The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today the acquisition of former NBA player Chris McCray. He is expected to join the team before tonight’s matchup with the Springfield Armor and will wear number 14. [...]
McCray appeared in five games with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2006-07 season after making the team as an undrafted rookie. After being waived by the Bucks he was acquired by the Dakota Wizards and averaged 11.8 points and 2.9 assists in 23 games while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.0 assists in two postseason contests to help lead the Wizards to the 2007 NBA Development League Championship.
The 6-5, 192-pound guard averaged 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in four seasons at the University of Maryland. He averaged a college career-best 15.2 points during his senior season while shooting 51.6 percent from the field.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
You can share this video with a YouTube link or the University of Maryland's Holiday Greeting page (including turtle snow-globe!).
Two of the video's stars are Gary Williams (1964-68) and Tom McMillen (1970-74)... just so this blog entry isn't completely off-topic. Happy Holidays!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tom McMillen says he has “multiple career disorder.” That’s one way to look at it. Others might note that his basketball All-America-Rhodes Scholar-United States Congressman skill-set comprises a pretty rare and impressive resume. And that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. [...]
Lefty Driesell was only a year out of Davidson and convinced McMillen that he could help him build something special at Maryland; in fact, Jay gave Driesell his famous “UCLA of the East” line. McMillen decided that, “creating a program from nothing was more interesting than sustaining a program. I could be another Larry Miller or a pioneer. I picked pioneer. Still, telling Dean Smith I wasn’t coming was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
Monday, December 14, 2009
While used to shooting layups for pro-basketball franchises, former NBA player and University of Maryland star point guard Steve Francis looked right at home handing out Thanksgiving food packages to the needy last week in Silver Spring.
Of course for Francis, who is sitting out this season as a free agent due to a bothersome knee injury, the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area is home. And from the smiles and laughs he shared with families and Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington coordinators Nov. 24, it was good to be back.
"It definitely humbles you a lot to know these are the people who raised you, who gave me my start," Francis said after meeting with former neighbors and handing out food. "I'm just like everyone else here; I grew up on Maple Avenue [in Takoma Park]."
Friday, December 11, 2009
BC Lokomotiv Moscow-Kuban has signed a contract until the end of the season with American forward James Gist (height 206 cm, weight 107 kg). He was born Oct. 26, 1986 in Silver Spring, playing position number four (strong forward), and is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.
In 2008, James Gist was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA with the 57th pick. He then signed a one-year contract with the Italian Serie A club Angelico Biella. During his season in Italy, he played in 39 games. He averaged 27 minutes, 12.5 points, 6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 block shots.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Dave is working on his Masters degree in Sports Marketing in Belfast and playing for the school's team, the Ulster Elks, while also teaching basketball to freshmen. Sample homework assignment for Neal's students: go on YouTube and watch the movie of Dave setting a screen on Nolan Smith, which is a good assignment for all of you this weekend too. This "week in the life" post gives a picture of what school and basketball life is like for Neal this fall.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
"I thought it was over, but people still coming up to me like thank you, just thanking me," Mouton told me. "It happens all the time. It's amazing. I tell my mom, my brothers and everybody I'm familiar with, people will still talk about that championship until there's another one. That's what I believe." [...]
"I only played for Maryland for two years, but it was the best experience I've ever had," he said. "We were all friends, we had no beefs. After the game we'd all go our separate ways, but when we came back, it was a family. Just a family. We never had a fight or anything. The best team I ever played on, man. It's still like that. We see each other, we acknowledge each other, we support each other, and it's great. It's real great."
Mouton spent some time with Steve Blake this summer. He talks to Juan Dixon. Lonny Baxter called last month. He dreams of being an assistant coach for the Terps one day.
Byron is playing for the Maryland Greenhawks of the Premier Basketball League this winter. The team's schedule runs from January through April, and the Greenhawk's first home game will be January 16, 2010, at Wootten High School in Rockville, Maryland, if you would like to go share your love of Byron Mouton in person.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Marissa Coleman (2005-09) -- Famila Wuber Schio of Italy's Lega A1. Profile page (translation). During the summer, Coleman played for the Washington Mystics and made the 2009 WNBA All Rookie Team.
Shay Doron (2003-07) -- Municipal MCM Targoviste of Romania's Division 1. Profile page (translation). Doron once played for the New York Liberty, but now lives year-round overseas.
Laura Harper (2004-08) -- Umana Reyer Venezia of Italy's Lega A1. Roster page. During the summer, Harper played for the Sacramento Monarchs.
Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) -- Rivas Ecopolis of Spain's LFB. Profile page (translation). During the summer, Langhorne played for the Washington Mystics and was named the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player.
Kristi Toliver (2005-09) -- Raanana Hertzeliya of Israel's Division 1. Profile Page. Here is a long feature article about Toliver and making big shots, playing professionally, and practicing shooting with a tennis ball with the lights out. During the summer, Toliver played for the Chicago Sky.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Taj McCullough and Bambale Osby of Ironi Ramat Gan - both 23-year-old Americans (Osby by way of The Democratic Republic of the Congo) - like to think of themselves as following the straight and narrow.
"We don't go out at night before a morning practice," says McCullough, adding unconvincingly, "but it has happened a few weekends that we've stayed awake until sunrise, just to see how long we could stay up." [...]
In Osby's view, "Israel is like paradise. There is good food here, comfortable weather, beautiful women and great nightspots. It's like a little America."
Friday, November 20, 2009
Unfortunately, he posted three times in one week and then never updated again. But the posts are about Maryland Madness and Exree's experience playing in the alumni game. Hopefully, he'll come back and post more as the basketball season progresses.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday morning saw the arrival in Mar del Plata of replacement player Michael Jones, who has the same name as another foreign player who had played for Peñarol at the end of the previous decade.
Mike Jones is a guard, 25 years old, 1.96 meters and 91 kilos, who graduated from the University of Maryland. When he left the United States, he tried his luck in Turkey (Mersin BSB), Cyprus (Apoel BC), and finally in Romania (Ploiesti Asesoft CSU). There, in the Carpathian league, in 37 games, he averaged 19.9 minutes, 13.2 points (59.7% 2-pointers, 37.5% 3-pointers, and 74.4% free throws), 2.5 rebounds, and 0.9 assists.
According Peñarol's managers, the player is a "stepping stone" toward the the future.
The team has a website but it hasn't been updated in 2 years, so don't look for any Mike Jones news there.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Parrish Brown (185-G, college: Maryland) is a guard from Chicago, Illinois. In 2007 he graduated from the University of Maryland and turned pro. He spent his first season overseas in Germany, playing for BG Suedpark Bochum in the Regionalliga West during 2007-08. While there he appeared in 10 games and scored 26.8 points per contest and was named to the 2007-08 Eurobasket.com All-Regionalliga West First Team. From December 2008 until October 2009 he suited up for Potros ITSON of Mexico. Brown averaged 14.0 points, 3.4 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 10 games of the 2009-2010 campaign, before he parted ways with the team recently.
You played in Mexico recently. How is the level of competition there compared to Germany?
The competition is the same in that the games are really physical. The refs allow a lot of grabbing, pushing, holding and it's very competitive, no one wants to lose.
You left your team in Mexico in October. What happened?
The coach that brought me on the team ended up being fired, so the new coach that was hired brought in his own players.
When you were in Germany during the 2007-2008 season you dominated the Regionalliga West and scored 26.8 points per game for Bochum. What do you remember the most from your time in Germany?
I liked playing in Germany. I mainly miss the fans. The fans in Germany are very loyal to their teams and show lots of support.
You attended the University of Maryland and played with several great players there. Who was the best teammate that you had?
I had a lot of good teammates at the University of Maryland. I can't really say which one was the best because I shared a different relationship with each teammate. But I still speak with Chris McCray, Dj Strawberry, Ekene Ebekwe, James Gist and Bambale Osby.
How is it like to play for such a famous school like Maryland in huge arenas and then come to Germany and play in front of a couple of hundred fans in a small gym?
I think it's very different but you have a love for the game that it doesn't matter how many people are at the game as long as you can lace up your shoes and go out there and compete.
What is your best memory from your college days?
I have a lot of great memories from college but my best memory is my senior year when we beat North Carolina at home and everybody stormed the court. That was a great feeling to have after beating a great team in North Carolina and all the fans on the court jumping up and down and yelling.
What are you plans after parting ways with the Mexican team?
Well right now I just plan to keep working out lifting weights and working on my game until I can find somewhere else to play.
I don't like copying the whole interview like this, but until Eurobasket fixes their news database issues, this is probably the only way most of you will get to read it.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
You left your team in Mexico in October. What happened?
The coach that brought me on the team ended up being fired, so the new coach that was hired brought in his own players.
What are you plans after parting ways with the Mexican team?
Well right now I just plan to keep working out lifting weights and working on my game until I can find somewhere else to play.
Update: Sigh... broken link. Eurobasket seems to be having some issues this week with all their news links, and lots of things on their page are broken. I found this interview week, but the link broke when I tried to go back to post it. It was broken all weekend, then worked again last night, so I went ahead and posted it, but now it's dead again. I was able to copy and post the full interview text, which you can read while we wait for Eurobasket to get their website working again.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Chris McCray (2002-06), who played last season with the Rimini Crabs of Italy's Lega2 (Agent's Profile)
James Gist (2004-08), who played last season with Angelico Biella of Italy's LegaA (Agent's Profile)
DJ Strawberry (2003-07), who played last season with Fortitudo Bologna of Italy's LegaA (Agent's Profile)
Mike Jones (2003-07), who played last season with CSU Asesoft in Ploiesti, Romania.
Parrish Brown (2005-07), who played last season with Potros Itson in Mexico's LNBP (Agent's Profile)
Steve Francis (1998-99), who ended up on the Memphis Grizzlies roster last year, but never played for them.
Ryan Randle (2001-03), who played last season with Saint Etienne BC in France's ProB league.
Also..., I haven't had anything to post about them all summer, but Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) and Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) are both signed for another year in Greece with Euroleague Champs Panathinaikos. Here's a story from over the summer about PAO re-signing Sarunas.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sunchales Libertad coach Juan Carlos Parola offered this opinion in a conversation about Laron Profit: "Laron is a very complete player. Technically gifted with great knowledge of the game. During his stay in Libertad, he managed to be loved by the people of the city and the club, and recognized and highly respected by his peers."
On the significance of his hiring, he added: "The addition is significant because his qualities as a player give us sufficient reason to believe that apart from his experience and knowledge of the game, he will provide a lot of quality minutes."
The only question is American's physical condition, since just over a year ago he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. In the midst of negotiations that seemed on track, the player had to face the injury, preventing his return for Libertad's 2008/09 campaign. In fact, he has now had 16 months of inactivity in professional competitions.
Profit made an excellent reputation for himself in his previous spell in the National League, where he became a game-changing player in the final leg of the 2007/08 season in which Libertad won the championship. In the final series against Quimsa, the forward was the leading scorer and was voted MVP of the finals.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Here are excerpts from the team's press release (translation here):
"It was a difficult decision to play for the first time in Europe after 7 years in the NBA. At the start of the season I participated in training camp with the Atlanta Hawks, then I was a free agent and I thought about what was the best choice for my family. After much thought, I accepted the proposal of Aris. I think I made an excellent choice," said the ace and added, "I promise that I will try hard to be good teammate for the team and hopefully that will help bring victories for the club, drawing on my experience in the NBA. [...]
As regards his role on the court, the American player said: "I can play both guard positions, either in position '1 'or the '2'. I spoke by phone with the coach of the team and he told me that he intends for me to be the second point guard on the court. I will try my best to do what is needed and what the coach expects from me."
At the same time, however, the leading scorer in the history of the Maryland Terrapins in the NCAA, Dixon showed a willingness to "bomb" the opposing basket, if necessary: "The past two years, I diverted from the road that led me to the NBA, meaning the scoring. I tried to make a transition from scorer to pure point guard, but that has not had the best result. My goal is to put the ball in the basket as much as possible. I came on to score!".
Note when reading the translation, Google is mistakenly translating the team name, Aris, as Mars.
Friday, October 30, 2009
The Maryland GreenHawks selected Byron Mouton, a 6’6” 225lbs guard/forward from the University of Maryland with the third overall pick in Thursday’s 2009 PBL Draft.
“Byron brings a tremendous amount of experience and leadership to our team,” [GM Adam] Dantus said. “We think that he is a tremendous well rounded player with a high basketball IQ and will fit in very well with our team.”
I just now learned from Wikipedia that the PBL is an offshoot of teams who left the ABA in 2007. The GreenHawks were formerly called the Nighthawks up until last week, and several other former Terps played for them over the years (including Travis Garrison and Johnny Rhodes). For those of you wanting to see Byron in action, the GreenHawks play their games at Wootton High School in Rockville, but they don't have this season's schedule up on their website yet.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The John Gilchrist Journey, Part 1:
The John Gilchrist Journey, Part 2:
And here is an interview with Gilchrist (1st 2:30 of the video) and his coach from the Adelaide 36ers (2nd half of the video) from back in August:
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Over Juan's NBA career, he has averaged 8.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He has played seven seasons for four different teams (Washington, Portland, Toronto, Detroit, and Washington again). His most productive year was 2005-06, when he started 42 games for Portland and averaged over 12 points per game.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Gilchrist's only successful triple of the night gave Adelaide the lead 88-87 with 26 seconds left before Williams drove to the hoop for the final two of his 32 points.
Now down 88-89, the Sixers had 19 seconds to fashion a winner, the ball in playmaker Gilchrist's hands. [...]
Here is a video of the last 50 seconds of the game. Gilchrist is #20 in red. He hits the go-ahead 3 pointer about 40 seconds into the video, and then the game winner at the 1:10 mark.
Congratulations to all the other blogs in the competition, especially our friends at Shell Games (who won the Terps category and represented all of Terp-dom by finishing 7th in the overall Best Blog balloting) and Testudo Times (who won the Best Sports Blogs category).
Friday, October 02, 2009
There has never been any flash to Blake's game, and there likely never will be. The 6-foot-3, 172-pound Blake is an old-school point guard in an ever-changing, modern league. To some, Blake is a throwback — a player who will never be more than a simple set-up man. But according to many of his teammates and several Portland coaches, Blake is irreplaceable. [...]
Monday, [Brandon] Roy drew a small line in the Blake-Miller debate, saying he feels extremely comfortable playing with Blake. Tuesday, Roy stated Blake's selfless style makes him feel limitless on the court.
"I hadn't played with that in a while," Roy said. "I was playing with point guards — the new-school point guard, who is aggressive and is kind of looking for his (points). But, you know, I played with Blake and I was like, 'Oh, OK. This is great.' "
Dime magazine says the coach has named Blake as the starter to open camp, even though Miller is the talk of the town:
Last season, Steve Blake did a legit job at the point but now management upgraded the position this offseason by signing Andre Miller to a three-year, $21 million deal.
The obvious choice to start would be Miller. [...] But Blake has done a great job running the Blazers’ offense for the past two seasons.[...] Plus, he has the ear of the team and more importantly, the confidence of coach Nate McMillan. The coach even said Blake is the starter coming into training camp.
Finally, the Rip City Project blog says Blake is the forgotten man in all the Andre Miller hype:
However, we can’t just go ahead and crown Andre Miller already. Thinking that Steve Blake is going down without a fight is just silly. His nickname is Lieutenant Dan and I’m pretty sure he could choke 80% of the NBA out. I mean he was the starter on a team that won 54 games last season. Say what you want but that’s something that Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Steve Nash can’t say. Is everyone forgetting that this is a guy whose been in the NBA six years and played for four different teams (including this one) before finally finding a home in Portland. AND he’s in a contract year??? This is a big year for him.
(The Baltimore Sun's Mobbies blog awards voting is still going on through October 9. Remember that you can vote once per day! Our blog is hovering around #4-6 in the Terps category. I don't expect to win, but I'd like to avoid the embarrassment of finishing last. So why not stop on by and vote for us today?)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Bambale is now getting a fresh start with a new team in Israel, joining the roster of Ironi Ramat Gan (translation) of the Israeli Premier League. (The translation is mangling his name, but you can see him on the roster here.)
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Wilcox, signed as a free agent after splitting last season between Oklahoma City and New York, offers a different set of skills. At 6-foot-10 and about 240 pounds, Wilcox’s calling card is his athleticism and ability to finish in traffic. Though not a perimeter threat, he’s a threat, unlike Brown, facing the basket from 15 feet and can score over smaller defenders from the post. [Pistons vice president Scott] Perry knows Wilcox well from the season he spent away from the Pistons as assistant general manager with the then-Seattle Sonics.
“Chris is an excellent athlete, very explosive," Perry said. “Going back to my time with Seattle, he was a guy who could get you four to six points in transition with his ability to run the floor and you kick it up ahead to him. He can improve your ability to fast break because once you get the ball, either on a steal or a rebound transitioning to the offensive end, he’s very good at that because he’s got good speed and athleticism. If and when he plays that five position, you can use that to his advantage." [...]
The Pistons are also hoping that being dropped into the first winning environment he’s experienced in his seven-year career – Wilcox has not only never appeared in a playoff game, he’s never begun a season with a team expected to challenge for a playoff berth – will draw out the best in Wilcox.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Remember, vote early, vote often!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
The internal concerns about the Hawks’ point guard depth is reflected in the number of veteran guards on the camp roster, highlighted by this veteran guard. Dixon has never carved a niche for himself as a starting point guard but he’s been a factor on several teams as a situational combo guard. He’ll need a huge showing in camp to snag a roster spot.
There are eight players in training camp playing for one or two roster spots once the season starts.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Excerpt from the press release:
Terence Morris is Regal Barça’s second signing for the 2009/10 season. The American power forward is especially motivated because he thinks the way Barça play will suit his game.
The former CSKA Moscow player signed for the next four seasons this afternoon and says that Barça is his big chance “to win a major title”. So far the American has been playing in minor leagues such as those in Russia and Israel though he combined that with Euroleague action. Now with Barça and in the ACB, he hopes to be able to show off his talent once more.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Playing for Fastweb Casale Monferrato last season, Smith played a total of 37 games, including playoff and regular season, averaging 29.4 minutes a game, 12.5 rebounds and 7.5 points scored. [...]
In the words of coach Ramagli, "We have added to our roster a veteran player who has already had substantial experience in Lega and which may be of great help to our young players. He is a very technical player who has returned from a very positive experience in Casale Monferrato, where he helped lead his team to the league semifinals and earn a promotion to Serie A. He has good hands on offense and improved his defensive impact a lot last season. His integration will be an important addition to our team."
In his comments to the media upon his arrival with the new team (translation), Jamar said all the standard, generic things about his new city and teammates.
"I'm really excited to be here," Jamar said in her first interview with the media as a new forward for Trenkwalder. "My first impression of the people and the city has been very positive, I liked my new colleagues, it seems like a young and highly motivated team. I will do my best to contribute to the team."
Saturday, August 29, 2009
If there is any downside to this signing, it’s that the similarity of names (Joe Johnson, Joe Smith, Josh Smith) on the Hawks roster will potentially make discussing them very confusing.
The Hawks also have an interview with Joe Smith available in their podcast section.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Those of you who studied Spanish in high school may have already translated the team's nickname for yourselves: "The Students". You know with a nickname that sounds so weak, they must be an ironically tough team.
Spanish sports news site enCancha.com (translation) talks about the signing:
Caner-Medley, playing for Cajasol, was one of the players who awoke from the lethargy that had sunk the bench in Seville after spending a long time as the bottom club in the ACB. He played in 20 games for Seville, averaging 10.7 points and nearly 8 rebounds per game.
"He's a player who is very familiar with the ACB. I'm sure he will create a strong connection with the fans of the 'Stu' because he gives it all on the court: maximum intensity and pure heart," said sports director Nacho Azofra.
Three more news sites with pretty much the exact same story, but with different pictures of Nik Caner-Medley: here, here, and here.
Friday, August 21, 2009
People who were around campus back in the late 90's might remember that Ekezie was known as a stellar student who chose Maryland primarily to attend its School of Business.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Doron will be playing in Romania this winter, with a club called Targoviste. As for why she is not returning to the WNBA, she said, "I'm enjoying my summer too much. I'm fortunate to have my European passport. I love playing overseas. You get to travel the world, and getting to live in another country is pretty cool. Plus, I get to see all these girls year round. We play against each other all the time."
Also, I don't have enough material to make this its own story, but I found a player transaction list showing that Shay's former Maryland teammate Aurelie Noirez (2003-07) is now playing for France's ASA Sceaux, in the French amateur NF2 league.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Gatlin takes over the Trojans program after a short stint at Veritas, the sports academy that opened in Kernersville last year and quickly ran out of money.
Gatlin was an assistant coach at Greensboro Day before taking the Veritas job. He also works as a personal trainer - among his pupils is 7-foot-9, 370-pound Chinese star Sun Ming Ming - but that business has changed.
"Most of the kids I train now are college kids and guys that play professionally in Europe," Gatlin said. "I stopped training a lot of the younger kids because I didn't want parents to think I was training kids to try to get them to come to Veritas or (Wesleyan). I would train my own kids that already played for me, but ... I stopped doing a lot of high school training when I took the job at Veritas because that's a conflict of interest."
Another story from GreensboroSports.com fills in some more details of Gatlin's career:
Keith came to Greensboro and was set to play for the Greensboro City Gaters of the short-lived Global Basketball Association(GBA), but he suffered a knee injury and never got to suit up for the City Gaters. [...]
Gatlin recovered enough from that knee injury to get in some quality time playing professional basketball in Europe and did well enough finacially to return to Greensboro after his playing days in Europe were complete.
Gatlin became a youth basketball coach and helped run camps here locally and he also served as the assistant to Greensboro Day School head coach Freddy Johnson. Gatlin later coached the girl’s at GDS for a brief time, before Josh Shoemaker took over the Lady Bengals. Keith and his wife also opened up an over-the-road trucking company that put them in the transport business.
Keith became the head boy’s basketball coach at the now-defunct Veritas Academy in Kernersville and maintained that team and job for one season.(2008/2009)
Here's the YouTube clip of Gatlin's famous inbounds play against UNC in 1986 that is mentioned in the story. I might not remember Gatlin, but I do clearly remember seeing this game on TV way back when:
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The American playmaker, who in 2004 led University of Maryland to its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 20 years, has impressed strongly during a two-week trial and has agreed to terms. The MVP of the ACC tournament, Gilchrist, 25 and 191cm, has big shoes to fill here following the retirement of superstar guard Brett Maher.
But coach Scott Ninnis always was confident he had found the right man.
"He's going to terrorise a lot of NBL players this season," Ninnis said.
The 36ers should formally announce securing Gilchrist's signature within a few days and he is likely to make their up-tempo game a treat to watch.
Access Athletes' Real Athlete Blog has a three part interview with John Gilchrst that started last month and concluded this week:
Part I - "The Journey", about John's rise to stardom in Southeastern Virginia.
Part II - "The Lessons", about John's departure from Maryland and life lessons as a young professional overseas.
Part III - "Alert and Prepared", about John's new outlook and goals for his career.
(Thanks to Testudo Times for finding the first part of this interview last week.)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Neal will attend the University of Ulster in Belfast this year, where he will work on a master's degree in sports management while playing in Basketball Ireland's SuperLeague. [...]
"People always say I fit more of an international game," Neal said. "I'm not the most athletic guy, but I'm very fundamentally sound. That's what international ball is all about. You're going to have some athletes, but the majority of it is fundamentals, knowing the game and playing hard. I have a chance to do well, and if I have a good season, you never know what next year will bring."
Update 8/17/09: In the comments section of his blog, Patrick Stevens answered my question about what team Dave will play for: the University of Ulster Team, which appears to be called the Ulster Elks.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Q: What were your feelings coming back to DC to face former teammates, Crystal and Marissa, in front of many Terp fans this summer?
A: It was awesome coming to DC! It was great to see all the red in the stands and to hear the cheers when I came into the game for the first time. It was even better hearing them silent when I started making some shots towards the end.
Updated 8/12/09: The Baltimore Sun is also running a story about Kristi Toliver this week.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Here is the relevant excerpt from the team's press release:
Osby is 23 years old, 2.03 m tall, 118 kg in weight and plays power forward and center. The man with Congolese roots played last year at Mobitelco Cluj in Romania. There, he reached an average of 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds. "Boom", as he is nicknamed, previously played in college at the University of Maryland. In his senior season, he scored 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots.
"Bambale Osby is exactly the player we wanted. He gives us what we need under the basket. He is strong on defense and rebounding, and he brings the necessary mass to dagegenzuhalten," said new Phoenix coach Ingo Freyer. Freyer was particularly impressed by Osby's appearance in a European Cup game against German champion Oldenburg, where he scored 18 points and 6 rebounds.
Last season, I felt that Maryland was definately lacking in dagegenzuhalten after Osby's departure. (Google translation doesn't know what dagegenzuhalten means; other free translation sites say it means, "on the other hand to hold," but that doesn't help in this context. Could mean defense under the basket? Could be offensive putbacks? Any German speakers out there?).
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
(Found via Gary Williams's Twitter feed.)
Monday, August 03, 2009
Staying in the Turkish Basketball League for another year, Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) has signed with Kepez Bld Anatalya (translation). Ekene played in the TBL last season with Mutlu Aku Selcuk Universitesi Konya, but that team finished near the bottom of the league and was relegated to the TBL2 minor league. By signing with Kepez, Ibekwe will get to continue playing in the top pro league.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Here is my own Top 10, based solely on post-college professional success. Feel free to debate in the comments section!
#11) Keith Booth: 2 NBA seasons, where he got an NBA Championship ring with the Bulls (albeit at the end of the bench). Post-NBA, he has developed into a good assistant coach, and could move up on this list before his coaching career is over. Keith was originally my #10, but at the last minute before posting, I remembered someone else who had to be on the list, so I'm keeping Keith Booth here as an honorable mention. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#10) Juan Dixon: 7 NBA seasons and counting as a good role player off the bench, but he may have peaked in 2005-06 with Portland (the only year he was consistently a starter). (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#9) Terence Morris: Played a few years off the bench in the NBA, then went to Europe where he became a highly-respected starter. Made it to the Euroleague Finals twice, but lost twice. All-Euroleague team in 2008. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#8) Chris Wilcox: 7 NBA seasons and counting, but may have peaked in 2005-07 with Seattle when he was one of the team's star players. Recently joined the Pistons, where he could rejuvenate his career and move up on the list. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#7) Steve Blake: 6 NBA seasons and still improving. Blossomed into a starting point guard in the league in Denver and Portland. Could move up on this list before his career is over. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#6) Drew Nicholas: The NBA thought he was too small, so he went and became a star sharp-shooter in Europe, winning a Euroleague championship this spring. Italian league scoring champ in 2005, Euroleague scoring champ in 2006. (Wikipedia)
#5) Tony Massenburg: Played for 12 NBA teams in 13 seasons plus some great seasons Europe, winning an NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2005 and a Spanish League Championship with Barcelona in 1994. Started 233 career NBA games. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#4) Walt Williams: 11 seasons in the NBA with 6 teams. 409 career starts, but only played in 35 post-season games, since he was on a lot of bad teams. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#3) Joe Smith: #1 draft pick and 14 seasons (and counting) in the NBA. His career got off to a slow start, but he has turned into a consistent role player that contending teams covet. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#2) Steve Francis: 9 NBA seasons, #2 draft pick, Co-Rookie-of-the-Year, 3-time All-Star. Could have become a Hall of Fame Player if his career hadn't been plagued by injuries and playing for the Knicks. (NBA.com Profile, Wikipedia)
#1) Sarunas Jasikevicius: His NBA run fizzled, but the guy is a genuine STAR on and off the court in Europe, with four Euroleage championships with three different teams. Led Lithuania to the 2003 FIBA European Championship. All Euroleague Team in 2004 and 2005, Euroleague Final Four MVP in 2005, FIBA European Championship MVP in 2003. Won national league championships in Slovenia, twice in Spain, twice in Israel, and twice in Greece. Sarunas has NOT won a league championship in only 4 of his 11 pro seasons, including his two years in the NBA. (Wikipedia)
Monday, July 20, 2009
One the major weaknesses of last season's 39-43 squad was a lack of athleticism; other teams were quicker and played above the rim against the Pistons.
Wilcox addresses that -- the 6-foot-10, 235-pounder can pull off some highlight-reel dunks.
The Piston's team blog says that while many people in the league have written Wilcox off, GM Joe Dumars believes that with a fresh start with a young team, he can blossom:
Wilcox carries something of an underachiever label with him to Detroit, which explains why he was still available more than two weeks into free agency and why the Pistons got him for $6 million over two years [...]
But like so many of the players Joe D has picked up in the past and watched thrive in the environment he’s painstakingly created with the Pistons, Wilcox has been mired in situations that would have had to improve by half to be considered mediocre. Consider this: In seven seasons in the NBA, he’s yet to finish one of them with a winning team. The Clippers won 27, 28 and 37 games in his first three seasons, then traded him midway through the next year to Seattle, which won 35, 31 and 20 in his three seasons there. Last season was split between the relocated Thunder and the woebegone Knicks, both of them speeding toward the lottery.
Not only has Wilcox never appeared in a playoff game, he’s never been on a team that threw it up on opening night dreaming the playoffs were a possibility.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
James Gist (2004-08) is back in the US after his year in Italy and playing for the Spurs. (Summer League Stats)
In a post on the Diamondback's Terrapin Trail blog last month, James Gist, while attending Ty Lawson's draft party, said he intends to play for the Spurs this year:
Gist, drafted last year by the San Antonio Spurs No. 57 overall, has played basketball with Lawson since the two were in elementary school. Last year the Terp didn’t make the Spurs roster and played with Pallacanestro Biella in the Italian professional leagues. But Gist said this year he’s determined to have a reunion with his longtime friend.
“Sunday I’m going down to San Antonio to start working out,” he said. “Hopefully I get to play against Ty again. I’m going to play for the Spurs this year.”
Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) is doing OK now following a scary injury during a Toronto Raptors game. (Summer League Stats)
Toronto's Ekene Ibekwe was hurt making a game-saving block during the Raptors' 74-73 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix's Goran Dragic drove in the final seconds and his layup attempt was blocked by Ibekwe, who was undercut by Dragic. Ibekwe's chin crashed to the floor. Ibekwe was immobilized and taken off the court in a stretcher and rushed to a UMC Medical Center. He did not sustain any serious injuries, but it is uncertain if he will play in the remaining game for the Raptors.
Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06), after spending the season in Spain's top pro league, is playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, and is impressing the team. (Summer League Stats)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Lonny Baxter played for Panionios ON Telecoms in Athens, Greece. In Greek League games, he scored 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game (21 games). The team finished 6th in the league, and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Panionios also played in the Euroleague tournament, but did not advance past the opening round. Lonny scored 11.0 points, 5.8 rebounds per game (8 games) in Euroleague games.
Parrish Brown's team, Portos, finished in last place in Mexico's LNBP North Division. (No stats available)
Nik Caner-Medley played for Cajasol Sevilla of Spain's ACB League. In ACB games, he scored 10.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game (20 games). Cajasol finished in 14th place (out of 17) in the league and missed the playoffs. Cajasol also played in the EuroChallenge tournament, where they advanced to the Top 16 round-robin stage. Nik scored 10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds per game (10 games) in the tournament.
Andre Collins played for Carife Ferrara of Italy's SerieA. Ferrara finished in 10th place and did not make the playoffs. Collins had probably the best stat line of any former Terp this season, scoring 17.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 3.0 steals per game (30 games).
Rodney Elliott played for Paris-Levallois which finished first in the French ProB League regular season, but lost in the semifinals of the league tournament. He scored 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds (39 games).
Travis Garrison's team, Dalaman A.S. Pamukkale Univ., finished in 6th place in their division in Turkey's TB2L (2nd division). (No stats available)
James Gist played his first pro season for Angelica Biella of Italy. He scored 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game (34 games). Angelica finished in 7th place in Italy's SerieA regular season but lost in the semifinals of the league tournament.
Ekene Ibekwe played for Mutlu Aku Selcuk Universitesi Konya of Turkey this season. Selcuk finished in 15th place (next to last) in the Turkey's TBL (1st division). He scored 18.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game (28 games). Following the Turkish season, he joined Gigantes de Carolina of Puerto Rico's BSN league, which is currently playing games in the summer.
Sarunas Jasikevicius won both the Euroleague Championship and the Greek League Championship (they finished 2nd in the regular season) with his team Panathinaikos, and his teammate, Drew Nicholas. In Greek League games, he scored 11.4 points and 2.7 assists per game (29 games), and in the Euroleague, he scored 9.4 points and 3.4 assists per game (18 games).
Mike Jonesand his team CSU Asesoft Ploesti won the Romanian League Championship (they also finished 1st in the regular season). He scored 13.5 points and 2.5 rebounds per game (37 games). Ploesti also played in the EuroChallenge tournament, but did not get past the opening round. Mike scored 8.8 points per game (4 games) in that tournament.
Chris McCray played for Italy's Lega2 (2nd division) Basket Rimini Crabs, which finished in a 5-way tie for 6th place in the regular season, but lost in the quarterfinals of the league tournament (they lost to Jamar Smith's team). He scored 13.5 points, 4.6 rebounds per game (32 games).
Terence Morris and CSKA Moscow had a great season, reaching the championship game of the Euroleague tournament (losing to Jasikevicius and Nicholas's PAO team). Morris scored 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game (20 games) in the tournament. Due to limitations on foreign players on rosters in the Russian Superleague, Terence only played in only a few Russian league games very early in the season, where he scored 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds (5 games). CSKA won the Russian Superleague Championship, but Morris was not on the court.
Drew Nicholas also played for Panathinaikos, helping PAO win both the Euroleague Championship and the Greek League Championship with teammate Sarunas Jasikevicius. Nicholas scored 7.3 points per game in the Greek League (33 games) and 8.3 points per game in Euroleague games (22 games).
Bambale Osby played for Univ Mobitelco Cluj Napoca of the Romanian League, finishing in 5th place in the regular season and losing in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. He scored 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game (31 games). Cluj also played in the opening round of the EuroChallenge tournament, but did not advance. Osby scored 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in their 2 tournament games.
Ryan Randle played for Saint-Etienne B.C. of the French ProB league. Saint-Etienne finished in 8th place in the regular season and lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to Rodney Elliott's Levallois team. Ryan scored 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game (14 games).
Jamar Smith played for Fastweb Junior Casale Monferrato of Italy's Lega2. The team finished in 4th place in the regular season and lost in the semifinals of the league tournament. He scored 12.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game (37 games).
DJ Strawberry played for GMAC Real Estate Bologna, which finished in 15th place (next to last) in Italy's SerieA. Bologna also played in the Eurocup regular season, but did not advance to the Top 16. DJ scored 11.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game (19 games) in Italian league play. In their Eurocup games, he scored 14.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals (6 games).
Sunday, July 12, 2009
In the playoffs, Joe Smith and Cleveland made it to the Eastern Conference finals, losing to Orlando. Smith scored 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.2 assists in 16.8 minutes per game over 13 games. Steve Blake and Portland lost in the first round to the Houston Rockets. Blake scored 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 6.2 assists in 38.5 minutes per game over 6 games. Steve Francis sat out the entire season injured (after only playing in 10 games in 2007-08). He was traded from Houston to Memphis during the season, but his contract is expiring and Memphis does not plan to resign him
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Two seasons ago, Morris led his team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, to the Euroleague championship game, but finished as runners-up to champion CSKA Moscow. This season, he came off the bench as his team, CSKA Moscow, made it to the Euroleage championship game again, only to finish as runners-up to Panathinaikos. Next year, Morris will play for Efes Pilsen, which used to have ex-Terp Drew Nicholas on their team from 2006 to 2008. Laron Profit also briefly played for Efes during the 2006-07 season. The last two times Efes made it to the Euroleague quarterfinals, they lost to Panathinaikos in 2005 and CSKA in 2006, so there are team connections all around.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
When Juan Dixon returned to the District in September, re-signing with the team that drafted him in 2002 and seizing again the opportunity to play near his native Baltimore, he sought stability and a spark that would revive his career. [...]
"It's been a frustrating year, for all of us," he said. "First of all, not being able to put together a good season, losing our coach early in the year, injuries - it's just been a long, frustrating season. But for the most part, everybody's been real professional, continued to come to work every day and work hard."
Early in the season, Dixon started six games at point guard while filling in for hobbled teammates. Since then, he has endured an uneventful campaign: He has received some opportunities but many more nights when his name isn't called at all. [...]
It hasn't been the triumphant homecoming or springboard season Dixon had hoped for. With his contract expiring after the season, his future remains uncertain, but Dixon said he has no regrets about signing with the Wizards. "It was a good situation. I enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd. I get a lot of support here," Dixon said.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
But the similarities with McIntyre continue: he had tried to play in a major college in America (the Sienna player played at Clemson) at Maryland where he won the NCAA title in 2002 and was teammates with Fortitudo player DJ Strawberry, but after three years spent on the bench fighting the prejudices of coach Gary Williams, who considered him too small to be competitive at that level, Collins chose to move to small Loyola University as a way to have more exposure. Collins scored 26.1 points on average there. Ignored by NBA clubs, he landed in Italy. Ferrara is now a second home in Italy for him. He found his girlfriend, Marilisa, and good companions with which to play poker. Collins also has a sort of fixation on superstitions. Before every game, he follows a complicated stretching routine and his pre-menu never changes: lasagna and homemade salad, rice and chicken. Before each free throw, he touches an image of his grandfather tattooed on his right arm. Collins has a passion for tattoos. He has 19, some dedicated to missing relatives including a cousin who died young, others with phrases such as a motivational words about basketball stamped on his left arm.
In another short interview (translation) I found with Italy's BasketNet, Collins is compared to another Italian rival, former LA Clipper Earl Boykins, whom he dominated in a recent game.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
The game looked like a Panathinaikos blow-out in the first half, with the Greens leading by 20 at halftime. But they went ice cold in the 3rd period, as CSKA chipped away at the lead to cut it to within 1 point with 8 seconds left in the game. But Jasikevicius hit one of two free throws with 5 seconds left to extend the lead to its final margin of 2.
At the 0:39 mark of this highlight video, watch the assist from Nicholas (#11) to Jasikevicius (#19) in the corner for three. Then, at the 1:05 mark, check out the sweet Jasikevicius behind-the-back assist to Nicholas for the three pointer to end the first half:
This was Sarunas Jasikevicius's fourth Euroleague title in four trips to the Final Four with his third different team. Here is Sarunas's post-game interview:
The replay of the game should be available on ESPN360 for a day or two, if ESPN360 is compatible with your internet provider (the semi-final games are still available for replay as of Monday morning (5/4/09) as well).
Saturday, May 02, 2009
To give the people what they want though, here are two YouTube videos of Mike Jones dunking during warm-ups:
Friday, May 01, 2009
In the first game, CSKA Moscow (with Terence Morris (1997-2001)) defeated Regal FC Barcelona 82-78. Morris did not score, but had 3 rebounds.
In the second game, Panathinaikos (with Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) and Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98)) beat Greek arch-rival Olympiacos 84-82. Nicholas, usually a dangerous 3 point shooter, did not score in the game (1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal), but Jasikevicius had 18 points, 5 assists, and 3 boards.
Both games are still available for viewing on ESPN360, if your broadband provider is partnered with ESPN.
All three Terps now meet each other Sunday afternoon at 2pm Eastern time for the Euroleague Championship. The game will be on NBA TV and ESPN360 in the U.S. and Canada.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Cajasol has decided to temporarily suspend U.S. forward Nik Caner-Medley and open disciplinary proceedings after he participated last Sunday in a fight outside a nightclub in Nervión with Senegalese player Diouf. [...]
The forward from the United States had a good season, leaving a fantastic impression with the club, but this complicates his continued play for Cajasol, the club to which he is under contract until the end of this season.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
DJ Strawberry said farewell to Fortitudo. The American has not left Bologna to escape, but of necessity: his return to the States is due to the need to intervene surgically to heal his wounded left lateral meniscus, which in the last few hours had gone limp. "I am sad," he said. "I wanted to finish the season with the team. It was not easy away for the first time from the United States, but I am convinced that if we had not had many problems with injuries we could have found the balance necessary."
Strawberry's story ended after five months, not meeting expectations: he averaged 11 points in 28 minutes per game, 43% shooting and only 24% from 3 point range. His performance was even more marginal in his final games, with 7 points in 65 minutes total (shooting just 3 / 13) in the last 3 games.
There is much less news I can find about Lonny Baxter (1998-2002), but he also apparently suffered a season ending injury (translation), and has left his Greek league team, Panionios ON Telecoms, to return to the U.S. for surgery.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
ESPN360 doesn't work with all Internet providers; in Maryland, I know it works for Verizon customers, but Comcast customers are out of luck. But if it works for you, it will let you replay games up to a few days later, so you can watch the Friday afternoon games after you get home Friday evening.
On Friday, May 1, Game 1 at 12 noon Eastern features Terence Morris's (1997-2001) CSKA Moscow taking on Regal FC Barcelona. Morris (#44) is a reserve forward, but look for him to get 15-20 minutes off the bench.
Game 2, at 3pm Eastern, features Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) and Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) of Panathinaikos versus Olympiacos. This game should be good: Panathinaikos (in Athens) and Olympiacos (in nearby Pireaus) are neighbors and archrivals as well as being historically among the top teams in Europe, like a Greek version of UNC vs. Duke. Nicholas (#11) is the starting shooting guard and Jasikevicius (#19) is their 6th man, but is still a star point guard who will share minutes with the starter.
On Sunday, May 3, the two semifinal losers play each other for third place at 11am Eastern, followed by the championship game at 2pm Eastern.
The four teams playing this weekend have a lot of American players (not just our three Terps) and European players with American connections whom you have heard of. The Ball in Europe blog takes a look at the rosters to tell you who to watch for.