Bad news: Jon's computer "died for good" (technological medical term) Tuesday morning, so you're getting me for recaps two days in a row. The good news is that a dude tried dunking on me, twice, at the Y last night, but my physical prowess (Lou Amundson fouling) denied him both times.
Reno Bighorns 122, Idaho Stampede 116 (OT) (Boxscore)
- Idaho was able to play this the game the way they like to play basketball games - they shot the ball 106 times. Reno shot the ball 100 times. This, as you might expect, led to some impressive stat lines.
- You know, Rod Benson didn't have the greatest January. By not the greatest, I mean he normed a paltry 10.8 points, 7.2 boards and shot 46% from the field. Luckily, this month he seems to have righted whatever was wrong as he's norming 17.7 points, 10 boards and three steals per game while shooting a red-hot 68% from the field. Tuesday afternoon, against one of the better front-lines in the D-League, he had 18 points, 10 boards, five assists and five blocks. If you're not familiar with basketball, that's pretty outstanding. Dare I say call-up worthy? Or at least all-star worthy? Maybe he can replace Billy Walker in the dunk contest and use Alexis Ajinca as a prop?
- D.J. Strawberry displayed some offense in addition to his defense, so kudos for that. Coming off of the bench for the Bighorns, Strawberry hit six jumpers (12 shots total) including three 3's from beyond the arc to finish with 27 points, eight assists and six boards. Actually, if he can consistently do what he did this afternoon, there's an NBA roster spot waiting for him. While there isn't a need for him to really play the point in Reno (a healthy Will Blalock logged 41 minutes this game), he's shown he can play the point in the past, obviously increasing his value.
- Monday I went in-depth about Desmon Farmer for a Q&A with his hometown newspaper and wasn't exactly nice about it - as I'm sure you'd expect. Apparently Farmer got word of this because he played one of his better basketball games in awhile - 10-of-22 from the field (but 4-of-13 from deep) and well, nothing else really positive and his six turnovers can definitely be described as negative. Still, if he can just prove to score efficiently (better than his current 42% from the field), the NBA might take a look based on his resume.
- Will Blalock had 13 assists and nine points. I like what he does.
- Donell Taylor is the only Idaho starter that didn't finish with a double-double, but he's the player I really feel like hyping on Idaho right now and not just because of his 27 points, nine boards, six assists and two steals yesterday. Since Taylor's moved to Idaho, he's norming more points, more boards, more assists (he was the starting point for the majority of Erie's games) and is shooting better from both the field and the free-throw line. Some of that has to do with Idaho's faster pace, obviously, but the shooting percentages shouldn't have jumped like they have (8% each from the field and beyond the arc). I'm not going to be mad if he gets a call-up.
- Joe Dabbert and Lance Allred are a force inside for the Stampede. If I had to pick my favorite white frontcourt in the D-League, they're the overwhelming choice - John Edwards and Brian Butch don't even come close. I think I'll probably just combine their stats from now on like this - JoLance Allbert scored 35 points and grabbed 26 boards last night. Not bad.
- Andre Barrett had 16 points and 10 assists, but shot just 7-of-19 from the field. Typically he shoots much better from the field (in the D-League, at least), but the fact that he didn't play anywhere since being cut by the Cavs probably led to some ring rust (pro wrestling reference for the win, amirite?).
- Mildon Ambres (not Milton, Reno) had 15 points and 10 boards. They weren't a loud 15 points and 10 boards, but figured I'd mention him since he picked up a double-double.
Iowa Energy 85, Erie BayHawks 82 (Box Score)
- Judging from the highlights, it was apparently "Watch Curtis Stinson attemp to get 10 assists purely via throwing alley-oops Night," though he only finished with nine. Stinson added 11 points as well, but the six turnovers are troubling for a guy that everybody seems to think is the next point guard to get a call-up.
- Othyus Jeffers
hates Lebron Jamesmight be my favorite player to watch in the D-League. Hustles, plays hard, grabs 13 boards as a 6'5" power forward while matching-up with Alade Aminu. He also contributed 21 points, a few that you can see in the highlights above.
- Iowa's standout big men, Earl Barron and Courtney Sims, combined for eight boards.
- Mike Gansey, RU's resident blogger (when Erie's not playing every day), is 6'4", but he hauled in a ridiculous 15 boards. I've relayed this story to you all before, but one scout at the Showcase told me, possibly in jest, that Gansey is "the best white rebounding guard since Bob Sura." Bonus knowledge: I know nobody probably knew this, but since I just looked it up, Bob Sura played 27 games with the Atlanta Hawks in 2003-04 and averaged 8.3 boards.
- The D-League's twitter account tweeted "Beasts of the East @iowaenergy go for their 5th straight win tonight vs. @eriebayhawks, watch live in 15 min here: http://bit.ly/azw7L0". I then told them, along with @vipersradio, that Bam Bam Bigelow was the true Beast of the East. Then @vipersradio told me that Bam Bam was dead. I went to the YMCA to mourn.
Dakota Wizards 105, Bakersfield Jam 101 (Box Score)
- I'll probably go in-depth about these guys after attending tonight's game, so here's some quick blurbs.
- Blake Ahearn had 25 points and a big dunk off the bench.
- Brian Butch had 16 points and 16 boards. I like it.
- Maurice Baker had 14 points, 11 boards and nine assists. I like it.
- Jeremy Wise had 0 assists. I was really hoping to see more leadership out of him.
- Reece Gaines had 11 points and eight assists. He wasn't playing point guard.
Rio Grande Valley 118, Fort Wayne Mad Ants 101 (Box Score)
- I didn't watch this game, so here's a rant instead.
- Live stats should not be as hard as people make them seem to be. Get there early, turn on the stats computers, call the help desk if problems, and boom! Live stats are possible. If they go down, I can understand, but to not get them started is crazy. This also means that D-League.com shows the game hasn't started yet, and thus, I miss the first part of the game because I'm thinking it must be delayed due to the snow storms.
- Mike Harris is really good.
- I hope RGV's Alex Del Barrio and Fort Wayne's Bill Hazen, my two favorite D-League announcers for different reasons, someday fight in a ladder match to determine which is the best announcer.