Morris Almond and Luke Harangody in Action - David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
The last day and the last chance for NBADL prospect to prove that they deserve a shot in the association. Top NBADL prospects Arinze Onuaku, Ron Howard, Travis Leslie, and D.J. Kennedy will all be in action on Thursday.
Tulsa 66ers vs. Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 10am PST
What to watch for: Three of Tulsa's starters are on loan from the Thunder, but they still ended up getting destroyed in the paint over the weekend by the Idaho Stampede. Unfortunately for the 66ers, this is where Fort Wayne excels-- with the recent addition of Luke Harangody and the strong play of Tony Mitchell.
Expect to see the Mad Ants outscore Tulsa in the paint, dominate them on the boards, and ultimately win this game by a large margin.
Player to watch: Sadiel Rojas is a spark plug. His 20.12 PER and shutdown defensive abilities helped him crack the NBADL's top 30 prospect list. He rebounds well and can hit the corner three-pointer. He works hard on the offensive boards and gets many second chance scoring opportunities. Rojas is a true role player that has the potential to fit in many NBA systems.
Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Canton Charge, 12:45pm PST
That said, Canton's Arinze Onuaku is a difficult match-up for Santa Cruz. He, along with JaJuan Johnson, will dominate the paint. The Charge are also strong in the backcourt and should take this game with solid perimeter play and second chance points.
Player to watch: JaJuan Johnson got off to a slow start, but is still a former NBA talent with a great finesse game. The 6-foot-10 forward averages 13 points and 8 rebounds per contest, but his shooting percentages have dropped as of late. A big performance in Reno could be what Johnson needs to elevate his game back a NBA-caliber level.
Other notable players: Kyle Gibson, Antoine Agudio, Mickell Gladness, Maurice Baker, and Chris Johnson
Iowa Energy vs. Austin Toros, 3:30pm PST
What to watch for: Denver Nuggets' forward Quincy Miller is on assignment with Iowa and, has so far averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per contest. The Energy's back court duo of Chris Wright and Morris Almond is the best one-two punch in the D-League, and Paul Harris is putting up double-double numbers on a nightly basis.
The Toros will have difficultly on the perimeter if Justin Dentmon is not on the floor. The assignments of Nando De Colo and Cory Joseph from the Spurs help the situation, but Tyler Wilkerson and Rick Jackson will need to have huge games to keep this contest close.
Player to watch: Morris Almond is on a mission to get back to The Association. He's averaged 18 points and 4 rebounds per game this season in the NBADL. He has past NBA experience -- something big league teams like to see -- and has used the Showcase in past years to earn call-ups. He will certainly try to put on a show next week. If he succeeds, Almond should see another 10-day contract in his future.
Other notable players: Chris Wright, Paul Harris, Nick Murphy, Tyler Wilkerson, and Rick Jackson
Texas Legends vs. Erie BayHawks, 7pm PST
What to watch for: With Christian Eyenga heading to China, the Legends will need Mike James to step in and be productive during the Showcase. Texas has a solid front court of Darius Rice and Jared Cunningham. However, they will have a hard time stopping Erie's Henry Sims and Keith Benson.
Erie has a bigger line-up than Texas and will try to slow down the tempo and take advantage of mismatches in the paint. If Erie can dictate this kind of game, they should come out victorious. Texas must play an up-tempo style, and try to outrun the Erie big men to make this contest interesting.
Player to watch: Henry Sims averages 16 points and 9 rebounds per contest and is difficult to defend in the paint. The 6-foot-10 Georgetown product is having a great NBADL season and should get plenty of attention as he goes to work in the paint for Erie.