The Iowa Energy have been racking up the wins on this long home stand before the holiday break, but they learned Friday two of their most productive players went to try out for NBA squads.
Moses Ehambe, who is the only returning player on the squad for Iowa this season, went down to New Orleans to try out for the Hornets. The Hornets are one of three affiliates associated with the Energy. While playing for Iowa this year, Ehambe has averaged 21 points and four rebounds in six starts.
Jarrid Famous, a rookie out of South Florida, received an invite to the Pacers training camp. Prior to leaving for Indiana, Famous contributed 24 points and 12 rebounds - nearly half of those from the offensive glass - in his first taste in the D-League.
Friday, December 9 - Iowa 115, Sioux Falls 92
Thanks to shooting just over 60 percent, Iowa had no trouble pulling away from the Skyforce. Along with shooting 49-81 on the floor, Iowa also scored 72 points in the paint compared to 28 for Sioux Falls.
One of those players who got most of his 21 points in the paint is F/C Andrew Drevo.
"We had an advantage down low and we tried to exploit that," Drevo said. "We kept pounding it inside and kept getting what we wanted."
Another part of getting high-percentage shots is how quickly the guards pushed the ball down the floor.
"The guards did a great job pushing the ball down the court, which led to easy baskets," Drevo said."It really got pressure on them to guard us."
In fact, the Energy shot eight threes in all on the night. The focus was definitely inside.
The Energy opened up the season against the Skyforce, and being aggressive was definitely a big factor.
Because of the NBA training camps being in full force, Russell Carter made his Energy debut. Carter, a rookie from Notre Dame, thinks he played fine but has progress to make.
"We just got to take it day-by-day and improve," Carter said.
"Pushing the ball is something we've been emphasizing," said Head Coach Kevin Young. "Even though we can make shots, my goal for the team is go inside-out."
Saturday, Dec. 10 -Energy 103, Skyforce 89
Iowa kept feeding it inside to their big men as they found 60 points in the paint, but Energy guard Thomas Baudinet found his rhythm, too.
Baudinet led the team with 21 in a game that involved Iowa being in foul trouble early which allowed Sioux Falls to stick around most of the night.
The Skyforce made it to the line 30 times on the night, most of which came in the first half.
"It's easy to score when you get open looks," Baudinet said. "I got great looks because my teammates found me."
Baudinet is averaging 21 minutes a game for the Energy.
"Not every win is going to be pretty, but we got through another one tonight," he said.
Coach Kevin Young saw great upside to Baudinet when he tried out for the Energy in the preseason.
"We loved him in D.C.," said Young. "We were high on him then because he gives a great presence to the floor."
Coach Young believes the focus on the team wasn't there in the first half.
"I thought we played lazy," Young said. "We came out in the second half, was much more composed, and came out with the win."
Iowa will head to Fort Wayne to face the Mad Ants on Friday.