Reece Gaines! Zoolander! Who's excited for a VERSUS match-up?
I'll be DVRing this one, so I'll be watching this tape-delayed game, well, DVR-delayed. If you're wondering why I won't be watching this when it orginally airs: Strikeforce is live on Showtime at nine and they put together a fight card featuring Herschel Walker, Bobby Lashley, Wes Sims, Nick Diaz, Cyborg Santos, Robbie Lawler, Melvin Manhoef, Jay Hieron and Joe Riggs - that's going to be an awesome mess (check Bloody Elbow for jacked pictures of 94-year old Walker as well as their other always-awesome MMA coverage).
Oh right, we're talking D-League basketball.
This is the third installment of the D-League on Versus, it's available in HD and it comes on at 10pm CST. Since bull riding was bumped up an hour this week, we're guaranteed that this game will come on right at 10, unless bull riding inexplicably runs an hour longer than usual. As far as I know, Eric Musselman will not be commentating due to his Comcast College schedule. I'm hoping maybe they picked up Jim Harrick to fill in this week.
I'll stick with the layout you've probably become accustomed to if you've been following along on Saturday night's.
The Backstory: It's nice that the D-League scheduled all of these games on the second night of a back-to-back because it gives me a chance for an easy backstory. Idaho lost by 21 last night, but I have a feeling it'll be much more competitive tonight. Idaho's lost so many of their top players (Coby Karl, Anthony Tolliver, Sundiata Gaines, Cedric Simmons, Patty Mills and Lanny Smith) and are having to rebuild their rotation every week. Bakersfield did terrible in the draft, but they've slowly been acquiring talent as the weeks pass.
Bakersfield's NBA Prospect To Watch: I'm guessing the D-League didn't want to showcase Blake Ahearn and make this look like the first ever AABA game, but I'm ready to go on record saying that he'll make the NBA before Reece Gaines gets another chance. Ahearn's a 3-point gunner, plain and simple, but forced a trade to Bakersfield so that he could run the point knowing that's going to improve his NBA chances. Unfortunately for Ahearn, Jeremy Wise has been doing a decent-enough running the point (12 assists last night). Fortunately for Ahearn, his 3-pointer is on, as the 6-of-13 from beyond the arc last night will show.
Idaho's Prospect To Watch: Well, Idaho's running out of legitimate NBA prospects (they're all going to the NBA), so I'm going to go with Donell Taylor. Taylor's got NBA experience - 98 games with the Washington Wizards - and really hasn't done anything this season to dispel a possible second stint in the NBA. Since he was traded to Idaho after failing as a point guard in Erie, Taylor's averaging 21.6 points, 6.6 boards and 4.4 assists while shooting 53% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc. He'll have to run the point tonight with newcomer Andre Barrett still not ready to join the team, so let's see what happens.
Rounding out the Jam roster: Will Daniels is my favorite player on the Jam roster. He was an intriguing player coming out of Rhode Island and an intriguing player coming off the bench for the Jam. If he can show that he can be a combo-forward, another year in the D-League could get him an NBA call-up ... Brian Butch has been shooting very well, much like he did at Wisconsin ... John Edwards has had a couple cup's of coffee in the NBA, but I think that ship has sailed (or crossed over, if you will) ... Reece Gaines should not have come back to the D-League. It's not that he's playing bad, he's just bringing back bad memories from when he was drafted about twenty picks too high out of Louisville ... Jeremy Wise is draft-eligible. I don't think he'll be drafted, but he could make some people think of Mike Taylor (checkered past, wiry, can score in bunches) ... Keith Brumbaugh was recently acquired from the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Basically, he's a tall, lefty slasher and said to be a headcase.
Rounding out the Stampede roster: Lance Allred wrote a book ... Roberto Bergersen was a second round draft pick by the Portland Trail Blazers back in 1999 ... Mildon Ambres has a lot of talent ... Cory Underwood went to camp with the 76ers last season ... Yemi Oguneye is one of 1,439 Oral Roberts players in the D-League ...