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...