Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The NBA D-League.....where me crying in the fetal position happens

Such a great game last night! If you were not watching it on Futurecast you really missed out. It was a triple OT game that had so many ups and downs for the Mad Ants. Rod Wilmont hit a crazy three pointer to send us into Double Overtime. Rob Kurz hit a fall-away (almost falling down) off balanced shot to send us to Triple Overtime. In the end it was just not meant to be . You can check out the box score here.

Martz Madness Player of the Game is Oliver Lafayette with 30 points 14 assists and 3 steals. He may have missed a couple free throws that would have clinched the game for us, but without him as Jeff Potter said "we wouldn't have even been in the game". Plus Oliver has a really cool accent.

I can not even imagine how the guys must have felt on the bus ride home. They arrived in Fort Wayne around 8 am this morning. An absolute brutal travel schedule, and they get to play again tonight at home! I am hoping the guys take out their frustration on the Bakersfield Jam tonight and move us back over .500! Luckily Bakersfield is probably just as tired after coming in from Erie early this morning.

Bottom line is this Mad Ants team is showing a lot of toughness and I think fans can expect to see a lot more wins then they have in the past two seasons.

Also a note from Saturdays game, former Mad Ants All-Star Walker Russell JR was in the building visiting! He apparently is done in Europe for now, could he end up back on the Mad Ants roster? You'll have to ask Jeff Potter that question, I just sell tickets!

See you at the game tonight, tip-off is at 7pm. Be there!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Mad Ants season....where above .500 happens!

What a huge weekend for the Mad Ants! We managed to sweep the weekend series with Dakota, with a blowout on Saturday and a thrilling come from behind victory on Sunday. This was big as it pushes us past Dakota in the standings. It's a little early to start talking about playoffs but we most certainly putting ourselves in the hunt with just over a fifth of the season completed.

The game on Sunday pretty much put on display that we have at least three players who have a good shot at getting a NBA Gatorade Call-up this season. Those three players also happen to be the Martz Madness Players of the Game for Sunday. In no particular order they are Ron Howard, Jared Reiner, and Rob Kurz. Want to know why? Check out this box score or Jeff Potter's creepy video blog for details. Also, apparently the Golden State Warriors are looking for a small forward to sign, and the folks over at Ridiculous Upside have put up a poll on who you think should get the spot. Make sure to vote for Ron Howard!

For those wondering why Kyle McAlarney was not in action over the weekend, he was out with a case of food poisoning. He dressed for Sunday's game but was still not feeling real well. He is traveling with the team today (the bus just left for Iowa an hour ago) and I expect to see him back in action Tuesday night.

The team faces a big challenge with the road game tomorrow in the 10-1 Iowa Energy. The good news is Iowa still does not have Courtney Sims on the roster, the bad news is they have added Cartier Martin (Gatorade Call-up to the Bobcats last year). The Ants are on a winning streak though, and they will be giving Iowa all they can handle. You can watch the Mad Ants / Energy game tomorrow night via Future Cast. Tip-off is at 8pm.

The Ants then have a long overnight bus trip home and play the Bakersfield Jam on Wednesday night at the Coliseum. This will be the toughest road travel the guys have done to this point with having no real time to recover from Tuesdays away game. The good news is that Bakersfield is 2-11, the bad new is they just beat the Maine Red Claws!

I'll be back on Tuesday night with an update on how the team fared in Iowa.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jared Reiner

Merry Christmas Mad Ants fans! I hope you enjoyed a nice Christmas with your family.

The Mad Ants look to break .500 this weekend if they can sweep the weekend series with Dakota tomorrow and Sunday. If we win on Saturday, it would be the deepest into the season the Mad Ants have been with a .500 record or better.

Reggie Hayes has a story on Sean Sonderleiter and Jared Reiner reuniting from their Iowa Hawkeyes days in todays paper. This weekend will be the first time Reiner has played in front of the hometown crowd. He is a big upgrade for us in the big man department. Our team is shaping up real well and I hope that translates into a winning streak to get into the playoff hunt.

Make sure you head to the D-Leauge website to vote for favorite Mad Ants player into the D-League All-Star game.

Come on out on Saturday (Dec. 26th) and Sunday (Dec. 27th) to see the Mad Ants take on the Dakota Wizards. Tip-off is at 7:30pm on Saturday and 5pm on Sunday. Better yet, bring the whole family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chris Hunter Update and a big weekend


(Chris Hunter and Marion, IN native Zach Randolph battling for a rebound)

Former Mad Ant Chris Hunter had been struggling recently over the past few games with the Golden State Warriors. This came to an end last night with by far the best game of his NBA career against the Grizzlies. Chris put up 14 points (6-9 FG), 6 rbs, 3 stls, and 3 blocks! Plus he started the game and managed to not have any turnovers in over 30 minutes of play. This is just fantastic to see as Chris is a prime example of why the NBA Development League works. He is a guy who was not on anyones radar in Nov. 2008 and now just over a year later he is contributing big minutes on an NBA roster. Keep it up!

The third Gatorade call-up of the D-League season took place yesterday with Mike Harris of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers getting signed by the Houston Rockets. Scott Schroeder proves how smart he is with this analysis of the situation over at Ridiculous Upside.

The Mad Ants have a big double header weekend coming up on Dec. 26th/27th against the Dakota Wizards. The Wizards are currently 5-5 and just a notch above us with our record currently at 4-5. It would give us some nice momentum to take down two wins and move ahead of them in the D-League standings. I cannot tell you how bad everyone in the front office (and our fans!) want to get to the playoffs this year! The team seems to be gelling together and I am hoping we can build off the big win in Maine.

Have a very Merry Christmas and bring all your friends and family to the games on Saturday and Sunday!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Big Win

Last night was a HUGE win for us. To beat one of the best teams in the league (if not the best) in a back-to-back road game is a big accomplishment. The Maine Red Claws had three assigned NBA players on the roster, not to mention several other guys with recent NBA experience (Trey Gilder/Billy Thomas). It was also a big match-up in world of coolest minor league team names. You can check out the box score from the game last night here . It was good to see DeWitt Scott have a great game.

The NBA D-League has also added highlights to most games, so here is my first attempt at embedding video in my blog. I figure it's a little better use of the technology than repeatedly posting the war speech from Braveheart.

Friday, December 18, 2009

So you think you can blog?

Apparently, Jared Reiner tried his hand at blogging during his last stint in the D-League. His posts were few and far between. Let's hope he plays better than he blogs. There I said it. Deal with it Reiner. You are welcome to guest blog here, but you better bring your A-Game.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome Jared Reiner


The Mad Ants made another move today in preparation for two road games in Springfield (Friday) and Maine (Saturday). We have picked up Jared Reiner and released Jared Carter. Reiner is a vet out of Iowa who played for Sioux Falls in the 06-07 season. He is a 6'11 center. He has some NBA experience with the Bucks and Bulls a few years back. Should be a great addition to the team and provide some additional size down low. He is currently traveling with the team and will be on the roster for tomorrow nights game.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Off Today

So I am off today and heading to the Pacers/Bobcats game with my family. I will leave you with a few links that recap last nights big win! Just like that we are one game away from .500 and we are taking on the worst team in the league (again) on the road on Friday.

Journal Gazette - Ben Smith


News Sentinel - Reggie Hayes


Going to a Pacer's game also means I get to see my future wife Stacey Paetz. I am sure she will remember me from our stimulating last conversation. I am bringing my "A-Game" this time around!

Monday, December 14, 2009

All Star Game

Well the Ants could not pull off the sweep of the Skyforce on Sunday. We started off real slow and could never quite recover even though we had a very solid third quarter/beginning of 4th quarter which cut a huge deficit down to just five. As Governor Jesse Ventura always said , close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, unfortunately neither of those activities were being played at the Coliseum on Sunday.

But guess what, the season moves on and we have another game at home on Tuesday (Dec. 15th) against the winless Springfield Armor. The bad news, Morris Almond (formerly of the Utah Flash/Utah Jazz) recently signed with Springfield and will be in town tomorrow. Almond is best known for sharing the record for the highest scoring game in D-League history with 53 points. After Tuesdays home game the team travels to Springfield on Friday for a rematch. It is feasible to believe we could be 4-4 after Friday, but let's not count our Ants before the picnic people.

A recent comment on Ridiculous Upside led me to ponder a great idea in how to better publicize the NBA Development League. Typically the D-League has their own all-star game during NBA All-Star Weekend. This is a great way for scouts/fans to check out all the stars of the D-League who are most deserving of a NBA Gatorade Call-Up. The game is broadcast on NBA TV (which has its viewership growing everyday).

What if we erased the D-League All-Star game and instead had a D-League All-Star TEAM. Who would they play you ask? How about the NBA Rookie/Sophomore team. This is a great way for more people to learn about the NBA Development League and display the quality of players in the D-League. This could air on TNT along with the other NBA All-Star festivities which would also elevate the NBA D-League brand.

What do you think? Why will it probably not happen? The NBA would be afraid the D-League All-Stars would win, and I don't blame them. I would give an NBA D-League All-Star team a fifty-fifty chance of winning such a game.

Sure is a good marketing idea though. See you on Tuesday.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ants Win Ants Win Ants Win

The Mad Ants reportedly had a great game last night in the victory over Sioux Falls. We ended up with a final score of 107-98. I say reportedly because I did not get to see much of it. I had four different groups at the game, which had me Kriss Krossing (JUMP JUMP) the Coliseum at a frantic pace. I am pretty sure every one had a great time, so it was all worth it.

Ben Smith from the Journal Gazette has an article up this morning on last nights win.

I have always been a box score junkie though, so I think I have a good feel for how the guys did. This leads us into the much anticipated MARTZ MADNESS PLAYER OF THE GAME!!!





Guess what folks? We have two co-winners today in Rob Kurz and Ron Howard. Both put up strong diverse stat lines in leading the team to victory. Rob Kurz had 28 pts 11 rbs 4 asst along with a steal and a block. Enjoy Rob being in Fort Wayne while it lasts, I see a call-up in his future.


Ron Howard put up 20 pts 7 rbs 7 asst and two steals. Ron also had the advantage of having his wife Reesha tell me that she reads my blog and finds it quite witty! Yahoo Sports are you listening??? She also mentioned (much to Jeff Potter's chagrin) that she had never read Jeff Potter's blog. After reading that tripe can you blame her? Do you think Danny Ainge and Joe Dumars spend their spare time blogging about "Old School" and posting pictures of Mel Gibson????

The best part about last night you ask? Regardless of how much fun we had and what a strong victory it was, we get to do it all over again today! Tip-off is at 5pm! So come on out and enjoy Go Green Night with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and Indiana Michigan Power.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hot Rod Wilmont Article

(Old Hot Rod)

Ben Smith has an article in today's Journal Gazette where he interviewed Rod Wilmont. It touches on Wilmont's return to the Ants after playing for us in the inaugural season. It also touches on Rod's sense of humour which was put on display yesterday here in the office. Rod called in to the office to talk to Sarah (Vice President-Administration). Sarah did not recognize the number/caller and asked "I am sorry who is this?" Rod's response "Hot Rod". For some reason I found this to be hilarious, and I hope this nickname can stick the rest of the year.

(New Hot Rod)
Remember to bring a new unwrapped toy to Saturday night's game (tomorrow!) to donate to Fort Wayne Toys for Tots. The first 250 fans who bring a toy will receive a Mad Ants mini-basketball in return thanks to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Saturday will also see the return of David Bailey and the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Bailey is a guy who fans love to hate, and loved to see play when he briefly was a Mad Ant last season.

Don't forget we have a game on Sunday at 5pm as well! See you there.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mad Ants Photos

Here are some shots from the Mad Ants game on Nov. 29th. These photos were all taken by Mad Ants photographer Randy Jackson.

We had a nice turn out, and some nice take aways too!

No one close enough to defend this J!





Ron Howard shooting for 1 of his 25 points in the game.

Erie seems to be having an Ant infestation problem...

11 Point Mad Ants victory...

That calls for some celebration!



As always thank you from the whole Mad Ants Family

If you have not made it to one of our first two home games, this weekend is a great chance! Come out for Saturday Dec. 12th at 7:30 or Sunday Dec. 13th at 5pm to see the Ants take on the Sioux Falls Skyforce!

D-League Apologizes

The NBA Development League issued a statement regarding events that took place at the Utah Flash game on Monday. The following statement is from NBA D-League President Dan Reed:

“On behalf of the NBA Development League, I apologize to our fans for a Utah Flash promotion that never should have happened. This promotion was clearly ill-conceived. Brandt Andersen, the Utah Flash owner, has apologized to the Flash fans and has reached out to Michael Jordan to apologize to him as well.

The Flash will refund the price of the tickets and has also offered free tickets to an upcoming Flash game to everyone who was in attendance at Monday night’s game.

Check out my "Talk Around the Water Cooler" story to get the details of what transpired.

Talk Around the Water Cooler

The biggest story out of the D-League yesterday can be found here. It's been covered by many national media outlets.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mad Ants Lose

Again I am back with a tardy blog. If you do not know the Mad Ants lost to Iowa on Sunday, than you are simply behind in this technology age of the information highway. The Iowa Energy defeated the Mad Ants 99-84. Curtis Stinson lead the Energy to victory with 16 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds. Ron Howard led the Ants with 17 points, with Rod Wilmont chipping in with 15 points. Our main downfall was poor shooting with a field goal percentage of under 34%.

The good news, we did not have to face an Iowa team with Taylor Griffin or Cartier Martin. The Phoenix Suns assigned Griffin (brother of Blake Griffin) on Monday, and acquired Cartier Martin as he re-entered the D-League. Martin had a great season for the Energy last year before getting a Gatorade call-up to the Charlotte Bobcats where he played in 33 games. If Courtney Sims returns to the Energy, they might as well put in their application to join the NBA as an expansion team!

That is one of the fun (and sometimes frustrating) parts of this league with teams rosters fluctuating so greatly. A team can go from good to great, or good to terrible with a moments notice. Being successful with player transactions and is a huge part of being a winning team in the D-League (and sometimes just being lucky with said transactions!).

There was a good read on Latavious Williams of the Tulsa 66ers from Marc Spears with Yahoo Sports. Williams is the first player to be drafted straight out of high school to the NBA D-League. Williams went 16th in the D-League draft in November.

On tap for the weekends is a double header with the Mad Ants taking on Sioux Falls both Saturday and Sunday. We are teaming up with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Toys for Tots on Saturday. If you are one of the first 250 fans to bring an unwrapped new toy to the game you will receive a free Mad Ants mini-basketball sponsored by Thrivent Financial.

Want to see how Chris Hunter is doing so far with the Golden State Warriors? Click here for his stats up to this point.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kyle McAlarney featured on ESPN's Outside the Lines

If you missed it this morning (I know I did), Kyle McAlarney was featured on Outside the Lines on ESPN. The topic was White American players in the NBA with the question of if there is a bias against them among scouts/coaches/general manages. McAlarney was featured indepth. You can watch the episode at ESPN.com.

The Mad Ants take on the Iowa Energy tonight again on the road. Let's hope they correct some turnover issues from Friday and split the series to be at .500 coming home. The next home game is Saturday Dec. 12th where the Ants will be taking on the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Remember you can watch the Ants road games on Futurecast, with tonight's game starting....RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day Late Dollar Short


(Ron Howard from Thursdays road game against Iowa)

So I broke my streak of blogging once a day! It was not out of laziness but pure lack of time. I did manage to watch almost the entire Mad Ants/Energy game on Futurecast, which by the way is a great feature of the D-League. Make sure to watch road games on futurecast, as the broadcast on Thursday was really good. The only thing I would change is asking the play-by-play guy to quit saying "belt-high dribble" every time the point guard brings the ball up the floor. I know every one has to have their little phrase but you don't have to say it 15 times per game!

The Martz Madness player of the game is again ROB KURZ. Rob had an amazing first half with 24 points and ended the game with 10-12 FG shooting and 7 rebounds. The problem was he only had two points in the second half, largely because he was in foul trouble and did not see many minutes. He fouled out late in the fourth quarter. I would be shocked if Rob makes it the whole season with the Ants without a call-up. The guy is just too good.

The Mad Ants lost the game 102-95. We had simply a horrible first quarter and had many many turnovers. The good news is we had a great second and third quarter and had the lead briefly. We simply could not hang on for the victory. Potter has a much detailed report over on his blog.

There are rumors out of Golden State that Chris Hunter is not going ANYWHERE. So we will have to live with the fact that we will be without our all-star center. Sean Sonderleiter has done a very nice job stepping up, and he will only get more comfortable in his new starting role as the season moves along. Make sure to tune in on Sunday to see the Mad Ants take on the Energy again on the road. Just visit the D-League website and sign up for Futurecast to watch the game.

You can also follow us on twitter where I will be giving "tweet by tweet" updates during the game.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On the Road Again...

How lame is the title of this blog? Such a cliche.

The guys are in Iowa and will have their first match-up with the Energy tonight. Good news, no Courtney Sims, Bad news, rumors have Courtney Sims and Cartier Martin coming back to the Energy very soon. Hopefully it's after this road trip!

The game will start at 8pm and you can listen to on FM 100 Talks (100.1 FM). You can also watch/listen to the game on NBA Futurecast. Just click here around 8pm and it will come up. You need to sign up to view the game, but it is completely free.

Iowa is off to a hot start, beating Springfield in their first two home games. NBA D-League President Dan Reed attended one of the games and thought Iowa would be one of the top teams this year. So a tough match-up for us, but if the Mad Ants play like they did on Sunday I think a victory is a good possibility. Keep an eye on Rod Wilmont and Oliver Lafayette to see how much time they get in.

Reggie Hayes has an article up on Rob Kurz here. Thanks to season ticket holder Chris Bauer for directing me to this article.

Oh yeah, and if you are an IPFW student, make sure to vote for Madame Ant Melanie for Homecoming Queen! I believe voting ends on Friday. Apparently the Mad Ant himself was on IPFW's campus yesterday helping her campaign.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Some Changes

If you have not heard yet, please check out Jeff Potter's blog for some big player movement news. The Mad Ants have signed Rod Wilmont and Oliver Lafayette who were both waived by Erie right before the season began. Rod was a big time crowd favorite in the 07-08 season and I know all the IU fans will be happy to have him back. He can light it up from behind the arc and also plays defense. Lafayette is a nice pick-up because he gives us a player who is a more traditional point guard and will be great at backing up Kyle McAlarney.

It was a big surprise when both of these guys were released by Erie, and I hope that we can capitalize on the situation by bringing them in. Rod and Oliver are both on the bus heading to Iowa with the rest of the Mad Ants squad.

The sad news with adding two new players, is that two other players were waived in Sandoval and Cotton. It is always a tough decision for Jeff and the Coaches and I hope they get picked up by another team in the league.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chris Hunter is officially a BALLER


(Chris doing work on Danny Granger and Tyler Hansbrough)

Just finished watching the Pacers/Golden State game that I DVD-rd last night which aired on NBA TV and Fox Sports MidWest. It reminded me of my love of the Pacers, and more importantly of Stacy Paetz. Chris Hunter had the best game of his NBA career last night with 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 block (3-3 FG 2-2 FT). He had a monstrous dunk that all the Mad Ants fans would find to be a very familiar sight. He also made Tyler Hansbrough look foolish by driving from the three point line from an inbound pass for an easy lay in. He had the impressive stat of +21 in the plus/minus category. This is a relatively new stat that indications how many points your team scored compared to the other team in the time period that you were playing in the game. This is very impressive when you consider Golden State's starting center Mikki Moore was a -2 in the same category.

He received a standing ovation from the crowd when he left the game with 3 minutes left in the 4th. Chris was the best center on the floor tonight for the Warriors and if this does not cement him a spot in the NBA I don't know what will. He has done an amazing job with this opportunity and if we do see him back in Fort Wayne, it won't be for very long!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rob Kurz we hardly knew yea


(The two most powerful men in the D-League)


Hey guess what...The Mad Ants won! Be happy and other teams in the D-League...be afraid very afraid.

What a big turn around last night from the Home Opener. Shots were going in, Defense was solid, and Rob Kurz took a shot! You can check out the box score from the game here.

Let's get right down to it with the Martz Madness Player of the Game!

There were three candidates tonight in Mr. Mad Ant Ron Howard, Rob "No Nickname just business" Kurz, and Kyle "Why did you shave off that sweet beard?" McAlarney.

Ron Howard just had an amazing game and was doing all he could to attack the basket. We have plenty of shooters on the team, but we need Ron to be the slasher on this team and when he does that we will be hard to beat. Ron had a couple of "And 1's" that were simply amazing. Okay I need to stick to stats and quit pretending like I know anything about the game of basketball. Ron had 25 points 4 assists and 3 rebounds.

Kyle McAlarney was as advertised (this is my new favorite phrase, I love it almost as much as I love Parentheses) last night and lit it up behind the arc shooting 4-7 from three point range. He ended up with 22 points. It may be a little premature but I am nominating Kyle for a spot int he D-League three-point contest for All-Star weekend.

Last but not least is Rob Kurz. Rob had an amazing stat line of 16 pts 19 rbs 5 asst and 3 blocks. Think this guy wants back in the NBA? If he keeps putting up numbers like that his stay in Fort Wayne may be quite short! Because of this amazing output of basketball statistics, Rob Kurz is the official winner of the Martz Madness Player of the Game! Rob your trophy will arrive in the mail the second Tuesday of next week.


If you don't know who the handsome guy in the picture above is, it's ME and the other gentleman is NBA D-League President Dan Reed. He is making a tour of different D-League markets and Fort Wayne was his stop on Sunday. This was the first time I had a chance to officially meet Mr. Reed and he could not have been a nicer smarter guy. You can tell he is passionate about this league and will do whatever he can to help each team succeed. Mr. Reed is also owner of the second most powerful blog in the D-League (behind this one) in Reed & Write. So make sure to check it out!

Well the team is on the road this week going to Iowa for a game on Dec. 3rd (Thursday) and Dec. 6th (Sunday). Iowa looks tough this year, so make sure to catch the game on Futurecast or on FM 100 Talks!

If you have NBA TV, tune in tonight to see the Pacers take on Chris Hunter and the Golden State Warriors.

Well time to head to the office, have a very fruitful day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good News for Chris Hunter

Chris Hunter played 15 minutes last night against the LA Lakers. He produced six points and had three rebounds. You can check out the box score here. There was also some great news in the Yahoo Sports Team Report for the Golden State Warriors. Here is the direct quote from the article:

"The Warriors have been told they can retain NBA Developmental League call-up Chris Hunter(notes) through Thursday, then would have to petition for another hardship case in order to get him for another two weeks. NBA rules state if a team has four or more players who are expected to miss at least two weeks, it can use a 16th roster spot to sign a player to a two-week contract. The Warriors currently have Brandan Wright(notes), Kelenna Azubuike(notes), Raja Bell(notes) and Speedy Claxton(notes) out of action for well longer than the two-week requirement."

So it looks like Chris will be sticking witht he Warriors longer than I thought, and he has certainly been proving he belongs with solid performances in every game he has played in.

Ready for another Mad Ants game tonight? I have a feeling the guys will be looking for a little revenge after Friday's game. Who will win the "Martz Madness Player of the Game" award? Besides the competitiveness of wanting to win, the dream to go to the NBA, earning a Martz Madness Player of the Game award is right up there in all the Mad Ants players minds.

Great quote from Saturdays News Sentinel articleby Ron Howard:

“I'm glad we're not football players and have to think about this for seven days,” Howard said. “I'm excited to get back out there and put on a better showing.”

Ron did not look happy after Friday's game, so look for him to do what he does best tonight, make buckets!

Tip-off is at 5pm tonight (Sunday) and it is also A+ All-Stars Report Card Night presented by Raymond James. So if you have kids with an "A" on the their report card, bring them to the game and they get in free! They just need to show their report card to the Coliseum Box Office before the game.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

One down, 23 to go (not to mention the playoffs)

Update:

Here are some links to articles written about the Mad Ants home opening loss last night:

Justin Cohn over at the Journal Gazette with "Mad Ants 'awful' in opening loss"

Reggie Hayes at the News Sentinel with the slightly nicer Headline of "Mad Ants Seek Answers After Opening Loss"

Quick Chris Hunter update before I go into my blog about the Mad Ants opening night:
This is from the Yahoo Sports Golden State Warriors Team Report.

"C Chris Hunter played for the second time in three games since his call-up from the NBA Development League, but he might have seen his last action as a Warrior. The club had been given a special exemption to sign Hunter as a 16th player on the roster because of its inordinate number of injured players. But with C.J. Watson and Corey Maggette having returned Wednesday, the Warriors would have had the required eight players in uniform even without Hunter. So the league likely is going to force the Warriors either to cut Hunter loose before Saturday's game against the Lakers or waive one of their other 15 players, all of whom have guaranteed contracts."

It was a great opportunity for Chris to show that he belongs in the NBA. Who knows what will happen, but if he does get waived I would not expect him to be out of the NBA very long. On a selfish note, we could really use him down in Fort Wayne!

I would love to sit here and give you a big recap on the Mad Ants home opener and how the team did, but two things are preventing me from doing so.

A.) It was opening night, and I was busy running around most of the night making sure people had tickets, ball kids knew what they were doing, all the subway balls got picked up, and Cowabunga Calfee was on the court breaking it down for the 4th quarter dance party. I basically did not get to watch a whole lot of the game.

B.) I may be a thinker, but I am not a basketball scholar. The last time I played organized basketball was in sixth grade. I am not someone who can explain how we were not defending the 2-3 zone (or even tell you what a 2-3 zone is).

So first, let me talk about what a success the night was from an entertainment standpoint. This was the first game under Heidi Busch's watch as Director of Communications and Operations and did she ever do a great job. I thought the opening went great with the Mad Ant doing a fun "magic trick" and opening sequence. I'll be honest, I had my doubts about how the Subway Ball Toss was going to work out during the 3rd Quarter break. This is where we have literally hundreds of foam balls hurtling towards the court trying to win a 50/50 cash prize pool or a Subway gift card. It was an all hands on deck situation and even Jeff Potter was helping out picking up balls off the court. Nice show of teamwork on all parts, to make this promotion a big hit.

The new Madame Ants (not to mention the veterans) did a fantastic job. Some fun new songs/dances and some flashy new outfits as well. Madame Ants Choreographer Sheenah Johnson does a great job of making the Madame Ants a staple of every Mad Ants home game. We truly have the best dance team in the D-Leauge, not to mention minor-league sports in general.

We may have had one of the fastest "clean-ups" of all of the banners/merchandise table/etc after the game was completed. This is a big feat with mostly new interns learning the tasks and what needed to be done. So way to go interns! Former Mad Ants Intern Camron even made an appearance, not that he did anything of use. Also, a big thank you to another former intern Zach Zuber. He came on his own time to help out with the merchandise table and was running things like clockwork. The merchandise table can really be a thankless job as often times you are missing all the "fun stuff" happening on the court.

Now onto the basketball portion of the night...

Actually, one more small sort-of non-basketball tidbit. Coach Meyer did a great job in the "fan address" before the game. His enthusiasm for the team and just the game of basketball in general really showed. You could tell he may have given a couple of these speeches in the past.

As I did not really focus on the game itself I will keep this short. We lost. If you missed the box score, you can click here to check it out. The big thing I did notice was that we did not have an answer for John Bryant or "Big Boy" as I was referring to him through out the game. This 300lber was just shoving our guys around in the paint and there was not much they could do about it. I would have loved to see Bryant go up against Chris Hunter, as I think he would have had a rude awakening. That being said, Sean Sonderleiter had a very solid offensive game, maybe the best of his professional career.

The problem is that with all of our shooters, Sean should not be the focal point of our offense. Plus when the shooters aren't sinking baskets, it just makes Sean and AK's job even harder. I was just shocked when I looked at the final box score and realized Rob Kurz did not take a single field goal attempt. I am not really sure what happened there, but if we are going to win he needs to be one of the driving points of the offense. Being a 6'9 three point threat, he is just too tough a match-up for teams. The guy is a pro though, and I expect him to drop 30 plus on Erie come Sunday.

Okay, that is enough about the basketball, I will leave it to Jeff Potter, to give you a better recap of the game. The good news is we have an amazing Coaching staff with tons of experience. You know Coach Meyer's mind is ticking away with different strategies on how to fix the problems that went down on Friday.

If you missed the game on Friday (or even if you made it!), come on out for Nov. 29th (Sunday) with the tip-off at 5:00pm. We will have our vengeance...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tonights the night...

Well it's finally here, the big day, the big show, BLACK FRIDAY AKA THE MAD ANTS 2009-10 Home Opener!

I just got back from the Coliseum, as we are getting everything setup for tonight. I also caught a glimpse of the rehearsal for the opening of the game, people are going to love it.

Both teams have finished up shoot around and now we are just waiting for the tip-off. If you have not purchased your tickets yet, you still have time. Just stop by the Ticket office right before the game and pick some up. They start at just $5.00, cheaper than a movie!

Reggie Hayes with another informative article on the Mad Ants in today's News Sentinel.

An interesting quote from the article is from Coach Meyer on our big man situation:

“Somebody has to step up; that's just the way it is,” Meyer said. “None of those guys has produced great numbers, so it'll have to be a collective thing."

Who will step to fill the void left by Chris Hunter? Sean Sonderleiter will see his minutes jumped up heavily from last season, and will have the perfect opportunity to show what he can do. Anthony Kent had a great end to last season, let's see if he keeps bringing us double-doubles. Jared Carter was not given much of a chance at Kentucky, but he will undoubtedly see some significant minutes in the coming weeks. What a great stage for him to show Kentucky what they were missing.

Also, remember that Nov. 29th is A+ All-Stars Report Card Night presented by Raymond James. So if you have kids with an "A" on their report card, stop by and show the Ticket office for a free ticket to that nights game.

If you see me at the game tonight, make sure to say hello.

GO ANTS!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chris Hunter plays Ben Smith and Reggie Hayes write

Chris Hunter was back in action last night for the Golden State Warriors as they took on the San Antonio Spurs. The good news is that the Warriors had 9 active bodies, which must mean they don't have to waive Chris right away. I know we would all like to see Chris suited up in a Mad Ants uniform opening night, but you have to root for a guy living his dream. Chris had another nice game with 4 points (2-3 FG) and two rebounds in just under ten minutes.

Ben Smith had a great article on Mad Ants Head Coach Joey Meyer this morning in the Journal Gazette. While you are rooting for great deals on Black Friday, you can also read the Mad Ants preview in the hard copy of the Journal Gazette today.

Reggie Hayes has a Mad Ants preview up at the News Sentinel: "Mad Ants 3.0 User-friendly"
and an article about Coach Meyer. For the Trifecta, Reggie also writes about the Mad Ants Point Guard position.

It was too bad AJ Ratliff was waived yesterday, I know quite a few IU fans in town would of enjoyed watching him take his game to the next level. It sounds like he made a good impression on everyone, and I think he will get another opportunity down the line.

See everyone at the game tomorrow, looking forward to kick off another season of MAD ANTS BASKETBALL.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Potter finally writes something worth reading about

Check out Potter's blog for the updates on the roster and who was waived.

Also, big news in Erie with Rod Wilmont getting waived. Seems crazy to me that a guy can lead the team in points in the pre-season game and get cut! I am sure Rod will find a home somewhere, as he is too talented not to.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Two Days Away! THUMBS UP LETS DO THIS!

Well I was shocked last night when Chris Hunter did not play a single minute in the Warriors/Mavericks game. The Warriors only played six players all night, with three guys playing all 48 minutes of the game. The amazing thing is that they won the game 111-103, which I am still giving all the credit to Chris Hunter. Warrior's Coach Don Nelson was out sick for the game, so the team was led by IU legend "Big Shot" Keith Smart. You would think Coach Smart would have given Chris some PT just because they have both spent time in minor league basketball in Fort Wayne. Coach Smart was the head coach of the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA in the late nineties.

The bad news for Chris is the team report from Yahoo Sports (read at the bottom) stated CJ Watson would be returning for Wednesdays game against San Antonio. I believe this would force Golden State to waive Chris, because they would again have 8 healthy bodies and not need the "NBA Hardship Exception". I could be totally wrong on this, but me being wrong would be completely unprecedented.

Jared Carter has indeed returned to the Mad Ants and has practiced the past two days with the team. The roster currently stands at 11 and the Coaching staff will need to make one more cut at some point today. I will update the final roster when I find out.

Make sure you get your tickets for the Home Opener on Friday against Erie! You can buy tickets at the Coliseum Box Office or order online via Ticketmaster. For a group bigger than ten, you can call me at 260-469-4667 x 107 and I will get you a group discount.

Happy Thanksgiving/Slapsgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chris Hunter plays tonight, Jared Carter returning to the Ants

Chris Hunter and the Golden State Warriors will be traveling to Dallas to take on Dirk and the Mavericks tonight. With the Warriors still with a very limited roster, Hunter is almost sure to see some action. I am not sure if the game will be shown on NBA TV, but check your local listings.

I believe once one of the injured/ill Warriors comes back onto the active roster, it will force them to waive Chris to get back to a roster of 15. Don Nelson has stated he wants to keep Chris on the team if possible, so we will have to wait and see. CJ Watson is the most likely to be returning the soonest, as he is currently out with a case of the Swine Flu. I have no idea if Chris has a chance at being back with the Mad Ants for opening night on Friday. We hope he sticks in the NBA obviously, but I would be lying if I said he won't be missed in Fort Wayne!

In the meantime, I have heard we are bringing back Jared Carter to get another big body on the team with Chris gone. If you recall, Carter is the 7'2 center from Kentucky who started off with us in training camp but was waived. He did not get a lot of time in at Kentucky to show what he can do, so let's see what he does with this opportunity.

I will post our final roster on Wednesday/Thursday after final cuts are made.

Still time to book your family outing for the Friday night home opener! Give me a call at (260)-469-4667 x 107 to get a group discount on ticket orders ten or more.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's beginning to resemble Christmas

Although, I am really angry with 106.3 JOE FM (my favorite local radio station) for playing a constant barrage of Christmas music. I guess it is officially that time of year because the Mad Ants will again have a tree at the Embassy Theater's Festival of Trees. This is a great event and I recommend you attend, it runs starting Nov. 25th and runs through Dec. 1st. My amazing Mom decorated the Mad Ants tree again this year and did a fantastic job. Attend and make sure you vote for the Mad Ants tree!

We are getting down to the nitty gritty this week with the Mad Ants home opener on Friday (Nov. 27th). We will be making our final cut(s) on Wednesday. With Chris Hunter getting called up, it means we will only have to make one cut to get down to a roster of ten players for opening night.

If you are interested in bringing a small group out to the game on Friday (something to do with those pesky in-laws or 3rd cousins in town) give me a call at 260-469-4667 x 107 and I'll get you hooked up with a group discount.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some Pictures from Preseason Game and Rod Wilmont

Even though I was not able to attend the Mad Ants preseason game against Erie personally, I have managed to find some blurry pictures of the game! If you are a regular reader of Martz Madness, you know I have a fondness for blurry basketball pictures. You can check out pictures of the game at the D-League Daily Blog.

I somehow forgot to mention Rod Wilmont's performance in the Ants/Bayhawks preseason game. Rod had 23 points in 22 minutes and shot 12-12 from the free throw line. The amount of times he was able to get to the free throw line is really impressive, as it means he was not relying on his outside shooting ability and opened up another dimension of his game. So it looks like he has secured his spot on the Bayhawks roster and we will be seeing him in Fort Wayne on Nov. 27th at the home opener. Let's hope he used up all the "karma" in the preseason game.

Jeff Potter did put up a recap of the game at his blog. He also put up another article about Chris Hunter and his first game with the Golden State Warriors. Chris will be in action next on Tuesday, when the Warriors take on the Dallas Mavericks. The Warriors will also be taking on the Pacer's at Conseco Fieldhouse on Nov. 30th, so you should be able to track that down on TV whether it is on NBA TV or FSN Indiana.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Great Report on Chris Hunter's game

Check out the Golden State Warriors Yahoo Sports Team report regarding last nights game. Looks like Chris Hunter will be sticking around a while.

Here is an excerpt:

"He (Hunter) then got the call to start the second half on Oden and held him scoreless for his entire 7:10 stint. Meanwhile, the new Warrior snuck outside to hit two jumpers, helping Golden State increase its lead to six."

Mad Ants Lose Preseason Game but Hunter Helps Warriors Win

The Mad Ants lost to Erie last night 106-100. The Mad Ants started the game out down 16-6 at one point before having the game all tied up at half-time with the score being 49-49. The Mad Ants then went on a big run in the third quarter but the Erie Bayhawks managed to claw their way back for the victory. You can check out the box score here.

The Martz Madness Player of the Game was Mr. Mad Ant Ron Howard. He put up 24 points in 24 mins and added 3 assists and 2 rebounds.

Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers both went 3-4 from the three point line. The team as a whole shot 8-23 from behind the arc. Jeff Potter attended the game and I am sure he will have a more detailed recap and photos at some point this weekend at his blog.

Chris Hunter had a great debut with the Golden State Warriors last night. The Warriors defeated the young and talented Portland Trailblazers with only 8 active players! This was an ideal situation for Chris as it guaranteed him minutes in the game. He actually started the second half for the Trailblazers. Here is a recap of the game courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

Chris ended up with 4pts 3 rbs 1 stl 1 asst in 14 minutes of play. You can take a gander at the box score.

The article had this to say about Hunter's play:

"Hunter started the second half at center and scored four quick points early in the third quarter when Golden State, which led by four at halftime, extended its lead to 64-55. He also helped hold Oden to five points over the final three quarters."

Here is a quote from Warriors Head Coach Donnie Nelson in regards to Chris Hunter's performance:

"That guy belongs in the NBA,” Nelson said. “Hopefully we find a way to keep him. He’s stronger than anybody I have at that position.”

Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope Chris Hunter has found a new home in Golden State. He leaves some big (literally) shoes to fill in Fort Wayne, but we wish him the best of luck.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's official! Chris Hunter called up to the Golden State Warriors.


Well, we finally found Chris Hunter. I know Jeff Potter was really starting to get worried!

It turns out Chris Hunter is the first NBA GATORADE CALL-UP of the D-League season. He just signed with the Golden State Warriors. They were able to sign him and have 16 players on the roster due to the NBA Hardship rule. They currently have 8 players out with injury/illness. Read all about it on Golden State's website.

We are all really excited for Chris and wish him the best of luck!

Here is the Mad Ants starting line-up for tonights pre-season game:

PG Kyle McAlarney
SG Ron Howard
SF Ryan Ayers
PF Rob Kurz
C Sean Sondeleiter

Mad Ants take on Erie Bayhawks in Preseason Action Tonight!

The Mad Ants have traveled to Erie to take on the Bayhawks tonight in the only preseason game the Mad Ants will play. Duane Rankin over at the Erie Times has a great article with former Mad Ant Rod Wilmont and his feelings about taking on the Mad Ants.



Some interesting excerpts from the article include Rod's response to not being picked by the Mad Ants in the D-League draft:

"Round one went by," Wilmont said. "Two. Three. Four. I got love for them. It is what it is. It's a business, but like I said, they know what's going to happen."

It sounds like Rod would like to show Jeff Potter and the Mad Ants Coaching staff they made a big mistake on draft day. Here is another quote from the Erie Times article:

"You see how some people do you in life, but you learn from your experiences," Wilmont said. "You move on. You don't hold grudges, but you know what they say about karma."

The Mad Ants are taking on the Erie Bayhawks in our home opener on Nov. 27th (Friday after Thanksgiving) at the Memorial Coliseum.

Should make for an interesting game. I am trying to find if there will be any radio coverage via the internet for tonight's game. If I can track something down I'll post it here. Jeff Potter is attending the game and I am sure he will give a prompt update of his thoughts on how it went on Saturday.

You may want to check out Jeff Potter's blog now, as it seems he has lost one of our best players! Maybe you can help find him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mad Ants Open Pratice Pictures

Some great footage from Mad Ants media day at both Wane-TV
and Indiana Newscenter.

Ben Smith has a good read about the three Notre Dame players in the Mad Ants camp over at the Journal Gazette this morning.

Here are a few shots from Wednesday Nights Open Practice/Media day at the Coliseum.

(new jerseys and sneakers are laid out before the players arrive for the photo shoot)

(Mad Ants game operations staff getting doing a dry run for opening night)

(The Voices of the Mad Ants: 98.9 The Bear's Jerrdog and Star 88.3's Ace McKay running through the game script)

(Heidi running down the game script with Martz Madness reader/Madame Ant Melanie.)

(Jeff Potter cursing me for having such a better blog than him, right before he puts down a vicious wind-mill dunk on the playschool rim)

(Mr. Mad Ant Ron Howard)

(AJ Ratliff talking to Indiana Newscenter)

(A beardless Kyle McAlarney talks to Wane-TV)

(Sarah, you make this too easy)

Rod Wilmont Update


(Earl Calloway & Rod Wilmont on the Mad Ants first ever home game in Nov. 2007)

Former Mad Ant (and IU Alumni) Rod Wilmont has been doing well for Erie in training camp. He has made it past the first round of cuts. Here is a quote from Duane Rankin at the Erie Times:

"Rod Wilmont - The guy wasn’t lying. He can just flat out knock down shots. Before training camp, he told me the coaches know he can put it in the hole since John Treloar and Ben McDonald were assistants at Indiana when he was there. During an intense four-on-four drill in which defense is rewarded, he must have knocked down four contested long-range shots. Pretty impressive to watch. I should have known. Against Northwestern in 2007, he hit nine 3s. Yes. Nine."

For more information on the Bayhawks training camp, check out the rest of Mr. Rankin's blog here.

This could make for an interesting storyline with the Mad Ants playing Erie in the home opener on Nov. 27th (Friday) and Nov. 29th (Sunday).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mad Ants Make First Cuts

The Mad Ants Coaching staff has made first round of cuts. We were required to have the roster down to 12 by tommorrow (Wednesday). Here is a list of who was released today:

Frank Tolbert (Auburn) 6'4 Guard

Mr. Tolbert was a player Jeff Potter was very high on in the draft. Sort of surprising to see him released in the first round of cuts.

Jared Carter (Kentucky) 7'2 Center

Jared came into camp through open tryouts and impressed the Coaches with not only his size but his quick feet. The problem is that with Chris Hunter, Rob Kurz (two NBA caliber talents) and Anthony Kent (who looked to really be elevating his game at the end of last season) who has "ridiculous" upside there was simply not room on the roster. With Jared's size and potential, I would not be surprised to see him end up on another D-League roster or I could see us bringing him back if we were to lose Chris Hunter or Rob Kurz to a NBA Gatorade Call-up.

Booker Woodfox (Creighton) 6'1 Guard

I do not have any real insight (as if I am qualified to give insight on anyone) on Booker. Just a victim of the numbers game.

Jamelle Cornley (Penn State) 6'5 Forward

Cornley is more on injured reserve than anything. He was having some minor issues with his knee but I would be shocked if we did not see him back on the Mad Ants roster when he recovers. I heard nothing but good things about him when I observed different practices.

So IU fans, that means AJ Ratliff is still in the building! Keeping my dream alive to get a Hoosier back on the Mad Ants roster.

Here is the remaining players still on the Mad Ants Training Camp Roster:

Brandon Cotton
Kyle McAlarney
Andres Sandoval
AJ Ratliff
Ron Howard
DeWitt Scott
CJ Anderson
Ryan Ayers
Rob Kurz
Anthony Kent
Chris Hunter
Sean Sonderleiter

Potential NBA Assignees Update

I wrote a string of articles a few weeks back detailing who we might see assigned to the Mad Ants via our NBA affiliates. Since then, some more NBA games have been played allowing me to get some more insight on who we might (and won't) see.

Won't: I had a pipe dream that we might see Tyler Hansbourgh because he was coming off an injury and would have access to limited minutes. I was right about the limited minutes as they are only allowing him 16 minutes per game as he continues to recover. The thing is, he has been KILLING it with the little time has had. First game he drops 13 points 5 rebs in 13 odd minutes and he has been putting up similar numbers in the games following that.

Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye are in the same boat with Detroit. They are both playing significant minutes and I would be very surprised to see them in Fort Wayne.

I am also fairly confident we will not be seeing Brandon Jennings anytime soon. That guy is simply amazing, 55 points in like his 5th NBA game????

WILL (my opinion only, for some reason Joe Dumars, John Hammond, and Larry Bird do not include me in their inner circle):

Joe Alexander- He is still recovering from injury and I think it makes quite a bit of sense to let him get his legs back in the D-League. Plus it does not appear he is a part of the Bucks future plans (they did not sign an extension with him), so why not send him to the Mad Ants and hope to be pleasantly surprised with his improvement.

Jodie Meeks: He has been playing some minutes but not many. I would expect to see him come down on a limited basis.

DaJuan Summers- He has not been playing much at all for Detroit. The Pistons are proven advocates of the D-League and I would be very surprised if we did not see Summers at some point this year.

AJ Price - He has played limited minutes with the Pacers in four of their seven games. With TJ Ford and Earl Watson (who is playing well) at point guard, I would say there is a pretty solid chance of us seeing Price down at the Coliseum. Lacking a true PG right now in camp, we would be happy to see the UCONN Alumni down for a stint. The only thing holding me back from saying AJ being assigned to the Mad Ants is a sure thing, as that the Pacers are one of the few teams in the NBA to have never assigned/called-up someone from the D-League.

So out of those four players mentioned, I am going to bet we will see at least 50% of them.

Reminder: Open Mad Ants Practice tomorrow (Nov. 18th 5-7pm) at the Coliseum. Stop by and check out the new team!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mad Ants Coaches Radio Show TONIGHT

For my dozens and dozenz of Martz Madness readers, make sure you tune in tonight at 6pm to FM 100 Talks (100.1 on your radio dial) for the Mad Ants Coaches Show. Radio Broadcaster Bill Hazen hosts the show and is joined by Mad Ants Head Coach Joey Meyer. It will be a very interesting show tonight as Coach Meyer will be able to give an update on how training camp is going.

Reminder that this Wednesday (Nov. 18th) we will be hosting a Mad Ants Open Practice at the Memorial Coliseum from 5-7pm. The team will be scrimmaging and this is a great chance to see how the team is fleshing out.

Ridiculous Upside has a nice article discussing the Mad Ants trade for Rob Kurz. In the article Jon L talks about how the make-up of our lineup changes with the addition of Kurz. I disagree that Anthony Kent may be pushed to the 3 spot with Kurz at the 4 and Hunter at the 5. I think it would be more likely to have Kurz play the small forward, Kent at power forward and Hunter at Center. Kurz is a much better fit at the small forward position because of his long ranging shooting abilities.

Keep checking Potter's blog as he should be posting some pictures and more training camp updates.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

More Blurry Mad Ants Training Camp Photos

For the life of me I can not figure out how to take a good picture of people playing basketball. I guess my camera, like myself in the game of life, just can't cut it. Tonights practice we actually were able to watch some short scrimmages. Rob Kurz was showing why he was starting for the Warriors last year and knocking down threes like he was Steve Kerr, only six inches taller. AJ Ratliff also had a nice showing, and towards the end of the practice had a great drive to the lane for a bucket in traffic. Jamelle Cornley is a beast, and looks like a six inch shorter version of Dwight Howard. Really fun to watch and it just gets me more excited for the season to start. Two weeks minus a day away to the home opener on Nov. 27th! Got your tickets? (wow, that sounds a lot better on the commercial)

Here are the promised blurry pictures:


(Andres Sandoval trying to get by Kyle McAlarney, in a potential battle for the starting point guard spot (remember where the basketball insight is coming from) DOUBLE PARENTHESES!!!!


(Coach Meyer dropping some knowledge)

(Blurry Action Shot)


(Coach Meyer talking with Sandoval, Ratliff, and McAlarney)


(Coach Meyer bringing it in at the end of practice)

EXTRA:

Just watched former Mad Ant Dahntay Jones drop 25 points for the Pacers tonight while handily defeating the Boston Celtics. See what playing for the Mad Ants does for you? Really great to see Dahntay doing so well with the Pacers, could be a breakout year for him.

AJ Ratliff


The News Sentinel had a nice article about AJ Ratliff today written by Reggie Hayes. He talks about his first day of Mad Ants training camp and his attempt to get back into basketball after a year layoff.

As an IU fan and a Mad Ants ticket seller I am rooting for AJ to make the team. By the article it is clear he knows it will be an uphill battle and he seems to be prepared for it. I am going to try to stop by practice again tonight to snap a few more pictures (hopefully they turn out a little better than yesterday).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some really bad pics from the first day of practice

Okay, it is going to shock you to hear this after you look at these pictures but I am not a professional photographer.

I had some issues getting good shots at practice today. Mainly because I feared looking like a tool getting out on the court for some closer pictures with better lighting. Jeff Potter pointed out that everyone knows that I am a tool and just take the stupid pictures anyways. I ignored him, so here are a couple blurry pictures from the first day of practice. I keep looking at Potter's blog and I can't seem to find any pictures or embedded video from today. Hmmmm, I guess this is where you come for an exclusive...


Kyle McAlarney "D"ing up on Andres Sandoval (and showing Jeff Johnson what a real beard looks like!)



Coach Sanders and Coach Potapenko working with the bigs at the end of practice


So everyone is here for training camp and we are off to a good start. I will try to get some better shots tomorrow, but I am sure by then Jeff Potter will have brought in a full camera crew for a one hour documentary on Mad Ants training camp for his blog. I say GOOD NIGHT SIR!

So I can't embed video..... so what

Practice (yes I am talking about practice) officially starts this morning in about 25 minutes at the Concorida Seminary. Jeff Potter and Coach Potapenko were talking this morning about the uneasiness at the team dinner last night. The feeling out process had begun and every one was trying to gauge their potential future teammates. There was also probably a realization that 41% of the guys at dinner were not going to make the team. We have such a great training camp roster, that I certainly do not envy Mr. Potter and the Coaches on making those tough decisions on who to cut.

As you can tell by Potter's New Blog, he now knows how to embed video. He thinks he is the cats pajamas because of this, so it is my goal to take some video tonight at practice and put it up on my blog just to spite him. If I can't figure it out (or get my hands on a video camera) I will at least get some photos up.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome Coach Potapenko


( Mad Ants 2nd Assistant Coach Vitaly Potapenko backing down now destitute Antoine Walker)


The Mad Ants have have brought in NBA veteran Vitaly Potapenko as 2nd Assistant Coach to help Coach Meyer and Asst. Coach Sanders this season. Potapenko had a ten year NBA career and played (and started) with several different NBA teams. He will be a great asset in working with our players, specifically our bigs.

I am going to take a stab at what I think our starting lineup will be on opening night. Remember this is coming from a guy who last played organized basketball in 6th grade (I got cut in 7th grade, DARN YOU MR. KENNEDY!) and training camp doesn't start until Saturday.

PG: Kyle McAlarney
SG: Frank Tolbert
SF: Ron Howard
PF: Rob Kurz
C: Chris Hunter

The position I am really undecided on is Small Forward. I know Ron will almost certainly start but whether it's SG or SF I don't have a clue. I put Tolbert as SG as he was our 2nd round draft pick, so I assume the Coaches and JP are high on him. So I feel good about four of the five, but hey that is what training camp is for. Feel free to take your shot at what you think the starting lineup will be in the comments section. The first person who posts with the correct starting lineup will win a brand new Mad Ants license plate holder.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Embarrassing Mad Ants Staff Photo PART 2

Okay, so techincally Heidi read my blog so she should not suffer my wrath. I do not live my life by technicallities however, I feel people should suffer the consequences of their actions. If you choose to not actively read my blog, you are fair game! Jeff Johnson, you need to step your game up or your next on the docket.

Let's talk a little about Heidi. She is the Director of Communications and Operations of the Mad Ants. That is correct, the DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS for the Mad Ants. She actually handles everything we put on our website. So you would think she would be an avid reader of Martz Madness, if only to police its content. What if I am putting up horrible things about the Mad Ants? Or posting frivilous things like pictures of my Halloween outfit (wait..). For this lack of censorship and support you have earned the following picture:


Heidi and her boyfriend Jayme (Halloween 2008)

As you can tell by the picture, Jayme is a large individual, so it is my hope for him not to kill me because of this photo.

Make sure you take time to check out Jeff Potter's Blog, as he has been updating it the past few days. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mad Ants Training Camp Roster 09-10

Check out this link for the official training camp roster of the 2009-10 Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

The Mad Ants will be having an open practice at the Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday Nov. 18th from 5-7pm. It is open to the public and you will get a chance to see how this years roster is shaping up. The Mad Ants will also be playing a preseason game AT Erie on Nov. 20th.

Speaking of Erie, one of the big stories coming out of the draft (for the Mad Ants anyways) was Rod Wilmont getting selected by the Erie Bayhawks. Originally the Ants were considering taking Rod as an allocated player due to his background at IU. It came down to a numbers game and the Coaching staff decided to go with Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers from Notre Dame. The plan was to take Rod in the draft but the story is that in the 5th round we were going to select Rod and sure enough Erie took him before we had the chance. I know Rod has quite a few fans and friends in Fort Wayne who are disappointed he will not be with the Mad Ants. The good thing is we play the Erie Bayhawks four times at home and fans will still get a chance to see him in action. Hopefully Rod takes his frustration out on the court and I think it could really add to the Mad Ants/Bayhawks rivalry.

Bad news, Sarah FINALLY saw her Embarrassing Mad Ants Photo and promptly ratted me out to Heidi. So by my made up rules, Heidi reading my blog gets her out of the photo. Another made up rule is that rules are made to be broken! I just need to find the perfect picture...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Potential Pistons we could see in Fort Wayne this Season


The long awaited, heavily under-hyped POTENTIAL PISTONS POST!

The Pistons have been the only Mad Ants affiliate to assign players to the Mad Ants during our first two seasons. We have seen three Pistons assigned by Mr. Dumars in Cheikh Samb (07-08), Walter Sharpe (08-09), and Alex Acker (08-09). Cheikh spent about half the season with the Mad Ants, while Sharpe and Acker were assigned to the Mad Ants together for only two home games and one short road trip. So the Pistons have proven they see value in having their young guys spend time in the D-League. Joe Dumars and John Hammond (former right hand man in Detroit and current General Manager of the Bucks) both attended Mad Ants games to see how their prospects were developing.

So I see no reason while we would not see a Piston down with the Mad Ants for the 09-10 season. Without further ado, here are the Pistons that could potentially be assigned to the Mad Ants. This simply means they are either a rookie or second year player and are eligble to be sent to the D-League.

Jonas Jerebko
College: None
2nd Round '09 Pistons Draft Pick
6'9 Forward

With Tayshaun Prince out, Jerebko has been seeing heavy minutes, even starting the past 2 or 3 games. He has put up solid numbers and I would expect to see him continue to be used in the regular Pistons rotation even once Tayshaun comes back into the lineup. Therefore, I really doubt we would see him assigned to the Mad Ants this season.

Percent of seeing him in a Mad Ants uniform: 1%

Austin Daye
College: Gonzaga
Pistons 1st Round Draft Pick 2009
6'11 Forward

Daye has been averaging ten minutes a game over four regular season games with the Pistons to this point. The biggest negative about Daye is his thin frame. Many questioned whether he could hang in the NBA without putting on some more muscle. He has a nice perimeter game with an extended range. He left Gonzaga after his sophomore season and I feel playing in the D-League and seeing 40 minutes a game would certainly benefit him. He has done a nice job for the Pistons to this point so I doubt he will be assigned to the Mad Ants. If there was a point in the Pistons season where there was an extended road trip in which it would be unlikely Daye would see many minutes, maybe Mr. Dumars would consider assigning him to Fort Wayne for a brief stay.

Chance of seeing him in a Mad Ants uniform: 5%

DaJuan Summers
College: See Photo
2nd Round Pistons 2009 Draft Pick
6'8 Forward

DaJuan Summers is who I think we will see in Fort Wayne this year. The Pistons have a plethora of forwards on the roster and Mr. Summers will need to prove to the Pistons that he deserves some of those minutes. To this point, Summers has only played 42 seconds in one Pistons game. Clearly the Pistons see value in him to keep him on the roster and did not waive him as they did Deron Washington (who was drafted 3rd in the D-League Draft by the LA D-Fenders). He is a strong athletic guy who has great size for the small forward position. One weakness in his college days was being prone to turnovers. He is also a solid three point shooter having made over 100 in his college career. How was that for a compliment sandwich?

Chance of seeing him in a Mad Ants uniform: 65%

Rodney Stuckey
and Will Bynum are both second year (thus making them eligble to be assigned to the Mad Ants) Piston players who are heavily used in the Pistons rotation. Stuckey is starting at point guard, with Bynum seeing heavy minutes as well. With both of these players having about the same chance of playing for the Mad Ants as I do, I have neglected to write up a report on them.

Come back tomorrow for the 2nd Round of EMBARRASSING MAD ANTS STAFF PHOTOS! This weeks star: Mad Ants Director of Communications & Operations Heidi Busch!

Heidi, if you read this, then you have 24 hours to acknowledge how amazing my blog is to get yourself out of this dilemma. Otherwise you face the same fate as Sarah . For an update, Sarah has yet to know the embarrassment and shame that was brought down on her for neglecting the MOST POWERFUL BLOG IN THE D-LEAGUE!

Also, for those who missed it, the Rob Kurz trade is official! Check it out on the Mad Ants homepage.