Former McNeese State guard Demond Mallet is playing with Turk Telekom Ankara. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.2 assists per game in their EuroCup campaign, and averages 10.2 points and 3.2 assists per game in the Turkish league. He does this while taking two three-pointers for every one two-pointer, and yet shoots them at a relatively sedate 35.6%. When he’s hot, he’s hot. When he’s not, he’s not. This is the level of analysis you come here for, no doubt.
Demond Mallet is Shaq’s cousin. They play differently.
Jackie Manuel is much the same player that he ever was; a good-sized strong defensive-specialist perimeter player with sedate offence. He’s scoring more than usual this year, averaging 13.9 points per game in 44 contests for the Erie BayHawks of the D-League, but he’s played a whopping 42 mpg to do so. He is also shooting only 29% from three-point range, 44% from the field, and 62% from the line. If Manuel was two inches taller, better at rebounding in traffic, and had the lure of being a foreigner, someone might think he was the next Thabo Sefolosha. But, now aged 27, a growth spurt doesn’t seem too likely.
Marbury was the best player in China this year. I know, I didn’t believe it either. Shanxi’s season has already ended, and Marbury is now a free agent again. The ACB team Xacobeo Blusens have been rumoured as pursuing him all week; it certainly has helped fuel the story that Xacobeo suspended American forward Jeremiah Massey earlier this for “threatening behaviour” (whatever that involves). However, the latest word is that the Marbury talks have broken down. And it also probably doesn’t help that Xacobeo yesterday completed the acquisition of former NBA forward Paul Davis.
Former Nebraska centre Aleks Maric is Australian, despite the name. He is playing for Partizan Belgrade, a Serbian team that has had a Cinderella-like run in the EuroLeague this year, one that still hasn’t ended. Partizan are currently set to play in the EuroLeague semi-finals against Olympiacos next month, and Maric is the reason why. He has broken out this year to average 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds in only 24 minutes per game in the EuroLeague, alongside 23.4/11.6/7.5 in the Adriatic League. He is tenth overall in the EuroLeague in points per game and second in rebounds; somehow, despite being slower than a Stephen Hawking freestyle, Maric has emerged as one of the best players not in the NBA.
Partizan owe much of their run this year to him. And it’s probably going to be more than they’re able to pay next year.
On some days, Markota is everywhere; driving the ball, fighting on the glass, passing well and spotting up for jump shots, even occasionally capable of playing frustration defence on both the perimeter and interior with his combination of size and speed. And on others, he just can’t be doing with any of that, save for the jump shots bit. He’s good enough to be desirable, but not good enough to coast.
Markota’s minutes are tailored accordingly. Bilbao are a deep team who have underperformed domestically, and inconsistent minutes affect many players on the team, but it’s particularly true of Markota. In his 16 EuroCup games this year, Markota’s minutes per game have read 21, 19, 24, 26, 5, 32, 20, 41, 1, 4, 23, 25, 5, 14, 19 and 7. He has only one double-figure output in that time, a 27-point 7-rebound outburst against Mallet’s Turk Telekom. Overall, Markota is averaging 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in the EuroCup, alongside 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in the ACB. The numbers belie his talent.
Also on that Bilbao team is former UCLA and Celtics big man, Jerome Moiso, whose whole career has been plagued by the same problems with consistency and apathy. You can see what Bilbao did there; by acquiring both, they’ve hedged their bets. If only one of the two brings it on any night, they can just play that guy next to Marko Banic and have a strong front court. I’m pretty sure that this strategy of signing multiple apathetic talents is riddled with the stench of genius. It’s killing one stone with two birds.
Hemofarm product Markovic is still with the team that brought him into the professional basketball world, albeit maybe not for much longer. He averaged 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.2 steals in Hemofarm’s unusually-short EuroCup campaign, alongside 9.2/4.0/4.8/1.5 in the Adriatic League. Rumours abound, however, that Markovic has agreed to sign with Benetton Treviso for next season. It makes sense; Benetton need a guard after the underwhelming performances of Daniel Hackett and the release of Gary Neal, and Markovic’s ability has (presumably) outgrown Hemofarm’s budget.
Of course, Markovic may yet be drafted. And that might change things.
Marshall did not play this year, after spending last year with the Philadelphia 76ers. He appears to have quietly lapsed into unofficial retirement, as he now works with the Sixers as a post-game analyst for Comcast SportsNet.
Rawle Marshall started the season with Valencia, but the coach didn’t like him, and nor did he play all that well. He was released after three poor EuroCup performances, and was replaced by Thomas Kelati. This didn’t really hold Marshall back, though, for he quickly caught on with EuroLeague team ASVEL Villeurbanne. There, he turned it around; Marshall averaged 11.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in ASVEL’s EuroLeague campaign, and averages 8.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in the French league.
You may know of ASVEL as being the team Tony Parker part-owns. Part of the reason for that may be that his less successful basketball playing brother, former Northwestern guard T.J. Parker, is on the ASVEL roster. One brother paying another brother’s wages? I don’t think I could handle that. Not unless I was the rich brother.
Murray is currently the Assistant Director of Player Development within the complicated Minnesota Timberwolves front office hierarchy. He had unofficially retired at the end of the 2007-08 season, yet reappeared as a player on the stacked Los Angeles Lightning IBL team in the summer of 2009. But it wasn’t a comeback; it was just for fun.
Winthrop graduate and former Magic camp signee Martin is playing in Germany for Bremerhaven, one of the other eight Americans mentioned in the earlier Kevin Lyde entry. He is averaging 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 43% from three-point range. Martin is an athletic 6’5, and he both rebounds and shoots the three well. But now is the time for him to learn how to better dribble in traffic.
Mashburn played in only 19 games in the 2003-04 season, then missed all of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 campaigns. The Hornets traded him to the Sixers in that time despite his injury, which must have been quite the indignity, and Philly eventually waived him in February 2006. Mashburn now works as a TV analyst for ESPN, something that he’s very good at, choosing not to try to force a personality onto the viewers like so many of his peers and being entirely inoffensive in his speech. He also co-owns Ol’ Memorial Stables – formerly known as Celtic Pride Stables – alongside Rick Pitino and some other people.