Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tucker Survives Cuts, Makes the D-League

I posted here two weeks ago that Cliff Tucker (2007-2011) had been picked in the NBA D-League Draft and invited to the training camp of the Springfield Armor (coincidentally the same D-League team that Jordan Williams briefly played for last year). Training camp is now over and many players were cut, but Tucker is on the final roster of 11 players.

Also, the D-League has a new partnership with YouTube this season, and you can stream this season's games live on the YouTube D-League Channel, including the Armor's season opener tonight at 7:30pm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Eric Hayes Settling In to Coaching Role

Eric Hayes (2006-10) is settling in as a graduate assistant coach at Maryland, and the Washington Times' always awesome Patrick Stevens has an in depth story about Hayes this week:
Two years after graduating, he introduced himself to new coach Mark Turgeon and asked what Turgeon thought of him getting into coaching. Turgeon, who has made it a point of emphasis to connect with former players in his 18 months on the job, immediately explored a graduate assistant role.

Turgeon described the decision to add Hayes to his staff as “no-brainer,” even if it does cost the program some money to help pay for Hayes to pursue a graduate degree in minority and urban education. In turn, Hayes gets two years to figure out where he would like to go with his career.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chris Wilcox is Re-establishing Himself in Boston

You may remember that Chris Wilcox (2000-02) had season-ending heart surgery last spring, but was cleared to play again by doctors over the summer. The Boston Globe wrote before the season that Wilcox is having a fresh start with the Celtics this season:
This will be a fresh start for both Wilcox and the Celtics. Only four current Celtics competed in the team’s Game 7 loss to the Heat June 9 in the Eastern Conference finals. And Wilcox has not played in a game since March 7. [...]

“I’m just trying to fit in,” Wilcox said. “Just try and get in and see what I need to do and where I need to be on the floor. Come in and do what I did last year, run the floor, box out, rebound, bring energy.”

Now that the NBA season is in full swing, Bleacher Report says that Wilcox is finding his place as the perfect reserve for the Celtics:
No one knew if we would ever see him finish an alley-oop again. Yet, here we are, less than a year later, watching Wilcox play like he did in that Bulls game—only with a surgically repaired heart and presumably nothing more to hold him back.

On the court, at least, there is nothing holding him back from providing the Celtics with the exact kind of frontcourt depth they need.

For the past seven games, Wilcox has come off the bench for around 15 minutes and scored six points or more while grabbing a few boards.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Juan Dixon Eyes a Comeback

Juan Dixon (1998-2002) is eying a comeback after having a rough couple years with a steriod suspension in Europe followed by a knee injury while playing in Turkey.

First up, Westminster Patch, who caught up with Dixon at Comcast Center last month and spoke to him about his past, present, and future:

After an eight-year NBA career and a European voyage that spanned three professional teams, Dixon has returned to College Park humbled and motivated. He is training daily with the Terps’ staff in hopes of restarting his NBA career, using the untapped potential he believes is still remaining in his 6-foot-3 frame. [...]

When he regained his eligibility in February 2011, his agent’s phone rang again. It was a Turkish team. It had just lost its starting off guard to an injury and wanted to finish out the season with Dixon manning the backcourt.

Then “the nightmare,” as Dixon loathingly calls it, began. When the couple arrived in their new apartment in Bandirma, Turkey, a city of 100,000 in the country’s northwest corner, Dixon sat on the couch and broke down. “This is not where I’m supposed to be in my career,” Dixon told Sanchez as tears streamed down his face. “This is not where I belong.”
Next, the SBN network's Ridiculous Upside follows up on the Westminster Patch story by delving into how Dixon might try to get back in the NBA by going through the NBA D-League:
Now 34 years old, the Maryland product is reportedly eyeing another chance in the NBA after stepping away in 2009.

But exactly just how he'll get there remains a question. Though many players venture overseas to get their basketball careers back on track, Dixon is well past attempting something like that. The guard is said to be eyeing a stateside opportunity after already donning uniforms in Spain, Greece, and Turkey. A return to Europe is not in the cards. [...]

All signs logically point towards a stint in the NBA D-League, where Dixon could once again strut his stuff and prove he's got something left in his basketball tank.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Cliff Tucker Picked in NBA D-League Draft

In last week's NBA D-League Draft, Cliff Tucker (2007-2011) was selected in the third round (#46 overall) by the Springfield Armor. Tucker spent last year as a graduate student playing football at UTEP after graduating from Maryland in 2011. He was the only Maryland player entered in the draft pool, and as far as I can tell, the only Maryland player on any D-League roster so far this year. Training camp opens November 12.