Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shay Doron Back in Israel... Wait, Maybe Not...

Last week, Shay Doron (2003-07) signed a new deal with Ramat Hen of the Israeli league:
The newly crowned Israeli Cup holders accomplished what every team has dreamed of doing in the break as they signed Shay Doron, who has played in Besiktas this season and is up for FIBA's 2008 Player of the year award and the EuroLeague's All Star game.

After leading Ramla to the championship and cup last season with 16.8 points per game, and the Israeli national team to EuroBasket 2009 in the summer, Doron has established herself one of the top players in Europe. She moved to Besiktas this season in order to play in the EuroLeague.

After Besiktas was eliminated from the EuroLeague, Doron returned to Turkey following the holiday break and just this Sunday she scored 19 points in another win, Besiktas is 2nd in the Turkish league standings. Despite her success, which included an All-Star appearance with the foreigners squad, Doron decided to leave Turkey in light of some financial trouble for Besiktas and the backlash against Israel as a result of the operation in Gaza.

There's just one small problem. Doron is still under contract with her current team, Besiktas, which has no intentions of releasing her:
The Anatolia News Agency reported that Doron agreed to terms with an Israeli club, but Yalçın asserted that the player would have to return to the Istanbul-based Beşiktaş Cola Turka. "She was on a deal of $140,000 per year, and $85,000 of that contract was paid," said Yalçın. "Our club has served its financial responsibilities and told her that we will not let her sign to another club if she does not return."

The club also issued a statement saying it would apply to the world basketball's governing body FIBA to conclude the dispute.

So far, there is no resolution.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Steve Francis Waived by Memphis

Steve Francis (1998-99) was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies this week:
The Memphis Grizzlies have waived three-time All-Star Steve Francis.

The Grizzlies acquired Francis from the Rockets in December in exchange for a 2011 conditional second-round draft pick.

Francis did not appear in a game for Memphis or travel with the Grizzlies, though he did occasionally practice with the team.

Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace announced last week that the team was working on a buyout of Francis' contract. The Grizzlies announced Tuesday that Francis was leaving.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Euroleague Championship 2009: Top 16

The Top 16 stage of the annual Euroleague Championship tournament starts next week, and two teams with former Terps have advanced to this round of the tournament: Panathinaikos in Group G with teammates Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) and Drew Nicholas (1999-2003), and CSKA Moscow in Group H with Terence Morris (1997-2001).

The Euroleague Top 16 is a round robin with 4 groups of 4 teams each playing each other home and away. The top two teams in each group advance, and this stage of the tournament runs six weeks from January 28 until March 12. I will try to provide occasional updates as long as one of the teams with Maryland players is still in the tournament.

Lonny Baxter's (1998-2002) team, Panionios On Telecoms played in the opening round of the tournament, but did not advance to the Top 16.

The Euroleague also runs a secondary tournament (sort of like a European NIT) for the next tier of teams called the ULEB Cup. This year, DJ Strawberry's (2003-07) team, Fortitudo Bologna played in the regular season round-robin, but was eliminated before the Top 16 stage.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Years Round Up, 2009 Edition

Usually around this time of year, I post a list to summarize where everyone is playing. When players don't change teams, they don't get mentioned here much, and new blog readers may not know where they are playing. So to start out 2009, here is a run down of all the former Terps playing basketball in the world:

Steve Blake - Portland Trailblazers
Juan Dixon - Washington Wizards
Steve Francis - Memphis Grizzlies
Joe Smith - Oklahoma City Thunder
Chris Wilcox - Oklahoma City Thunder

Lonny Baxter - Panionios ON Telecoms Athens (Greece A1)
Parrish Brown - Potros ITSON (Mexico LNBP)
Nik Caner-Medley - Cajasol Sevilla (Spain ACB)
Andre Collins - Carife Ferrara (Italy SerieA)
Rodney Elliott - Paris Levallois (France ProB)
Travis Garrison - Pamukkale Univ. (Turkey TB2L)
James Gist - Angelico Biella (Italy SerieA)
Ekene Ibekwe - Mutlu Aku Selcuk Univ. (Turkey, TBL)
Sarunas Jasikevicius - Panathinaikos Athens (Greece A1)
Mike Jones - CSU Asesoft Ploiesti (Romania Div. A)
Chris McCray - Rimini Crabs (Italy Lega2)
Terence Morris - CSKA Moscow (Russia Superleague A)
Drew Nicholas - Panathinaikos Athens (Greece A1)
Bambale Osby - U Mobitelco Cluj Napoca (Romania Div. A)
Jamar Smith - Fastweb Junior Casale Monferrato (Italy Lega2)
DJ Strawberry - Fortitudo Bologna (Italy SerieA)

Women Playing Internationally
Shay Doron - Bestikas Istanbul (Turkey TBBL)
Laura Harper - Bestikas Istanbul (Turkey TBBL)
Crystal Langhorne - TEO Vilnius (Lithuania LMKL)
Aurelie Noirez - Toulouse Metropole (France NF1)

Keith Booth - Asst. Coach at University of Maryland
Dave Dickerson - Head Coach at Tulane University
Tahj Holden - Director of Basketball Operations at Monmouth University
Matt Kovarik - Asst. Coach at Loyola University (MD)
Kurtis Shultz - Asst. Strength and Conditioning Coach for Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Duane Simpkins - Head Coach at St. Alban's School (DC)

I knew where these players were last year, but can't find them this year. If you know anything, post it in the comments and I will update this post.
Will Bowers - last seen with Albany Patroons
John Gilchrist - last seen with Nahariya Ironi, Israel
Byron Mouton - last seen with the Wilmington Sea Dogs
Laron Profit - last seen with Libertad, Argentina
Ryan Randle - last seen with AEL Limmassol, Cyprus
Terrell Stokes - last seen as asst. coach at Loyola

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Two Maryland Women Playing Overseas

Because the WNBA plays in the summer, many WNBA players head overseas to play during the winter. Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) is using her "off season" to play for TEO Vilnius of Lithuania. Here's their FIBA Eurocup page, and Crystal's FIBA player page.

Also playing overseas, Aurelie Noirez (2003-07), who was a seldom used bench player on Maryland's 2007 Championship team, is playing in France. Originally from France, Noirez is back home playing for Toulouse Metropole of the French NF1 League (the highest amateur women's league in France, one step below the pro league), though she is currently injured (translation).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parrish Brown Playing in Mexico

Parrish Brown (2005-07) is now playing for the Potros ITSON Colts in Mexico's LNBP league. (There are two unaffiliated pro leagues in Mexico: LNBP and CIBACOPA, and it is unclear if one or the other is considered more prestigious). It looks like he signed with the team (translation) back in mid-December. Potros is mired in last place in the LNBP Northern Division, and Parrish was added to the team shortly after a new coach was brought in mid-season.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tahj Holden Has a Blog

Tahj Holden (1999-2003) has a new blog called Holden Court. Only two posts so far, but hopefully he'll continue updating it. You'll recall that Tahj is the director of basketball operations at Monmouth University now.