The Iowa Energy are in Ohio to take on the Canton Charge in one of seven games happening on the opening night of the NBA Development League season. While the rest of the games were lumped into one quick preview, this game deserved a bit more considering it will take place live on NBA TV at 7:30 p.m.
The most difficult thing about writing a preview for this game is that there isn't a lot of continuity in the D-League so the first few games are often a feeling out period, but this game will be a bit more difficult to project than most. Both teams are employing new coaches and only three of the 20 players played in the league this past season, leaving a lot of this game up to guesswork.
The visiting Energy, the defending D-League champions, have a drastically different roster from last season as the majority of their players have taken their talents overseas with Curtis Stinson and Courtney Sims being the two biggest defectors. They will instead be led by returning players Stanley Robinson, a second-round pick of the Orlando Magic in the 2010 NBA Draft, and Moses Ehambe -- a contributor on Team USA during this fall's Pan-Am Games.
Head coach Kevin Young, who moved to Iowa from the same position with the Utah Flash last season, will also need to rely on a few draft picks.
Brandon Ewing should start at point guard after being a former All-MWC First team selection while playing at Wyoming before playing well in Israel and Cyprus the past two seasons. Darion Anderson, who apparently goes by Jake, was a standout for Iowa State last season and will likely be counted on heavily in the backcourt. In the middle, Jarrid Famous should be the focal point after looking like a possible NBA Draft pick last season at South Florida.
The roster for the Cleveland Cavaliers owned Canton team isn't quite as easy to predict, especially considering coach Alex Jensen began his first foray as head coach just last month. Keith McLeod is the name most well-known, having been a part-time starter for the Utah Jazz a while back, but there aren't a lot of other familiar names on the Charge roster. First round pick Tyrell Biggs, a former contributor at Pittsburgh, should handle the bulk of the inside duties for the Charge.
The remaining players on the Charge roster include Jamine Peterson and Antonio Graves. Peterson was a draft prospect last season while playing with the New Mexico Thunderbirds, but ultimately wasn't selected and the man with the nickname "Greedy" will play a second season in the D-League. Graves played his college ball at Pittsburgh before playing all over Europe since 2007.
No predictions coming from me on this one -- and I won't be watching it live, either, as I'll be in attendance for the Dakota vs. Los Angeles game -- but hopefully it's good and people watch it, am I right?