1. Courtney Sims, Iowa – As usual, he was a monster. He averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, and shot 57% from the field. If any NBA GM’s read this, please email at the email listed in my profile and remind me why this man has not been called up yet. It’s almost starting to irritate me. Sims is averaging 23 points, 12.5 boards, and nearly three blocks per game, while shooting 59% from the field.
2. Antonio Meeking, Reno – You know what you’re getting with Meeking, and he showed he’s still a big, consistent force in the paint this week, but also showed that he’s got some range. While Meeking won’t get a call-up (He’s been doing the same thing for the past five years, and he hasn’t sniffed the NBA yet), I’m sure he probably upped the overseas offers this week. He averaged 24 points, 11 boards, hit three of his eight 3-point attempts, and was 17-of-31 from the field altogether.
3. Nick Lewis, Bakersfield – Lewis surprised me this week, though he had to as Bakersfield played just seven players one of their games. On the week, Lewis averaged 20 points and 14 boards, though he shot just 38% from the field. Good week, but with that shooting percentage, the NBA’s not going to be looking.
4. Josh Davis, Colorado – Davis had to step it up this week, as his parter-in-crime James Mays went down for the year with a torn ACL, and step it up he did. Davis averaged 20 points, nine boards, and 4.5 steals. Not sure he’ll get an NBA look this season, but he’s shown in the past he’s not afraid to head overseas if the money is right. Luckily for Colorado, Elton Brown is not on good terms overseas and will probably come back to the D-League soon.
5. Charles Gaines, Austin – Gaines is a bit of an unknown, having not played in the states since his rookie campaign with the Michigan Mayhem in the CBA. Making his return stateside this season, however, he’s showing he can definitely play with the big boys, being one of the last cuts from Spurs camp in the Fall. At the Showcase, he put up averages of 15 points and 12 boards, not far off his averages of 14 and 10 on the season down in Austin.
6. Glen McGowan, Sioux Falls – Glen is another guy that surprised me this week, and someone most people probably aren’t familiar with. Without a big man on the Skyforce’s roster, McGowan had to play some big minutes this week. He averaged 43 minutes a game and put up numbers while he was at it. He averaged 15 points, 13 boards, and two blocked shots while at the Showcase. His numbers on the season are pretty good as well: 17 points, 9 boards, 52% from the field and 40% from 3.
7. Erik Daniels, Erie – Daniels wasn’t as good as he’s been this season at the Showcase, but he still played pretty well, besides his shooting percentage. He averaged 16 points, seven boards, and two steals per game. On the season, Daniels is averaging 20 points and nine boards per game.
1. Coby Karl, Idaho – Coby Karl probably played the best of anyone at the Showcase. Not sure if it’ll earn him a call-up or not, but he did what he had to to give himself a chance. Karl shot 56% from the field, over 50% from 3 (8-of-15), plus he averaged 25 points, nine assists, and six rebounds, with 2.5 steals per game. A player like Karl who’s got experience, great basketball IQ, and can shoot the ball should be exactly what the NBA is looking for.
2. Trey Johnson, Bakersfield – At the Showcase, Johnson played as a 2/3, though he’s probably better a 2/1 in the NBA. Johnson was one of the leading scorers coming out of college with 27 points per game, and he’s trying to equal that while in the D-League, waiting for his first call-up. At the Showcase, he went a long way to getting there, averaging 30 points and six assists, shooting a blistering 59% from the field. Most interesting to me, is he shot just seven 3-pointers (less than Meeking!?), showing he can do work inside (or, alternately, he can’t shoot the 3-ball). On the season, Johnson is averaging 18 points, 4 boards, and 3 assists, so he certainly picked a great time to step his game up.
3. James White, Anaheim – White has shown he can put up big scoring numbers this year, but hasn’t done much else, which probably won’t get him a call-up but rather another nice overseas contract. At the Showcase, White averaged 34 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
4. Marcus Williams, Austin – Marcus Williams probably deserves to be in the NBA more than the Marcus Williams in the NBA deserves to be in the NBA. At the Showcase, Williams played well, averaging 22 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals. This season, Williams is averaging 21 points, eight boards, and four assists per game. If those numbers don’t at least get him called up to the Spurs, I’m not sure what’s going on.
5. Gary Forbes, Sioux Falls – Forbes came off the bench in both games at the Showcase for Sioux Falls, but played well in his 31 minutes per game. Forbes averaged 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, shooting 66% from the field. Coming off the bench most games for Nate Tibbett’s in Sioux Falls, Forbes is averaging 17 points and five rebounds. While this won’t get him called-up, he certainly got noticed in Orem this week.
6. Cartier Martin, Iowa – Cartier (Love that name) Martin is probably the biggest surprise in the D-League this season. He’s the fifth leading scorer (21.5 ppg) in the D-League right now, and I hadn’t heard much about him before this season! At the Showcase, Cartier averaged 27 points and four rebounds. While he’s probably not a call-up candidate, he is another one that definitely gave himself a chance at catching on at least an NBA camp roster next season.
7. Ronald Dupree – With Dupree, what you see is what you get. Luckily for Dupree, what you see is a very good, well-rounded basketball player. At the Showcase, he did what he’s done all season, averaging 18 points, and five assists, but putting up nine boards, four more boards than what he averages.
8. Othyus Jeffers, Iowa – Jeffers is an interesting player, as he’s basically a 6’4”power forward coming off the bench for the Energy. At the Showcase, Jeffers averaged 23 points, six rebounds, and three steals per game. On the season, Jeffers is averaging 19 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes OFF THE BENCH!
9. Derrick Byars, Bakersfield – Byars has great size, a good pedigree, and is currently putting up numbers after spending the preseason with Oklahoma City. Byars averaged 22 points, six boards, and three assists at the Showcase. On the season, Byars is averaging 17 points and 4.5 boards, starting under half of the Jam’s games.
10. Bobby Jones, Sioux Falls – Bobby has been with about 25 NBA teams, and I assume he’ll be on a few more this season. At the Showcase, he averaged 18 points, 8 boards, and four assists, shooting 58% from the field. Couple those stats with his known ability to shut down the other teams best player, and he ‘ll more than likely be called up soon.
1. Will Conroy, Albuquerque – Bobby Jones former teammate at Washington, Will Conroy is putting up numbers this season, and the Showcase was no different. Granted, he doesn’t have much around him to work with, but 25 points, 7 assists, and 5.5 boards at the Showcase at least showcased himself and led the 3-10 at the time Thunderbirds to back-to-back victories. The one problem I’ve got is his turnovers, though he’s starting to shore them up. On the season, Conroy is averaging 25 points, eight assists, and four rebounds, leading the league in scoring and 3rd in assists.
2. Dontell Jefferson, Utah – Jefferson was traded from the Wizards at the beginning of the season because they had an already crowded back court and DJ wouldn’t get much burn at the point. In Utah, Brad Jones has essentially handed the offense over to Jefferson and let him run with it. Jefferson is playing very well and didn’t let up at the Showcase, as he averaged 21 points, six boards and 3.5 assists. This season, the former Razorback is averaging 15 points, five assists, and five rebounds, with the only big down fall on his game is shot selection.
3. Blake Ahearn, Dakota – Ahearn is a great shooter, but not a great point guard, which is what a 6’2” kid would project to be in the NBA and what he has been trying to do in the D-League. At the Showcase, he averaged 20 points, six assists, and five turnovers, shooting just 42% from the field. Fortunately, if you bring him off the bench and just tell him to get the ball and shoot, he’ll be the best in the D-League. As a focal point of the starting offense however, watch out. I think he threw the worst behind the back pass I’ve ever seen Monday night, unless he really wanted to get my buddy Vance Palm the ball.
4. Maurice Baker, Dakota – Mo is probably the 2nd best pure point guard currently in the D-League, but his upside is limited and he’s not a great shooter. If you need a 3rd point guard to come in and run the offense however, sign him up. He left shortly after the Showcase after playing well and not getting a call-up last year, and I have a feeling something similar will happen this season. At the Showcase, he averaged 17 points, seven boards, and four assists, pretty close to his averages this season: 17 points, 7 rebounds, and five assists. Also, consider this: When he got called-up twice from the Wizards in 2005, he was averaging 17 points, seven assists, and five rebounds.
5. Curtis Stinson, Iowa – Stinson is definitely not an NBA prospect (Though he did play with the Clippers at Summer League this season) but he can put up some well-rounded numbers. At the Showcase, he averaged 9.5 points, eight boards, and eight assists, along with three steals per game. This season, Stinson is averaging 14, 8 and 8, but I have a feeling with Courtney Sims on your team, assists aren’t too tough to rack up.
6. Carl Elliott, Sioux Falls – For some reason, I like Elliott. Elliott averaged 21 points and four assists at the Showcase, shooting 54% from the field. On the season, Elliott is averaging 16 points, four assists, and 3.5 boards per game.