August 21, 2010
- Shaun Pruitt - Former Illinois big man Pruitt made the Warriors training camp roster last year, and subsequently played in Greece and Puerto Rico. He's a strong 6'10 centre, interior defender and incredibly good rebounder, but who is not a good offensive player, and who shoots everything he can find anyway. Pruitt was released by his Puerto Rican team last season for unexplained "disciplinary problems", which doesn't bode well; however, the team brought him back at the very end of the season, so whatever it was, it can't have been too bad.
July 12, 2010
Illinois graduate was briefly in the NBA last year when he signed with the Warriors for training camp. He didn't make the team, however, and therefore went to Greece to play for Peristeri. But Pruitt appeared in only 2 games and 24 minutes with the team before they released him in favour of Gary Wilkinson, unsatisfied with Pruitt's performance. (Can't see how 24 minutes was enough to really asses his performance, but that's the Greek way sometimes.) Pruitt then signed early for the Puerto Rican season, and averaged 18.8 points and a league leading 13.4 rebounds per game, six of which were offensive. He had only 17 assists all year and shot 39% from the foul line, so he's still prone to Shaun Pruitt-like moments, but those rebounding numbers don't lie and are not to be sniffed at. (Also in that BSN season, Pruitt managed to get released for disciplinary reasons, although he returned a month later.)
Pruitt is a big old boy who can clearly rebound. However, he's not a very good scorer. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if he didn't constantly try to score.
June 7, 2010
Shaun Pruitt - 24 games, 34.3 mpg, 18.8 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 2.3 fpg, 0.5 spg, 1.3 bpg, 51% FG, 40% 3PT, 39% FT
Isabela Cocks started the season with a double team of Pruitt and Green. (Filthy girl.) Green was playing well early, but injured his knee after four games, and missed a couple of games. He returned, but his performance tailed off, and he was released three games later, replaced by Alando Tucker. Tucker was fresh out of the NBA after being waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and after a pretty terrible debut (16 points on 21 shots), he started to play well for the team. However, his performance also began to tail off, totalling only 15 points and 2 rebounds in his final two games with the team, and he was released at the All-Star break after only 6 games.
Tucker was replaced by CBA staple, Lee Benson, an elder statesmen with comparatively little higher level basketball experience due to the fact that he spent almost all of his 20's in prison. Nevertheless, he was a valid NBA draft candidate in 2002 at the age of 28, after only one season of junior college; this speaks to his talent level. He's been demonstrating that talent in China lately, averaging 34.1 ppg, 18.8 rpg, 5.6 apg and 2.0 bpg in the CBA in the 2008/09 season, and playing there again this year. However, even though prison was supposed to teach him discipline, it didn't seem to; Benson and Pruitt were both released in early May for disciplinary reasons, even though they were two of the team's only 5 good players at the time, and the two best rebounders in the entire league. For more on that, read here.
Isabella doesn't take it lying down, though, and another CBA veteran (LaSalle forward Reggie Okosa) and another NBA training camper (Jared Reiner) were quickly brought into her fold. (Giggidies all round.) The duo played the last seven games of the regular season, putting up the solid but unspectacular numbers outlined above - the only thing of note was that Reiner, who had not hit a single three pointer in either his college or professional career (a span of 10 years and several hundred games) suddenly started to reform himself into a three point shooter. He attempted sixteen of them in 8 games, making four, and somehow managed to attempt only 3 free throws to 107 total field goals. Maybe the now-28 year old Reiner has begun to subscribe to the Paul Shirley school of thought, whereby he'll only continue the slog of professional basketball if he can do what's fun for him, i.e. jumpshots. I'm not sure that it's helping him in the short term.
However, around came the playoffs. The eighth seeded Cocks were matched up against the mighty Bayamon. And it didn't go well. Isabela was run ragged in their opening game, losing by a whopping 40 points and somehow giving up 114 points in a 40 minute game. Instant changes were made; Reiner and Okosa were released, NBA veteran Sam Clancy was brought in, and, bizarelly, Pruitt returned for the team's last two games. But it made no difference. The depthless Cocks were firmly screwed by the mighty Cowboys (who presumably then ate pudding), and the sweep was wrapped up with relative ease.
May 8, 2010
Puerto Rican BSN team Gallitos de Isabella yesterday released big men Shaun Pruitt and Lee Benson for "problemas de conducta." The pair were released after Isabela's 86-76 to the Arecibo Captains on Wednesday night, a game in which Benson had 9 points and 18 rebounds, and Pruitt posted 16/16. The team moved swiftly in replacing them, signing ex-NBA centre Jared Reiner and former La Salle player Reggie Okosa (mentioned at length here).
Pruitt and Benson were first and second in the league in rebounding, at 13.5 and 13.4 rebounds per game respectively. Only two other players grab double figure rebounds per game; Michael Sweetney of Santurce (12.3 rpg) and Manuel Narvaez of Ponce (10.4rpg), so to release the duo is no small move. Teams around the world tend to be trigger happy with their imports; Benson himself was a replacement for Alando Tucker, who was previously a replacement for Devin Green. Puerto Rican teams are no different in their treatment of their American players. Nevertheless, to release arguably your two best players due to their indiscretions, regardless of the calibre of their replacements, is a highly respectable statement.
This is one part of the worldwide basketball scene that the NBA will sadly never adopt.
("Gallitos de Isabela" translates as "the Cocks of Isabella". Poor girl.)
April 14, 2010
- Shaun Pruitt
Illinois graduate was briefly in the NBA when he signed with the Warriors for training camp. He didn't make the team and therefore went to Greece to play for Peristeri. However, Pruitt appeared in only 2 games and 24 minutes with the team before they released him in favour of Gary Wilkinson, unsatisfied with Pruitt's performance. Can't see how 24 minutes was enough to really asses his performance, but that's the Greek way sometimes. Pruitt then signed early for the Puerto Rican season, and currently averages 17.9 points and a league leading 14.4 rebounds per game, six of which are offensive. He has only 10 assists all year and is shooting 40% from the foul line, so he's still prone to Shaun Pruitt-like moments, but those rebounding numbers don't lie and are not to be sniffed at. He is 3.7 rebounds per game ahead of the guy in second place in the BSN, Alphonse Dyer.