Friday, December 31, 2010

Rodney Elliott Playing in Argentina

Rodney Elliott is now playing in Argentina for the Boca Juniors. The brief mention in Boca's poorly designed website just says:
Rodney Elliot Arrives

The new reinforcement arrives with lots of experience in European leagues, is 34 and is of U.S. nationality. His position is power forward, and comes after most recently playing for Paris Levallois in 2010. He is expected to join the team on December 27.

According to LatinBasket, Elliott was averaging 7.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game with Paris-Levallois in the French ProA league.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Steve Francis's China Trip Ends with a Bad Break-Up

It was just earlier this month when I was excitedly posting about Steve Francis's (1998-99) arrival in China to play for the Beijing Ducks. And now, Francis's trip to China has ended poorly (NY Times) with him being cut from the team (Yahoo):
In what is being described as an amicable parting between two sides that completely hate each other, the Beijing Ducks have released the former NBA All-Star (the former NBA All-Star starter, mind you) after a total of four games played out of a one-season (with an option for a second) contract. Francis was with the team for 13 days and played a total of 14 minutes. He scored two points.
Along the way in his strange journey, Francis got his first playing time with an ice pack taped to his ankles (Yahoo again) and his shoes untied for 17 seconds of garbage time at the end of a game, flipped off the ref in his second game, causing his team to be ordered to educate and criticize Francis for his uncivilized behavior (Inquirer Sports), refused to practice on Christmas day (note: it's not a holiday in China), and finally, left the building at half-time of his final game after the coach didn't give him any playing time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ryan Randle in the ABA

Ryan Randle (2001-03) is now playing in the ABA for the Dallas Impact. I don't have much primary source information to share on this, just his name on a roster and a brief mention of his acquisition in a game story. The Impact are an expansion team in the ABA's Southwestern Division this season.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joe Smith Traded to the Lakers

Steve Blake has a new teammate on the Lakers: fellow Terp Joe Smith (1993-95) was traded from the New Jersey Nets to Los Angeles today as part of a 3-team deal also including the Houston Rockets. Excerpt from the Lakers' press release:
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired forward Joe Smith from the New Jersey Nets in a three-team trade, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. New Jersey will also send the Lakers Golden State’s second round draft choice in 2011 and Chicago’s second round draft choice in 2012. The Lakers will also receive the draft rights to Sergei Lishouk from Houston, as well as a trade exception. In return, New Jersey will receive guard Sasha Vujacic and a protected 2011 first round draft pick from the Lakers. New Jersey will receive a protected 2012 first round draft pick from Houston, while the Rockets will receive guard Terrence Williams from New Jersey. [...]

In 1,018 career games (619 starts), Smith is averaging 11.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 26.5 minutes. Signed by New Jersey as a free agent prior to the 2010-11 season, Smith has played in four games this season (three starts), averaging 0.5 points and 0.8 rebounds in 6.3 minutes.

Over at SBNation, they try to guess Smith's impact on the Lakers rotation.

Steve Francis Arrives in China

Steve Francis (1998-99) has arrived in China. Here's video and pictures of Steve and his family arriving at the airport, and later, pictures from the press conference welcoming Francis to the Beijing Ducks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Steve Blake Seeking a Championship with the Lakers

The Washington Post Wizards Insider blog had a feature about Steve Blake (1999-2003) today, and how he hopes to win an NBA Championship with the Lakers. Excerpt:
"I've had a crazy road, a great road," said Blake, the 38th pick out of Maryland in the 2003 draft. "I've played for a lot of great coaches. I've started for years. I've come off the bench for years. I've played on bad teams, on good teams. But I think it's all for the best. I've had a chance to experience a lot. I think it's made me grow as a person and as a player and I think I'm in the spot I need to be at right now."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More on Steve Francis in China

From Dan Steinberg's Sports Bog twitter feed @dcsportsbog comes this article about the recent surge of American players heading to China to play professionally, including Steve Francis (1998-99). Excerpt:
Resurrection will also be the watchword for Francis, who will suit up this season for the Beijing Ducks and is known throughout China as "Folaoda" ("Big Brother Fo") for when he played with Chinese superstar Yao Ming on the NBA Houston Rockets. [...]

The nine-year NBA veteran, who averaged 19 points a game over his career, has still not arrived in Beijing and is expected in the capital next week after the 32-game season starts.

The signings come after the CBA waived a $60,000 monthly salary limit on foreign players, a move aimed at attracting better talent and in turn generating more fan excitement and injecting new energy into the league.

"The only thing I can say is that Francis' salary is not the highest of the CBA foreign players — he is not even among the top few players," Beijing Ducks official Yuan Zhao told the China Youth Daily of Francis' reported 800,000-dollar contract.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Travis Garrison has a Blog

Travis Garrison (2002-06) has a new blog on Eurobasket's new Pro Basketball Overseas blog site. Garrison is one of many Americans overseas participating in the new site. So far he has one post, where he talks about how his team is playing and about his family back home in the United States. Travis is currently playing his second season for BC Khimik in the Ukraine.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Steve Francis in China

Steve Francis (1998-99) made good on his earlier suggestion that he might play in China. Late last month, he signed a deal with the Shougang Beijing Ducks, according to The New York Times and numerous other basketball blogs. The Times says:
Steve Francis, a former member of the Houston Rockets, has signed with the Beijing Shougang Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. Francis, 33, has been plagued by knee problems and has seen his N.B.A. stock plummet.

Francis’ deal, according to the Chinese pro basketball blog, pays him a guaranteed $800,000 for this season. There is an option for a second year, with a 15 percent raise, if the team picks it up.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

DJ Strawberry Playing with D-League's Reno Bighorns

DJ Strawberry (2003-07) has signed to play with the NBA D-League's Reno Bighorns. Strawberry played for Reno last season too. The Bighorns are the NBDL affiliate of the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic.
The Reno Bighorns have signed guard D.J. Strawberry as a returning player, filling the roster spot vacated by Darrin Govens, who was waived earlier in the week.

Strawberry, a former second round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, appeared in 26 games for the Bighorns during the 2009-10 season. Strawberry averaged 13.1 points per game and 5.6 assists per game last season.

The 6-5 guard played collegiately at the University of Maryland, and has appeared in 22-career NBA games, all with the Phoenix Suns.
Last month, it looked like DJ was a lock to play for Scavolini Spar Pesaro and be a teammate of Andre Collins in Italy. But he wanted a guaranteed contract for the season, while the Italian team would only offer a 2 month renewable contract. Then there was a rumor in Italy that Strawberry was signing to play in China instead, but that didn't actually happen either. In the end, he ended up in Reno with the team he played for last spring, which hopefully will give him the best shot at getting back into the NBA again.

Former Terp Coaching Round-Up

I don't write much about former Terps who have gone into the coaching ranks, because frankly, they're harder for me to follow than players. For players, I have go-to sites for transactions and team rosters. But for coaches, it's a matter of remembering to Google people every year or so.

But here's a round-up of the ones I know about. If you know of another former player coaching or have corrections, post it in the comments and I'll update the list. (My knowledge only goes back to players from the early 1990's, plus some people who were recent Terps assistants.)

Keith Booth (1993-97): University of Maryland Assistant Coach

Dave Dickerson (1986-89): Ohio State University Assistant Coach

Chuck Driesell (1981-85): The Citadel Head Coach

Billy Hahn (1971-75): University of West Virginia Assistant Coach

Matt Hahn (1996-2000): Robert Morris University Assistant Coach

Joe Harrington (1965-67): University of Maryland Director of Men's Basketball Student Athlete Services

Tahj Holden (1999-2003): Monmouth University Assistant Coach

Derrick Lewis (1985-88?): Archbishop Spalding High School (Baltimore) Head Coach

Greg Nared (1985-89?): University of Washington Assistant Women's Coach

Duane Simpkins (1992-96): St. Alban's School (Washington, DC) Head Coach

Kurtis Shultz (1991-95): Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) Strength and Conditioning Coach

Terrell Stokes (1995-99): University of the District of Columbia Assistant Coach

John "JD" Walsh (1991-93): JD Basketball School Founder and Coach

Buck Williams (1978-81?): Portland Trailblazers Assistant Coach

And finally, last alphabetically, Gary Williams (1965-68): University of Maryland Head Coach