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Jeremy Wise, Potential NBA Draft Pick? + Last Night in the D-League

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday.  I had decided a few weeks ago when the Packers got knocked out that I wouldn't be watching the game, but now that I see that there aren't any D-League games going on, I'll probably end up watching... and going for the Colts.

No I don't really like the Colts, but my days are just much more enjoyable when New Orleans' native Randy Livingston and I can text about football, and even better when I disagree with him.

Anyway, onto recapping last night!

Bakersfield Jam 112, Tulsa 66ers 111 (OT) (Box Score)

  • Jeremy Wise hasn't been mentioned much here at Ridiculous Upside, but that's mostly due to the Jam being, let's say, uneasy on the eyes - which isn't really Wise's fault.  Still, last night he did things that merit talking about the Jam: 10-of-10 from the field, 5-of-5 from the free-throw line and seven assists with just two turnovers while matched up against Mustafa Shakur, one of the better point guard in the D-League.  If he can prove that he's a capable point guard, his stock improves quite a bit.  I'm not sure if he'd be drafted, but Mike Taylor did it, and I don't see the talent-gap being that large between the two.
  • Will Daniels had 19 points and six boards off the bench.  I'm not sure who I'd move to the bench to start him, but in my opinion, he's one of the top players on the Jam.
  • Remember Blake AhearnHow he wanted a trade from the Dakota Wizards so he could be a point guard?  Well, that's not working out so hot.  Last night he came off the bench to shoot 2-of-7 from the field to finish with 10 points, six turnovers and five assists in 28 minutes.  I like Ahearn, but asking for, and getting, traded to such a dysfunctional team probably wasn't what he had in mind when he rejoined the D-League.
  • John Edwards the basketball player had 19 points and 10 boards.  I wish he'd just decide to either be consistent or bugger off to Europe, because it's tough to project if he's going to put up an eight point, four board effort or a night like he had last night.
  • For Tulsa, Mustafa Shakur led the charge like we've all come to love and expect.  You know how he does: 22 points, 10 assists, eight boards, four steals and just three turnovers.  Someday, I'm going to call Jeff Bower and tell him he's an idiot for deciding Shakur wasn't a better option than Jason Hart.  I'm then going to call Mustafa and tell him to change his name to Mufasa so he's more marketable to the kids.
  • Latavious Williams, the other D-League prospect that's draft eligible (and that everyone knows about) had his highest scoring game to date, finishing with 19 points and seven boards.  Also, please check out Draft Express scouting guru Jonathan Givony's comments in this story - really insightful stuff, and I'd like to thank him for dropping by our humble abode.
  • Larry Owens had 26 points, shooting an efficient 10-of-16 from the field.  I don't know what to really say about him, but he's one of the more underrated players in the D-League - he just gets things done.
  • Cecil Brown shot 7-of-17 from the field, but counteracted a rather off shooting night with 18 points, nine assists and just one turnover.  This is where I'd also like to mention that he should've been selected for the 3-point shootout at All-Star.
  • The Jam announce team is hard to listen to - specifically the nasally one.

Albuquerque Thunderbirds 88, Utah Flash 87 (Box Score) (Highlights)

  • Despite some off-court issues I'm hearing about (disparaging remarks from ownership regarding players, coach's being suspended), the Thunderbirds had everything put together on the court last night - at least when it mattered.
  • I didn't watch this game, so watch the highlights and look at the box score.
  • Luke Nevill had a pretty good game against Kurt Looby, one of the better defensive post players in the D-League.  Nevill hit 10-of-16 from the field to finish with 21 points, 10 boards and three blocks.  I told you can he play, Jon L.
  • Dontell Jefferson didn't start and shot 3-of-13 with five turnovers. My how the mighty have fallen.

Maine Red Claws 97, Sioux Falls Skyforce 95 (Box Score) (Highlights)

  • I didn't watch this game either.  I know, but there was a lot going on - specifically UFC 109.  Watch the box score, read the highlights, whatever.
  • The Skyforce coaches are doing the right thing - even though Alexander Johnson is a stud, he's not well-versed on the workings of the Skyforce yet, and thus, he's still coming off of the bench.  Yesterday he finished with 30 points and 9 nine boards in 30 minutes of action. Perfect.  (I realize they lost, but this is the right thing to do, I promise).

Dakota Wizards 113, Idaho Stampede 93 (Box Score) (Highlights)

  • The officials were terrible.
  • Romel Beck was great.
  • Renaldo Major is my favorite Wizard player.
  • My mom hates Joe Dabbert.
  • Andre Barrett might be the second best point guard in the D-League.

Iowa Energy 102, Erie BayHawks 78 (Box Score) (Highlights)

Austin Toros 114, Springfield Armor 98 (Box Score) (Highlights)

  • Malik Hairston almost fought Kentrell Gransberry. Check the highlights.
  • Dwayne Jones had 17 points on four shot attempts - talk about efficient!
  • Ben Taylor officiated and there were six technical fouls. I'm not surprised.

Rio Grande Valley Vipers 109, Reno Bighorns 76 (Box Score) (Highlights)

  • This was a choppy game right from the outset, when Julian Sensley got called for two fouls in the first 30 seconds (who does he think he is, John Edwards?).  It got worse from there, with 53 total turnovers.  Only 28 steals; most of the turnovers were guys throwing the ball away or stepping on the boundary line.
  • Rod Benson finished with "only" 15 points and 12 rebounds, but really, he should've had more than that.  He was dominant in the first quarter (going against Sensley and not Joey Dorsey helps), but Scott and I agreed in the OSLB (which none of you showed up for) that this was the best we've seen Benson play in awhile.  Those 12 rebounds were double what anyone else in the game had.
  • So why didn't Benson have more?  Because his teammates decided to stop passing him the ball.  Really.  Someone would bring it up the court, there were be maybe two passes around the perimeter, and then a shot.  Reno even got a shot clock violation at one point when Benson was wide open (or at least had great position), but they decided to throw the ball from one corner to the other.
  • Hey, you know what's not fun?  Watching Desmon Farmer dribble the ball for eight seconds then throw up a contested fadeaway.
  • Craig Winder had a terrific game off the bench - 24 points, six assists, four rebounds, solid defense against Farmer.  He was all over the place.