"Stef Factor" Helps Santa Cruz Warriors Reach Second Round Of NBA D-League Playoffs

Jack Arent/NBAE/Getty Images

Santa Cruz Warriors point guard Stefhon Hannah, has guided the team into the second round of the NBADL playoffs by extending his impressive late season totals into the postseason. The former NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year has expanded his game, and the former Mizzou product has helped the Warriors become a favorite to reach the NBADL Finals.

In his third season in the NBA D-League, Stefhon Hannah has taken his game to another level. Hannah's defensive skills have always been a strength for the 6'1'', 175 pound guard, but recently Hannah has displayed his passing skills and timely shooting ability, as Santa Cruz has rolled into the second round of the playoffs. With supreme talent surrounding Hannah, his on-the-court leadership will likely determine how far the Warriors' will go this postseason.

Hannah spoke with RidiculousUpside.com, and talked about his fortunate role on the team. "We have some great players, our bigs have been incredible. Last year I looked to score the ball, but now I'm focusing more on getting my guys the ball, and putting them in successful spots out on the floor." Hannah said.

Hannah has raised his assist totals over the last 7 games including the playoffs. During that stretch, he is averaging 8.0 assists, which is roughly three more than his regular season average. It certainly helps having players such as Travis Leslie, Hilton Armstrong, and Jeremy Tyler out on the floor for Hannah. All three players are top-5 prospects according NBADleague.com.

Hannah has also been shooting the three ball well, as documented in Santa Cruz's first round series against Fort Wayne. Hannah shot 50% (7-for-14) from beyond the arc, and averaged 19.5 points. His ability to catch fire at the right moment has been a large reason for Santa Cruz's overall success this season. When he is not driving and dishing, Hannah's ability to knock down the corner-3 is just another aspect of his ever-growing game.

Last season, Hannah was a member of the Dakota Wizards, and suffered a two-game sweep in the first round of playoffs against the Bakersfield Jam. The franchise has since been relocated to Santa Cruz, California, and has enjoyed a pleasant transition. Hannah spoke about his time in both Bismarck, and now in Santa Cruz. "The move has been positive, when we first moved out here though we had no idea what it was going to be like because our first seven regular season games were on the road. The crowd and support has been amazing though, but it was also hard to leave Bismarck too. There was probably a bit of heartbreak for the fans in Bismarck, because they were with the team for so long and from the start."

Hannah continued, "for the Golden State Warriors organization it has been a great move, coach Jackson has been able to visit us here, and being so close has allowed them an easier time to stay connected." Hannah's acknowledgement of Bismarck speak volumes to the tradition, and first class treatment he and his former teammates received in North Dakota. However, the team's new digs has allowed for a sense of rejuvenation for the franchise, and the organization has enjoyed sellout crowds which have shown incredible support for their new team.

As Santa Cruz continues it's playoff run, Hannah will need to keep playing at his current level. Not only has the team enjoyed Hannah's increased assist totals and scoring ability, but his swagger is another reason for his success. Hannah has a unique way of getting under his opponent's skin, and it generally favors Hannah as games unfold.

All of the aforementioned qualities to Hannah's game makes up the "Stef Factor" for Santa Cruz, and his play will remain crucial as the team prepares for a second round playoff battle against last year's NBADL Champions, the Austin Toros.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Ridiculous Upside

You must be a member of Ridiculous Upside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Ridiculous Upside. You should read them.

Join Ridiculous Upside

You must be a member of Ridiculous Upside to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Ridiculous Upside. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker