and prone to daydreaming on defense, and he loves the jumpshot more than he loves his strength advantage. His free throw shooting also got worse year on year in college, for no obvious reason whatsoever. Muonelo will probably be a fine D-Leaguer if he goes that route, and could well be back here next year. But he’s not an NBA player. Not yet, anyway.
He’s now gone that route, albeit not entirely on purpose; Muonelo signed earlier this month with German team EWE Baskets Oldenburg, but they exercised an opt-out clause in his contract after only two weeks. Ergo, Muonelo’s now here in the D-League, where he should produce around 16/5.
11th: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Cheikh Samb, Senegal
Samb is a former draft pick of the Pistons who, at the time of his drafting (2006), measured 7’1 and 195lbs. He was drafted as a long term project, who needed to develop his frame (obviously) as well as his skills. The Piston then brought him over to the NBA a year later, yet a two year NBA odyssey saw stints with 4 teams (Detroit, Denver, L.A. Clippers, New York) saw absolutely no production. Samb spent a month with Real Madrid last year, but disappointed and didn’t earn a longer term contract, and while he went to summer league with the Raptors this year, he fouled 17 times in 49 minutes. Samb is athletic, a good shotblocker, an interested rebounder, and a pretty good jumpshooter; however, he’s now 26, and a lack of stable employment in his professional season hasn’t helped his development, which hasn’t gone according to plan. The D-League is the best place for him right now.
12th: – Bakersfield Jam – Marqus Blakely, Vermont
Blakely was the last training camp cut of the L.A. Clippers training camp, after they had signed him out of summer league to a deal paying $35,000 in guaranteed money. The Clippers didn’t need to cut him, yet they decided to carry only 14 players, and Blakely didn’t make it. Blakely had been with the team in summer league (7.0ppg and 4.8rpg in 23mpg) and preseason (8 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes), at which time I wrote this about him:
Blakely won the American East Defensive Player of the Year award in each of the last three seasons. Last year he averaged 17.3ppg, 9.3rpg, 3.7apg, 2.4spg and 1.9bpg, shooting 54% from the field. Unfortunately, he did all this as a 6’5 power forward. And he did all this as a 6’5 power forward who shot 7% from three point range. If and when he adds a jumpshot to his game, Blakely could carve out a career similar to that of Mo Evans or Michael Curry; however, as of right now, he’s still a 6’5 power forward without many ball skills.
Since the Developmental League is designed to develop, Blakely’s primary task this season should be obvious.
The Jam are not only a quality band, but are also the Clippers’s D-League affiliate, so Blakely stays right where they can see him. This, then, somewhat explains why they didn’t keep him.
13th: – Tulsa 66ers – Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
After going undrafted out of Villanova – which, despite his flaws as an NBA prospect, is still kind of surprising when you consider the career that he had at the school he was at – Reynolds went to summer league with the Suns. At that time, I wrote this about him:
Reynolds’s strength is as a shooter; he can shoot off the dribble or get open without the ball, and he gives forth good effort defensively. However, he’s too short and slender to really do much on that end, and his point guard and ball handling skills do not advance much beyond the basic. Germany and France are tailor-made for Reynolds’s game, but the NBA is a long shot. (Admittedly, Reynolds likes to take long shots.)
Reynolds averaged a healthy 10.3 points and 4.7 assists in three summer league games, and in the end went to Italy, signing with Lega Due team Prima Veroli. In four games there, he averaged 12.3 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game, and didn’t shoot it especially well; he then requested his release from the team last week to come back home and enter this draft. (Veroli replaced him with Scoonie Penn.) Reynolds could very well score big points in the open, high-tempo, stat-friendly D-League, which might lead to bigger gigs down the road. But the NBA is no nearer of a long shot.
(Tulsa later traded Reynolds to the Springfield Armor in exchange for the Armor’s 2011 first round draft pick. This marked the first trade of a future draft pick in D-League history; not coincidentally, this is the first year teams have been allowed to do it.)
14th: – Austin Toros – Dominique Archie, South Carolina
Archie is truly a pick for the long term, particularly when you consider that he will be out until February with the ACL injury in his right knee that ended his senior season after only 5 games. (The injury wasn’t initially classified as a tear, but whatever it was, it’s taken 14 months to recover from. Sounds like a tear to me.) Archie couldn’t take a medical redshirt, however, as he’d already redshirted his freshman so that he could “physically mature.” In that offseason, he had surgery to his right MCL. Two heavy right knee surgeries in four years. It’s a concern.
When healthy, Archie has been (and should be again) an athletic, exciting and dynamic player. He runs, jumps, dunks, rebounds and defends, and has some offense both in the paint and on the perimeter. Archie’s not a great shooter, has scant little off-the-dribble game, and doesn’t handle the ball much, and he turns it over too much trying to do those things, but he affects the game in ways not too dissimilar to D-League veterans such as Paul Harris and Noel Felix do. Of course, without his athleticism, that’s a problem.
15th: – Erie BayHawks – Ivan Johnson, Cal St. San Bernadino
Ivan Johnson is well travelled. He played for L.A. Southwest Junior College in 2004-05, then spent a year with Oregon (averaging 7.5 points and 3.2 rebounds), then spent a final year at Division 2 Cal State St. Bernadino (averaging 16 points and 5 rebounds, and making it to the national semi-finals.) Johnson then began his first professional season with the now-defunct Anaheim Arsenal (13.3ppg, 6.6rpg), moving to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (15.8/7.0), before spending the last two seasons in Korea. For KCC Egis in 2009-10, playing alongside Ha Seung-Jin, Johnson averaged 17.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists, shooting 58% from two point range and 28% from three point range. Additionally, in his previous season, playing with the LG Sakers, Johnson had a beard so epic that it spawned fake tribute beards, the owners of whom’s head he would then sign:
Shouldn’t think he’d get so much adulation in Erie, but we’ll see.
As is customary for American imports in Korea, Johnson is an athlete. He can also make mid-range jumpshots and defend. But if he keeps the beard, that’ll be the first thing you notice.
16th: – Idaho Stampede – Salim Stoudamire, Arizona
Salim, whom you’ll know as a shooter, was mentioned earlier this summer in the Best of What’s Left free agency breakdown:
Damon’s cousin has not played outside of the NBA in his professional career. He also hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 16th 2008. After the Hawks passed on re-signing him that summer, Stoudamire signed with the Spurs for training camp, and had $200,000 of his minimum salary contract. This would have given him the inside track on a roster spot, had he been healthy. But he wasn’t, and the vegan was waived in favour of Desmon Farmer (who I guess you could also add to this list, although I won’t). Stoudamire stayed on the shelf for most of the rest of the year, but was picked up by the Bucks for no obvious reason with about two weeks left in the season and signed through this season as well. However, the Bucks waived him this summer, and Salim has not signed or played anywhere since. Because of injuries and his one dimensional skillset, it seems unlikely that he ever returns to the NBA.
As mentioned there, this will be the first time Salim has played outside of the D-League; it’s been NBA or bust the whole way through until now. In addition to providing a platform for developing young players, or young players on the cusp of the bigs, the D-League is also sometimes a place for veterans to rebuild their careers. As we’ll see later, Salim isn’t the only player both of those statements apply to.
17th: – Idaho Stampede – Walter Sharpe, UAB
Sharpe, once Vaden’s teammate, has had scant little career so far:
After being drafted by Detroit 32nd overall in the 2008 draft – ahead of players like Baha Mootay, Mario Chalmers, Sonny Weems and Goran Dragic – Sharpe played only 15 minutes for the team that drafted him. He was then traded twice, cut by Milwaukee last October, and has not played since. Sharpe was drafted as a weak but hugely athletic 6’9 power forward, with lots of work still to be done. Two years in, and no work has been done.
After a year out of the game, the comeback is finally on. However, Sharpe suffers from narcolepsy, a disease that can never be properly treated. And as far I understand it – and I did look – narcolepsy gets harder to treat the longer you have it; once the body becomes use to the medications, they stop working. Sharpe, therefore, does not have time on his side. He’s already had two nothing years in the NBA, and while those two year’s salaries were both fully guaranteed (thereby earning him over a million dollars for those 15 minutes), he has yet to produce anything. This pick nonetheless represents a comeback for him, and a good gamble for Idaho.
18th: – Erie BayHawks – Kyle Spain, San Diego State
Spain has gone to summer league with the Washington Wizards for two consecutive years. About the latter, I wrote this about him:
[Spain] spent his first professional season in Belgium (sadly not in Spain), averaging 13.1 points in 26.1 minutes per game for the Leuven Bears before being ruled out for the season in March due to injury. Spain is a good outside shooter and extremely strong for a wing player, but he’s not a brilliant shooter. Merely a good one. Since this is also the thing he is best at, it’s the reason why he remains on the outside of the NBA.
In the end, he didn’t play for the team this time. Spain doesn’t yet stand out in any facet of the game – OK defensively, OK shooter, OK rebounder, big but slow, and great at nothing – and thus would help himself greatly if he could find a specialism to build his CV off of. It should probably be the jumpshooting.
19th: – Austin Toros – Lance Thomas, Duke
David McClure was once a member of the Toros, and that probably had something to do with this pick. Fellow Dukie Lance Thomas is capable of defending 3’s, 4’5 and 5’s, and will do a decent job on 1’s and 2’s if assigned to them on switches – without putting up many stats to prove it, he’s a good and versatile defender. But his lack of stattage applies also to the other end of the court. Thomas is not capable of making a mistake, but nor is he capable of making a basket. He’s is a 6’9 power forward who can’t score or rebound; he is the slightly smaller version of Jarron Collins. That’s fine, of course, but it’s not NBA material. Ryan Bowen wasn’t NBA material either, of course, and he made it for a decade. But lightning tends not to strike twice.
20th: – Tulsa 66ers – Perry Stevenson, Kentucky
Before John Calipari got there, Perry Stevenson used to play quite a lot at Kentucky. But when Calipari and his hoards of freshman arrived, Stevenson could barely get a minute. Stevenson’s minutes per game progression by year reads 10.0, 24.4, 28.1, then all the way down to 7.6, and it wasn’t injuries that caused that decline. However, while Stevenson played only 259 minutes last year, time enough for only 27 shots, he never complained about it. He stuck out his four years through three different head coaches, played well when called upon, and did it nicely. You don’t see this often enough.
Stevenson is nonetheless a rather limited player; an athlete, a dunker, a decent rebounder and a very good shotblocker, but very thin, with few ball skills, no jumpshot, and a propensity for turning the ball over. This makes him a solid D-League player, but not ever an NBA calibre one. Indeed, with nought but the rarest of exceptions, that’s the case from here on out.
21st: – Bakersfield Jam – Brandon Wallace, South Carolina
Wallace was the man who kept Dominique Archie to the bench in his early years. He’s a stat stuffer in every column except points, and briefly spent time with the Boston Celtics for this reason. Standing 6’9 and very athletic, Wallace is a big time shot blocker, a very good rebounder and a threat in the open floor, who can’t take contact on either end and who makes bad decisions (including, but not limited to, trying to dunk everything) but who can make shots around the basket as long as you set them up for him. His jumpshot is weak, but not non-existent, and he will run the court for as long as you let him. It’s strange that he would be drafted behind Perry Stevenson, since he’s essentially a better version of him; it may, however, have something to do with the fact that Wallace hasn’t really developed in his three professional seasons.
22nd: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Sean Marshall, Boston College
Marshall is a 6’6 wingman who graduated Boston College in 2007, finishing his senior season with averages of 14.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Most of his offense comes from the outside shot, although he’s nothing more than a decent three point shooter; in fact, last year for French team Dijon, he struggled mightily from outside, shooting only 27% from three point range in 29 games. Marshall can drive the ball as well, but he doesn’t get to the line much, and is a poor free throw scorer when he gets there. He can also be turnover prone. Nonetheless, Marshall is a decent all-around player on both ends of the court.
23rd: – Maine Red Claws – Kenny Hayes, Miami (OH)
Hayes is a 6’2 scoring guard who just graduated from Miami, Ohio. He’s a scoring guard, with a decent jumpshot, who has played a lot of point guard even though he isn’t one. His turnovers spike when he does this, and he’s not a halfcourt creator for anyone other than himself, but he handles the ball capably and can both drive and shoot. However, he’s still only a 6’2 shooting guard, which brings with it the usual defensive concerns.
Maine acquired this pick from Fort Wayne in exchange for Darnell Lazare, who had previously been designated a returning player.
24th: – Dakota Wizards – Brandon Johnson, San Diego
Johnson played in summer league with the Phoenix Suns, at which time I wrote this about him:
Johnson is a 6’0 scoring guard with an ordinary jumpshot, no half-court point guard abilities, and a recently torn Achilles tendon. He is a good scorer, and San Diego’s all time leader in that regard, but 14.0ppg in the WCC is probably not getting it done [as far as the NBA is concerned]. There’s a player below with a similar skill set, body type, and far more pedigree in his history.
The player in question was Scottie Reynolds, who rightly went before Johnson in this draft. Johnson played 4 minutes for the Suns, doing nothing of note. Admittedly hampered by injuries, Johnson shot only 35% from the field last year, and had a career low assists average of 3.8; his best usage might come defensively, where his good strength compensates for his height disadvantage.
25th: – Utah Flash – Nkem Ojougboh, Northeastern
Ojougboh averaged 9.2ppg, 7.2rpg and 2.3bpg in his senior season at Northeastern, where he’d transferred to after one season at Texas El-Paso. The Nigerian big man shot 56% from the foul line and 70% from the foul line; his skill set is perhaps made extremely obvious by those averages. Nevertheless, here’s a highlight reel that is half about Joogs; he’s the one wearing number 54.
Not sure what was impressive at the 1.05 mark, to be honest, but there’s some nice plays in there anyway.
26th: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Marquis Gilstrap, Iowa State
Gilstrap has had a busy summer. He played for both the Bobcats and Cavaliers summer league entries, averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds for Charlotte, alongside 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds for Cleveland, before it was announced that he’d signed in Turkey with Turk Telekom. However, Gilstrap never played for Turk Telekom, and nor did Larry Owens, who was also named as a Turk Telekom signee (and who is now back in the D-League as a returning player for Tulsa).
Because of the school he played for, Gilstrap has far more available footage than many other draftees, and his status as a recent (and valid) NBA draft candidate enhances that. For the most part, he’s an athlete and a rebounder. But there’s some offense to work with there as well, offense which needs some refinement but which has some potential. And here’s a compendium of said offense.
27th: – Iowa Energy – Luke Zeller, Notre Dame
Zeller is not nearly as good as his younger brother – Tyler, a starter at North Carolina – and nor does he play like him. Whilst Tyler makes his living with hook shots and movement around the basket, Luke mainly takes jumpshots, and subsequently shot 39% in his senior season despite standing 6’11. Furthermore, his senior season averages of 4.9ppg and 2.8rpg were also career highs, which is slightly worrying in almost 15 minutes per game. And it’s not as though he defends like Connor Atchley.
Zeller played last year in Japan, averaging 8.2ppg and 7.2rpg in 22 minutes of 50 games for the Shiga Lakestars of the BJ League. He was also playing in Lithuania up until two weeks ago, averaging 5.2 points and 3.7 rebounds for Naglis-Adakris Palangos.
28th: – Springfield Armor – L.D. Williams, Wake Forest
Williams is a 6’4 guard who averaged 8.7ppg, 5.6rpg and 1.8apg in his senior season with the Demon Deacons, appearing on the ACC All-Defensive team for the second consecutive season. He is definitely best defensively; whilst a touch short, Williams is strong, and whilst he’s not especially quick (and definitely not with the ball), he can leap. Williams can also get open without the ball and hit 16 footers off of screens. He can’t, however, shoot three pointers; his three point percentage declined every year, and bottomed out at 16% last season. Williams also doesn’t handle the ball, create for himself or others, or have much ability to finish around the basket if contested by any size. Mind you, if he’s not, then he certainly knows how to finish:
29th: – Texas Legends – Antonio Daniels, Bowling Green
Daniels’s inclusion in this draft is strange on two counts. It’s strange that he’d want this; the man hasn’t played anywhere other than the NBA since he was drafted out of Bowling Green back in 1997, and the 35 year old didn’t play at all last season. It’s also strange that the D-League would let him – after all, the D stands for “Developmental”, and all Daniels has left to develop is a pension plan. Nevertheless, he’s here, and while it’s been two and a half years since he was an NBA calibre talent, there might still be a spark in the fire. He now needs to throw a log on it.
Rashad McCants and Sean Williams were other former NBA players allocated to the Legends roster – the Mavericks-owned affiliate seems to have a clear MO only a few months into their existence.
30th: – Maine Red Claws – Chamberlain Oguchi, Illinois State
Oguchi is a Nigerian international swingman who spent three years at Oregon, but who transferred to Illinois State for his senior season after his playing time took a hit in his junior season. In his one year at Illinois State, Oguchi averaged 15.2ppg and 5.4rpg on 41% shooting; his first professional season last year saw him averaged a 7.6/1.8 in 29 games for French team Le Havre. Oguchi is a three point shooter, who takes two threes to every one two (if that makes sense). He doesn’t dribble or get to the basket; he just catches and launches threes from all ranges, and can hit almost any. However, he’s also not that efficient of a shooter. Oguchi shot 39% from three at Illinois State, yet shot only 30%, 36% and 26% at Oregon, and hit only 34% of his outside shots with Le Havre. This is in large part due to his shot selection, which is not good.
Oguchi has one of the draft’s best nicknames: “Champ.”
31st: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Anthony Richardson, Florida State
Richardson, a one time Hornet signing, is an athletic forward who graduated from Florida State in 2005. Since that time, he has done the rounds in Europe, most recently spending the last two years with Dutch team Eiffel Towers Den Bosch. The Dutch league isn’t very good, but Richardson was a good player in it, averaging 13.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steals last season whilst also being named to the All-Star game. He also won the 2009 dunk contest, and his performance can be watched here (if you are able to tolerate the terrible music):
However, Richardson’s time in Holland did not end well. He is now embroiled in a bitter dispute with the team over outstanding money, as is the team’s former coach, Sharone Wright. The comments on that post for the most part don’t support his viewpoint; nevertheless, the unpleasant reality is that this sort of thing happens a lot.
32nd: – Reno Bighorns – Takais Brown, Georgia
Brown has had a strange and disjointed career. He spent two years at Southeastern Illinois Junior College, and then a year at Georgia, where he averaged 14.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He was then kicked off the Georgia team before his senior season began for unspecified rule violations, so embarked on a professional career while still draft eligible. He began in Puerto Rico, then moved to Finland to play for a Helsinkish team called Torpan Pojat (nicknamed ToPo), where he averaged 18.1ppg/6.7rpg. In 2008-09, Brown moved to Slovenia and averaged 14.5 ppg/8.9 rpg/1.2 bpg for Alpos Sentjur; however, despite signing in Argentina in the offseason, Brown missed all of last season due to a knee injury.
A big old boy, Brown is an out-and-out post player, save for the occasional mid-range shot. He scores in the post, he rebounds from the post (obviously), and he’ll body up anyone in the post and not give up his position. Despite a height deficiency for the next level, Brown has always had plenty of talent, and has been on the radar since his JUCO days. But because of his issues – first academic, then disciplinary, and now knee – his stock has been cooling for three years. This would be a good place to rebuild it.
33rd: – Reno Bighorns – James Florence, Mercer
Florence played with the Philadelphia 76ers in training camp, and was covered hence:
Last season, Florence averaged 17.7ppg, 3.1rpg and 4.6apg in his senior Mercer. That’s the good bit. The bad bit is that he did that on percentages of 41%/32%/75%, alongside 3.7 turnovers in only 33 minutes per game, on an Atlantic Sun Conference team with few quality wins and who couldn’t even beat East Tennessee State for the conference championship. While his assist totals were nice, and his scoring totals decent, Florence’s CV looks fairly ordinary from an NBA perspective. Watching him in his senior season, these were the disjointed notes I managed:
highest scorer….high scorer….takes too many 3’s + has lots of TO’s…..gets to line a ton…..high steals……pushes ball…..fairly quick……smart….pump-fakes.
So, that’s about all I’ve got there.
Florence did not appear in any preseason games for the Sixers, and nor was he chosen as an allocation player for their affiliate, the Springfield Armor. So now he’s with Reno.
34th: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Josh Bostic, Finlay
Bostic was the Division 2 player of the year in 2008/09, and enjoyed some pre-draft looks as a result. He averaged 18.6ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.8apg and 2.3spg in his senior season, winning three consecutive All-Defensive team selections, being named an All-Star in 2009, led Findlay to a 36-0 record that season, and won the D2 championship. For his first and thus far only professional season, Bostic went to Japan to play in the BJ League, and played well. He ranked third in the league in scoring with 21.9ppg, and tied on 9.7rpg, 3.4apg and 1.7spg on 46% shooting. The BJ league is historically the weaker of the two Japanese leagues, but that doesn’t demean the huge numbers; to give it some context, Robert Swift is currently in the BJ League, and he only averages 12/7. And Byron Eaton averages 13/6. 22 and 10, therefore, is pretty epic. Especially from a 6’5 swingman.
…..Well, I say he’s a swingman – Bostic doesn’t necessarily agree with that. Not unless, you know, swingman is not used to describe swinging between the 2 and 3 positions, you know, but instead, y’know, meant to mean a guy who can play all 5 positions. Because that’s what Bostic, y’know, can, y’know foresee in himself.
35th: – Maine Red Claws – Lawrence Westbrook, Minnesota
Westbrook played for Timberwolves in summer league, at which point I wrote this about him:
Like Damian Johnson, Westbrook makes it here on account of his career at the University of Minnesota. Westbrook is a 6’0 scoring guard who averaged 12.8ppg, 2.6rpg and 2.2apg in his senior season in only 26.4 minutes per game. West brook shot 47% from the field and 41% from three point range; the question of why he did not play more is an entirely valid one. He’s a good shooter and a good athlete, able to get to the rim, an efficient scorer who takes good shots and a solid defensive player against similarly sized guards. But unfortunately, he’s only a scoring guard, not a point guard. At 6’0, that’s a problem. Westbrook is a good all around player, but not an NBA player.
Westbrook didn’t play particularly well for the Timberwolves, scoring only 4.8 points per game on 30% shooting and turning it over 7 times in 66 minutes. But 66 minutes doesn’t change a four year resumé. At this point in the draft, he’s a great value pick.
36th: – Texas Legends – Justin Dentmon, Washington
Dentmon is even more size-deficient than Westbrook, for his measures in at only 5’11. He briefly formed an explosive midget backcourt with Huskies teammate Isaiah Thomas – Explosive Midget Backcourt would be a decent band name – but graduated in 2009 and went to Israel to play for Hapoel Afula. Dentmon played extremely well in Israel, leading the league in scoring with 19.8ppg and tacking on 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 45% from the field and 36% from three point range. Being a 5’11 shooting guard has obvious problems, as evidenced by Westbrook above, and Dentmon has never showed the point guard ability of someone like Tweety Carter (who played off the ball for a long time, but, when given the chance to play point guard, proved he could do it). By this stage, he probably never will. He does, however, get buckets.
37th: – Springfield Armor – Michael Washington, Arkansas
Washington was once a significant NBA draft candidate on account of his combination of size and athleticism. However, he’s lost much of that athleticism due to two years of back injuries. He went undrafted this past summer and was due to sign with the New Orleans Hornets for training camp; however, the signing was rescinded when the Hornets’s training staff couldn’t clear Washington to practice. The citing of these injury concerns before anything else is deliberate, because they had stagnated a once promising career.
When healthy (or if healthy), Washington was an athlete 6’9 240lber who piled up the rebounds, made some shots in the paint, and defended the interior well enough. He turned it over a lot, missed his foul shots, scored more with athleticism than dexterity, and was clumsy and inconsistent, yet he produces. But once he got injured and fat, his strengths got weaker, and his weaknesses got no stronger. He needs to turn around this one year decline, and the D-League should be a good place to do that.
38th: – Iowa Energy – Kammron Taylor, Wisconsin
Taylor is a 6’2 scoring guard who graduated from the Badgers with averages of 13.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 2007. A lot of his offense comes via the three; in fact, as Champ Oguchi’s teammate at Le Havre last year, Taylor shot a higher percentage from three (38%) than he did from two (37%). The Chris Rock lookalike also played in Hungary last season, averaging 21.1 points for Szolnoki Olajbanyasz, and previously had stints in Turkey and the LEB Gold. In all cases, his role was the same – to handle the ball a bit, and try hard defensively, but mainly shoot spot-up threes.
39th: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Mouhammed Faye, Southern Methodist
Faye was covered previously in the Mavericks summer league roster round-up.
Faye turns 25 in a couple of months, and just finished a season where he averaged 10/5 for Southern Methodist University in Conference USA. The Georgia Tech transfer would have potential if he was 19, for he’s an athletic 6’10 small forward with fledgling ball handling and shooting skills. But aged 25 with little to show for five years of college play, it’s not going to happen. He’s only three months younger than Darko Milicic, for God’s sake. And Darko’s been done for five years.
In five summer league games for the Mavs, Faye averaged a solid 5.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 18 minutes per game. In ten regular season games for the Wolves thus far, Darko Milicic is averaging 5.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.9 turnovers and 2.8 fouls in 23 minutes per game. On 30% shooting.
40th: – Utah Flash – D’Andre Bell, Georgia Tech
Bell’s game is quite similar to that of L.D. Williams. He too is a defensive specialist shooting guard whose offense consists of little more than the mid-range jumpshot. The reason why Bell slipped so far below Williams is that he doesn’t have Williams’s athleticism, and the production that it brings.
Bell played for the Heat in summer league, about which I wrote this about him, in a post that went unpublished:
Bell, a 6’6 guard out of Georgia Tech, was a good college player who won’t play at the next level. He’s a good defensive player with a lefty mid-range jumpshot; that’s about it. The shot lacks range, and Bell is not a ball handler. He cannot slash or run any offense, and isn’t particularly quick, which doesn’t do much for his defensive potential at the higher levels of the game.
In that tournament, Bell totalled 8 points and 8 fouls in 38 minutes. Bell also hasn’t had much luck in recent years; he was trapped in a burning building in May, and redshirted the 2008-09 season due to surgery on a career-threatening spinal injury that could have caused paralysis. Nevertheless, despite it all, he’s here now, in the relatively prolific climbs of the D-League draft.
41st: – Dakota Wizards – Brendan Knox, Auburn
Knox spent a couple of years in junior college, where he was a shotblocker and rebounder. But last year with Auburn, he was mainly an offensive player, trying to dunk the bejeezus of anything and being productive if unpolished. Knox, a 6’10 240lb post-exclusive player, averaged 8.7ppg, 3.9rpg and 1.0bpg in 21 minutes per game his senior season, shooting a whopping 66% from the field and a shocking 50% from the foul line. He had initially signed to begin his professional career in Portugal, signing with a team called Barreirense/Cidade do Barreiro, but he left the team last month and will instead go the D-League route. This is probably a good idea.
42nd: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Corey Allmond, Sam Houston State
Allmond is another former JUCO player who averaged 15.8ppg, 2.4rpg, 2.3apg and 1.0spg in his senior season with Sam Houston State. The Bearkats [sic] went to the NCAA tournament last year after winning the Southland Conference tournament, before being knocked out by Baylor; Almond had 10 points, 8 assists and 0 turnovers in the loss. Almond is not normally a high assist guy, but he keeps turnovers down, and shoots the three pointer well (over 40% for his Bearkat [sic] career), but he’s also a volume scorer who is prone to some chucking. The flipside of that is occasionally explosive shooting nights, such as a 37 point outing against Kentucky in which he made 11 threes. And he adds some swag along with that.
43rd: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Brad Byerson, Virginia Union
Byerson played one season at West Virginia….or rather, Byerson played 36 minutes at West Virginia. He then transferred to Division 2 Virginia Union, and averaged 16.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game in his senior season. Byerson’s professional career has involved two stops; 8ppg and 5rpg for Romanian team Otopeni Bucurest in 2008-09, and then 21.5ppg, 11.8rpg and 1.7bpg for Israeli team Hapoel Natzrath in 2009-10. Natzrath play only in the Israeli second division, which is not a good standard of play – statistics from the first division are inflated enough. Nevertheless, 22/12 is still 22/12. And at 6’7, it’s even better. Byerson is all power forward and no small forward, but he’s strong and productive.
Brad Byerson fact: Brad Byerson’s team mates at Virginia Union included his two brothers, Brandon Byerson and Braxton Byerson. The other two Byersons are guards and would sometimes start alongside Brad Byerson in the one season the three spent together. Brandon Byerson and Braxton Byerson are still at Virginia Union. But despite the Byerson overload, they can’t call the university Virginia Byerson, for that is Brandon Byerson, braxton Byerson and Bradley Byerson’s mum’s name. True story.
44th: – Bakersfield Jam – Kenny Taylor, Texas
Taylor left Texas in 2005, and has been on a lengthy worldwide career since. His stops so far have been in Croatia, Greece, Spain, Croatia again, Mexico, the D-League, Greece again, Cyprus, Bosnia, and Venezuela, where he most recently averaged 7.8ppg, 2.5rpg and 2.1apg for Trotamundos. In his previous D-League stint, Taylor averaged 15.3ppg, 4.5rpg and 3.1apg for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, shooting 45% from the three point line. Like some before him on this list, and like many more to come, Taylor is a scoring point guard that is best as a three point shooter, yet he also plays some decent defense.
Kenny Taylor was nicknamed “Big Head” by former Vipers team mate and current Bulls guard C.J. Watson, not because he’s egotistical, but on account of the fact that he has a really big head. He was also a member of the Baylor team at the time of the murder/scandal, hence his transfer to Texas.
45th: – Tulsa 66ers – Josh Lomers, Baylor
Lomers just graduated from Baylor, and played for the Spurs in summer league, at which time I wrote this about him:
Lomers just graduated from Baylor, where he was the starting centre. In his senior season he averaged 6.6ppg, 3.7rpg and 1.1bpg, shooting 70% from the field and 71% from the foul line. His offense consists solely of the easy layup and the simple yet effective art of standing still and letting people run into him (i.e. screening).
That, sadly, is about it. Lomers is a big old boy, standing about 7 feet and 280, with hair you could stitch a tapestry from (not pictured), but he’s not a talent. He is really really really slow, clumsy, even less athletic than Bryan Davis (who routinely owned him in Big 12 play), and whatever the opposite of fluid is when used in a basketball sense. He’s somehow still a good shotblocker in spite of his inability to jump over invisible dustmites, yet he doesn’t score, rebound, dribble, catch, shoot, run without falling over, or do much of anything other than stand in the middle and hit you if you come near him. And in the NBA, that’s just going to lead to a lot of posters.
He then proceeded to post summer league numbers of 21 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 0 blocks, 5 turnovers and 11 fouls. Lomers later went to Estonia to tryout with BC Kalev/Cramo, but was unsuccessful.
46th: – Austin Toros – Josh Young, Drake
In his senior season, Young averaged 14.4ppg, 3.9rpg and 2.7apg. Here’s 8 minutes of how he did that.
Likes to go left, it appears.
47th: – Erie BayHawks – Tasheed Carr, St. Joseph’s
Carr is comparatively well known, a one time draft prospect out of St. Joseph’s who spent last year in China, averaging 18.5ppg, 5.0rpg and 4.2apg. He’s a big point guard or a small two guard, athletic, strong, physical and loud, who can’t shoot from outside particularly well or do anything consistently in the halfcourt. However, he can defend, get out and run, and keep the turnovers down. He probably should have gone higher than this.
48th: – Idaho Stampede – Dominique Johnson, Azusa Pacific
Azusa Pacific is an NAIA school that I have never heard of. They made it to the NAIA Finals last season, led by Johnson, who was an NAIA All-Division 1 Team selection. Johnson missed a clutch foul shot and turned it over in the 1 point final game loss, which resulted in your usual sort of Bill Plashcke article. Johnson averaged 17.2 points and 4.2 rebounds for Azusa, shooting 49% from the field and 39% from three; the rest, we must entrust to the tape.
49th: – Idaho Stampede – Chris Roberts, Bradley
Roberts just left Bradley, where he averaged 9.2ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.2apg and 1.5spg in his senior season. He also appeared in the 2010 dunk contest, as did the aforementioned L.D. Williams, finishing second to Vermont star, recent Clipper and current Jam forward Marqus Blakely (also mentioned above).
Roberts’s best known moment might be this game winning 75 foot shot with 0.9 seconds left to beat Oakland in the 2009 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament quarter finals. Unfortunately, the cameraman took that play off.
50th: – Erie BayHawks – Derek Raivio, Gonzaga
Raivio is well known to all, as the point guard on the Gonzaga Bulldogs teams that won all four WCC tournaments in his time there, but which in 2006 unfortunately did this:
Still sucks to see Adam Morrison completely break like that. But Gus Johnson still makes you think that J.P. Batista’s shot is going in.
After Morrison left, Raivio upped his scoring production to 18.0 points per game, alongside 3.1rpg, 2.6apg and 1.5spg. He has played his three professional seasons thus far in Germany, where last year he averaged 9.1ppg and 2.6apg. Raivio is small and no athlete, but he can shoot and runs a reasonable floor game.
51st: – Austin Toros – Garrett Williamson, St Joseph’s
In his senior season, Williamson doubled his scoring average to a decent 12.1 points per game from only 6.1 in his senior season. This is important because it showed offensive mediocrity from a defensive specialist, who had never previously been even as much as offensively poor. Williamson is still not an outside shooter, but he made a better job of using his good athleticism to get to the basket, in both the halfcourt and the open floor. And he’s still a big, athletic, strong and aggressive defender.
52nd: – Tulsa 66ers – Devin Sweetney, St. Francis (PA)
Sweetney averaged 16.9ppg, 7.4rpg and 2.1apg in his senior season, and it was done mostly via athleticism. Here is some of that athleticism, in a video featuring a color commentator with the voice of a castrated 30 year old Eric Cartman.
Devin Sweetney is Michael Sweetney’s cousin. But he’s nothing like him as a player.
53rd: – Bakersfield Jam – Cyrus Tate, Iowa
Tate posted 7.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in his senior season at Iowa, and went to Japan for his first and thus far only professional season. There, playing for Rera Kamuy Hokkaido in the JBL, the lefty averaged a further 7.6ppg and 5.3rpg, but alongside 2.6 fouls per game, no defensive stats, 7 assists all year and 63% free throw shooting. Tate is a big old boy, about 6’8 and 260lbs, who can make shots around the basket, run the court well for a man of his size, be tough, grab rebounds, and push you around in the post. But he won’t jump, shoot, hit foul shots, create offense for himself, create offense for others, pass, or defend the perimeter.
54th: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Keaton Grant, Purdue
Keaton Grant shot 38% in his senior season, the second best mark of his college career. In two other seasons, he shot only 36%, and while he shot 44% from three in his sophomore season, his next best mark was 34%. The other two teams, he didn’t even crack 30%. Grant is reasonably athletic, tries hard defensively and makes few mistakes, but offensively, he just didn’t help much. He couldn’t shoot (save for the occasional hot night), dribble, or create. If Luther Head couldn’t shoot, he’d be like Keaton Grant.
55th: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Anthony Goods, Stanford
Goods was drafted in the third round last season by the Bakersfield Jam. He played in 9 games, shooting only 21% from the field, before opting for season ending surgery on a long standing hip problem. In his senior year for Stanford, the 6’3 Goods averaged 16.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, shooting 39% from three point range; however, he only once managed a positive assist to turnover ratio, and only once shot over 39%. Goods doesn’t defend particularly well, but he is athletic, and can be a useful bench shooter.
56th: – Dakota Wizards – Rico Pickett, Manhattan
Pickett entered the 2010 NBA draft early, and really shouldn’t have done. The Alabama transfer averaged an impressive 17.7 points per game for Manhattan last season, but he did so with a 1:2 assist/turnover ratio, a 51% true shooting percentage (1.12 points per shot), and defensive concerns. He stopped being the pass-first-if-turnover-prone point guard that he was at Alabama, and became an out-and-out-shoot-first player; rarely do you see a guy’s assists per game plummet from 3.3 to 1.0 at a time when his minutes per game rise from 21.2 to 31.4. Pickett is extremely athletic, can handle the ball, finish, slash, run the court, and has plenty of flair, but he really should still be with Manhattan right now.
57th: – Utah Flash – Darren Kent, Kansas State
Before Curtis Kelly and Wally Judge, Kansas State were reliant upon Darren Kent in their front court, a 6’10 thoroughly unathletic 230lber who averaged 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in his senior season. Kent had barely played in the previous three seasons, and his previous best career highs were 2.5 ppg and 2.3 rpg. While the points per game were good, especially in only 23mpg, Kent was no scorer; he was merely a better one than Luis Colon. Kent shot 41% from the field, and turned it over twice a game in only those 23 minutes. He has a bit of a jumpshot, and rebounds well enough, but he can’t defend anybody. His one professional season thus far consisted of 52 minutes in the French second division with a team called Quimper. He grabbed 16 rebounds, committed 9 fouls, scored 15 points on 19 shots, before being released after three weeks.
58th: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Richard Roby, Colorado
Roby played with the Nuggets in summer league, at which time I wrote this about him:
Roby is a Colorado graduate, which explains a lot. He was a draft candidate in 2008, but went undrafted, and has spent the last couple of years in Israel. For Maccabi Haifa last year, Roby struggled, averaging only 7.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. Roby is a 6’6 guard who plays decent defense and rebounds well, yet as his jumpshot release has improved, its effectiveness has disappeared. Roby has shot under 30% from three in both his professional seasons. And his defense, while good, is not good enough to overlook his lack of offense.
In that tournament, Roby averaged 6.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, but shot only 32% from the field. He started this season in Mexico, signed with Halcones Rojos de Veracruz and averaging 14.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.9 steals before coming home.
59th: – Iowa Energy – Michael Haynes, Fordham
Haynes was drafted in the 2010 KBL Draft:
Michael Haynes (no relation to Aaron) is the closest thing to a guard on this list. He’s a 6’7 swing man/small forward out of Fordham who has spent the last couple of years in Germany, who can rebound but can’t shoot a foul shot. If you wish to know more about Michael Haynes, his agent (who apparently also owns a musical jingle company) has put up two Polish league games of Haynes’s on Youtube, starting here;
Clearly, Haynes never signed in the KBL. The team that drafted him, the Seoul Knights, instead went with KBL veteran Marquin Chandler, who has scored 71 points in 98 minutes.
60th: – Springfield Armor – Garfield Blair, Stetson
Blair is a 6’5 guard from small Atlantic Sun Conference school Stetson. He averaged 17.3ppg, 7.7rpg and 2.1apg in his senior season, turning it over almost 4 times a game. He didn’t play last year for whatever reason, save for a summer with the Jamaican national team, where he averaged 8.8 points in the CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Games. As mentioned, Blair turns it over a ton, and rarely shoots jumpshots; he is however very athletic, making him effective on both ends of the floor.
61st: – Texas Legends – Kelvin Lewis, Houston
Lewis played for the Rockets in summer league, at which point I wrote this about him:
Kelvin Lewis was the “second guy” on the University of Houston roster last year, behind the statistically dominant Aubrey Coleman. (Incidentally, you would have thought Aubrey would on the Rockets roster, no?) Playing on the team where his dad is an assistant coach, the 6’4 Lewis averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game, shooting 41% from the field and 40% from three. He played entirely off the ball – as does everyone when Coleman is around – and usually the tougher defensive matchup. However, Lewis is a pretty average defender and not a slasher, making him largely a catch-and-shoot player on the next level.
Lewis played in one game, scoring 8 points in 12 minutes. He had signed with Greek team Enosi Kalathosfairisis Kavalas (a new team formed after a merger; formerly known as Kavala/Panorama), but he left in preseason.
62nd: – Maine Red Claws – Tajuan Porter, Oregon
In his senior season last year, Porter averaged 13.1ppg, 2.5rpg and 2.0apg for the Ducks, shooting 36% from the field and 36% from three. That shooting percentage can be largely explained by the fact that Porter is only 5’6 (or 5’7, depending on who you believe). Even with the obvious limitations that brings – finishing around the basket, defense, etc – that can be fine if a player is good enough. Unfortunately, in his four seasons at Oregon, Porter only once managed a positive assist/turnover ratio, when he sported 2.4apg and 2.3tpg in his sophomore season. Porter is a good three point shooter and Oregon’s all-time leader in makes, but he’s clearly no point guard, which means you have a 5’6 three point specialist and (probable) backup shooting guard. That could be a problem. Horace Wormely, he is not.
63rd: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Zack Atkinson, Cal State-Irvine
Atkinson was picked for his size. I say that because his senior season averages weren’t great; Atkinson put up only 5.6ppg, 3.6rpg and 1.3bpg, shooting 53% from the field and 60% from the foul line. He’s athletic, fluid and mobile, and can certainly block shots, but he’s very underdeveloped offensively. He’d be a good looking freshman, if he were one.
Atkinson initially signed to play in Taiwan with a team that goes by the bizarre name of Pure Youth Construction. However, he was registered ineligible in the team’s domestic games after exceeding the league’s 200cm height limit (about 6’6), and they eventually opted to keep one time Gonzaga forward Tyler Amaya instead.
64th: – Reno Bighorns – Chavis Holmes, Virginia Military Institute
In 2009-09, playing in his senior season for VMI, Holmes averaged 22.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.1apg, 3.4spg and 1.1bpg. He played in Spain last year, averaging 13.2ppg and 2.8rpg for LEB Silver team Caja Rioja.
Reggie Williams also went to VMI. Reggie Williams played alongside Chavis Holmes. Reggie Williams also put up huge stats in his senior season; 27.8ppg, 9.7ppg, 3.9apg, 2.2spg. Reggie Williams also played his first professional season abroad, averaging 12.5ppg and 5.3rpg for Dijon in France. Reggie Williams was also picked in the middle of the D-League draft; the 45th pick back in 2008. Reggie Williams went on to tear up the D-League and is now an NBA rotation player. And it is Reggie Williams who Chavis Holmes replaced in the VMI system that produced those big senior season numbers.
Williams is clearly better; Holmes is largely a three point specialist, whereas Williams is the smart and versatile multi-dimensional combo guard/swingman. But the comparison is nonetheless obvious, for all those circumstantial reasons.
65th: – Reno Bighorns – Daniel Horton, Michigan
The last two years of the Daniel Horton Experience have not gone well. In 2008-09, due to a combination of injuries and his team’s (Pau Orthez’s) struggles, Horton played in only 4 games all year, averaging 11.3 points and 4.0 assists. And last year was even worse; now with a different French team (Hyeres-Toulon), Horton played the first three games of the French league season before getting injured. He missed two months of action and only returned in the new year; he then played seven more games, yet in those ten games, Horton averaged only 3.4 points and 3.0 assists in 22 minutes per game. He shot 10-46 from the field; 8-33 from two point range and 2-13 from three. And then he was released.
Four years ago, Horton was in the NBA with the Miami Heat with a small dollop ($50,000) of guaranteed money. Now he’s in round five of the D-league draft. The jumpshot, with which he made his name at Michigan, has not been with him for most of his professional career. Horton surely knows he needs to begin again, hence why he’s here. It’s probably the right decision.
66th: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Kashif Watson, Idaho
Watson played with the Warriors in summer league, at which point I wrote this about him:
Kashif Watson graduated from Idaho University last year, and averaged 10.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 26.6 minutes per game in his senior season. The 6’4 guard can get to the line (142 free throw attempts to 227 field goal attempts), but can’t make them (68%). He hit only 1 three pointer all season, took only two, and has no defensive stats to report.
He is here because he is C.J. Watson’s brother. This happens a lot with player’s brothers – Tony Durant was on the Thunder’s summer league team last year, and Joel Bosh has played with the Raptors one before now. Rodney Billups once played with the Pistons, Zach Marbury with the Knicks, William Pippen (Scottie’s nephew) with the Blazers. Additionally, LeBron James’s high school team mates Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis have received numerous summer league stints with the Cavaliers, at James’s behest. But the common trait behind that list of players is that the famous brother is a star for that time. This is not true of C.J. Watson, who is a free agent backup.
I guess they’re trying to give him an incentive to stay.
Such incentive didn’t work, for C.J. is now a Chicago Bull. Kashif played in two summer league games, scoring 6 points on 3-10 shooting and committing 5 fouls in 22 minutes. As of right now, he still doesn’t have a CV. But then, that’s the point of the D-League.
67th: – Maine Red Claws – James Lewis, Fresno Pacific
Lewis is a 6’3 guard out of NAIA school Fresno Pacific. He was a two time NAIA All-American, and averaged 17.5 points, 4.2 rebound, 1.4 assists and 2.0 steals last season. In lieu of anything else to say, here’s a highlight montage.
68th: – Texas Legends – Moussa Seck, Fresno Pacific
The Texas Legends are owned by the Dallas Mavericks, and the Mavericks have had Seck on their radar for at least two years, when seemingly no other NBA team has done. He has played for the Mavericks on their summer league team for two consecutive years, and in 2009, I wrote this about him:
When he was 19 years old, Moussa Seck was a streetside cosmetics vendor in his native Senegal who had never played basketball before. He was spotted on the street by a scout, who may have picked up on the subtle fact that Seck is 7’4 tall. He’s now 22, which means he’s far from a polished and experienced basketball product. But he’s still 7’4, so people are still interested in him. Seck spent last year with Poderosa Supernova Montegranaro, the feeder team of Serie A team Premiata Montegranaro. They play in a division so far below the big league team that I can’t tell you a single other fact about them. To play in a lower standard of basketball and still be Googleable is damn near impossible, unless you’re Bryson McKenzie’s agent. But, at the very least, it’s the start of a CV.
Seck is also 220lbs, which is only slightly more than what I weigh. Except I’m 6’3 and he’s 7’4. I don’t know what this says about either of us.
Seck played 25 minutes across 4 games in this year’s edition, and put up 2 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, 4 turnovers and 5 fouls. As raw as advertised, perhaps. But now, they’ve finally got him right where they want him. If he ever becomes anything of note, it’ll start now.
69th: – Springfield Armor – Jerry Smith, Louisville
Smith played for the Bucks in summer league, at which point I wrote this about him:
Smith is a four year player at Louisville, who is all defense and no offense. At 6’2, he was a good defender in the Louisville press, but outside of open threes and the very occasional drive, he didn’t contribute much offensively. As the old saying never went, college role players without NBA physical skills do not an NBA role player make.
They can make a D-League role player, though. Smith averaged 8.3ppg, 3.2rpg and 1.9apg for the Cardinals last year, and could do this again. And he’ll hit his threes. The 28% he shot from three last year should just be a blip.
70th: – Iowa Energy – Scott VanderMeer, Illinois-Chicago
VanderMeer is a three time Horizon League Defensive First Team winner, and a one time Pacers summer leaguer. He’s big, a very good shotblocker, armed with a bit of a jumpshot….and really, really slow. In his senior season at Illinois-Chicago, VanderMeer averaged 10.3ppg, 8.9rpg and 2.5 blocks per game, but shot only 40% from the field. And last season – his first professional campaign – VanderMeer averaged 5.3ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.1spg and 2.3bpg in only 18 minutes per game. He could outproduce or match the production of Steven Hill, but he won’t ever have the NBA attention Hill has (rather unjustly) had. Here’s some highlights.
71st: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Clevin Hannah, Wichita State
In his two seasons at Wichita State, Hannah shot 41% and 43% from three point range. He passed for 4.3apg and 4.7apg, and in his senior season had a good 2.3:1 assist/turnover ratio. He also shot 90% from the free throw line. He’s only 5’11 and does little around the basket, but I like what those numbers say. Here’s some more video.
72nd: – Utah Flash – Ricky Shields, Rutgers
It’s unusual to see Ricky Shields here, both in the draft and this far down it. Shields is a former signee of the Nets, way back in 2005, and has been at the upper echelons of European basketball ever since. Last year, he averaged 10.4 points per game for Kavala/Panorama in Greece’s A1 league, then moved to Helios in Slovenia and averaged 20.3 points per game in the Adriatic League. That average came in only 3 games, yet the Adriatic League is one of the very best leagues in the world, and Shields shone in it. So why’s he being picked behind Jerry Smith? And why’s he even here? I do not know.
What I do know is that Shields is a scorer; specifically, Shields is a shooter. He’s only 6’4 and about 200lbs, but he knows how to get the three away, and does so. A lot.
73rd: – Dakota Wizards – Robert Diggs, George Washington
Information on Robert Diggs is hard to find, since Robert Diggs is also the real name of RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Nevertheless, Diggs (normally known as Rob) is a 6’8 forward who averaged 13.4ppg, 7.3rpg and 1.7bpg in his senior season for George Washington, shooting 50% from the field and 80% from the foul line. That’s pretty good. Not so good is his professional season thus far; he lasted only 4 games and 36 minutes in Holland last year before being released, and although he signed with Israeli second division team Maccabi Hod Hasharon in the summer, he was released in preseason. Diggs is an athlete, a dunker, a rebounder, a shotblocker, and an efficient and productive offensive player, but he never passes, turns it over a ton, and is a power forward in a small forward’s body.
74th: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Adam Zahn, Oregon
Zahn posted the unimpressive averages of 2.5ppg and 2.1rpg in his senior season at Oregon, and recorded 171 fouls in his 999 minute college career. In comparison, he had only 206 rebounds. His professional career thus far has encompassed some unusual retreats; some time in the IBL with the Eugene Chargers, a year in Norway, a year in the WCBL, and a year in Japan’s BJ League (posting averages of 10.2ppg and 6.2rpg). His last playing gig came in Jordan in the summer of 2009, when he played for Zain in the Asian Club Championships. With so little behind him, it’s hard to know what to make of Adam Zahn; however, in this merciful Youtube era, everyone has a highlight montage. In fact, Adam Zahn has two.
Both have insufferable background music, but they make the same point.
75th: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Wink Adams, UNLV
Wankmaids played in the D-League last season, averaging 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals in the final 9 regular season games of the Tulsa 66ers. He had begun the year in Turkey, where he averaged 11.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 3.2apg and 1.8spg for Oyak Renault, and had averaged 14.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 2.8apg and 1.4spg in his senior season at UNLV. He signed this summer with Belgian team Verviers-Pepinster, yet now he’s here instead.
Adams is an extremely quick 6’1 scoring point guard with good defensive intensity yet without jump shot range; however, with the 66ers last year, he looked as though he was trying to make the transition into a more traditional point guard. Adams has always kept the turnovers down, and it went rather well.
76th: – Bakersfield Jam – Lorrenzo Wade, San Diego State
Wade is a 6’4 shooting guard and a big time athlete who averaged 14.0ppg, 4.6rpg and 2.8 apg in his senior season. Last year was his first professional season; he started with Kavala/Panorama in Greece, but was released due to poor performance after only three games. Wade had averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in those three games, but apparently it wasn’t enough. He then went to the Philippines to play for the San Miguel Beerman, although I’m not sure if he ever did, because almost immediately after that news came out, Wade was also announced as signing in Mexico. There, for the Rayos de Hermosillo in the CIBACOPA, Wade put up 97 points in his first three games, but got injured after one minute of the fourth and didn’t play again. He then returned to the Philippines to play for the Derby Ace Llamados, and averaged 25.2 points and 12.8 rebounds in 5 games – as in Taiwan no one over 6’6 is allowed – but was again released to poor performance, specifically defensively. Wade returned to Mexico to begin this season, and averaged 14.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for Soles de Mexicali, but he didn’t shoot well. The jumpshot is still mediocre, and the defense hasn’t changed much. He’s still mainly just an athlete.
77th: – Tulsa 66ers – Mamadi Diane, Virginia
As is kind of a theme at this point, Diane is an athlete with not many skills. He averaged 11.3ppg and 2.3rpg for Huesca in Spain’s LEB Silver last year, but the LEB Silver is the third division. Diane takes a lot of jumpshots without being a good shooter (save for one season), and he’s no ball handler or creator.
Diane has triple nationality; Ivory Coast, the Republic of Congo, and Guinea. This despite being born in DC. Howvever, it is the Ivory Coast national team that he plays for.
78th: – Austin Toros – Marcus Hubbard, Angelo State
Hubbard is no stranger to the D-League, having played there for the last two seasons; last year he averaged 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds on 39% shooting for the Reno Bighorns. He’s also no stranger to the NBA, having signed a couple of training camp contracts in the past, and thus has had plenty of previous coverage on this site. Arbitrarily, we’ll choose this bit:
Marcus Hubbard is a D-League veteran, one time Hawk and one time Buck, who is an athletic 6’9 face-up power forward. (Such is the trend in the KBL, it appears.) He has spent most of his professional career in the D-League; last year in 21 games for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, Hubbard averaged 7.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on 37% shooting. Hubbard is athletic, but all he really uses that for is to rebound and get elevation to take a lot of long two point jumpshots.
That was taken from a review of the 2010 KBL Draft. In that draft, Hubbard was picked by the LG Sakers, but was released in preseason after disappointing performances and was replaced by another D-League veteran, T.J. Cummings.
79th: – Erie BayHawks – David Gomez, Tulane
Gomez averaged good all around numbers in his senior season; 14.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 1.6bpg, 54% FG, 41% 3PT, 72% FT. This led to a spot at the Portsmouth Invitational, where he further performed, averaging 12.0ppg and 7.7rpg. This then turned into a stint in Poland at ISS Sportino Inowroclaw, and further averages of 10.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. Apart from the occasional three point attempt – which he’s pretty solid at – Gomez is an out and out post player, and a productive scorer.
80th: – Idaho Stampede – Kentrell Gransberry, South Florida
Gransberry is huge. In fact, he’s too huge. He’s fat. He gobbles up rebounds, averaging a double double in both seasons at South Florida and grabbing 4.5 rebounds in only 15 minutes per game last year in the D-League, but he just can’t move off the spot. This makes him extremely limited defensively, as well as offensively; he can’t play full-court, and is nailed to the post on either end. And he’s just not a very good shotmaker, as evidenced by his 40% free throw shooting last season. Gransberry is a big guy, an interested rebounder, and uses his strength to his advantage as much as possible on both ends, but he’s just too limited at that size.
81st: – Idaho Stampede – Alan Daniels, Lamar
Lamar is not a big school; they play in the mid-major Southland Conference, and haven’t done much in it of late. But this gave Daniels the chance to put up numbers, and he certainly did that; in his senior season in 2005/06, Daniels averaged 23.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game. This led to a stint in Serie A – which is rare for an American rookie – and Daniels responded with a 15.2ppg scoring average. Since then, Daniels’s stock has cooled considerably; two lukewarm seasons in Poland, plus a missed 2009-10 season, have seen him go from a big scorer in Serie A and frequent NBA workout candidate to being in the 6th round of the D-League draft behind Adam Zahn. But that also explains the logic behind the pick.
Alan Daniels is nephew to both Lee Mayberry and Nolan Richardson. Fact.
82nd: – Erie BayHawks – Jared Carter, Kentucky
Carter spent four years at Kentucky, although you mightn’t know it; he played only 185 minutes in 4 seasons, and (I’d suspect) didn’t get a single non-garbage minute outside of non-conference play. Carter was in the D-League last year, playing four games for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and recording 2 points and 4 rebounds, and then moved to the Vermont Frost Heaves of the PBL, where he recorded the only significant playing time of his life, recording 8.2ppg and 5.7rpg in 18 minutes of 19 games. With so little PT behind him, it’s hard to say what Carter is good at, but his measurements of 7’2 and 270lbs should hint towards an answer.
83rd: – Austin Toros – Vernon Hamilton, Clemson
Hamilton was recently in training camp with the Detroit Pistons, his second such training camp stint in three years. That move prompted this exciting blurb:
Hamilton is a defensive minded point guard, formerly of Clemson. It helps to be defensive minded if you’re playing at Clemson, and Hamilton was named to the ACC All-Defensive Team in 2006, averaging 12 and 3 that season. However, despite the defense, Hamilton is a bad shooter, very bad free throw shooter, and undersized for the NBA, who is also not a particularly good half court point guard. Nonetheless, he’s doing OK in Europe, averaging 19.0 points and 2.9 assists in the Swiss league last season.
He did not make the Pistons roster, and was never going to. But it’s quite the CV boost. And it’s perhaps bizarre that said CV boost has only gotten him this far.
84th: – Tulsa 66ers – Brandon Brooks, Alabama State
Brooks averaged 13.7ppg, 4.2rpg and 6.6apg on 50% shooting in his senior season at Alabama State in 2008-09, winning the SWAC tournament and winning the conference’s Player Of The Year award at the same time. Alabama State then lost to Kenneth Faried’s Morehead State in the NCAA tournament’s 64th place decider thing, mainly because Faried had 21 rebounds to the whole Alabama State team’s 26. (Alabama State’s wonderfully named centre, Chief Kickingstallionsims, had 0 points and 2 rebounds. He is currently unsigned.) Brooks can get a bit wild with his passing at times, but he’s a very talented ballhandler and efficient scorer who looks to pass first, and who his decent athleticism to boot. And while he’s not a great jumpshooter, he could always just do this with his misses:
85th: – Bakersfield Jam – John Bryant, St Joseph’s
This is not the same John Bryant that was in the D-League last year, the 300lb former Santa Clara centre and rebounding machine. The major clue lies in the fact that this John Bryant is black, and that one is white; the 300lb John Bryant is not coming back to the D-League this year, as he is signed in Germany with ratiopharm Ulm. In a highly confusing coincidence, ratiopharm Ulm is where this other John Bryant just so happened to play last year – rest assured, however, that it’s Ulm whom have had the significant upgrade. This John Bryant was a co-captain at St Joseph’s, but only ever a bit-part player, with modest career highs of 3.0ppg and 3.4rpg. He’s a good shotblocker, as evidenced by the 2.9 blocks per game the recorded with the Vermont Frost Heaves in 2009 (his third stint with the team), yet he just can’t score the ball at all. That makes him a 6’7 offensively devoid shotblocking specialist, who turns 28 next month. It’s more a depth pick than a potential pick.
86th: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Darnell Cox, Mississippi Valley State
Cox is 6’11, 250lbs, and a shotblocker. Every team needs that. Since leaving Mississippi Valley State in 2008 (averaging 12.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in his senior season), Cox has had a varied career, beginning in the WBA and then moving to the Lebanon. Further stints in the WBA followed, as did time in the SEBL, Mexico and the UBA. The D-League, then, will be the peak of his career thus far. If he sticks.
87th: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Shawn Hawkins, Long Beach State
Shawn Hawkins – grandson of Hall Of Famer, Connie Hawkins – is a 28 year old journeyman 6’6 swingman. His post-Long Beach State career has read Austria, CBA (the defunct minor league, not the Chinese league), USBL, and Taiwan, where he played this summer. In there also was a stint with the Mad Ants in 2008-09, which saw him average 7.6ppg and 4.7rpg. Hawkins shot a sizzling 47% from three point range in his first Mad Ants stint, but when viewed alongside the rest of his career, it’s a clear anomaly.
88th: – Dakota Wizards – Dominique Scales, East Central
Remarkably little exists that documents Dominique Scales’s career – so sparse is any information that I couldn’t even find a picture of the man, and had to substitute in one of country legend Toby Keith instead. Nevertheless, here’s what I could find.
Scales spent his first two seasons at junior college, where statistics are unavailable, and while he went to Maine for his junior season at Maine, he played only 68 minutes. He then missed a year before transferring to Division 2 school East Central University (Oklahoma) where he averaged 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.1 turnovers per game. This led to him being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 D-League draft by the now defunct L.A. D-Fenders (that’s not why they’re defunct), but he played only 21 minutes over 3 games for the team before being released, shooting 0-6 and recording 6 fouls. He then played 8 games for the now defunct Minot Skyrockets of the now defunct CBA, averaging 2.5ppg and 2.1rpg, and seemingly did not play last season.
As for what makes him intriguing to D-League teams, let’s ask the tape.
89th: – Utah Flash – Carlos Medlock, Eastern Michigan
Medlock is a 6’0 170lb guard who just graduated from Eastern Michigan, averaging 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his senior season. Unfortunately, he also shot only 39% from the field and 34% from three point range; in fact, both his overall FG% and his three point percentage went down for all four seasons of his career. One thing that improved in all four seasons was his turnovers per game average, yet he still recorded 3.5 of them per game as a senior, and in his entire career finished with a 400:406 assist/turnover ratio. Medlock is a good jumpshooter and a lefty, with a nice pull-up, but he’s also a 6’0 scorer. And that’s hard to pull off.
90th: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Isaiah Swann, Florida State
Swann is a stocky 6’2 shooting guard who last year played in Israel, averaging 8.5ppg, 2.3rpg and 1.9apg for Galil Gilboa. He’s not a good defender, but he is a good shooter, consistently round the 40% mark from three and shooting 43% from there last season whilst shooting twice as many threes as twos. (The year before that, he shot 47%.) He can also get up there.
That play came before a torn ACL injury that prematurely ended his college career, but it wasn’t a one-off.
(Turn the sound off before you watch that second video.)
91st: – Iowa Energy – Kendric Price [sic], Michigan
Price was a top 100 high school recruit, and went to a good school at Michigan, yet in three years there he played only 22 minutes. He redshirted his freshman year, played those scant few minutes as a sophomore, then left the program in his third year to concentrate on his academics. (He walked, and was not pushed.) It was then announced that Price was transferring to Delaware, but he eventually didn’t go due to family issues. For all his status as a prized recruit, then, all Price has to show for it thus far is 22 minutes at the end of 2006, plus 37 minutes with the Vermont Frost Heaves of the PBL in January of this year. Price is an athletic 6’8 forward, but moreso than anyone else on his list thus far, he hasn’t done anything yet.
92nd: – Springfield Armor – James Booyer, IUPUI
Booyer is a 28 year old forward who played two years with Ooeypooey between 2004 and 2006, averaging 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in his senior season. Since that time, he has seriously lacked for steady work; he started in South Korea, played in every American pretty much minor league you can think of (ABA, USBL, PBL, CBA), and then finally found his way to the D-League last year. In two games for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Booyer managed the impressive feet of going 0-4 from the floor and 0-4 from the foul line in only 9 minutes. Booyer is an athlete, a dunker and a shotblocker, but he fouls a ton, has no ball skills, and no CV.
This video of him dunking is unintentionally funny.
93rd: – Texas Legends – Booker Woodfox, Creighton
Woodfox is second only to Kyle Korver on Creighton’s single season three point makes list, with 91 makes in his senior season (2008-09). He hit those 91 shots at 48%, and scored 15.8 points in only 25 minutes per game. Woodfox also only had 1.1 assists per game, so he’s in there to shoot, but he’s such a good shooter that there’s nothing wrong with that. And he can also dunk, if sufficiently co-erced:
Woodfox was drafted by the Mad Ants in last year’s draft, and although he did not make the team, he was later acquired by the Erie BayHawks. He never appeared in a game for either, however.
94th: – Maine Red Claws – JaJuan Smith, Tennessee
JaJuan Smith is also a shooter, and he too is no stranger to the D-League. After starting his professional career with a training camp contract with the Mavericks in 2008, Smith first spent a season in France, then moved to Brazil to begin the 2009/10 season, then bizarrely played one game in the Spanish third division, and then came to the D-League, where he finished up the season with the Tulsa 66ers. Smith averaged 7.9ppg, 3.1rpg and 2.9apg in the 66ers final four regular season games, but did not shoot the ball well. Smith hasn’t had the best professional career thus far, but if he gets back to what he was, he could be a steal this far down the draft; he’s a good shooter with a quick release, but he’s also interested defensively and on the glass. Maybe he’s a bit of a known article, and he’s limited (no off the dribble game or point guard skills to speak of), but he’s certainly got more pedigree behind him than some of the shooters draft ahead of him.
95th: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Dominique Coleman, Colorado
Coleman is another player with D-League history; in fact, he was once one of the better players in it at one time. Playing all 50 games for the now defunct Colorado 14ers in 2008-09, Coleman averaged 15.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game, shooting 50% from the floor and 41% from three point range. The D-League is unapologetically stat-friendly, but that doesn’t change the fact that those are damn good numbers, especially from a 6’3 guard. I even mentioned him in this Best Remaining Free Agents rundown from back in the summer time:
Last year was an awkward one for Coleman. He played for two different D-League teams, started the year in Belgium, and had a reasonably successful but very short term stint with Angellico Biella in between. Coleman had made his way onto the scene the year before, averaging 15.1ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.8apg and 2.8spg for the now-defunct Colorado 14ers of the D-League, and even shooting an uncharacteristic 40% from three point range. He loves to rebound, gamble for steals, wins possessions as a defensive player, and isn’t too bad offensively.
Unless there’s something I don’t know about, with pedigree like that, it’s truly strange to see 94 players picked ahead of him in this draft. It feels as though someone dropped the ball.
96th: – Reno Bighorns – Alex Smith, Augusta State
Smith transferred from William and Mary to Division 2 Augusta State for his senior season in 2010, arriving there just as Garret Siler left. (Siler is now in the NBA with the Phoenix Suns. I like that.) He helped Augusta State to the D2 number 1 ranking on multiple occasions, and averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Smith is only 6’5 and has no perimeter skills, but he weighs 250lbs, which should explain how he’s able to perform on the interior at that height. Smith also majored in kinesiology, the science of human movement, which is probably irrelevant.
97th: – Reno Bighorns – Bamba Fall, Southern Methodist
With size at a premium, it’s perhaps unusual that the 7’1 Fall fell this far. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that he only weighs (or weighed) about 200lbs. Bamba’s scouting report isn’t entirely dissimilar to that of fellow countryman Cheikh Samb above; indeed, the two even share a first name (Bamba is a nickname). For those who can’t remember that far back, Cheikh Samb’s scouting report went like this:
Samb is a former draft pick of the Pistons who, at the time, measured 7’1 and 195lbs. He was drafted as a long term project, who needed to develop his frame (obviously) as well as his skills. The Piston then brought him over to the NBA a year later, yet a two year NBA odyssey saw stints with 4 teams (Detroit, Denver, L.A. Clippers, New York) yet absolutely no production. Samb spent a month with Real Madrid last year, but disappointed and didn’t earn a longer term contract, and while he went to summer league with the Raptors this year, he fouled 17 times in 49 minutes. Samb is athletic, a good shotblocker, and interested rebounder, and a pretty good jumpshooter; however, he’s now 26, and a lack of stable employment in his professional season hasn’t helped his development, which hasn’t gone according to plan. The D-League is the best place for him right now.
Fall doesn’t have the jumpshot, is even rawer offensively, and even thinner. He’s never proven himself able to handle the physical play, which is more important than his height. But he’s still a shotblocking 7’1 centre. That’s not easy to find in round seven.
For a description of his professional career thus far, read this slightly favourably written Wikipedia page.
98th: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Tyler Hughes, Kansas State
Hughes played three years at Kansas State, posting season best averages of 2.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in his sophomore season. Since leaving, he has played in all the American minor leagues, including being drafted by the Dakota Wizards in 2008. And last season in Uruguay, Hughes averaged 16.8ppg, 11.6rpg and 2.5bpg on 60% shooting.
He is nicknamed “Bird Man” for his combination of athleticism and 7 foot height, in a homage to NBA stalwart Chris Andersen, who goes by the same nickname. But Hughes did something worse than Andersen has ever done. Something far less comfortable.
Andersen used hard drugs, but Tyler Hughes is a registered sex offender.
This is why he left Kansas State after only three seasons. The team dismissed him in August 2006 after finding out that three months previously, Hughes had been placed on the Kansas Bureau of Invesitgation’s sex offenders register for a crime involving young boys, for incidents that took place many years previously. (You can see his entry in the register here.) In an incident (or rather, incidents) that occurred before he was 18, Hughes committed repeated and sustained “aggravated indecent liberties” with two male victims under the age of 14, that went on for “a number of years.” (Those quotes are from here. Notably, Hughes’s entry in the register cites the purported victim age as 10.)
Maybe he made a mistake and deserves a chance. Maybe he did something unforgivable and doesn’t deserve a second chance whatsoever. I don’t know which it is. By law, we’re not allowed to know the specifics of the guilt – it seems stupid to not hear both sides of the story like this, but it’s the law, and it protects the victims, so this is the way it has to be. We can therefore only know what we’re told. But I do know that he plead guilty, is compliant with his punishment terms and conditions, and keeps getting those second chances.
Either way, we had to know this.
99th: – Maine Red Claws – Eugene Spates, Northeastern
In three years at Northeastern, Spates never shot better than 37% from the field, and never scored more than 7.9 points per game. However, in a strange twist of fate, Spates’s first professional season saw him average 34.6ppg, 13.2rpg, 3.9apg and 2.1bpg on 56% shooting. This is because he dropped all the way down to the lower regions of basketball, playing for a team in the Luxembourg second division by the rather amusing name of BC Mess. We’ve never had a player covered on this website ever play in Luxembourg before, and thus we’ve certainly never had a player in the Luxembourgish second division before. The arse end of the D-League draft serves up these pleasures.
100th: – Texas Legends – Curtis Terry, UNLV
In his senior season at UNLV, Terry averaged 10.8ppg, 3.2rpg and 4.9apg, playing as a 6’5 point guard. Not bad. This led to Terry being drafted in the 2008 D-League draft, in the 4th round by the L.A. D-Fenders. Terry played in 19 games with the team and averaged 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds on 32% shooting. He then played last year in Angola, of all places, where statistics are unavailable. Terry is a decent defender, a big point guard, versatile and a good shooter, but with no standout facets other than his height advantage, and very little dribble-drive game.
Curtis Terry fact: Curtis Terry is Jason Terry’s brother. The younger brother is normally the better brother. Not this time, though.
101st: – Springfield Armor – Garrison Johnson, Jackson State
This cheerful looking chap averaged 18.1ppg, 4.5rpg, 1.5apg and 1.0spg in his senior season at Jackson State last year, was best defensively, and won the SWAC player of the year award. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he shot 37% from the field, is not hugely athletic, and is not a good outside shooter. The worst news is that he doesn’t seem to understand how little the D-League pays.
102nd: – Iowa Energy – Bobby Maze, Tennessee
Bobby Maze says that his favourite player is Allen Iverson, and you can see where the influence comes from. He too is a quick and athletic point guard, dynamic in the open floor and with plenty of flair. And he even looks a bit like him in the face.
Unfortunately, it ends there. Maze is not a bad defender, but only when he wants to be one, and he’s only ever wanted to be one in big situations. The rest of the time, he’s just not that good at it. His jumpshot is poor, he’s not able to get to the rim with any ease, he can’t run a pick and roll, and he’s inconsistent. That leaves a midrange jumpshooting inconsistent fast break point guard with questionable defense. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed, but it’s not been fixed yet.
…..Actually, that’s quite an accurate description of Iverson as well. Minus the relentless ability to score in the halfcourt.
103rd: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – Antoine Tisby, South Carolina
Tisby left South Carolina four years ago, and has since piled up the air miles. He started in the German minor leagues, then moved to the CBA to play for the Butte Daredevils, a team which would be much funnier if it was pronounced how it is spelt. After that came stints in disparate places such as the IBL, Chile, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Mexico and Uruguay, and last season Tisby encountered three stops; Chile again, the Lebanon, and New Zealand again. Indeed, Tisby was playing up until mid-October with Mexican team Lobos Grises de la UAD Durango; with four teams in four continents in a 12 month span, he certainly puts his work in.
As for that work consists of, it’s mainly rebounding. Tisby is not a scorer, and what he does get, he gets around the basket. He does so inefficiently, with turnovers and bad free throw shooting, and is a 6’8 230lb not especially athletic centre. Wherever he’s played since leaving South Carolina, he’s pretty much dominated, but the D-League is a step up from those places. So time will tell how he responds.
104th: – Utah Flash – Amadou Mbodji, Jacksonville State
In his senior season at Jacksonville State – not to be confused with Garrison Johnson’s Jackson State – Bodge averaged 5.7ppg, 5.3rpg and 1.8bpg, shooting 57% from the field and 74% from the free throw line. He measures in at about 6’10 and 225lbs, and is a Senegalese big man. Anything else would be guess work on my part, so instead, here’s some really poorly dimensioned tape. (He’s the tall one in white.)
So, a smaller and less productive Bamba Fall, it appears. If it seems like all tall thin Senegalese shotblocking centres get stereotyped and readily compared to each other, then maybe it’s their own fault for being too damn similar.
105th: – Dakota Wizards – Mike Gerrity, USC
Gerrity played for three different colleges. He started with Pepperdine, averaging 14.1 points, 3.4 assists and 3.8 turnovers per game as a freshman while shooting 22% from the field. He then put up 4.7ppg and 3.5apg in 19 minutes per game in one year at Charlotte – more assists in roughly half the court time – then moved to USC for his senior season to put up 9.3ppg and 3.6apg on 39% shooting. There follows a highlight tape of that senior season.
That video makes him seem like an outside shooter. He isn’t. Gerrity hit only 13 threes combined in his time at Pepperdine and Charlotte, and made only 18 with USC. And most of them are in that video. Gerrity is a good ballhandler, interested defender, and likes to push the ball, but is less good in the halfcourt, can’t finish against much size or athleticism, is not a shooter, and hasn’t size or athleticism of his own. He turned around USC’s season and helped them towards mediocrity, yet that was more to do with the fact that they had no one else at point guard. Well, apart from L’il Romeo.
106th: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – Aaron Nixon, Long Beach State
In his senior season at Long Beach State in 2006/07, Nixon averaged 18.8ppg, 4.9rpg and 3.1apg, good enough for a spot at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. He then spent a couple of years in Israel, leading the Premier League in scoring in the final 10 games of the 2008/09 season with a 19.1ppg scoring average. However, last year wasn’t as good; he played only 26 minutes for Bosnian team Siroki before being released, and didn’t resurface until several months later, when he appeared with Venezuelan team Bucaneros de La Guaira, averaging 11.5ppg, 2.9rpg and 1.6apg per game. (I assume he was injured, but cannot find anything to confirm or deny.) Nixon is a shooter, but he doesn’t do much else.
107th: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – Brandon Hazzard, Troy
Hazzard played for the Bobcats in summer league, at which point I wrote this about him:
Hazzard is a 6’2 scoring guard who just completed a four year career at Troy University in the Sun Belt Conference. I watched him play there – I’m not kidding when I tell you that I will watch anything – and the following is a verbatim quote of my Brandon Hazzard notes.
Very much a scorer with lots of threes. Almost none of anything else. High TO’s. Quick, has a pull-up.
It’s not the lengthiest, exhaustive or most grammatically perfect scouting report in the world, yet a long at the stats corroborates it fairly well. On the season, Hazzard averaged 33.1 minutes, 16.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game; if that doesn’t count as “almost none of anything else,” then nothing does. Hazzard also turned it over 2.3 times per game, resulting in a 0.68:1 assist/turnover ratio. In a 6’2 guard, that’s pretty bad. There are plenty of places in this world suitable for quick jumpshooting undersized scoring guards – France, for example – yet the NBA is not one of them.
Ultimately, Hazzard didn’t appear in any games for Charlotte.
108th: – Bakersfield Jam – Ollie Bailey, Oklahoma City University
Bailey played three years at Rutgers, but saw his averages decline year on year. So he upped sticks and moved to NAIA school Oklahoma City University, averaging 18.7ppg and 8.3rpg as a senior, winning a national title and being named NAIA Player Of The Year. Bailey’s two professional seasons thus far have seen stints in Switzerland, Argentina, Uruguay, the Czech Republic and Venezuela, highlighted by a 25.6ppg, 8.6rpg stint in Switzerland with SAM Massagno.
He’s also the benefactor (or the victim) of one of my favourite occurrences in minor league basketball; the classic unbelievably favourable scouting report written by the agent. According to that blurb, there’s nothing Ollie Bailey can’t do.
109th: – Tulsa 66ers – Marlon Jones, Oklahoma City University
Jones was who Ollie Bailey replaced in OKC’s frontcourt. The 6’10 centre was a member of the OKC team that won the national championship in 2007, but missed all of 2007/08, which was Bailey’s one year. Jones then returned for the 2008/09 season and averaged 5.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 23 minutes per game. He did not play in 2009-10. I don’t know what part of that the 66ers are digging.
110th: – Austin Toros – Shagari Alleyne, Manhattan College
Alleyne is no stranger to the D-League, having been there for parts of the last three seasons. His CV contains some pedigree; three years of D-League, three years of college at Kentucky, one NBA contract (Philadelphia, 2007 training camp), some stints in the PBL, and a stay with the Globetrotters. The reason he gets all this work is because he’s 7’3, and there just aren’t many 7’3 guys out there. However, Alleyne is about to turn 27, and still hasn’t many developed skills to go with that height.
Last year, Alleyne started in Norway, then returned to the D-League and averaged 3.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, before moving to the Halifax Rainmen of the PBL. It’s now the Toros’s turn to keep him for a month.
111th: – Erie BayHawks – Dawan Robinson, Rhode Island
Robinson is another former training camp signee, joining the Clippers for a fortnight in 2006. Since then, he has toured Europe, leading the French division in scoring and averaging 13.1ppg in the ULEB Cup for Polish team Slask. He’s spent the last two years in Italy; however, as this blurb indicates, it’s not gone well.
Rhode Island guard Dawan Robinson has spent two years in Italy with incredibly little to show for it. He signed with Prima Veroli in Lega Due to begin the 2008-09 season, but managed only three games before breaking his hand. He returned 4 months later and played 7 more games, but broke his foot in the days before their season finale. Robinson stuck with Prima Veroli to begin this season, obviously hoping for a better run of things. However, in an eerie coincidence, he once again got injured after only three games, breaking his foot for the second time. Robinson never played again for Veroli; when he was ready to return to action this February, he joined Serie A team Umana Reyer as a replacement for the injured Kiwame Garris. And inevitably, he then broke his foot for the third time only two days after signing. That’s three foot breaks in a year, and 13 total games in two seasons. Poor guy.
Injuries have been the story of Robinson’s career – in fact, they’ve been the story of his career since 2004, when he had to redshirt his senior season. They are why he’s gone from the cusp of Serie A to being drafted behind Marlon Jones. Robinson turns 29 in a couple of months and is here to put his career back together; when healthy, he is an athletic slashing high scoring 6’2 guard, who can be a bit wild and who is no point guard, and who doesn’t shoot jumpshots well, but who will get after it defensively. Or at least, he was all those things, before the injuries. We’ll just have to see where he’s at now.
111th: – Idaho Stampede – Willie Jenkins, Tennessee Tech
Jenkins averaged 19.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 4.0 turnovers per game as a senior at Tennessee Tech, way back in 2004-05. Since then, he has been at familiar haunts; Turkey, Israel, France and Germany, most recently playing in 2008-09 with French second division team Le Portel. Jenkins averaged 9.6ppg and 5.0rpg there, but shot only 37% from the field in 27 games, and did not play last season. Here’s some tape that makes him look like a much better three point shooter than he actually is.
113th: – Idaho Stampede – J.T Tiller, Missouri
Tiller just graduated from Missouri, averaging 8.9ppg, 3.1rpg, 3.3apg and 1.6spg per game. He was a starter, a leader and a mainstay of the team; the starting point guard and the instigator of the irritating defense that made them tick. Tiller can’t shoot threes, can only hit mid-range shots if you give him a while, is not great off the dribble, nor much of a half court point guard; however, he’s good in the open court, and because of his defense, he gets those opportunities a lot.
114th: – Erie BayHawks – Jimmy Conyers, Akron
Conyers just graduated from Akron with averages of 10.1 points and 6.7 rebounds in his senior season. He shot 51% from the field, but never boasted an assist/turnover ratio above 0.8:1 in his four seasons at the school, and hit only 31 three pointers in 129 games. He’s decently athletic and defensively versatile, but is also a four stuck in a two’s body, without the handle or the shot.
115th: – Austin Toros – Cornelius “Scooter” McFadgon, Tennessee
McFadgon is a D-League veteran. He was in it last season, and used to be one of the best players in it. Here’s a blurb about what he did last year:
Scoot-Mac started the year in France to play for Brest. (French people do know that this is a funny place name, don’t they?) Brest only play in the French second division, yet McFadgon was released before the season started (apparently due to injury) and returned to the D-League, drafted as a member of the expansion Maine Red Claws. He was waived in late November before the season began, and moved to Argentina to play for Quilmes Mar del Plata. In 26 Argentinian league games, Scooter has averaged 10.8 points in 24 minutes per game.
Scoots averaged 18.6 points per game for the Bakersfield Jam in 2006/07, plus 16.0ppg more the following year. He averaged similar numbers in his final two years for Tennessee, transferring into the program during a down time and giving them something to cheer for, and earning a training camp contract with the Hornets in 2006. Fadge had no three point jumpshot and relied upon slashing and mid-range jumpers for his points, so they weren’t the most inefficient points in the world. However, they were still points, and his production has tailed off quite a lot since then, as evidenced by the previous blurb. Scooter never could defend and still can’t; now nearly 29 years of age, he’s barely on the cusp of a league he once shone in.
116th: – Tulsa 66ers – Michael Sturns, Holy Family
Sturns once led the country in scoring. He played three years at North Texas, averaging 12.1 points per game as a junior, but transferred to Division 2 Holy Family because he wanted to play more point guard than North Texas would let him. Once at Holy Family, he averaged 26.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 3.0apg and 2.3spg on 47% shooting, and was subequently drafted by the Toros in the 5th round of the 2008 D-League draft. Sturns never played in the D-League, however, moving to Japan to play for BJ League team Rizing Fukuoka, which has to pose a strong challenge for the best team name of all time. (Especially since the renaming of Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants.) Once there, Sturns averaged a further 17.8ppg, 6.1rpg, 2.3apg and 3.1spg, but shot only 34% from the field and 32% from three point range. Sturns shots 140 field goals and 34 free throws in only 245 minutes of action, scoring only 142 points in the process. Huge numbers, but woeful efficiency.
117th: – Bakersfield Jam – Maurice Acker, Marquette
Acker shot 33% from the field as a freshman at Ball State, then transferred to Marquette. He barely played, but got a chance when Dominic James got injured, and ended up becoming a starter by his senior season. Last year, Acker averaged the unspectacular numbers of 8.7ppg, 3.7apg and 1.2spg in 29 minutes per game, but he did shoot 50% from three point range while boasting a 3.1:1 assist/turnover ratio. However, that’s mainly because Marquette’s offense involved basically no risk whatsoever. Acker is a solid little player, but the word “little” is unfortunately imperative there, for he is only 5’8.
118th: – Sioux Falls Skyforce – J.R. Inman, Rutgers
Inman played 4 years at Rutgers, and four bizarre years at that. The 6’9 forward never shot better than 42% from the field, never bested a 0.48:1 assist/turnover ratio, and never came close to replicating the 1.8bpg average of his freshman season, yet he slowly upped his averages to 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in 32 minutes per game in his junior season. Then as a season, those numbers went into freefall, and Inman finished his Rutgers career averaging only 4.9/4.8 in 21mpg on 38% shooting. This is in no small part because he fell out with his coach, Fred Hill, who he felt lied to him and mistreated him many times. Indeed, so angry was Inman at this, that he openly stated he’d quite like to punch Hill in the face. And then some. It’s quite the diatribe.
After finally getting free of his arch nemesis, Inman went to the Czech Republic to play for Ostrava, averaging 7.7 points and 6.1 rebounds. He then moved to Japan in midseason to play for BJ League team , averaging a further 8.2ppg and 6.4rpg. Neither of those numbers are particularly impressive, and Inman’s once-decent draft stock is now nought but a memory. Is this really Fred Hill’s fault? JR says yes.
119th: – Fort Wayne Mad Ants – DeAndre Thomas, Robert Morris (NAIA)
Thomas started his adult life with two years at junior college, before transferring to Indiana. He averaged 3.6 points, 2.3 fouls and 1.8 rebounds in 11 minutes per game in one season there, and transferred from the Hoosiers to the NAIA Robert Morris (the one which Othyus Jeffers and Billy Rush went to) after the Kelvin Sampson debacle saw the program implode. After his senior season at Robert Morris, Thomas played 10 games with the PBL’s Halifax Rainmen, averaging 2.2ppg and 2.3rpg, then went to the IBL and averaged 16.6/9.3 for the Albany Legends. He he already signed and left teams in both Chile and the ABA before this draft started. Thomas is easy to pigeon-hole: his measurements of 6’8 and 295lbs should give you some clue as to Thomas’s strengths; the fouls, inefficient scoring and measurements should also give some clue as to his weakness. Size isn’t a virtue unless you can do something with it.
120th: – Dakota Wizards – Joe Darger, UNLV
Darger played in the D-League last year, drafted in the 5th round by tue Utah Flash and playing 6 games and 17 minutes during a mid-January call-up. After the season finished, Darger played in the WBA with a team called the Cartersville Baseline Warriors; this, however, is not a reflection of how Darger plays. He’s not synonymous with being baseliney or warrior-like; instead, he’s a shooter. To put that into some context, Darger shot 251 field goal attempts in his senior season at UNLV, and all but 40 of them were threes. Andy Rautins did something very similar and got drafted, but Rautins can pass and defend a bit. Darger can’t pass, dribble, rebound or defend. He’s there to shoot and shoot only, and he’s not Steve Novak.
Joe Darger fact: his dad is a polygamist. ShamSports.com: NBA-DL news that doesn’t really matter, but which you’d probably like to know.
121st: – Utah Flash – Kent Tuttle, BYU
The draft is nearly over, but the surprises keep coming. We’ve had a Luxembourgian second division superstar, a registered sex offender…..and now, a guy who doesn’t even play basketball.
Kent Tuttle went to BYU, but he did not play basketball there. Instead, he played volleyball.
Somehow, after graduating this summer, this led to him trying out for a basketball career. Tuttle went to the Eurobasket Summer League, and played well against a minnow standard of competition, and then landed a tryout with Austrian team Furstenfeld. He then had tryouts with the Flash, and while he didn’t win a spot as a local tryout player, he clearly impressed them enough to pick him. All this without having played college basketball. It’s certainly not the conventional route.
Tuttle is 6’6, 225lbs, and can get up. Does he have any skills other than that? As of right now, we have absolutely no idea. But he must have something to have gotten drafted.
122nd: – Rio Grande Valley Vipers – David Potter, Clemson
Potter has absolutely no off-the-dribble game. He can’t handle the ball, create for himself, create for others, shoot jumpshots off the bounce, get to the basket, or even finish there. He hits some open threes, some open two point jumpers, and is improved as a foul shooter, but that’s about it. And they do have to be open. Defensively, things are better; Potter gambles a bit, but is intelligent and tough, which overcomes his underwhelming size for the forward spots (6’6) and his average athleticism. He might be best served as a two guard, but it’s hard to be a guard if you can’t dribble. (Then again, Keith Bogans manages.)
123rd: – Iowa Energy – David Nurse, Western Illinois
I’d tell you how a 6’3 Summit League guard who averaged 9.2ppg, 2.8rpg and 1.5apg on 36% shooting in his senior season made it into the D-League draft, if I knew. But honestly, I don’t know. Nurse made his reputation for his defensive play, yet he’d have to be quite the defensive player to overcome those numbers in that conference. Nevertheless, David himself has uploaded a highlight video.
Got the ol’ Mark Jackson jumpshot release there. Like it.
124th: – Springfield Armor – Antoine Pearson, Manhattan
Pearson shared a backcourt with the aforementioned Rico Pickett at Manhattan last season, and now shares an agent. Playing alongside Pickett, Pearson averaged 7.9ppg, 2.3rpg and 2.1apg, shooting 39% from the field, 29% from 3, and 66% from the line. Pearson’s efficiency actually went down year on year, and his scoring production also noticeably declined from the 12.2ppg he put up as a sophomore (on 44% shooting with 41% 3pt). Pearson can handle the ball, but 2 assists a game with an as-near-as-is 1:1 ratio isn’t going it done as a point guard.
125th: – Texas Legends – Rece Hampton, Adams State
Hampton left Division 2 Adams State in 2008, after averaging 15.6ppg, 8.0rpg, 2.2bpg and 2.0spg as a senior. Those “big man” numbers come from a 6’5 player who, athleticially at least, is best suited to the wing. Since that time, Hampton has scrounged out a living in the ABA and IBL, where he played most recently for the Battle Creek Knights, averaging 19.7ppg and 8.1rpg.
Hampton’s name is actually William. Don’t know where the Rece comes from. Nor why it’s spelt like that.
126th: – Maine Red Claws – Armon Bassett, Ohio
Bassett made a bit of a name for himself in the NCAA tournament last year, due in no small part to getting there in the first place. The Indiana transfer paired up with freshman backcourt teammate D.J. Cooper and took the MAC team to the big dance for the first time in five years, then surpassed themselves by knocking off number 3 seed Georgetown in the opening round. (Georgetown should never have been a number three seed, but that’s not the point.) Bassett played the whole game, and scored 32 points with 3 assists to lead the Bobcats to the upset win. He didn’t play well in the second round game against Bobby Maze’s Tennessee, shooting 2-10 with 7 turnovers, but at least he got them there.
However, although Bassett impressed and put himself out there with his performances, no one told him that he didn’t raise his stock high enough to get drafted. He can certainly shoot, but he’s an extremely undersized two who makes bad decisions, takes bad shots, isn’t much of a point guard, only drives left, and who doesn’t play defense. He should have gone back and tried to do the same thing again, alongside an improved Cooper. As it is, he’s now beginning his professional basketball career drafted behind a volleyball player. It might work out for him anyway, but he didn’t seem to make the right decision.
127th: – New Mexico Thunderbirds – Alex Zampier, Yale
For Yale last year, Zampier averaged 17.4ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.4apg and 2.0spg. He also shot 39% from the field, 30% from the three point line, turned it over 3.1 times per game, and is an unathletic 6’3 off-guard. But against Ivy League defense, he could certainly drive the ball, as evidenced here.
128th: – Reno Bighorns – Gerard Anderson, Cal. State Fullerton
With the 128th and last pick, the Bighorns picked an athlete. Most definitely, they did that. Here’s some clips of Anderson dunking.
In addition to the dunking, Anderson also put up 12.0 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Those were flawed numbers; Anderson’s a 6’6 swingman, but he has no jumpshot range, turns it over way too much, and doesn’t play the defense like an athlete of that calibre should. Nevertheless, if he gets transition opportunities, there’ll be some fun to be had.
Those players will pair up with the returning, allocated and local tryout players to form the training camp rosters. There’s too many players listed there to do capsules for them as well – just know that for the good ones, they can be found elsewhere on the site.
Because this post took so long to write, many camp cuts have already been made, and so some of those players will not be beginning the season on D-League rosters. Indeed, many of them won’t play in it at all. Many will, though, and there’s plenty of talent to be found in that list. With some amusing trivia and the occasional registered sex offender uncovered along the way, we’ve seen that there’s talent all the way through the draft board, and a talented-looking top end comprising of fringe NBA talents. When combined with the incumbent talent found in the returning and allocated players list, the attraction of the upcoming D-League season is (hopefully) obvious.
The D-League season starts next week, and it’s going to be stacked this year. If you have not previously watched enough D-League in the past, make sure that this is the season you change that. If only for the fact that you’ll be watching next season’s NBA starters.
Hooray for lockouts.