Tuesday, June 30, 2009
You can read the full article here from the South Bend Tribune.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Well the NBA Draft has come and gone. I was excited to see the Pacers picked up Tyler Hansborough. I always enjoy watching big name college players transition to the NBA. I know many are predicting Hansborough to have a tough time in the NBA. I think he will prove a lot of people wrong. If you have the success he has had and the work ethic, it's going to translate to the NBA. Of course I would love to see him play a game or two with the Mad Ants to help get his feet wet but I won't hold my breath.
The Mad Ants do have a bountiful selection (12) of potential NBA assignees from our three affiliate teams (Bucks, Pacers, Pistons). It's too early to really guess who we will see in Fort Wayne this year, but here are my predictions:
Detroit: Walter Sharpe and Austin Daye
Sharpe has already spent a brief stint with the Mad Ants. He never received much playing time with the Pistons last season. He does have a sleep disorder which was a big reason the Pistons did not have him spend more time in Fort Wayne.
Daye is a lean 6'11 forward from Gonzaga. He is just the type of project player the Pistons would send down to the Mad Ants for seasoning.
Indiana Pacers: ?
The Pacers have not used the D-League up until this point. As of right now they have four players on their roster who could potentially be assigned. Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush would be a huge longshot as they both played significant minutes last season for the Pacers. Hansborough is a longshot as well, being he went so high in the draft, the Pacers obviously see a lot of potential in him. AJ Price is a guard from UCONN. He is probably the best chance we have at seeing a Pacer in a Mad Ants uniform. The Pacers have simply not been an advocate of using the D-League up to this point.
There is a train of though that a young player will learn more by traveling and practicing with the team even though they are not dressing or playing in games. I understand this point but I think I'll have to agree to disagree. It just makes too much geographical sense for the Pacers to send players down to the Mad Ants for playing time. It is a very short two hour drive from Indy to Fort Wayne. A player could be assigned the morning of a Mad Ants game, play 40 minutes, and be back in his bed in Indy by 1am and back with the Pacers the next day. The D-League is such a talented collection of players, that a first or second year NBA guy is going to gain some great experience and confidence by playing.
Milwaukee Bucks: Jodie Meeks
I will be honest, I do not know much about Jodie Meeks. But listening to smarter basketball minds around the office, he is the Buck that makes the most sense to be assigned to the Mad Ants for a stretch.
Over all I really like the Ants chances of seeing some NBA assignments this year. I know it's something our fans want to see more of and it is certainly something the office wants to see more of as well. This is what makes the Mad Ants the highest level of sports Fort Wayne has to offer, the ability to see NBA contracted players on the floor on any given night. It makes it tough when most of the NBA players our fans have seen have been on the opposing sideline!
Well there you have it, the worst analysis of the NBA Draft imaginable. I did not even mention Ricky Rubio once!
My next blog will most likely be talking about the big story out of Rio Grande Valley today in concern to the Houston Rockets taking over their basketball operations via the league's hybrid model.
Until then .....okay I also need to come up with a catchy sign-off for my blogs.....
Thursday, June 18, 2009
There is some big news today in regards to the NBA D-League. The Dallas Mavericks have purchased the Colorado 14ers and will be moving them to Frisco, Texas. I am not even going to try and pretend I have my own sources. I read about it first on Ridiculous Upside, and so should you. The NBA D-League is doing exceptionally well in this doomsday economy. What I predict you see over the next several seasons is the re-aligning of teams into stronger minor league markets across the country. As long as we don't get into a "Beyond Thunderdome" economic scenario, the NBA D-League will be dishing out major league basketball for mid-level cities for years to come. Basically it just comes down to providing a great product at an affordable price, something I know the Mad Ants pride ourselves on doing.
And as my title suggests, I am on a mini-vacation. I am spending a few days at the Lake, a little gloomy up at Crooked Lake right now (hence the blogging). I will then be heading down to Churchill Downs to do some betting on the ponies. If I hit my Pick Six, you maybe seeing ANOTHER NBA D-League team pop up this year! Now I just have to decide where to put it.... maybe in my original hometown of Poe, IN. Most of the people in Fort Wayne don't even know where that is!
Wish me luck and I'll update you on my big win at the track when I get back.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Scott Schroeder from Ridiculous Upside got a job! He will be working with the D-League's own Dakota Wizards. So he will have many Mad Ants/Wizards battles to blog about. Now he will know what it is like to blog with the NBA empire looking over your shoulder! Rumor is that his job requirements involve making copies, writing witty comments, and giving Blake Ahearn shooting lessons. On a serious note, congrats to Scott, it is well deserved for all he has done for the D-League.
The next big happening is that the Mad Ants have a brand new fan! (Hey we celebrate every new fan!) It is the one and only Alex Potter, the newborn son of Jeff and Julie Potter. Alex is now the official male heir to the Mad Ants dynasty. Sorry Sydney!
Here is an unlicensed and posted without permission shot of Alex and the proud papa:
Another great story from Reggie Hayes int he News Sentinel. In this article, Reggie talks to former Mad Ant and current Orlando Magic player Jeremy Richardson. Jeremy talks about what he has been up to during the NBA Finals. Great read!
Well I am off to Germanfest, have a great Friday!
Monday, June 8, 2009
The D-League will have it's own team in the NBA Summer League which starts in mid-August. There have been no announcements to who will be playing on the team as of yet. The main goal for any D-Leaguer is to make an NBA team's summer league squad. Those spots are tough to come by though, last year the Mad Ants had both Earl Calloway (Pacers and Jazz) and Dahntay Jones (Nuggets) playing for NBA teams.
I think that the D-League team is a way for players to get the looks from different NBA teams even though they did not make an NBA Summer League team. The D-League provides a place for players with potential and players who have not had a chance to really blossom and come into their own. From the Mad Ants this year I would like to recommend a player that I think would be a great fit.
1) Anthony Kent
Here is a guy that almost didn't make the Mad Ants roster this season but by the end of the year he was a rebounding machine! He had a game where he pulled down 22 rebounds. He is 6'11 and has the length to grab rebounds and block shots in the NBA. This is someone that could really continue to develop from the Summer League experience.
It will be interesting to see who makes the cut, I will post the roster as soon as the league releases it.
Reminder to come out to Germanfest this Thursday at 7:30. The Madame Ants will be judging the leder hosen contest! Will be a great time and I hope you can make it.
Friday, June 5, 2009
News Sentinel "New Mad Ants coach can adjust style on the fly"
Journal Gazette "Meyer comes in talking titles"
Wane TV: Team President happy about hire
Wane TV: Mad Ants name Joey Meyer head coach
Indiana Newscenter: Meyer takes over as Ants coach
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I have included the official press release below. Here is one key point that Coach Meyer touched on in the press conference that I enjoyed hearing:
-Coach Meyer wants to have a "great relationship" with our affiliates (Bucks, Pistons, Pacers), not a good relationship but a GREAT relationship. He wants the teams to be very comfortable in assigning their players to the Mad Ants. He stated he has already been in contact with all three teams and received a great response.
This is something that I have heard from several of our fans, the desire to see more NBA players on our roster (especially the Pacers). So far three Pistons have been assigned to the Mad Ants.
June 3, 2009
Mad Ants Name Joey Meyer Head Coach
FORT WAYNE, IN (June 3, 2009) – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ announced today that Joey Meyer, the NBA D-League all-time wins leader, has been named the head coach of the Mad Ants. This year will be his 8th season as a head coach in the NBA D-League. Meyer has signed a two year contract with the team, keeping him in Fort Wayne through the 2010-2011 season.
“We are extremely pleased to bring someone of Joey’s caliber to our head coaching position,” said Mad Ants President Jeff Potter. “Joey brings a wealth of experience to our organization and is a great first step to bringing a NBA D-League championship to Fort Wayne.”
“I am very excited for this opportunity. From talking with people around the league, they have nothing but positive things to say about this organization,” Coach Meyer said. “I am also excited to be so close to home and to have my family be a part of my coaching career again.”
Meyer, a Chicago native, has a long history of winning in college and at the professional level. The son of college basketball Hall of Fame coach Ray Meyer, Joey coached under his father at DePaul University for 11 years and took over the reins in 1984. He remained head coach of the Blue Demons for 13 seasons, finishing with a 231-158 record, including six 20-win seasons, seven NCAA tournament appearances, and three NIT bids.
Meyer’s first professional coaching position came with the Chicago Skyliners of the ABA where he led the team to a 29-11 record. He entered the D-League in 2001 as head coach of the Asheville Altitude. With the Altitude, Meyer won back to back D-League Championships in 2004 and 2005. He then moved on to coach the Tulsa 66ers from 2005-2008 where he is most recognized for his development of Ramon Sessions, who averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 assists per game for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2008-09 season.
Meyer currently resides in Chicago with his wife Barbara, and he has one son, Brian, who is an NBA scout for the Chicago Bulls.
Season tickets for the 2009-2010 season are on sale now and start at just $99! For ticket information call 260-469-4667.