Subscribe: NBA.com: Downlowonthedleague News
http://www.nba.com/downlowonthedleague/rss.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade C rated
Language: English
Tags:
basketball  coach  game  games  head coach  head  high  iowa  league  nba league  nba  points  rebounds  season  team 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: NBA.com: Downlowonthedleague News

downlowonthedleague





Published: 10/31/2006 11:45:43 ET

Last Build Date: 07/23/2012 11:28:14 ET

 



2012 NBA Summer League All-Prospect Team

07/23/2012 11:27:00 ET

It's a chance for coaches and GM's to take a look at how their draft picks fair in game situations against NBA players for the first time. For the newcomers, it's a chance to work with their teammates for the first time -- and for the older players, a chance to have the nouveau riche rooks pay for dinner. In Damian Lillard's case, it's a chance to get on SportsCenter for a few weeks during the usual dry hoops season. For the fans, it's a chance to see into their team's future. And, just as importantly, justify a trip to Vegas. But Summer League -- especially the 2012 one, after a one-year hiatus due to the 2011 lockout -- brought a special sort of significance to the NBA D-League's Top Prospects. Almost to a man, the D-League's best have to claw their way through a jungle of misconceptions, snap judgements and one-glance guesses. Whether they have a skill missing, an unproven past or just a bad rap (deserved or undeserved), this Summer League gave them a chance to prove that they could go at NBA-level competition the way they have against NBA D-League players. And these are the guys who did it best. Note: For a player to be considered a Top Prospect, he must have played in the NBA D-League in the past two years and not solidified himself on an NBA roster. Check out the Prospect Board for more. GUARDS Josh Akognon Sacramento Kings (Canton Charge) Any time you score more points than minutes played over the course of the week, you know you're standing pretty tall. Well, that's exactly what the 5-foot-11 Akognon did this week. The Cal State-Fullerton product scored 58 points in 56 minutes over the course of three games this week, blowing past defenders and earning, at one point, a spot on NBA.com's Rookie Ladder. Akognon did not play in Sacramento's other two games - call it mercy for the other teams - but he made a strong enough impression in the three he played to get on this list. Akognon's week was highlighted by a 25-point explosion (in 22 minutes) against the Los Angeles Lakers that saw him connect on 10 of his 16 attempts, including 4-of-8 from downtown. Akognon followed that with an 18-point gem against Toronto where he did most of his damage from the free-throw line - hitting on 12-of-13 attempts - showing that he can get to the paint and draw contact. He projects as a high-energy backup of the bench in the NBA. Brad Wanamaker Atlanta Hawks (Austin Toros) Wanamaker only played 20 combined minutes in the last two games - maybe Atlanta had seen enough and/or had to get some looks at other prospects - but when Wanamaker got significant minutes in the first three games, he consistently looked like one of the best guards on the floor in all of Vegas. He kicked off the week with a 13-point, six-assist performance against Washington. He backed that up with a vintage performance for him - nine points, eight assists and seven rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA affiliate of his former NBA D-League team the Austin Toros. In those first three games, Wanamaker averaged 9.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds. He also shot 9-for-13 from the floor and 10-for-11 from the line. He is fundamentally sound with outstanding body control, can play both guard positions and can, as he did in Vegas, fill up a box score. It would not come as a surprise to see an NBA could give him a look this season. FORWARDS Malcolm Thomas Chicago Bulls (L.A. D-Fenders) Only In-N-Out Burger had more double-doubles than Malcolm Thomas this week. The San Diego State product that played for three NBA D-League teams last season stormed out of the gates in Vegas with identical 10-point, 13-rebound performances on Tuesday and Wednesday. But that was really nothing compared to what came next. Thomas, a 6-foot-11 tornado in the paint, recorded 16 rebounds in each of his next two games and combined to score 33 points on 13-for 19-shooting. Of Thomas' 62 rebounds this week, 23 came of the offensive end, which should serve to bolster a somewhat shaky offensive game -- he still has room to grow as a finisher, but [...]



The Daily Deal: July 22

07/23/2012 11:27:00 ET

Each day, NBADLeague.com will be in Las Vegas to cover all of the Summer League action, focusing on the top NBA D-League alums that are trying to make an impact on their respective teams in order to earn a spot on an NBA roster. By Monday, the place will be cleared out. After 10 days and 62 games at NBA Summer League, the 2012 edition is in the books. And while hundreds of players will be headed back to where they came from, dozens of them -- including some of the NBA D-League's Top Prospects -- will be doing anything but starting from scratch. Read on to find out who upped their Prospect status on Sunday, and check out the Deals from previous days to get an angle on the guys who'll be making the leap to the NBA in 2012-13. TOP PERFORMERS 1. JARRID FAMOUS -- CENTER -- MILWAUKEE BUCKS Famous could not miss on Saturday. Seriously. The 6-foot-11 center went 6-for-6 from the floor and made his only free-throw attempt on the afternoon to finish with 13 points and an unblemished shooting percentage. The South Florida product also grabbed eight rebounds in only 15 minutes off the bench. After a double-double in his first game of the week, Famous bookends the week with another performance that shows why he was one of the top big men in all of the NBA D-League last year. 2. BRIAN BUTCH -- CENTER -- MILWAUKEE BUCKS Butch - like the entire Bucks team - ended Summer League on a strong note. He scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds, just missing out on a double-double of his own. He's known as a big that can stretch the floor and he connected on one of his two attempts from downtown on Saturday, finishing 4-of-8 from the floor. It was a good finale for a player that suffered a scary knee injury in Summer League in 2010. 3. STEFHON HANNAH -- GUARD -- MILWAUKEE BUCKS Hannah came into the week as one our top Prospects to watch and, while he fell on The Board because of limited minutes, he started to put it together as the week went on. Saturday was his finest performance of the week as he scored 14 points and dished out five assists in 17 minutes. He shot 6-for-9 from the floor and his only misses came from 3-point range, where hit on two of five attempts. He did commit five turnovers, however, so that keeps him here in the third slot. Honorable Mentions: Aaron Miles (MIL) - Miles - who first played in the NBA in 2005-06, but played 17 games in Reno in 2010-11 - handed out a game-high 13 assists on Saturday, but he is a bit of a stretch based on our definition of a Prospect being that he has had three separate seasons where saw NBA action. The dimes, nonetheless, were impressive; Craig Brackins (BOS) - 11 points and six febounds in 21 minutes; Larry Owens (BOS) - 10 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes. TOP MOMENT Midway through the third quarter of the Bucks-Bulls game, a quartet of NBA D-League alums took over. First, Bucks center (and Bakersfield Jam alum) Brian Butch stroked a 3-pointer, and the crowd -- some of whom remembered when he suffered a gruesome knee injury during 2010 NBA Summer League -- responded with as loud a cheer as anyone not named Adam Morrison got all day. The next possession, reigning NBA D-League Rookie of the Year Edwin Ubiles hit a shot for the Bulls Then Stefhon Hannah, the reigning NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year and Ubiles' teammate in Dakota, hit another three for the Bucks. After a turnover, Hannah came back the other way, drove to the hoop and dropped a no-look pass over his shoulder to a streaking Jarrid Famous (an Iowa Energy alum), who deposited the ball and most of his lower arm into the cylinder. ...so, either that or the 'MVP' chants Morrison got every time he made a shot. BEST GAME Milwaukee Bucks 113, Chicago Bulls 68: There's a precedent. Earlier in the week, we awarded Best Game to a Heat-Lakers tilt that ended with Miami taking a slight 50-point win. So when the Bucks ran over the Bulls like the stampede scene in The Lion King -- and did so using a fu[...]



The Daily Deal: July 20

07/23/2012 11:25:00 ET

Each day, NBADLeague.com will be in Las Vegas to cover all of the Summer League action, focusing on the top NBA D-League alums that are trying to make an impact on their respective teams in order to earn a spot on an NBA roster. Only the weekend's left. After eight days at NBA Summer League - and 50 games in total - only Saturday and Sunday remain for coaches, scouts and front office personnel to get their final looks at rookies, prospects and bubble guys before the event ships out of Sin City. But if Friday was any indication, there's still a ton left in the tank. From another dominant performance from the Bulls' Malcolm Thomas to an all-around rout on the part of the NBA D-League Select Team (and four Performance of the Day-worthy efforts from that squad), urgency carried the day, as Prospects up and down the Board looked to give scouts a final send-off. TOP PERFORMERS 1. CHRIS DANIELS -- FORWARD -- SELECT TEAM For the second straight night, Daniels played the role of very, very (ok, somewhat) unlikely catalyst for the NBA D-League Select team, going off for 20 points and eight rebounds (three of them on the offensive end) to launch himself up the Top Prospect Board. Daniels, who'd spent four seasons in Korea, tiptoed into Summer League, but over the past two games, he's asserted himself as one of the most interesting big men in all of Las Vegas. His body positioning, vigor on the boards and willingness to slam bodies in the paint have all improved dramatically from what he showed during the NBA D-League season last year - all without giving up his outside touch - and it's shown. He limited Markieff Morris to just six rebounds on the night, went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and scored the five straight points for Select that ended the Suns' 14-1 run to start the second half. 2. MALCOLM THOMAS -- FORWARD -- CHICAGO BULLS Malcolm Thomas has continued his assault on the boards with a 16-rebound performance on Friday night. Thomas, who added 12 points, a Summer League high for him, recorded his third double-double in as many games in Vegas. What's even more impressive for the 6-foot-11 Thomas is that of those 16 rebounds, nine came on the offensive end. Averaging 14 rebounds per game, our top forward Prospect has proven he can bang with NBA bodies and rebound at any level. Rumor has it, some teams like that. Expect Thomas to get an NBA look sooner rather than later 3. ANDRE EMMETT -- GUARD -- SELECT TEAM Emmett spent all of Thursday night's second half on the bench. Which gave him plenty of time to get a boil going. When NBADLeague.com talked to him before the game, he talked about going out and proving something. And from the moment he touched the floor, eight minutes into the first quarter, he did exactly that. Looking averse to rebounding in Games 2 and 3, he hammered the boards on Friday, grabbing 10 rebounds in addition to scoring 18 points (with four assists) by melting the Suns' perimeter defense. He opened the game under control, creating for his teammates as Phoenix rolled to him, then exploded, scoring nine points in both the first and second halves, and doing it from everywhere on the floor. Honorable Mentions: Mustapha Farrakhan, New York Knicks; Donald Sloan, D.J. Kennedy, T.J. Campbell, Cleveland Cavaliers; Eric Dawson, San Antonio Spurs; Charles Garcia, Phoenix Suns; Justin Dentmon, Dallas Mavericks TOP MOMENT In the past, Chris Daniels has been accused of a little to a lot of aloofness. You read that right. Daniels, the NBA D-League Select's 7-foot center, has faced criticism that he looks detached during play, and just waits for the play to come to him instead of asserting himself. That's all changed this week. En route to a 20-point, eight-board night on Friday, his signature moment came with 5:11 left in the second quarter. First, he shed former NBA D-Leaguer (and current Top Prospect Charles Garcia) on the block, received the pass and went right at Suns star forward Markieff Morris. He missed the shot, [...]



For Musselman and Emmett, A Calculated Risk Pays Off

07/23/2012 11:25:00 ET

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - A full day of stifled rage ended in a sigh. "Oh man - yesterday," said Andre Emmett, looking nowhere in particular. "Yesterday was a tough day." Emmett had just finished off an 18-point, 10-rebound night against the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, pacing the NBA D-League Select Team to its second win at the 2012 NBA Summer League, when he stopped to remember just how different things had been just 24 hours before. On Thursday night, Emmett - certainly the most accomplished scorer on the NBA D-League Select Team, arguably one of the most effective in all of Las Vegas and almost definitely the Select Team's No. 1 NBA Prospect heading into Vegas - sat and watched the entire second half of the game from the bench as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled over his teammates. He hadn't been rebounding. At all. A player who'd grabbed 5.5 boards a game in the NBA D-League this year got four in Summer League Game 1, then none in Game 2. And despite the urgings of coach Eric Musselman in Game 3, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound guard was just fine, thank you, hanging on the perimeter. So Musselman took him out midway through the second quarter and put him on the bench. For the rest of the game. To think. To simmer. It was a gamble, but the message was clear: if you don't rebound, you might as well sit down anyway because the NBA teams aren't gonna have any use for you, either. "Coach said he really wanted to get 'Dre in there but if he wasn't rebounding he wasn't going to be able to find minutes for him," said guard Jerry Smith. "We have trust in all of our players, and we felt he wasn't rebounding the ball for two games," Musselman said. "But he bounced back tonight and he was phenomenal." The move came, like lots of things in this town, with risk. For the Select Team, Summer League - especially this one, after the lockout canceled last year's version - provides a spectacularly rare chance for a few of the league's best players to prove they can (or can't) run with NBA players. Outsiders taking on insiders. Lifers against Lottery picks. So for Emmett to sit, impacting the second half as much as the two guys next to him sitting out because of injuries, meant depriving him of the chance to be seen by the scouts in attendance. But Musselman's hope was that, ultimately, it meant saving Emmett from having the scouts see that version of him. "We expect him to be a rebounder," Musselman said. "We expect him to pass the ball. He's got the ability to see the floor, he's got the ability to rebound, and the two wins we've had, Andre's had two big games - and that's not by accident. "I've coached him before," Musselman said. "So I knew he'd come out and play [Friday]. That wasn't even a thought. He can be mad or whatever, but I knew he was gonna come out and produce and we needed him to." Musselman was right. About both parts. Emmett wasn't happy about sitting. With his 30th birthday just a month away, the skills and explosiveness that made him the all-time leading scorer in Texas Tech history are still there, but they're starting to accrue vacation days. So, for him especially, every minute at Summer League matters. And on Thursday night, he spent most of them all seething. "That's what it'll do any time you're on the bench," said forward Marcus Dove. "I'm gonna tell you the truth: my teammates helped me a lot," Emmett said. "They were there to take my mind off it. ... [NBA D-League VP of Player Personnel] Chris Alpert was great for me. He helped me calm down, and I took what he told me and I just stayed positive." So instead of lashing out and shutting down, Emmett buttoned up. He vowed that he'd keep the anger under - at least until he had somebody productive to take it out on, like, say Suns guard Matt Gatens. "I knew I had to come in and, this morning starting with shoot-around, have a positive attitude and make sure I didn't let the other guys see what I was feeling," he said. "I tried to be a leader[...]



Austin's Dentmon Named Performer of the Week

01/17/2012 15:43:00 ET

NEW YORK - Justin Dentmon of the Austin Toros was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Jan. 9-15. Dentmon, a 6-0, 185-pound guard out of Washington, averaged 26.3 points, 7.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 39.5 minutes last week, shooting 53 percent from the floor. He tied a season-high with 31 points in a 114-107 road win over the Reno Bighorns on Jan. 15 as the Toros went 3-1 on the week. For the season, Dentmon is averaging 23.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds.



House of Pain

12/13/2011 13:57:00 ET

Pain is where he lives now.

Pain is the teacher. The liberator. The place where Anthony Mason, Jr. grips for control.

When NBA training camps began on Friday, four players from Mason's Sioux Falls Skyforce NBA Development League team got invitations to big league clubs. Mason wasn't one of them. So he bid goodbye to Greg Stiemsma, Charles Garcia, Gabe Pruitt and Casey Mitchell and buried his head in work again, disappearing to the gym again so he can finally, for the first time since his body began breaking down annually, take ownership of the pain that's put him here.



66ERS FALL SHORT ON THE ROAD TO WIZARDS

12/12/2011 20:22:00 ET

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Nkem Ojougboh recorded his second consecutive double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Brady Morningstar pitched in 14 points and a team-high six assists, but the Tulsa 66ers (5-3) fell short to the Dakota Wizards (3-3) on the road by a 93-80 final Sunday inside the Bismarck Civic Center.

The Wizards, who used a 32-20 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter to claim the victory, were led by Maurice Baker with 23 points. Curtis Withers added a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Also scoring in double figures Sunday for the 66ers were Ryan Reid with 15 and Billy Rush with 10.



Stampede Down D-Fenders

12/12/2011 20:19:00 ET

\n LOS ANGELES -- Cheyne Gadson had 25 points and backcourt partner Tony Bobbitt added 18 and six rebounds and the Idaho Stampede (2-4) beat the Los Angeles D-Fenders 97-90 at the Toyota Sports Center on Saturday night. Antoine Walker added just four points, but led the team, along with Dontell Jefferson, with six assists. Walker, added to the roster on Thursday, led the Stampede in assists eight times last season. Willie Jenkins added 16 points.

\n Off the bench, the Stampede scored 26 points and added seven blocked shots with Mildon Ambres leading the way with 12 points and two rejections.

\n Idaho used a hot second quarter to catch up after falling behind by as many as 14 in the first quarter, making 12-of-20 shots, including 4-of-6 from behind the three point line -- they outscored Los Angeles 31-18 that quarter. All nine Stampeders scored in the period, and the road team forced eight turnovers, which ended up in 12 Idaho points.

\n Los Angeles was led by Brandon Costner, who scored an Idaho opponent season-high 42 points, including 18 in the first quarter. Otis George had a game-high 11 rebounds for the D-Fenders (6-3).

\n Idaho plays next at home against Bakersfield on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.




BAUDINET'S 21 POINTS LEADS ENERGY PAST SIOUX FALLS 103-89

12/12/2011 20:17:00 ET

\n DES MOINES, Iowa -- The 2011 NBA D-League Champion Iowa Energy got 21 points from rookie guard Thomas Baudinet in their 103-89 win over Sioux Falls Saturday night. The win gives Iowa a sweep of the weekend series, and moves their record to 5-3 on the season.

\n Both teams stalled out of the gate as neither team could muster a point in the first 2:52 of the contest. An Andrew Drevo layup opened the scoring for Iowa, who were down 22-20 at the end of the 1st quarter.

\n The two Eastern conference rivals battled back and forth in the 2nd quarter, exchanging the lead numerous times. After a Michael Tveidt 3-pointer gave Iowa a 47-45 lead, Sioux Falls closed the half on a 4-0 spurt to take a 49-47 lead into the locker room. SkyForce standout Anthony Mason Jr. had a game high 16 points at the break to lead the visitors.

\n With the game tied 60-60 mid-way through the 3rd quarter, Iowa went on an 8-0 run, capped by a layup from Thomas Baudinet, to get the crowd in the game. After a Billy McShepard bucket ended the Energy's run, Iowa rattled off six straight points to take a commanding 74-62 lead.

\n Sioux Falls made one final effort to get back into the game in the 4th quarter, as a 7-0 SkyForce run brought the visitors to within three at 79-82. A Drevo jump hook ended that run, and Iowa stretched the lead to double digits in the final minutes of the game.

\n Baudinet's career high 21 points led the Energy, while rookie Nick Murphy scored 20 points off the bench . Iowa won the rebounding battle for the second consecutive night, this time by a 41-33 margin.

\n Sioux Falls was led by Mason's 26 point effort. Guard Dominique Coleman added 19 points and 9 rebounds for the SkyForce, who fall to 1-5 on the season.

\n The Energy head to Ft. Wayne Friday night before returning home Saturday, December 17th against Reno.




CHARGE FALL TO RED CLAWS

12/12/2011 20:16:00 ET

\n CANTON, Ohio -- The Canton Charge's three-game winning streak was snapped at the hands of the Maine Red Claws, 103-81, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Saturday night. Canton now sits at 3-3 on the season, while Maine improves to 2-4 with the win.

\n The game was closely contested early on throughout the opening quarter, as Canton trailed by just one at the break. The Red Claws came out of the gate quickly in the second period however, going on an 18-3 run to propel them to a 39-23 lead. Maine's advantage would build up to 24 at one point, and they took a 53-33 lead into the intermission.

\n The Charge continued to fight hard to try and get back into the game in the second half, but the shots weren't able to fall in enough for the home team and the large crowd at hand. The turnout of 3,454 was the second-largest of the season in Canton.

\n Marcus Relphorde led the way for the Charge, scoring 17 while adding eight rebounds. Jonathan Blake was strong with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. It was Blake's third-straight game in which he had double-digit points.

\n Kyle Gibson came off the bench to contribute 13 points and five rebounds. Antoine Agudio scored in double digits for the third-straight game, dropping in 15 with five rebounds. T.J. Campbell surpassed his season high with six assists.

\n Courtney Pigram provided a major spark for Maine off the bench, pouring in 33 points on 13-of-22 shooting. Pigram was deadly from behind the arc, nailing 7-of-11 three-point attempts. Justin Brownlee and Anthony Kent were strong on the glass for the Red Claws, grabbing 10 and 12 rebounds respectively.

\n The Charge will look to get back on track when they head to Sioux Falls for the first leg of a three game road trip to face the Skyforce Tuesday night.




Mad Ants Fall In Overtime to Springfield

12/10/2011 18:55:00 ET

FORT WAYNE, IN -- The Fort Wayne Mad Ants fell to the Springfield Armor 94-91 in overtime at the Memorial Coliseum. Despite both teams losing some of their starters to various NBA training camps, the two teams battled to the final buzzer. After a tightly contested opening 12 minutes of play the two teams were tied up and the end of the period. Defense reigned supreme in the opening frame as the Armor held Fort Wayne to 36 percent shooting from the field, but the Mad Ants countered by forcing Springfield into eight turnovers.

The Armor went on a 6-0 run midway through the second quarter to build a lead. Corey Allmond started a 10-0 run in response for the Mad Ants when he hit a much needed three-pointer to halt the Armor's momentum. Fort Wayne led 49-42 at the half.



Jam Stifle Stampede In Antoine Walker's Return

12/9/2011 18:52:00 ET

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Idaho Stampede (1-4) saw the return of three-time NBA All Star Antoine Walker and had an excellent game from Willie Jenkins (23 points, five rebounds, four assists), but the Bakersfield Jam defeated Idaho 100-87 on Thursday night.

Walker, signed earlier in the day, made his first basket with 5:55 left in the third quarter and finished the night with seven points and five rebounds in 27:18 of play. Jenkins got off to a blazing start, scoring 18 points in the first half, including 13 in the first quarter.



ARMOR CRUSH THE CLAWS, IMPROVE TO 3-1

12/9/2011 18:49:00 ET

SPRINGFIELD, MA- Lance Hurdle led six players in double figures with a season-high 28 points as the Armor defeated the Maine Red Claws 97-89 tonight at the MassMutual Center. The Armor improve to 3-1 and currently sit atop the NBA D-League's Eastern Conference standings.

The Armor got off to a slow start tonight and trailed the Red Claws by as many as nine in the first quarter before closing the gap to 24-18 by the end of the first.



Prospect Watch, Week Two: Puzzle Pieces

12/7/2011 16:24:00 ET

Four years ago, Walker Russell, a 6-foot point guard out of Jacksonville State built like a shower curtain rod, stepped onto the floor at Madison Square Garden and let himself dream a little.

Russell, the son of a New York Knicks scout by the same name, had been invited to Knicks training camp after a three-year career at Jacksonville State in which he set the school's Division I scoring record (a mark later broken by current Iowa Energy forward Nick Murphy). He was undersized, he knew. But, as he stood on that floor that day in 2007, looking around at all the guys who knew what it was like to play there when those 24,000 seats were filled, he knew he could be one of them.

He didn't have a chance.



LATE DEFENSIVE STAND HELPS D-FENDERS WIN STREAK TO FOUR

12/8/2011 16:59:00 ET

Brandon Costner's blocked shot with just under six seconds remaining helped the Los Angeles D-Fenders push their win streak to four straight as they defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 117-113 at Toyota Sports Center on Wednesday night. Costner led six D-Fenders (6-2) in double-digits after he totaled a game-high 24 points to go with five rebounds. Brian Hamilton (13 points) put Los Angeles in position for the win with 46 seconds to go after he flushed home a breakaway dunk off one of his three steals to push the score to 115-111. Just 8 seconds earlier, Andrews (14 points, 8 rebounds) energized his team with an impressive baseline one-handed dunk.



Charge Rally to Edge Mad Ants

12/8/2011 16:56:00 ET

The Canton Charge came back from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to win their second game in a row, 112-104, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Wednesday night. Canton was propelled by six players scoring double-digit points to even their record at 2-2 in their inaugural campaign. After Fort Wayne built a six-point lead at the half, the Mad Ants went on a 12-0 run midway through the third period to build a 14-point advantage. Coach Jensen called a time out in order for his squad to gather themselves, as they were then able to erase the deficit entirely in the final 5:03 to even the score at 87-87 entering the final quarter.



Toros Knock Off 66ers

12/8/2011 16:55:00 ET

CEDAR PARK, TX -- Justin Dentmon led all scorers with 27 points and Terrence Woodbury added 20 points to lead the Austin Toros (3-1) to victory over the Tulsa 66ers (4-2) Wednesday night at Cedar Park Center. The two teams are familiar with one another after playing three straight games against each other this young season. Austin leads the series 2-1. The Toros overcame a 58-45 rebounding advantage by Tulsa thanks to a stifling defense that caused 27 turnovers by the 66ers. The Toros only turned the ball over 17 times. Turnovers would prove to be the difference in the second half, as Austin pulled away and never looked back.



D-Fenders Bite Vipers To Extend Win Streak to Three

12/6/2011 11:16:00 ET

Six players scored in double figures for the Los Angeles D-Fenders as they defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 132-126 victory at the Toyota Sports Center on Monday night. With the win, the D-Fenders (5-2) extended their win streak to three games and snapped a four game losing streak versus the Vipers (4-2). Jamaal Tinsley controlled the D-Fenders' well-rounded offense as he handed out 15 assists to break the team individual record for assists in a game (13) that he set against Reno (11/28/11). One of his assists came with 1:41 remaining off a Courtney Fortson 3-pointer to extend the D-Fenders lead to nine. Fortson, who provided a scoring surge late, finished 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting and seven assists off the bench.



Walker Russell Named NBA D-League Performer of the Week

12/5/2011 18:35:00 ET

Walker Russell of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Nov. 25-- Dec 4. A 6-0, 175-pound guard out of Jacksonville State who has been in training camp with the New York Knicks, Russell led Fort Wayne to a 2-1 record for the week, averaging 20.3 points, 11.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds.

Russell recorded back-to-back point-assist double-doubles to open the season, tallying 20 points and 12 assists during a 110-106 win on Nov. 25 vs. Sioux Falls, and posting 24 points and 14 assists on Dec. 2 during a 118-110 win at Springfield.



Tulsa Coach Nate Tibbetts Joins Cleveland Cavaliers Staff

12/5/2011 18:33:00 ET

The Tulsa 66ers, proud affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder, announced today that head coach Nate Tibbetts has accepted an opportunity to join the Cleveland Cavaliers as an assistant coach. The organization has also announced that current 66ers assistant Dale Osbourne will take over as head coach effective immediately.

Tibbetts began his third season with the 66ers this past November and compiled a 64-41 (.610) career record in Tulsa, including a 4-1 mark this season. He helped guide the 66ers to consecutive playoff appearances in his first two campaigns, including the NBA D-League Finals in 2010. Last season, Tibbetts served as head coach for the West Team in the 2011 NBA D-League All-Star Game and was also selected as head coach for the 2011 Pan American Games where he helped lead the USA Team to a bronze medal.



Weekend Rewind: Dec 2-4

12/5/2011 18:29:00 ET

Over the next few weeks, the NBA Development League is going to be a busy place. With NBA training camps about to start, dozens of players are expected to find their ways onto NBA training camp rosters. Some will stick, some will head back to their D-League rosters. And to make room for all the movement, NBA D-League teams are now temporarily allowed to keep 12 players on the roster until seven days after the start of training camps...which means that if you're taking notes, you should probably use pencil.



Bakersfield Loses For First Time, Falls 118-95 to Rio Grande

12/5/2011 19:41:00 ET

\n BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Bakersfield Jam lost to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers by a score of 118-95 tonight. The Jam (3-1) drop their first game of the season and the Vipers (4-1) win their first road game of the year.

\n The first period of the game was a close battle as the lead changed 4 times and the teams were tied twice as the Vipers took a 28-26 lead over the Jam at the end of the quarter. Rio Grande Valley got hot in the second, shooting 55.0 percent on the quarter, while Bakersfield went cold, only hitting 16.7 percent of their shots to bring the halftime score to 58-44 in favor of the Vipers. The third quarter continued to go RGV's way as they extended their lead to as many as 30 points and entered the final period being up 85-66. The Jam made a push to start the final period with Adrian Thomas hitting 4 of his 7 three pointers on the night in that quarter and trimmed the Vipers lead to only 10 points at the 7:34 mark but it wasn't enough to make the come back.

\n Rio Grande Valley outscored Bakersfield 56-20 in the paint and 17-6 in the fast-break category. The Jam committed 23 turnovers and had only 18 team assists compared to the Vipers 33.

\n Jam were led by Adrian Thomas with a game-high 21 points on 7-for-15 three point field goal shooting off the bench. Brian Butch finished with his third double-double of the season (14 points and 15 rebounds). Mustapha Farrakhan had 12 points and Anthony Harris added 10 points and dished out a team-high 6 assists.

\n Seven Vipers scored in double figures this evening, led by Stanley Asumnu with 20 points off the bench. Forward Tyren Johnson contributed 19 points and Kelvin Lewis added 17. Josh Tarver and Marshall Brown had 12 points apiece. Terrel Harris and Jay-R Strowbridge scored 10 points each. Up next, Bakersfield will take on the Idaho Stampede on Thursday, December 8, at 7 pm PT at the Jam Events Center.




BayHawks Drop Energy, 97-87, to Split Season Series

12/5/2011 19:39:00 ET

\n DES MOINES, Iowa -- The 2011 NBA D-League Champion Iowa Energy couldn't overcome an 11 point halftime deficit as the Erie BayHawks defeated the Energy 97-87 Sunday night. The win gave Erie a split of the two game weekend series with Iowa.

\n After a see-saw 1st quarter, Erie outscored the Energy 31-21 in the 2nd quarter to take a 51-40 lead into halftime. Erie's Mychel Thompson scored 12 points in the half while Tirrell Baines added 10. Iowa was led by Brandon Ewing's eight 1st half points.

\n After an even 3rd quarter, Iowa used an 11-3 run to cut the Erie lead to 83-76 with 6:50 left in the game. Just as the momentum appeared to be in the Energy's favor, Thompson drilled a 3-pointer that started a 7-0 run for the BayHawks to put the game away for the visitors.

\n Donald Sloan led Erie with 21 points and 7 assists while center Chris Daniels added 15 points and 13 rebounds. The win moves Erie to 2-3 on the season.

\n Ewing finished with 17 points and 7 assists for the Energy, who now stand at 3-3 on the year.

\n The Energy host Sioux Falls Friday and Saturday this week. Tickets for all regular season games are now on sale at www.DahlsTickets.com.




Team Effort Propels Tulsa to 109-96 Win over Tulsa

12/5/2011 19:37:00 ET

\n TULSA, Okla., Dec. 3, 2011 -- Marcus Lewis notched his third double-double of the season with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Jerome Dyson added 19 points and a game-high seven assists to lead the Tulsa 66ers (4-1) past the Austin Toros (2-1) by a 109-96 final Saturday night in Tulsa's home opener inside the Tulsa Convention Center.

\n Additionally, Dwight Buycks added a season-high 18 points and five assists to help lead the 66ers. Also scoring in double figures was Ryan Reid with 14 and Xavier Alexander with 11.

\n Collectively, Tulsa recorded a season-high 24 assists.

\n "Recording over 20 assists is our goal as a team," 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts said. "This is the first time we have eclipsed that, and we earned it. Everyone plays better and the offense is more productive when we share the basketball."

\n The 66ers outrebounded the Toros by a wide 48-28 margin and outscored Austin in points in the paint by a 48-14 clip.

\n Tulsa, who led by as many as 19 in the contest, forced 19 Austin turnovers and added seven steals. The 66ers also recorded a 31-10 advantage in points in the paint.

\n The Toros were led by Justin Dentmon with a team-high 22 points. Myles McKay chipped in 18 points and Carldell Johnson posted seven assists.

\n The 66ers will return to the court for their third straight matchup against the Toros next Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. CT in Austin inside Cedar Park Center.




D-Fenders Hold off Skyforce in Nail-Biter

12/5/2011 19:33:00 ET

\n Sioux Falls, S.D. -- The Los Angeles D-Fenders defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 94-92 Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena. Sioux Falls had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but Casey Mitchell misfired on a tough shot as Los Angeles completed the weekend sweep.

\n Los Angeles (4-2) took advantage of eight turnovers by Sioux Falls (1-3) in the first quarter and led by as many as 18 points (33-15). Mitchell scored 12 of his 20 points in the second quarter as the Skyforce outscored the D-Fenders 32-16 to tie the game at 50 apiece at halftime.

\n Sioux Falls trailed by as many as 13 points (80-67) with just over 10 minutes to go in the game but stormed back and had a chance to tie the game with 7.9 seconds left as Gabe Pruitt stepped to the line to shoot two free throws. After making the first attempt he missed the second and Los Angeles came up with the big defensive rebound. Jamaal Tinsley split a pair of free throws to push the lead back to two points and Mitchell missed a contested shot as Sioux Falls dropped to 1-2 at home.

\n Brandon Costner led all scorers with 34 points including a perfect 10-of-10 free throws. Elijah Millsap continued his strong play with 24 points, 15 rebounds and five steals.

\n Charles Garcia and Casey Mitchell each scored 20 points and Anthony Mason, Jr. added 16. Greg Stiemsma had a solid game with nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in defeat.

\n Los Angeles returns home to face Rio Grande Valley on Monday at 7 p.m. PT. Sioux Falls visits Iowa on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT.




Dakota Drills Idaho

12/2/2011 11:55:00 ET

BOISE, Idaho -- Cheyne Gadson scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but it wasn't enough as the Dakota Wizards (2-1) beat the Idaho Stampede (0-3) 120-77 at CenturyLink Arena. The Wizards scored 27 or more points in each quarter and shot 58.0 percent from the field, made nine three-pointers and made 31 free throws, while out-rebounding the Stampede 53-38.

The Stampede went 28-of-85 from the field to shoot 32.9 percent, while the Wizards took 16 fewer shots, but made 12 more.



Energy Hand Vipers First Loss, 130-117

12/2/2011 11:54:00 ET

HIDALGO, Texas -- Moses Ehambe scored a game high 33 points to lead the Iowa Energy as they knocked off the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 130-117 Thursday night at the State Fame Arena. The loss if the first for the Vipers in the 2011-12 season falling to 3-1, as the Energy pick up their second win of the year improving to 2-2.

The Vipers struggled with their shooting on Thursday as they made just 13 of their 44 three-point attempts to the tune of 29.5%. The Energy in-turn shot 63% from the field for the game to keep the game out of reach for RGV.



BayHawks Win Home Opener, 105-87

12/2/2011 11:40:00 ET

Erie, Pennsylvania -- The Erie BayHawks (1-2) overcame a rough start to capture their first win of the season in front of a home opener crowd of 4,526, prevailing 105-87 over the Maine Red Claws (0-2). Maine jumped out to an early 13-3 lead that included five points by Chris Wright, and Erie's early woes continued as Kyle Goldcamp picked up three fouls and they found themselves down 27-18 at the end of the frame.

But Erie had a stellar second quarter as they put together an 18-6 run, with Tirrell Baines and Mychel Thompson each connecting on 3-point shots. The BayHawks took the lead at 5:42 in the second quarter on another Thompson three-pointer and never looked back as the lead grew to 53-46 at the break.



Vipers Unplug Energy in 134-108 Victory

12/1/2011 15:59:00 ET

HIDALGO, Texas -- The Rio Grande Valley Vipers netted a season high 18 three-pointers on Wednesday morning en-route to a 134-108 matinee victory over the defending NBA Development League Champion Iowa Energy at State Farm Arena. The Vipers improve to 3-0 on the season while the Energy have now lost two straight to fall to 1-2 on the year.

The Vipers, who have been getting off to hot starts in every game of their season opening four game home-stand, did it again on Wednesday morning. A Terrell Harris trey capped a game opening 15-2 run for Rio Grande Valley. The Vipers outscored Iowa 38-24 in the first 12 minutes.



Defense Leads Tulsa to Win Over Texas

12/1/2011 15:57:00 ET

\nTULSA, Okla. -- Marcus Lewis scored a game-high 19 points, Dwight Buycks added 13 points and a team-high four assists and the Tulsa 66ers (3-0) held their third consecutive opponent to under 90 points in a 97-84 victory over the Texas Legends (0-2) Wednesday night inside Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.

\n In the first of six matchups between the Western Conference foes this season, Tulsa led Texas by as many as 23 points on the evening.

\n Also leading the 66ers in the scoring column was Jerome Dyson with 16 points and Brady Morningstar with a season-high 11 points.

\n Defensively, Tulsa held Texas to 31-of-82 (.378) shooting overall, including 1-of-15 (.067) from beyond the arc. The 66ers also forced 19 Legends turnovers and recorded a season-high six blocked shots.

\n Tulsa turned in a team effort on the boards, as Ben Colon (10), Ryan Reid (nine) and Lewis (eight) combined for 27 rebounds.

\n Leading the Legends was Jamal Sampson with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Lawrence Hill also scored 14 and Matt Rogers posted a game-high 11 boards.

\n The 66ers return to the floor Friday night, Dec. 2, when they travel to Austin to take on the Toros at 8 p.m. CT.

\n For more information on the Tulsa 66ers, log onto Tulsa66ers.com.




D-Fenders Fall to Bighorns Despite Late Rally

12/1/2011 15:56:00 ET

\n EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Despite a late-game scoring surge from Elijah Millsap, the Los Angeles D-Fenders were unable to complete the comeback and two-game sweep of the Reno Bighorns, falling 99-95 Wednesday night at Toyota Sports Center. The loss comes two days after the D-Fenders (2-2) set the team record for largest margin of victory (32 points) against the Bighorns.

\n Trailing with under 30 seconds to play, Millsap drove the lane and flushed a two-handed dunk to score his seventh straight point for the D-Fenders and cut the deficit to one (95-96). Millsap, who was one of four D-Fenders in double figures, posted a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go with four rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes off the bench. His Bighorns (1-3) counterpart Zach Graham, who logged 39 minutes off the bench, totaled a team-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds.

\n Teammate Brian Hamilton finished the game with 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, his second-straight 20-plus point game, and a team-high 15 rebounds (eight offensive) while Brian Costner (11 points, 4 rebounds) and Zach Andrews (10 points, 5 rebounds) rounded out the D-Fenders in double-figures.

\n Blake Ahearn scored 19 points and handed out five assists, Taj McCullough registered 15 points, Doug Thomas logged 12 and Nick Fazekas added 11 points in the Bighorns victory.




Season Preview: Eastern Conf., Pt. I

11/21/2011 13:22:00 ET

From now until the start of the 2011-12 NBA Development League regular season on Friday -- including a live broadcast on NBA TV (7:30 p.m. ET) of the Canton Charge's first-ever game, when the newcomers take on defending champ Iowa -- we'll look at the teams, players and storylines you should know as the NBA D-League preps for its most competitive season yet. A breakdown of four teams from the Eastern Conference is up first, with the second half to follow on Wednesday. The first half of the Western Conference preview will be unveiled Tuesday.



15 Finalists Named to U.S. Men's Pan-American Games Team

10/17/2011 00:32:00 ET

Tulsa, OK -- Following five training sessions held between Oct. 14-16, 15 NBA Development League players were selected finalists for the 2011 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team. The finalists will continue training in Tulsa through Oct. 22 and the USA's official 12-man USA team will be announced before the team departs Oct. 23 for the Pan American Games competition that is being held Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Selected as a finalists for the U.S. squad were: Blake Ahearn (Erie BayHawks/Missouri State '07); Brian Butch (Injured for 2010-11 season/Wisconsin '08); Chris Daniels (KCC Egis, South Korea/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi '08); Justin Dentmon (Texas Legends/Washington '09); Jerome Dyson (Tulsa 66ers/Connecticut '10); Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy/Oral Roberts '08); Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants/Valparaiso '06); Marcus Lewis (Tulsa 66ers/Oral Roberts '09); Leo Lyons (Austin Toros/Missouri '09); Renaldo Major (Dakota Wizards/ Fresno State '04); Donald Sloan (Reno Bighorns/Texas A&M '10); Gregory Stiemsma (Sokhumi Tbilisi, Georgia/Wisconsin '09); Curtis Sumpter (Maroussi BC, Greece/Villanova '07): Lance Thomas (Austin Toros/Duke '10); and Luke Zeller (Bakersfield Jam/Notre Dame '09).



Charge! Canton Announces New Team Name

10/13/2011 00:28:00 ET

CANTON, OH - The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that their new NBA D-League team in Canton will be named the Canton Charge. At the same time, the team's colors, logo and court design were also debuted. The announcement and unveiling was led by Cavaliers President Len Komoroski and Cavaliers Chief Marketing Officer Tracy Marek, along with Canton Mayor William J. Healy II and Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce President Denny Saunier. The events took place at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, which will serve as home court for the Charge.



Jensen Named First Head Coach For Canton

10/12/2011 00:30:00 ET

CANTON â€" The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that Alex Jensen has been named the first-ever head coach of their new NBA Development League franchise in Canton. Canton General Manager Wes Wilcox made the announcement. Per team and league policy, terms of the contract were not released. "Alex is a great fit for our team and organization and what we want to develop and accomplish in Canton. He has a very successful and diverse background that is rooted in strong defensive principles and learned from one of the best coaches and basketball teachers in college basketball in Rick Majerus,” said Wilcox. “Alex is also a strong communicator, has natural coaching instincts and understands the importance of building a team with a strong defensive foundation. We are very excited for him to get started.”



D-Fenders To Pick First In 2011 NBA D-League Draft

10/12/2011 00:27:00 ET

NEW YORK, October 11, 2011 â€" The Los Angeles D-Fenders won the 2011 NBA Development League’s Draft Lottery and will have the first overall selection in the 2011 NBA D-League Draft. The lottery took place in Denver, CO today at the League’s annual coaches meetings. The NBA D-League Draft will be held Thursday, November 3. The Austin Toros secured the second selection, while the Maine Red Claws, Sioux Falls Skyforce and Texas Legends round out the top five. “The Draft Lottery tips off the NBA D-League’s 11th season in which our regular season begins as planned November 25,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. The NBA D-League Draft utilizes a “serpentine” format, meaning the order will alternate in each of the eight rounds. For example, the team picking last in the first round will select first in the second round, giving them the 16th and 17th overall choices.



2011 NBA D-League Draft Order

10/17/2011 10:49:00 ET

This is the complete list for the NBA D-League Draft, which will be held on Nov. 3.



NBA D-League Players Called to USA Men's Camp

10/4/2011 15:22:00 ET

USA Basketball announced today that 21 players who are under contract to play in the NBA D-League in 2011-12 have accepted invitations to the USA Men's Pan American Games team training camp Oct. 14-22 in Tulsa, OK. Forward Moses Ehambe, who averaged 24.7 points per game in helping lead the Iowa Energy to the 2011 NBA D-League Finals title, and 2011 NBA D-League All-Star guard Walker Russell (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) headline a group of players vying for a slot on USA's 12-man roster that will compete in the 2011 Pan American Games on Oct. 26-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The team will be announced before departing for Mexico on Oct. 23. "I think the overall depth of the 21 guys and the versatility they have to play multiple positions will be a great asset for the team," said Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts, who on July 27 was named by USA Basketball head coach of the USA Men's Pan American Games team. "Also, the wealth of experience these players have had both in the NBA D-League and overseas will be very beneficial. We are looking forward to getting training camp started in Tulsa to see these 21 players compete for roster spots."



Legends Name Harris Head Coach

10/4/2011 15:25:00 ET

1995 NBA Coach of the Year. NAIA Hall-of-Famer. Indiana Basketball Hall-of-Famer. Over 500 NBA wins in just 12 full seasons as head coach. Coached two World Championships, one Olympics, and other major FIBA tournaments with five different international teams, always finishing in the medal round with a gold and two bronze medals. In addition his Bayamon Puerto Rico Championship Club team won bronze and silver medals in the World Club Championships. The Texas Legends announced today the hiring of Del Harris-the most decorated coach in NBA D-League history. Harris, who was the team's General Manager in its inaugural 2010-11 season, will maintain his General Manager role. "It is with great pride that I am able to introduce to Legends Nation a true basketball legend as our head coach," Legends co-owner Donnie Nelson commented. "Del is one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of basketball - and to be able to have him as the head coach of the Legends is a great privilege."



Nurse Takes Over Vipers

09/21/2011 18:08:00 ET

On the day that he was named the new head coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers -- the NBADL affiliate of the Houston Rockets, and one of three D-League teams to use the hybrid model of ownership -- Nick Nurse sat down with D-League.com's Kevin Scheitrum to talk about what lured him to the team that he defeated in the D-League Finals last year, and what makes the Vipers and Rockets such a unique partnership. D-League.com: You've been the only coach in Iowa history, with your four years capped off with a D-League title - what made you leave? Nick Nurse: Well, it was a combination of a lot of things. First of all, I'm from Iowa and absolutely loved coaching the Iowa Energy, but with the Houston Rockets people and the Rio Grande people, I just felt a good connection with them. I thought my future would be good for me down here, so I'm looking forward to learning from the Rockets, and kind of taking a small step forward in my coaching career. D-League.com: With the success you had in Iowa, how tough was it saying goodbye to everybody up there? Nick Nurse: It was very difficult. Winning that championship last year was really special. Every championship's special, but the way it unfolded with our community and our fans - the crowd sizes, the electricity in the arena - that's something I'll never forget.



Dakota Adds Potapenko to Staff

09/30/2011 17:29:00 ET

The Dakota Wizards have hired Vitaly (vee-TAH-lee) Potapenko (poe-TAH-pen-koe) as the team's assistant coach, the team announced today. Potapenko will serve under newly hired Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren for the 2011-12 season. Potapenko brings two years of coaching experience to the Wizards, having most recently served as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers this past season. In Indiana, under Head Coach Jim O'Brien and Interim Head Coach Frank Vogel, Potapenko helped lead the Pacers to a 37-45 record and a trip to the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Prior to joining the Pacers, Potapenko served as an assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League under Head Coach Joey Meyer during the 2009-10 season.



Mokeski Hired to Coach Reno

09/30/2011 17:20:00 ET

The Reno Bighorns have announced the hiring of Paul Mokeski for their head coach position. Mokeski brings over 30 years of experience in professional basketball to the Bighorns as a coach and a player. Mokeski comes over from the Rio Grand Valley Vipers where he was an assistant coach. He helped guide the Vipers to the NBA D-League Finals the past two seasons including winning the NBA D-League Championship in 2010. The Vipers eliminated the Bighorns from the playoffs in both seasons. "Coach Mokeski is the total package," said Reno Bighorns owner Herb Santos, Jr. "He had a great career in the NBA as a player, he has coached at the collegiate, Olympic, NBA and NBA D-League levels and throughout his career he has shown his commitment to giving back to the communities he has lived in. He meets all of my requirements." A second round draft pick of the Houston Rockets in the 1979 NBA Draft, Mokeski played 12 years in the NBA with Houston, Detroit, Milwaukee and Golden State. Prior to his NBA career, he was a high school All American in 1975 and played basketball at the University of Kansas, where he was a two time All-Big Eight selection. "I am honored and excited to be the next head coach of the Reno Bighorns," said Mokeski. "I look forward to teaming up with the new local ownership group, led by Herb Santos Jr. and putting together a successful and entertaining team together both on and off the court."



Red Claws Are A-Maze-Ing In Maine Cornfield

09/21/2011 18:14:00 ET

PORTLAND, MAINE - After packing the house for two straight seasons at the Portland Expo, Crustacean Nation has always thought that their hometown team was great. This autumn, they will have the chance to experience just how a-MAZE-ing they really are. Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton, Maine has been creating a six-acre labyrinth of corn for 10 years. Working with the MAiZE Company, the world's largest cornfield maze consulting/design company, Pumpkin Valley Farm produces an intricate design each year. Past maze designs have included a Maine moose, American flag, and the mascot of the Portland Sea Dogs. This year's design of the Maine Red Claws court and logo is sure to be the most 'cornfusing' labyrinth yet. "In sports, you get used to seeing your players and logo on things like trading cards, posters, bumper stickers, and it's always a cool thing to see," said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. "This is a whole new level of cool though - who would've ever thought you would see kids running through an image of Crusher covering a six acre stretch?"



Get to Know Springfield Coach Bob McKinnon

09/21/2011 18:10:00 ET

Just after Bob MacKinnon, Jr. was introduced as the brand-new head coach of the NBADL's Springfield Armor on Wednesday, MacKinnon sat down with D-League.com's Kevin Scheitrum to talk about how he got here; where he, the Nets, the Armor and the D-League plan to be; and just about everything in-between. D-League.com: At this point in your career, what made Springfield the right fit? MacKinnon: I think the fact that they're a hybrid partner with the Nets makes it one of the most attractive -- if not the most attractive -- team in the D-League. To have the opportunity not only work with people like [Nets GM] Billy King, [Nets coach] Avery Johnson, [GM of Minor League Operations] Milton Lee and [Nets assistant GM] Bobby Marks and the rest of the Nets franchise, along with the people in Springfield, that's what makes it really attractive. What makes that hybrid model so attractive, as you say, more so than shared ownership? Because you are one-on-one with an NBA team. You're gonna run their stuff, you're gonna be in their system. I'm a big believer in 'If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It."



Top 15 games to watch this season

09/1/2011 09:51:00 ET

On Monday, the NBA D-League released the schedule for its 11th season, an announcement that came on the heels of one of the most promising offseasons in the league history. With more and more NBA teams opting for exclusive relationships with an NBA D-League affiliate - the number ballooned from four teams in 2010-11 to nine single-partner teams in 2011-12 - and two more teams (Springfield, Erie) adopting the hybrid model of ownership (in which the NBA partner runs Basketball Ops), optimism's running high from the Northern Atlantic to the Pacific Coast. But it's a long season. And with each of the 16 teams playing a 50-game schedule - complete with 24 true home games, 24 away games and two at the D-League Showcase in January - we could all use some help in sorting out which games to circle on our e-calendars.



NBA D-League releases 2011-12 schedule

08/30/2011 17:03:00 ET

The NBA Development League today released its schedule for the 2011-12 season, which includes the debut of the Cleveland Cavaliers-owned Canton franchise and the return of the Los Angeles Lakers-owned L.A. D-Fenders. The 11th NBA D-League season tips off on Friday, Nov. 25, when the Maine Red Claws host the Sioux Falls Skyforce at 7 p.m. ET. Opening night continues when Canton, in its inaugural game, hosts the 2010-11 NBA D-League champion Iowa Energy at 7:30 p.m. ET in its inaugural game and L.A., under the helm of veteran NBA head coach Eric Musselman, visits the Golden State Warriors-owned Dakota Wizards at 8 p.m. ET in the D-Fenders' first game since the 2009-10 season. Dec. 1 will feature the Energy visiting the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in a rematch of last year's Finals. Head coach Mo McHone returns for his sixth NBA D-League season with the Skyforce as they travel to Fort Wayne on Nov. 25 to play the Mad Ants. Nate Tibbetts, who will coach the 2011 USA Men's Pan American Games team with a roster of assistant coaches and players from the NBA D-League, will lead the Tulsa 66ers for an opening night matchup versus the Idaho Stampede.



New owners introduced in Reno

09/1/2011 09:50:00 ET

RENO, NEV.- The Reno Bighorns have announced that Bighorns Basketball, LLC, a local ownership group led by Herb Santos, Jr., Stephen Adams and Jeffrey Adams has purchased the team. For the first time in its three-year history, the Bighorns will be locally owned. "I am excited for this incredible opportunity and I look forward to the upcoming season," said Santos, Jr. "The quality of basketball will continue to amaze, astound and delight fans of all ages. We will continue to offer an alternative for a family outing which will not only provide wholesome entertainment but will also be affordable for all members of our community." Santos, Jr. and Stephen Adams have been loyal season tickets holders since the Bighorns inaugural season in 2008. Santos, Jr., was part of the small local group of community leaders who were instrumental in the start up of the Bighorns in 2008. "Herb Santos Jr. and Stephen and Jeffrey Adams have been tremendous supporters of the Bighorns since day one," said Dan Reed, NBA Development League President. "We are pleased to welcome them now as owners of the team, and excited for the future of the Bighorns under their leadership." A focus for the new owners will be to increase the community involvement with positive leadership by the owners, players, coaches and front office staff. "We want to be part of the community," said Santos, Jr. "We want to take part in local charity activities, church socials and other events. We want everyone to become part of the Reno Bighorns Family. We want the Reno Bighorns to be your team!"



Local team tryout information

08/25/2011 18:34:00 ET

Below is a list of local NBA D-League team tryout dates and their respective locations. This list will continue to be updated as teams set-up locations and dates for their local tryouts. There will be more information about the NBA D-League's National Tryouts in the coming weeks. Please continue to check back for more information.



Musselman Named Head Coach of L.A. D-Fenders

08/18/2011 17:14:00 ET

EL SEGUNDO, August 18th, 2011 - The Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League have hired Eric Musselman as head coach, it was announced today by team President Joey Buss. "I'm excited to announce Eric Musselman as the Los Angeles D-Fenders head coach," said Buss. "He has vast experiences in both the NBA and NBA Development League and will be a great addition to our franchise. I look forward to working with Eric and having a successful season." Musselman, who has over 20 years of coaching experience, most recently served as head coach for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League. During his stint in Reno, he compiled a 34-16 record, second best in the league, while leading the team to the Western Conference regular season title and a semifinal berth in the NBA D-League playoffs. "I'm extremely excited to be joining a first class organization like the D-Fenders," said Musselman. "Our staff will work hard to develop young players for the next level while at the same time being an extremely competitive team." Before coaching in the NBA Development League, Musselman spent over ten years as a coach in the NBA. The Minneapolis native was an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic (1997-2000) and the Atlanta Hawks (2000-2002) before receiving his first head coaching job with the Golden State Warriors in 2002. During his two seasons with the Warriors, Musselman compiled a 75-89 record and was runner-up in votes for Coach of the Year in 2003. In 2004, Musselman joined the Memphis Grizzlies and spent two seasons (2004-06) as the top assistant under Coach Mike Fratello. In 2006, Musselman was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings where he coached for one season compiling a 33-49 record. Prior to joining the coaching ranks in the NBA, Musselman was a head coach in the CBA. In 1989, he was named head coach of the Rapid City Thrillers at the age of 23, making him the youngest coach in CBA history. During his tenure in the CBA, Musselman posted a 270-122 record (.688), marking the second highest winning percentage in league history behind George Karl. He holds the honor of being the only person in CBA history to coach in five league All-Star Games (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997) and was the first coach in professional basketball history to win 100 games by the age of 28. Musselman also spent two seasons in the USBL, where he led the Florida Sharks to back-to-back league titles. In two seasons, Musselman coached the Sharks to a combined 53-3 (.947) record. He holds the highest winning percentage in league history. In between his coaching stints in the NBA and NBA Development league, Musselman served as a color commentator for Comcast and Versus during the 2009-10 season, calling West Coast Conference and NBA Development League games, resp[...]



Golden State Warriors To Play Preseason Game At Bismarck Civic Center

08/15/2011 16:51:00 ET

The Golden State Warriors, the owners and parent club of the Dakota Wizards, will host a preseason game against the Utah Jazz at the Bismarck Civic Center on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 (7:00 p.m. tipoff), it was announced today. Tickets for the contest, which is the first game featuring two NBA squads to take place in Bismarck since Denver hosted Minnesota on October 19, 2008, will go on sale on August 25 at the Civic Center box office and Ticketmaster. "We're excited about the opportunity to bring preseason NBA basketball back to Bismarck," said Warriors' Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Larry Riley. "The fans in the region have always supported basketball and this will provide them the opportunity to see an NBA game and become more familiar with their new parent club, the Warriors. Our new ownership, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, have spent the last nine months instituting many positive changes, including the purchase of the D-League Wizards and the hiring of Head Coach Mark Jackson, and the fans in North Dakota will have an opportunity to sense some of the new excitement on October 25." The Warriors, led by Co-Executive Chairmen Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, purchased the Dakota Wizards NBA Development League franchise on June 28, 2011, forming a 'one-to-one' single-affiliate relationship between the two teams. The Warriors are currently one of five NBA teams to own and operate their own D-League team. In preparation for the game, the Warriors are finalizing plans to host a special event in Bismarck for the Wizards' season ticket holders and corporate sponsors. Tentative plans for the event, which will take place in October, include appearances by Warriors' Executive Board Member and NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West and new Wizards' Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren. Full details for the event will be released in the coming weeks.



Nate Bjorkgren Named Coach Of Dakota

08/8/2011 15:25:00 ET

OAKLAND, CA - The Golden State Warriors, owners and parent club affiliate of the Dakota Wizards, have named Nate Bjorkgren (BEE-ork-Gren) as head coach of team's NBA D-League franchise, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced. Bjorkgren becomes the ninth head coach in Dakota franchise history and replaces Rory White, who led the Wizards to a 19-31 record in 2010-11. Bjorkgren, 36, has spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach - under head coach Nick Nurse - with the NBA D-League's Iowa Energy. During his tenure in Iowa, the Energy posted a combined 124-76 record (.620), highlighted by last season's D-League Championship (2-1 over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers). The Energy posted an all-time D-League-best 37-13 record each of the last two seasons and captured three consecutive Eastern Conference titles during Bjorkgren's final three campaigns in Iowa. During the 2009-10 campaign, the Energy led the D-League in (lowest) Defensive Field Goal Percentage and the team has annually ranked among the top rebounding squads in the league. "We're really pleased with the selection of Nate as our head coach," said Warriors' Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Larry Riley. "We believe he is a quality young coach and the right individual to lead the Wizards and, most importantly, oversee the development of our team in Bismarck. The tremendous success he enjoyed in Iowa and his overall knowledge of the D-League will be an added benefit and certainly aid him in this transition. Our entire staff, including Mark Jackson, Bob Myers, Travis Schlenk, Kirk Lacob and myself, were impressed with his pedigree during the interview process and are confident he is the right fit. Prior to joining the Energy in 2007-08, Bjorkgren began his coaching career at the high school level in Arizona, where he served as Head Coach of Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek for three seasons (2004-2007). Bjorkgren, a native of Storm Lake, Iowa, was named the Arizona State High School Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season and earned Regional Coach of the Year honors in both 2005 and 2006. Cactus Shadows qualified for the Class 4A State Tournament each of his three seasons with the school. "I'm really excited about this opportunity to lead the Wizards and provide the fans of Bismarck with a hard-working and exciting team," said Bjorkgren. "I have learned a lot during the last four years on the staff of the Iowa Energy and look forward to implementing my philosophy in this new position. Additionally, I was very impressed with the vision and goals of the Warriors' staff during our meetings and I'm eager to work closely with them as[...]



McHone to Return as Head Coach in 2011-12

08/8/2011 15:26:00 ET

Sioux Falls, S.D. (July 28, 2011) - The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today that Morris "Mo" McHone will return for his sixth season as head coach in 2011-12. McHone is the winningest coach in franchise history with a regular season record of 180-124 (.592). His teams made the postseason five times and he led the organization to a CBA Championship in 1996. "Mo's success with our franchise is unmatched," said Skyforce owner/president Mike Heineman. "Having his experience and knowledge back on our sidelines will be a major benefit for us this upcoming season." McHone replaced Tony Fritz as head coach last season after a 2-18 start and helped the team snap a franchise-record 13-game losing streak in his return to the sidelines. He held the position of director of basketball development for the Austin Toros for two seasons (2007-09) following one season as head coach of the Skyforce. Austin reached the postseason in each of his two seasons in the front office and advanced to the 2008 NBA D-League Finals. Sioux Falls posted a record of 30-20 (.600) in 2006-07 and advanced to the league semifinals before losing to eventual champion Dakota. McHone's first stint with the Skyforce (1995-99) was highlighted by three appearances in the CBA Finals and a CBA Championship. He also coached one of the best teams in franchise history as the 1996-97 squad finished the regular season with a record of 47-9, the fourth-best mark in league history. Prior to coaching in Sioux Falls, McHone was the head coach for the Birmingham Bandits (1991-92), Fort Wayne Fury (1992-93) and Yakima Sun Kings (1993-95). He has an all-time regular season record of 229-168 (.577) in eight CBA seasons and a postseason record of 40-29 (.580). He won back-to-back CBA Championships ('95, '96) and was a two-time winner ('95, '97) of the CBA's Coach of the Year award. McHone worked in the NBA early in his coaching career as he was an assistant coach in San Antonio from 1980-83 and served as head coach of the Spurs for 31 games during the 1983-84 season. He was also an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers (1979-80, 1985-86), Detroit Pistons (1999-01) and Los Angeles Clippers (2001-03).



Tulsa 66ers Head Coach Nate Tibbetts To Lead 2011 USA Men's Pan American Games Team

08/8/2011 15:27:00 ET

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 27, 201) --With the 2011 Pan American Games less than three months off, USA Basketball and the NBA Development League today announced plans that call for the USA Men's Pan American Games Team roster to be comprised of coaches and players from the NBA Development League. USA Basketball also announced that Tulsa 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts has been selected to serve as the USA's head coach and that 66ers assistant coach Dale Osbourne will fill one of the team's two assistant coach positions. One additional assistant coach and the players who will contend for roster positions will be announced at a later date. The coaching selections were made by the USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Committee, approved by USA Basketball's Board of Directors and are subject to final approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer. The Pan American Games Committee, chaired by USA Basketball Men's National Team Director Sean Ford, is charged with the coach and player selections for the 2011 USA Pan American Games squad. "USA Basketball is excited to join forces with the NBA Development League to field the 2011 USA Pan American Games Men's basketball team," stated Ford. "Nate is one of the best coaches in the NBA D-League, he will bring great leadership and experience to the team. The fact that Nate and Dale already have a successful working relationship is a real benefit." "We're excited about the opportunity for players and coaches from the NBA Development League to represent their country on an international stage," said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. "This is another testament to the world-class basketball talent we're attracting and promoting to the NBA, and we're very pleased to partner with USA Basketball to go for the gold!" The Pan American Games, held every four years in the year prior to the Olympics, are being held Oct. 13-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The men's basketball competition, which features eight teams, is being conducted Oct. 26-30. The USA men were drawn into Group B for the Pan American Games and are joined by national teams from Brazil, Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Competing in Group A are Argentina, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The men's basketball preliminary round play is scheduled for Oct. 26-28, semifinals action will be played Oct. 29, and the finals will be contested on Oct. 30. Training camp for the 2011 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team will held Oct. 14-22 at a site TBA. The 12-member USA Men's Pan American Games Team will be announced before the team departs for the competition in Mexico on Oct. 23. The list of athletes participa[...]



Maine Red Claws Name Dave Leitao Coach

08/8/2011 15:28:00 ET

PORTLAND, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Quirk Chevrolet, today introduced Dave Leitao as the team's head coach. The announcement was made today in front of an exuberant crowd of Boys and Girls Club members and reporters at the Boys and Girls Club located on Cumberland Avenue in Portland. The announcement comes exactly two years to the day of the naming of Austin Ainge as the team's first head coach; Ainge was recently named the Director of Player Personnel for the Boston Celtics, paving the way for Leitao to take the reins as the second head coach in Red Claws' history. "Dave Leitao has a tremendous resume of developing young talent and of getting the best out of his players," said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. "Our players will benefit greatly from his experience and emphasis on defense and winning. "Dave as the head coach of the Maine Red Claws is a great addition for the franchise. This organization has enjoyed a great number of successes, on and off the court, and this day marks the beginning step to the next level for this franchise." Leitao, 51, brings a wealth of college experience to Maine, with a coaching career that has spanned 25 years at top college programs. The Massachusetts native is the former head coach of the University of Virginia where he was named the 2006-07 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year by the Associated Press as well as the 2007 National Association of Basketball Coaches District 5 Coach of the Year. Previously, he was head coach at Northeastern University and DePaul University and served lengthy stints as an assistant coach at Northeastern and the University of Connecticut. As the assistant coach at UConn, Leitao served under Hall-of-Fame head coach Jim Calhoun for whom he had also played at Northeastern University. "Dave is a special person and coach and is a part of my family and has been for 30 years," said Calhoun. "He is an outstanding hire, not only from a basketball standpoint, but also as a molder of young men. He knows what these players will need to do to get to the next level, as players and as people. I could not be more excited for him for this opportunity, and the Red Claws and the Portland community are fortunate to have him." A two-year captain at Northeastern from 1978-1982, the 6'7" forward helped the Huskies reach the NCAA Tournament in his final two years. At Calhoun's behest, Leitao entered the coaching ranks as Northeastern's assistant coach in 1984, following Calhoun to UConn in 1986. He took the reins of his own team in 1994, returning to his alma mater as head coach from 1994-96. Leitao returned to[...]