Saturday, January 26, 2008

Steve Blake: Unsung Hero

HoopsWorld.com has a great article this week on how Steve Blake is really the unsung hero of the Portland Trailblazers' success this season:
Most of the credit, headlines, and praise will go to their sensational guard, Brandon Roy. But if you ask the guys in the Blazers' locker room about their success you'll quickly hear them praise Steve Blake. His numbers aren't flashy, but make no mistake about it; he's a big part of the puzzle for Portland.

"He's a maestro when he's on the court," said Martell Webster. "If you don't have a good point guard your offense is broke. Your offense is not connected, he keeps us connected."

Not only does he keep the team connected, he also keeps them efficient. He's a classic low maintenance, pass-first, sharp-shooting point guard. He gives the Blazers great leadership while playing unselfish, mistake-free basketball.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

D.J. Back in the NBA

The last time I mentioned D.J. Strawberry (2003-07), he was being sent to the D-League. But after winning NBDL Player of the Week honors in Albuquerque earlier this month, D.J. was recalled to play for Phoenix, where he has cracked the rotation and is getting increasing minutes (East Valley Tribune):
“He gets after it; that jumps right out at you,” D’Antoni said. “It’s not anything that he has to do. We’ve got a great team out there, we just need his energy. He tries for every loose ball, every rebound and hopefully he can stay right that. That stuff is invaluable.”

Strawberry is loving every minute of it only a month after playing in the Developmental League.

“I’m just trying to bring defense and run around and do whatever it takes to get minutes,” he said. “We have so many scorers and playmakers out there, we just need someone to be out there dogging people on defense, diving around and doing the dirty work. That’s perfect for me. Tonight was better than (Friday) and hopefully the next game is even better.”



The Orange County Register recently ran this feature story about D.J. (who is an O.C. native):
There's no time for D.J. Strawberry to ponder the past, even when so much of his identity is linked to it.

You don't have much time for reflection in the NBA. Not when your job is to stop Steve Nash in practice every day. Not when your coach throws you on the court and tells you to guard Allen Iverson.

"You're going to do that to me right away?" Strawberry thought to himself. "All I could think about was, 'Don't get crossed over.' "

Monday, January 07, 2008

Parrish Brown in Germany

Parrish Brown (2005-07) has signed with GB Suedpark Bochum of Germany's Regionalliga (the 3rd division of pro German basketball). Bochum's press release has this to say (translation):
From the renowned University of Maryland comes the 23-year-old Parrish Brown to the Südpark AstroStars. In the 2006/2007 season, was a 1.82 m tall point guard at one of the best universities in America. In 2002, the Maryland Terrapins were the NCAA champion, and they won the 2004 title in the ACC. Parrish Brown was the back-up for Maryland's starter, who now plays in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns, averaging around 10 minutes per game.

OK, so they're stretching a little to describe their new player... he was the backup to someone who is now in the NBA, and he played on a team that won several titles a few years before he got there. But you can't argue with their assertion that the renowned University of Maryland is one of the best universities in America.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Years Round-up

Yesterday's post finished up the backlog of news which accumulated during December while I was on vacation. Today, to start off 2008, here is a round-up to summarize where all of our former Terps are currently playing. Where it's possible, I've linked to their current player profile (or stats page, or team roster in some cases).

NBA
Steve Blake - Portland Trailblazers
Juan Dixon - Toronto Raptors
Steve Francis - Houston Rockets
Joe Smith - Chicago Bulls
Chris Wilcox - Seattle Sonics

NBDL
DJ Strawberry - Albuquerque Thunderbirds

CBA
Will Bowers - Albany Patroons

International
Nik Caner-Medley - Gran Canaria Grupo Dunas (Spain)
Rodney Elliott - Agricola Gloria (Italy)
Travis Garrison - Alerta Cantabria Lobos (Spain)
John Gilchrist - Ironi Nahariya (Israel)
Ekene Ibekwe - Gilboa/Afula (Israel)
Sarunas Jasikevicius - Panathinaikos (Greece)
Mike Jones - Mersin BSB (Turkey)
Tony Massenburg - Arecibo Captains (Puerto Rico)
Chris McCray - BC Telindus Oostende (Belgium)
Terrence Morris - Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
Drew Nicholas - Efes Pilsen Istanbul (Turkey)
Ryan Randle - AEL Limmasol (Cyprus)
Jamar Smith - Toshiba Brave Thunder (Japan)

Missing!
These players have been released from the last teams they played for, and I haven't seen their names on anyone else's rosters yet. If you know where they are playing, post a comment!

Lonny Baxter (last seen in 2007 with DKV Joventut - Italy)
Obinna Ekezie (last seen in 2007 with Moscow Dynamo - Russia)
Exree Hipp (last seen in 2006 with Gladstone - Australia)
Mike Mardesich (last seen in 2006 with Reims - France)
Byron Mouton (last seen in 2007 with Albany - CBA)
Laron Profit (last seen in 2007 with Humacao - Puerto Rico)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

John Gilchrist Goes Back to Israel Again

Last month, John Gilchrist (2002-05) continued his on-again off-again relationship with the Israeli Premier League, leaving his Latvian team to play for Ironi Nahariya. This is his second stint with Nahariya; he played with them briefly at the beginning of last season also. I had a link and a quote from a news article all set to go, and then I realized it was an article from when he signed with Nahariya in 2006. So instead, here's a blog entry with the news and with a little more info about Gilchrist's recent playing history (in the transactions news at the bottom of the article), and here is his Israeli league player stats and profile page.