(Highlights to come when they get posted)
- Okay, let's get this out of the way: LOL MIKE SWEETNEY IS SO FAT WHEN HE SITS ON THE BENCH HE SITS AROUND THE BENCH. There, are we done? (And yes, I was guilty of this myself last night.) That said, there's no getting around* the fact that he's really big. Really really big. It means a few things; first, that he can't jump. He basically needs the ball to fall into his hands to get a rebound, and blocking shots is almost entirely out of the question. Second, he's ssssslllllooooowwwww. He can run as fast as he can up the court and still be trailing the play. Now, for all of that he still has nice hands, is a deft passer, and can hit the midrange jumper. Sweetney made his first four field goals and finished with 20 points on 12 shots.
- Darnell Jackson also was looking a little big, but that's somewhat understandable since he hasn't playing in a game since March 6. That said, after a rough start to the game he settled down a bit, and showed some nice moves, and he finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds. His game reminds me a little of Alexander Johnson's. Of course, the next possession after getting a fast-break 360 dunk he was late on his defensive rotation, so there's clearly still some work to do on his game.
- His fantastic RU posts aside, I really like Mike Gansey. He can shoot (well, not last night), he can rebound (eight boards), and he has a great instinctive feel for the game - he had a great save out of bounds to keep the ball in Erie's hands. I'd criticize him for losing Curtis Withers on the game-winning play, but what is Gansey doing guarding Withers anyway?
- Fresh off his 10-day contract with the Spurs, Cedric Jackson had 22 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and two blocks (and five turnovers) off the bench. Why was he coming off the bench? My only guess is that with Darnell Jackson also coming in, coach John Treloar didn't want to throw the lineup out of whack too much. That meant starting Ivan Harris, though, who really hasn't had a great year compared with last season.
- Erie really could've won this game if they had made more than one three-pointer. Seriously, on a team with Gansey and Blake Ahearn, they made just one outside shot. They also had problems late in the first half when Dakota pushed the tempo, as you would expect from a team that features Sweetney, a guy who hadn't played in two weeks, and "Big Steak Omelette" John Bryant.
- This really was a team effort on Dakota's end, but Renaldo Major was fantastic off the bench, finishing with a team-high 17 points and tying the team-high with nine rebounds, in addition to being all over the place on defense.
- Kyle Goldcamp played just one minute, but Eric Musselman talked about how much he liked Goldcamp for pretty much that entire minute. It started to get weird.
* That wasn't meant to be a fat joke, and yet here we are.
Austin Toros 118, Bakersfield Jam 113 (OT) (Highlights) (Box Score)
- Marcus Williams still hasn't suited up, so once again the Toros got a starting backcourt of Curtis Jerrells and Squeaky Johnson. They each had 10 assists. Yeah, that'll work. (Jerrells also had 33 points.)
- Dwayne Jones had 17 points on seven shots and 27 rebounds. Will someone call him up, please?
- Lewis Clinch had 26 points off the bench for Austin. I really like Clinch, who's a good shooter who usually plays with a lot of energy.
- The Toros went with a big starting lineup with Jones, Big Hugga Luke Bonner and Michael Joiner. Joiner played well in overtime, but I think I'd like him better bringing energy off the bench.
- Bakersfield's backcourt (Trey Johnson and Jeremy Wise), meanwhile, combined for 41 points and 13 assists. Very good, just not quite enough. Even better is that they combined for just five turnovers in 92 combined minutes. That's excellent, in fact.
- Alade Aminu had been playing very well for Bakersfield, until last night. He had 10 rebounds, but he needed 13 shots to get 10 points and fouled out in 31 and a half minutes.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers 127, Reno Bighorns 113 (Highlights) (Box Score)
- The Bighorns actually had this game in the first half, leading by four going into the break. Then Reno didn't score for a four-minute stretch of the third quarter, and that's your game.
- I really wish the (Washington) Wizards had given Mike Harris more of an opportunity. He had 36 points on 19 shots with 17 boards, and he deserves a chance to stick somewhere in the NBA.
- Speaking of which, so does Rod Benson, which I've written probably 100 times this year. Still, 21 points and 14 rebounds against a solid rebounding team like the Vipers. He had seven blocks, too.
- Reno's bench actually outplayed RGV's. Now that Richie Frahm is back the Bighorns have a pretty solid second unit with him, D.J. Strawberry, Yaroslav Korolev and Cezary Trybanski. Strawberry missed some shots in that scoreless stretch, but he had a game-high 11 assists along with 15 points.
Idaho Stampede 110, Tulsa 66ers 95 (Highlights) (Box Score)
- With Mustafa Shakur finally called up, point guard duties went to new signee Wink Adams. How'd that go? Deron Washington led the team in assists with nine, that's how it went. Washington also fouled out in 30 minutes. But he had an article written sort-of about him in the Washington Post Magazine, so there's that.
- Back to Adams, briefly, he played on the Knicks' Summer League team, by which I mean he played seven minutes in one game. He was an efficient scorer in college and a decent rebounder for his position, though his shooting took a dive his senior year (at UNLV) and he never picked up that many assists.
- The Stampede were led by Donell Taylor's 30 points. Inflated by MacKinnon's offense or not, I think Taylor's playing really well and worth a look for an NBA team in need of a combo guard.
- Lance Allred and Joe Dabbert combined for 40 points and 25 rebounds. Byron Mullens and DeVon Hardin countered with...26 points and seven boards. Which guys have NBA deals again? (Yes, I know that Hardin technically isn't under an NBA contract.)
Iowa Energy 110, Sioux Falls Skyforce 83 (Highlights) (Box Score)
- Aside from Alexander Johnson (30 points, 13 rebounds) and David Bailey (20 points), the Skyforce really didn't play well, as evidenced by the blowout. And even then, Johnson played decent but not great defense against "I Can't Be Out of Earl, I'm the" Earl Barron, who finished with 37 points on 22 shots and 17 rebounds.
- Every time I watch a Skyforce game, Chris McCray plays like garbage. He's had some decent games this year, just apparently not when I'm watching. I can only guess that it's some kind of personal thing.
- I'd like to see Justin Bowen tried at small forward at some point. He's athletic and actually a better ball-handler than I thought, I just don't think he rebounds consistently enough to play power forward, this season anyway.
- Earl Clark looked okay in the bit of this game that I saw. He's athletic certainly, and can jump out of the building, but while he has decent rebounding instincts he needs to work on his timing. Upper body strength also is an issue, as he got stuffed on at least one attempt that I saw that could've been an and-1 opportunity.