Expect to hear Reggie Williams's name a lot this year.
Apologies that I can't talk about this game from the perspective of having seen the games, but without them being on Futurecast, here we are. I have seen many of these guys play before, so I'll try to bring that to the recaps of these preseason games.
You should expect to win a game when you shoot twice as many free throws as the other team and turn the ball over eight fewer times, and that's exactly what Dakota did. Curtis Withers, the man Coach Rory White called "like Ben Wallace but with better offense" certainly rebounded like Wallace, with seven boards (four on the offensive end) coming in a little under 19 minutes. Darren Cooper came off the bench to make all four of his three-pointers, which was needed because the rest of the team shot only 4-14 from behind the arc. Romel Beck had 13 points and almost nothing else, because he's Romel Beck. Marcus Dove got the start at center and picked up 10 points (though they came on eight shots), eight rebounds and five steals. For the Skyforce, Reggie Williams picked up where he left off in college, leading all scorers with 27 points on 17 shots. I have a feeling he'll be doing that all season. Oh, and he also had six rebounds, four offensive. Greg Stiemsma had 14 points, nine rebounds (four offensive) and two blocks getting the start at center. I wasn't crazy about him last year, but that's very solid. Oh, except for the five turnovers in 25 minutes. Leemire Goldwire also had problems in that department, turning the ball over four times in a little under 19 minutes. Joe Krabbenhoft made both of his threes, Pete Campbell made all three of his, Michael Joiner shot 2-3 from behind the arc...this team will be able to score, no question.
Looking at this game, I think we can call each team's point guard search a work in progress. Kyle McAlarney got the start for the Mad Ants, and he shot the ball okay, 3-5, but he had just three assists in 25 and a half minutes. Former NBA player (and I should add, former NBA shooting guard) Donell Taylor was even worse running things, with two assists and needing 10 shots to get nine points. Taylor had six rebounds, though, and the two players had just one turnover between them (it was Taylor's), and McAlarney's competition Andres Sandoval was slightly better (four assists in a little under 16 minutes), but that problem facilitating spread throughout their teams. Erie had just 15 assists on 34 made field goals and Fort Wayne had 20 on 36. Given how coveted Alade Aminu seemed to be around the draft, I was a little surprised to see Jarvis Gunter got the start ahead of him, but last year's backup to Erik Daniels played very well, making all four of his field goals and grabbing 11 rebounds in a little over 19 minutes. Not having Chris Hunter hurt there, I'd imagine, and Erie's backup John Bryant added nine boards in 21 and a half minutes. Fort Wayne's DeWitt Scott and Erie's Ivan Harris were both three-point shooters last year, but in this game they combined to take only one outside shot, a Scott miss. Odd. Rob Kurz shot the ball terribly, going 1-10 and missing all five of his three-pointers, but he made up in other areas by grabbing 13 rebounds and picking up five assists, three steals, and three blocks. Oh, except that he also turned the ball over five times and fouled out in less than half an hour of playing time. Methinks someone was trying to do too much, perhaps to prove he should be back in the NBA.