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Inside the D-League
by: Mike Schmidt - D-League, NCAA Scout
November 23, 2007
Marcus Williams Released Due to Injury

Rookie guard/forward Marcus Williams of the Austin Toros has been waived due to injury. The 2007 Spursí draft pick was waived a day before the start to the pre-season. Since he was released because of an injury, Williamsí rights still belong to the Toros, and he can be brought back in as soon as he becomes healthy enough to play again. No timetable has been provided for Williamsí return, but he will not be on the roster for the Torosí first regular season game on November 23rd against Rio Grande Valley.

Livingston, Tatum Injured to Open Season

As reported by the Idaho Statesmen, guards Randy Livingston and Jamaal Tatum will miss the opening game of the season. Tatum will need to recover from a high ankle sprain before making his D-League debut, and Livingston is currently fighting through back pain. This leaves Idaho with just 8 players on their roster to open the season, and hurts their depth in the backcourt. The only healthy guard listed on their roster to open the season is Roberto Bergersen.

Thomas Replaces Eddie Gill, who Joins Nets
The first pick in the D-League draft didnít even get the chance to play a pre-season game. Instead, he joined the New Jersey nets as the first D-League call-up of the season. Gill has plenty of NBA experience, and the 14ers drafted him with the knowledge that he would likely return to the NBA at some point during the season.

To replace Gill, the 14ers acquired guard Billy Thomas from the available player pool. Thomas can be labeled as a tough, defensive oriented guard who shoots the ball very well, and will provide a nice boost to the backcourt of the 14ers.

It has been a long road for Thomas leading up to his stint in the D-League. After playing part of the season in Serbia with Red Star last season, became upset that he wasnít getting paid, and decided to leave the team. To retaliate, Red Star has held Thomas hostage by demanding $60,000 for his letter of clearance (a situation that also holds true for former Memphis Grizzlesí guard Antonio Burks). A letter of clearance is necessary for any player transferring to a different club in Europe, so the options for Thomas this season became extremely limited.

NBA Assignments Set Record

A record number of NBA players will open the season on D-League rosters. The following players have been assigned, and are listed with their NBA team and D-League affiliate.

JamesOn Curry, Chicago Bulls/Iowa Energy
Nick Fazekas, Dallas Mavericks/Tulsa 66ers
Kyrylo Fesenko, Utah Jazz/Utah Flash
Ian Mahinmi, San Antonio Spurs/Austin Toros
Marcin Gortat, Orlando Magic, Anaheim Arsenal
Steve Novak, Houston Rockets, Rio Grande Valley Vipers
Kosta Perovic, Golden State Warriors, Bakersfield Jam
Ramon Sessions, Milwaukee Bucks/Tulsa 66ers
Brandon Wallace, Boston Celtics/Utah Flash
Gabe Pruitt, Boston Celtics, Utah Flash

Of the NBA teams assigning players, every team with the exception of San Antonio and Houston has used the D-League in previous seasons. The Utah Flash will open the year with 3 NBA players on their roster, and Tulsa opens the year with 2 NBA send-downs. The Spurs have assigned their first player in Mahinmi after purchasing the Toros over the summer.

Roster Numbers Trimmed

To prepare for the start of the regular season, the D-League teams have trimmed their rosters down to 10 players. Some players have been released due to injury meaning the team will still hold the rights of the player when he becomes healthy. Kelley Whitney and Brandon Dean of Colorado fall into this category. Other players of note who were released include Tiras Wade, Shagari Alleyne, Steven Barber, and Isma'il Muhammed. To see the opening season rosters to start the season, visit the official site of the D-League.


Opening Night Match-ups

To open the season, there will be 5 games across the D-League tonight.

Tulsa 66ers @ Fort Wayne Mad Ants

The 66ers open their season in Fort Wayne, where they will face an expansion team that happens to be loaded with talent. NBA players Nick Fazekas and Ramon Sessions will face a number of wing players who could be called up this season, including Jeremy Richardson and Sammy Mejia. Tulsa must prove they can play together as a team and Fort Wayne must prove they have a capable big man who can play with Larry Turner.

Iowa Energy @ Dakota Wizards

The expansion Energy travel to Bismarck to face the defending champion Wizards. Iowa must prove they can collectively create enough offense as a team, and that they have enough front court depth. The Wizards have one of the best front courts in the league featuring Carlos Powell, Rod Benson, and Kevin Lyde. They have a new coach this season, and will rely on a tandem of point guards starting together in their back-court.

Austin Toros @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers

The Toros open their season in South Texas against the expansion Vipers. The Toros appear to have good roster balance this season, and feature rookie big man Ian Mahinmi from France, who has a load of talent but will have to prove he can stay out of foul trouble. The Vipers are led by first round pick CJ Watson and will have to prove they have the depth up front to compete for the playoffs this season.

Anaheim Arsenal @ Colorado 14ers

The Arseanl open up the season in Colorado against a team that made it to the D-League championship game last season. Anaheim brings in a load of athletic talent, but must learn to play together without a pass-first point guard on the roster. The 14ers, led by big man Elton Brown, must overcome the loss of point guard Eddie Gill to the NBA.

Idaho Stampede @ Albuquerque Thunderbirds

Idaho kicks off their season on the road in Albuquerque tonight. The Stampede bring in a very talented squad with a good balance of skill, hustle and athleticism. They may struggle tonight due to the loss of guards Randy Livingston and Jamaal Tatum to injury. Albuquerque has an entirely new roster this season, and must prove they can perform under rookie head coach Jeff Ruland. Darvin Ham will set the tone with this team bring his veteran experience and energy to the floor.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to mike.schmidt@draftexpress.com .

 

Marcus Williams
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 205 lbs.
Birthday: 11/18/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Roosevelt
Previous Team: Shanxi , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #3 in 2007 Draft
by the Spurs
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
3.3 Pts, 2.0 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Randy Livingston
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 209 lbs.
Birthday: 04/02/1975
39 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Isidore Neman
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #13 in 1996 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
16.0 Pts, 4.3 Rebs, 10.2 Asts


Jamaal Tatum
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 168 lbs.
Birthday: 09/13/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Helias
Previous Team: Southern Illinois , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
7.3 Pts, 2.7 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Eddie Gill
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 176 lbs.
Birthday: 08/16/1978
36 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Overland
Previous Team: Weber State , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.3 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Billy Thomas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 208 lbs.
Birthday: 12/23/1975
38 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Loyola College Prep
Previous Team: Kansas , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
7.9 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Antonio Burks
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 191 lbs.
Birthday: 02/25/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Booker T. Washington
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #7 in 2004 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 4.0 Asts


JamesOn Curry
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Birthday: 01/09/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Eastern Alamance
Previous Team: Oklahoma State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #21 in 2007 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
7.3 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 3.7 Asts


Nick Fazekas
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 11"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 06/18/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Ralston Valley
Previous Team: Toshiba Brave Thunders , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #4 in 2007 Draft
by the Mavericks
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
23.9 Pts, 13.3 Rebs, 2.7 Asts


Kyrylo Fesenko
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 270 lbs.
Birthday: 12/24/1986
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Saratov , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #8 in 2007 Draft
by the 76ers
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
17.0 Pts, 9.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Ian Mahinmi
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 11/06/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Pacers , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #28 in 2005 Draft
by the Spurs
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 5.4 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Marcin Gortat
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 225 lbs.
Birthday: 02/18/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Wizards , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #27 in 2005 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
12.6 Pts, 8.9 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Steve Novak
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 216 lbs.
Birthday: 06/13/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brown Deer HS
Previous Team: Jazz , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 2006 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
2.1 Pts, 0.8 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Kosta Perovic
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 2"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 02/19/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Enisey , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #8 in 2006 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
8.0 Pts, 4.7 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Ramon Sessions
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birthday: 04/11/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Myrtle Beach
Previous Team: Kings , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #26 in 2007 Draft
by the Bucks
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
5.9 Pts, 1.2 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Brandon Wallace
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 203 lbs.
Birthday: 03/14/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Silver Bluff
Previous Team: South Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
8.1 Pts, 6.5 Rebs, 1.2 Asts


Gabe Pruitt
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 04/21/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Westchester
Previous Team: Panionios , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 2007 Draft
by the Celtics
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
7.0 Pts, 1.8 Rebs, 1.3 Asts


Tiras Wade
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 11/13/1981
33 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Tampa Prep
Previous Team: La Lafayette , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
7.7 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Shagari Alleyne
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 3"
Weight: 270 lbs.
Birthday: 01/14/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Rice
Previous Team: Manhattan , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
3.2 Pts, 3.9 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Jeremy Richardson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 02/11/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Zachary
Previous Team: Delta State , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
9.2 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Sammy Mejia
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 218 lbs.
Birthday: 02/08/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Roosevelt
Previous Team: Banvit , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #27 in 2007 Draft
by the Pistons
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
11.8 Pts, 4.7 Rebs, 3.0 Asts


Carlos Powell
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 222 lbs.
Birthday: 08/29/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Wilson
Previous Team: South Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
11.7 Pts, 3.5 Rebs, 4.3 Asts


Rod Benson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 235 lbs.
Birthday: 10/10/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Torrey Pines
Previous Team: California , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF/C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.8 Pts, 2.5 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


CJ Watson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 171 lbs.
Birthday: 04/17/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bishop Gorman
Previous Team: Pacers , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Elton Brown
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 270 lbs.
Birthday: 09/09/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Warwick
Previous Team: Paris-Levallois , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
10.4 Pts, 5.4 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Jeff Ruland
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 12/16/1958
55 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Sachem
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #2 in 1980 Draft
by the Warriors
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
1.1 Pts, 1.6 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


Darvin Ham
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 07/23/1973
41 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Saginaw
Previous Team: Texas Tech , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: F,
NBA: F,
Possible: F
Quick Stats:
10.1 Pts, 5.6 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


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