Good afternoon D-League fans. Sorry I didn't get my morning post up - the perfect storm occured. I went to bed early last night as I felt terrible (like "Robocop getting his hand shot off" terrible) after my workout. I fell asleep watching Arrested Development (this made me sad because I would do anything for new episodes of this show; and I know, I know, but I don't actually think that movie will ever happen). Then my alarm never went off. So I was late for class. No breakfast. No time to warm up my car (I'm getting sick of winter - it's snowing as I type this). All this = no morning recap. But I'm on it now. We had just the one game last night and let's run it down (and as usual, since it's an Ants game I'll always go into a bit more detail).
This was a goody that went into overtime and saw the Ants blowing a ten point 4th quarter lead and getting lucky off a Taj McCullough layup to even force the overtime (in which, they were obviously outscored quite a bit). The game saw 19 lead changes and 15 ties and boy oh boy do I wish I was in Utah to see this one in person (well, maybe not; I probably would have cursed often). Dontell Jefferson went nuts. He had 38 points in the game and 18 of those came in the fourth (and 5 coming in OT). On top of that monstrous total he managed 5 dimes and 2 steals. Ouch.
You can chalk this one up to bad rebounding, as the Ants were outmuscled on the glass 47-32. Ain't gonna do the trick. Utah's 53% FG percentage also helped a great deal (no way!) and they shot 47% from long-range. But hey, when a team turns the ball over 27 times in a game you should be able to walk away with a win. But oh yeah...there was that rebounding thing....
The Ants also shot 17% from Treytah (that's trey+ utah; which oddly enough equals "Ben's out of ideas and isn't very funny"). Dewitt Scott is back into his slump. He shot 1 for 6 from beyond the arc; scoring just 5 points and not much else in 32 minutes of play. And speaking of insignificant minutes, what happened to Carl Elliott? He was out there for 43 minutes and managed just 8 points, 5 boards, and 3 turnovers. I suppose, in their defense, the Flash do have some attractive dancers. Eh, not particularly. I don't know what to blame this one on.
Walker Russell had another beast of a night in more ways than one. 29 points and 13 boards are the one way. And the 8 turnovers go the other way. Again, a beast of a night for WRJ. Chris Hunter fouled out in just 33 minutes of play, but put up 21 points and grabbed 9 boards and Ron Howard had 25 in the loss. Taj McCullough had 20 points...sadly it took him 20 shots to get there. His 9 boards tried to make up for it however. And Shawn Hawkins didn't play. I'm hoping he's injured, because there's no reason he shouldn't be the go-to sixth man on this team. And let me clarify: I never hope anyone is injured (except maybe Chris Paul when he's playing the Pacers), I'm just looking for a reason as to why Hawk didn't play last night. I'm not evil. Though that cheap shot at the Flash dancers was uncalled for.
Utah's Carlos Wheeler had 12 points and 12 boards off the bench but also 5 turnovers (there are always "buts" in this league - I guess that explains a lot though *shrugs shoulders* *promises to never use asterisks again to explain a physical reaction on a blog*). And though forward Bennet Davis shot just 4 for 11 last night, he had 4 blocks. And 4 blocks is always worth noting. Andrew Ingram had 21, 6 boards, and 3 steals in the Utah win. Woot woot. Mad Ants losing again. Now this is more like it!
The Prospect Watch has a new article up concerning the top 5 potential call ups - a list that of course is missing Walker Russell. He's out-assisting everyone in the league by a mile. Having Will Conroy on this list, and not Russell just blows my mind. Isn't the job of the point guard to distribute the ball well? It's easy to see which of these two players does that better. Not to say that Will doesn't deserve to be on this list. We could probably knock Ronald Dupree off (no offense to Ron, as he'd probably be my number 6 guy anyway) and add WRJ. Russell's the most NBA-ready point guard you're going to find who's not already in the NBA (because yes, you can be an NBA-ready point guard who's already in the NBA, stupid). There's also an interesting comment in the blog talking about James White's bad attitude on the court. Sounds pretty nasty. This could be a big reason why he's not with the Spurs as we speak. I've always like White, but if this happens to be true, I cannot support someone like that (if anyone knows more on this please let loose in the comments; I'd love to know more about it). Though it's always been a battle with me - seperating the basketball player from his personality - as I'm convinced most NBA players are the type of people I would not get along with. I'm sure our values are just a tad different. ANYWAY, read the blog. It's a good one and who doesn't love blogging on the D-League? :) (no asterisks!) PS. This video is awesome.
And on an end note, I saw that the 14ers acquired Vernon Hamilton yesterday, which is a great pickup for them. Hamilton was with the Ants for four games this season and he shows a lot of promise. He's the all-time steals leader over at Clemson and he's got a good future ahead of him. Three games tonight! I'll see you guys in the morning.