That's When Ya Lost (Last Night in the D-League)

 

I had this song in my head the other day, and it struck me it was a good way to organize the game recaps.  Basically, I'll point out what cost each losing team the game in a big-picture sense.  You'll catch on.

Iowa Energy 107, Tulsa 66ers 104 (Box Score)

  • The Energy shot just 2-11 from outside.  That's when ya...won?  Okay how about this; Iowa shot 17 more free throws than Tulsa.  That's when ya lost.
  • I didn't include Othyus Jeffers in my last call-up rankings, but I will next time around.  16 points on nine shots and some decent defense even though he was again mismatched starting at power forward.  I'm not really sure who to push to the bench to slide him down, though.  Jeff Trepagnier had an off night but has otherwise been pretty solid this season, and Pat Carroll is shooting over 38 percent from outside.
  • Latavious Williams played his biggest minutes of the season, over 32 to be exact, and he came through with 18 points on 12 shots, 18 rebounds and three blocks.  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The 66ers don't come back to Austin until March, and he didn't play last time I saw them, so I'm getting pretty anxious to see him play in person, finally.
  • Cecil Brown had a great shooting night, 5-7 from outside and 6-11 overall.  I haven't talked about him much this season, but he's shooting almost 46 percent on threes and he's a nice complement to Mustafa Shakur in the backcourt.
  • Earl Barron again was an offensive non-entity.  Just go ahead and start Courtney Sims, already.

Hit the jump for the other games.

Austin Toros 119, Los Angeles D-Fenders 103 (Box Score)

  • Michael Fey had his best game in over three weeks with 20 points and eight rebounds.  I'd typically hold it against him that Dwayne Jones had 14 points and 17 rebounds, but that's pretty close to his season average.
  • The D-Fenders had just 12 assists on 40 made field goals.  That's when ya lost.
  • Neither of these teams have a strong bench (especially when Frank Robinson is out with a hamstring injury like he was last night), but the difference is that LA starts several guys who'd probably be on Austin's (or another team's) bench.  Hi, Horace Wormely.  Austin is relying on their starters for pretty much everything this year; they'd better hope that Malik Hairston doesn't leave anytime soon.
  • Alonzo Gee had a great first few weeks, then quieted down a bit, but over the last week and a half or so has turned it back up.  He still has problems scoring off the dribble, but he's an excellent rebounder for a guard and scores pretty efficiently.  He'd probably be getting more attention if there weren't so many other talented wings in the D-League
  • GPRALPH RYAN FOREHAN-KELLY UPDATE: Ryan Forehan-Kelly had four points on 2-4 shooting, four rebounds, two assists, two fouls, two turnovers, a steal and a block.  This has been your Ryan Forehan-Kelly update.
    • Carlos Powell missed the first quarter with an apparent hand injury, but still managed to score 24 points and pick up six assists.  He's, uh, good.  My most recent call-up rankings were a toss-up at the top with him, Mike Harris and Reggie Williams; they all do slightly different things, but really, anyone looking for a small forward should start with those three.
    • Scott has suggested that maybe Renaldo Major should start for the Wizards; I like him as the sixth man he's been this year.  He does many things well, so he can come in and fill whatever role is needed.  He also has games like last night, where he shot 0-7 with two rebounds.  Speaking of which...
    • Dakota shot just 33 percent from the field.  Romel Beck was the only player who shot better than 40 percent, going 9-13 for 23 points.  That's when ya lost.
    • Kurt Looby had a triple-double last night, with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks.  It's good to see him getting minutes and playing relatively well - he has double digit rebounds in six of his last seven games.  Looby joins an esteemed class of D-League athletes with triple-double's this season: Curtis Stinson, Desmon Farmer, Greg Stiemsma and Alexis Ajinca.
    • I've mentioned this before, but you know how Kevin Pelton wrote that D-League players don't get as many foul calls in the NBA?  Apparently they don't get many once they come back to the D-League either, as JamesOn Curry had just two free throw attempts.  He had 18 points, eight assists and eight boards, though, so there's that.
    • I'm not crazy about T.J. Cummings, but he had 20 points and 12 rebounds and pretty much manhandled NBA assignee Joe Alexander down low.  That probably says more about Alexander, but good for Cummings for stepping up to the challenge.
    • Alexander got the start, by the way, after coming off the bench in his first two D-League games.  This was his first home game.  Coincidence?  Might the team that made a point of getting as many Notre Dame players as possible start the NBA player as a way to appeal to their fans?  Who knows.  What is known, however, is that Alexander needs a lot of work and should've been assigned to the D-League a lot sooner.  That's when ya lost.
    • Fort Wayne won by 13 points, and I'm not really enthralled with how any of them played.  Rob Kurz and Rashad Anderson each had 11 rebounds, but Kurz needed 12 shots to score 14 points and Anderson needed 14 to get 14, and they both missed all of their threes.  Oliver Lafayette was 4-11 from inside the arc and Rod Wilmont was 3-9 from same.  Sean Sonderleiter had two rebounds.  Jamelle Cornley had just two points, two fouls and no rebounds in 14 minutes.  And again, they beat the Armor by 13.  But hey, at least pro basketball is back in Springfield.
    • From Scott: In Anderson's defense, he did very well on Mo Almond defensively while I was watching.  Almond was held to 14 points, his lowest output of the season.
    • Sioux Falls missed 13 shots in the second quarter, 12 of which were threes or jumpers.  That's when ya lost.
    • Julian Sensley and Mickell Gladness combined for 24 points and 17 rebounds.  They're kind of like Joey Dorsey if you put them together, I guess.
    • Will Conroy almost had a triple-double in his last D-League game for at least 10 days; 10 points, eight assists and seven boards.
    • The newest pair of Skyforce...Skyforces? Alexander Johnson and Jared Newson combined for 36 points and Johnson had eight boards.  I don't know if Raymond Sykes will continue to start or if Johnson will take his place at some point, but either way Sioux Falls is starting to get something resembling a bench.
    • Craig Winder had his best game of the season, with 23 points on 13 shots.  He had an okay outside shooting year a few seasons ago before falling off a bit, but there is some talent there.
    • Mike Harris had 18 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.  Yawn.
  • Albuquerque Thunderbirds 97, Dakota Wizards 83 (Box Score) (Highlights)

    Fort Wayne Mad Ants 94, Springfield Armor 81 (Box Score) (Highlights)

    Rio Grande Valley Vipers 108, Sioux Falls Skyforce 94 (Box Score) (Highlights)

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