A few bullets for you to chew on (you can chew on bullets, right?) today. I know posting has been sparse the past few days, but I have some big waiver wire posts coming up. Until then, as a special treat courtesy of our friends at the Meat Council, please help yourself to
this tripe these links.
MeatMeet Assistant Coach Mark Madsen, now of the Utah Flash. Madsen apparently turned down some playing offers (overseas if not in the NBA), and he replaces Dale Osbourne, who's now coaching in Tulsa. Everyone I'm sure will make dancing jokes, but I will not. Instead, I'll say that he hopefully won't try to teach Utah's big men how to throw a game by jacking up three-pointers.
- And speaking of the Utah Flash, former Syracuse player Paul Harris, recently waived by the Jazz, will attempt to stay in-state and play for the Jazz affiliate. Harris was considered a forward in college despite being 6'4", and he definitely improved his last year at Syracuse. His field goal percentage and free-throw percentage both went up (the first is someone remarkable since his three-point shooting took a nosedive) while his turnovers went down, and his rebounding numbers stayed the same despite averaging six fewer minutes a game. He could be a good player in the D-League.
- In other "hoping to come to the D-League news" are two former University of New Mexico players who are hoping to make the Thunderbirds, either as local allotment players or by getting drafted in a few weeks. Chad Toppert is a very good outside shooter who made 46.4 percent of his threes as a sophomore and 48 percent as a junior. Danridge has already been drafted by the Globetrotters but (understandably) prefers the D-League, and he does most of his damage inside the arc. He's more of a swingman type, and his rebounds doubled from his junior and senior years despite averaging just four more minutes a game.
- Dante Milligan, who played in Israel last year, went the local tryout route rather than entering the D-League draft. For him, apparently, it's either the Springfield Armor or nothing (in the US anyway). Milligan didn't play much in college (at UMass) but he's a pretty efficient scorer and it looks like he was able to cut down on his foul problems a little bit while overseas.
- Another guy trying to make the D-League after playing in Israel is Kyle McAlarney, though he's doing it a bit sooner than anticipated. As in, he's leaving his Israeli team because he "wasn't having any fun." He's trying to finagle his way onto the Bakersfield roster, but I don't know how that will work unless they draft him, because he went to college at Notre Dame and high school in New York. He's a very good three-point shooter, so I hope he makes it into the D-League somehow, because all of last year's three-point shooters are in Europe now.
There's one more story that I didn't include, the referee thing. I think at this point it's getting to be over-covered, and you can find a story on it in a lot of other places. But, I will say that I think the league had less leverage than one would think, in part because the D-League season is about to start. I know they didn't use every D-League ref, but continuing on with the replacements in the NBA would've seriously taxed those still working in the D-League and made things a lot harder for pretty much everybody. We'll see how the agreement turns out, and this wasn't David Stern's foremost concern, but the fact is that the agreement not only makes things better for the NBA, it makes them better for the D-League, even if some of the refs coming back are less-than-stellar.