Bakersfield 116, Los Angeles 90: Wow. Congratulations Coach Roth. After calling you out for letting Anaheim shoot 61% in the preseason game, LA shoots a stifled 43%, including the D-Fenders bench shooting just 21%. I like to we here at RU should get some credit for that. Richard Hendrix -- Wow. 31 points, 14 boards, 32 minutes. I would be more impressed if LA started a player over 6'8", but still. Mateen Cleaves box also impresses me. Though he scored only 6 points, he dished out 12 assists with ZERO turnovers. BIG TIME! Also, the three guys that were in LA's camp, Dwayne Mitchell, Joe Crawford, and Brandon Heath scored 64 of the teams 90 points. The next highest scorer had seven.
Fort Wayne 95, Erie 90: Big ups to the Mad Ants. They are who we thought they were. The guys I was familiar with played well, and the guys I'm not familiar with were serviceable. Ron Howard, showing some confidence from being in camp with the Bucks and thusly no longer being referred to as Opie, led the team with 19. Coleman Collins, first round draft pick and former deer-hitter, put in 15 points and four blocks. Coach Jaren Jackson's team was also very balanced, as all ten guys had at least six points. For Erie, it's a different story. The Bayhawks played just seven guys, and were led by Oliver Lafayette's 31 points, who I think was named after a member of a french WWF tag team that came to Bismarck once. Erik Daniels had 13 points, 10 boards, and four turnovers in 43 minutes of action. He's obviously in a lot better shape than I remember him to be, and will have to be if the Bayhawks stick with a seven man rotation. I think the three guys at the end of the bench should star in a TV show or something, as I love all of their names: Geary, Tejay, and Jarvis.
Iowa 113, Sioux Falls 101: Iowa is STRONG. Specifically Courtney Sims. When I was writing my preview for the Wizards game tomorrow night, I mistakenly just gave Courtney Sims a short blurb, because since I originally came here to write just about the Wizards (But then moved to a different town and went global), I didn't think he was that important. He is. Sims had a monster game, obviously showing he should be back in the NBA. He had the first triple-double of the season, scoring 22 points, grabbing 17 boards, and swatting eleven shots. WOW! That's big. Unfortunately, it looks like it came at the expense of Chris Alexander. The big guy shot just 1-for-10, though that could also be because he wants to lead the league in offensive boards consecutive seasons, as he grabbed nine of those. In other news, Othyus Jeffers is a beast. He came off the bench for the Energy to put up 23 points and grab 12 boards, and he's listed at 6-5. I hope when I go to watch the game tomorrow, I'm as impressed as I am by looking at this box score.
RGV 83, Tulsa 82: Ugh. Similar to last year, these two teams are not going to be fun to watch. RGV was led by Trent Strickland with 24. Smush Parker was not outstanding, though he had 14 points, nine boards, and six assists, with five turnovers. For Tulsa, Chris Richard showed why he was this years Sam Bowie of the D-League draft, as he was picked number one solely because of his size in a league that lacks such strengths. Richard went 0-for-7, scoring two points and grabbing just six boards. Tulsa had 12 guys on their bench because Mikheil Berishvili is still waiting on his visa, which should arrive mid-next week (I know everyone else was wondering about this!)
Utah 93, Austin 91: JR Giddens is a stud, as he hit a game-winning buzzer beater with .6 seconds left to play. I believe Gabe Pruitt did something very similar early last season before getting back to the association and contributing a bit. Billy Walker had 23 points, eight boards, and five steals as the other NBAer on the Flash (Where's Fes? Where Mo Almond? Why not Kosta?) For Austin, Marcus E. Williams had 27 points, 10 boards, and two blocks. Nothing much else was positive for Austin, as one of their NBA guys, the Big Yawn had four points, four fouls in twenty minutes of playing time.
Colorado 119, Albuquerque 118: Colorado, despite not having the services of Josh Davis (for reasons so far unknown), eeked out a victory, due in part to the services of James Mays, who had 27 points, 11 boards, and six steald, and was helped out by sixth man Joe "Barry" Dabbert, who had 14 points and the first 20 rebound game of the season. Albuquerque's back court apparently forgot that to get called up, you have to be good at things other than scoring, but this doesn't include turning the ball over. Will Conroy made his return to the D-League with 29 points and eight assists, but lost the ball six times. Cheyne Gadson had 24 points and six assists, but turned the ball over eight times. This doesn't bode well for eithers NBA hopes, though luckily it's just one game. Fred Gibson, a fourth round pick in the 2005 NFL draft, and 10th round pick in the NBA D-League draft, scored 13 points and grabbed seven boards in 22 minutes of action. Gibson will be a guy to watch this season, with a very intriguing background!
I will attend the Iowa-Dakota game tonight and hopefully it won't be too long before my quick hits get put up on the site! Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!