Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thabeet Goes On

So the big story in the NBA Development League this week is that Hasheem Thabeet was assigned to the Dakota Wizards by the Memphis Grizzlies. Ridiculous Scott over at Ridiculous Upside broke the story before anyone else. Why is this a huge story? Thabeet was the second pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. He is the highest draft pick ever to be assigned to the NBA D-League.

Why is this important for the D-League? Anytime a topic involving the D-Leauge (that does not involve a Michael Jordan impersonator) comes up on ESPN's Pardon the Interuption, it's a good thing. PTI's Michael Wilbon defended sending Thabeet to the D-League. He stated he felt other past players such as Kwame Brown would have benefited from a stint in the D- League.

The D-League is essentially Triple-A baseball. Just a step below the NBA. Some people do not understand that. To have a big name like Thabeet come down, it shows what a high level this league is at, both the quality of play and the respect that NBA teams give it. Memphis has invested a lot in Thabeet and they feel the best step to improve his game is get him some playing time in a live game. This is exactly what the Development League is here for.

Why is this important for the Mad Ants? We play Dakota on Sunday (Feb. 28th). So we get to bring one of the biggest names in college basketball last year to town for our fans. Plus it also happens to be a big game as far as the Mad Ants making a run for the playoffs. We have won three of the last four games and it would be nice to kick off our home stand with a big win over Dakota.

Injury Update: Rob Kurz is questionable for tomorrow nights game. He will almost certainly be back for Tuesdays game if he misses Sunday. He took a hard knee from Mo Almond in Maine on Wednesday.

See everyone at the game tomorrow.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Always Learning

After last nights win over Erie for Awesome 80's Night I learned three things.

1.) There were not as many people watching Pro Wrestling in the mid to late 80's as you think. I mean seriously.....who does not know who Rowdy Roddy Piper is???? More explanation on this one when I have some pictures to upload from last night.

2.) Dan Dickau is realer than real deal Holyfield. He brought 17 points and 11 assists and really moved the ball around as you can tell by the Mad Ants having seven players in double figures. Dan brings a natural point guard to the team, I know many people felt was a big part of what the team was missing. The bad news (for us)/good news (for him) is that if he keeps playing like that he will be back in the NBA before you know it.

3.) If you wear a wig for 5 hours and then take it off it still feels like you have it on.

The good thing is we get to do this all again in about 9 hours! Mad Ants vs Erie BayHawks at 5pm! If we win this one, we move a notch above Erie in the standings. It's a long road to get back into the playoff race but you have to start somewhere!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Player Update

The Mad Ants has a big player announcement, we would like to welcome NBA vet Dan Dickau to the roster. Springfield had signed Dickau off the waiver wire after he entered the D-League player pool, and then traded him to us. We traded Kyle McAlarney to Springfield for Dickau. The idea behind this trade is to shore up our point guard spot and add another vet to the team.

It is a shame to see Kyle gone, as he was a definite fan favorite and very fun to watch.

Dickau will be looking to get a call-up to the NBA yet this season, so you know he will be playing hard to get that opportunity.

So come on out to the Coliseum tomorrow and welcome Dan to the team. Tip-off is at 7pm and we are taking on Rod Benson and the Reno Bighorns.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ron Howard and Rob Kurz in All-Star game today!

Just a reminder that Ron Howard and Rob Kurz will be playing int he NBA D-League All-Star game today (Saturday) at 3pm EST. You can watch it live on NBA TV. Or can you watch it with myself and the Mad Ants staff on DVR at my apartment around 6pm after the YMCA Mad Ants Clinic today at the Jorgensen YMCA.

Here is an article from Reggie Hayes in the News Sentinel talking about the Mad Ants All-Stars.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekly Blog Update

Well apparently I am on a weekly blog schedule now, which is too bad because I am one heckuva blogger. Much better than Jeff Potter talking about anteaters or Jared Reiner writing about his experience with airplane exit seats.

I have been pretty busy over the last week or so with Mad Ants stuff galore. But we have not had a game since January 31st you say? You are correct, but as some of you may believe we do not hibernate in our Coliseum storage closet between games (at least I don't, I think Kyle Thoms might). We had a flurry of "appearances" and events to attend with us having NINE different appearances on Saturday alone!

This included having the Mad Ant mascot visit six YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne Y-Ball sites. These appearances are always a lot of fun. You have not experienced chaos until you drop a 6-4 ANT in the middle of 50 5-8 year olds playing basketball. The reactions vary from fleeing in fear to some of them instantly going into ATTACK mode and trying to rip off the Mad Ants antennae. The Mad Ant always manages to come out in one piece though and have a good time doing it. He even came off the bench for a couple teams and threw down some Monster dunks! Granted, it was an eight foot rim but still impressive!

I also led a caravan of half the team consisting of Rod Wilmont, Rob Kurz, Anthony Kent, Jared Reiner and Sean Sonderletier to a basketball clinic for the Kosciusko YMCA in Warsaw on Saturday morning. The snow caused the players and I to be a little late, but Ants Assistant Coach Sanders had arrived promptly and was putting the kids to work with drills when we arrived. We had about 60 kids there and the players quickly had them running layup/shooting/passing/dribbling drills at three separate stations. My favorite part of these clinics is always the Q&A session we do at the end with the players. The normal questions came up like "Can you dunk?" and "How tall are you?" . We then had a couple gems like "How big are your feet?" and the best "Do they do these drills that we did?" directed at Coach Sanders. Coach Sanders replied that the players do these type of drills all the time. The kid then said "No, I mean can you make them do them right now?". Probably a "you had to be there type moment" but I found it very funny. The poor kid was tired and thought the players had it easy directing them through the drills but not actively participating in them. Coach told them they were going practice right after this so they had to save their strength.

The other amazing thing was the players ability to eat a full Cracker Barrel breakfast after the clinic and then practice immediately afterward. Sean Sonderleiter's catfish/macaroni and cheese biscuit sandwich concoction was pretty spectacular.

Hopefully this snow stays under control (the weather man says otherwise) and we have a nice turnout for the game tomorrow night (Feb. 9). I know the Rio Grande Valley Vipers are already in town, so the game is going down regardless of the snow situation! This is a great opportunity to come out and see Mike Harris play, a guy who has been putting up 20 and 20 games with apparent ease latley. I am pretty sure we will see him on an NBA team by the end of the season (back on an NBA team as he played briefly for the Rockets earlier in the year). It's Disney Theme night tomorrow, so be sure to dress up if you come out to the game.

This will also be the return of Ron Howard to the Mad Ants court, as he recovers from his hand injury. He is on his way to the D-League all-star game this weekend. Jamelle Cornely's knee has flared up and Ron will be replacing him on the roster. We will retain Jamelle's rights due to waiving him because of injury.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


In the Mad Ants office we had three goals for Sunday night.

1.) Have a big crowd.

This was probably our biggest crowd of the year with over 5,000 in the building. We had several youth groups coming out to the game to see Santcus Real and many other groups as well. It just creates such a better environment for the game to have that type of crowd. The crowd seemed very into the game and I hope we see some repeat fans.

2.) Have a successful post-game concert

We wanted to do Youth Faith Night right and so we spent some money and brought in Santcus Real (grammy nominated group). They put on a great show and the several hundred fans that stuck around for the show seemed to have a great time. The band stuck around after the game to sign autographs and could not have been a nicer group of guys.


A tough loss for the team. As an office, we wanted the win not only for the standings but to give a good impression to all the new fans we had at the game. The game was very competitive and the Mad Ants gave it all they had. I don't think too many fans left with a bad impression from the game. Many first time fans are shocked by the quality of basketball they see , not to mention all the big name college players in the league.

So the bad news, we lost, good news is we don't have to play Iowa again! (until the playoffs that is!). There are still quite a few games to be played and the Mad Ants are still in the hunt.

The guys have a few days off and then it's back to the grindstone. You may see us out in the community here in the next few weeks as we are putting the guys to work with several appearances!

Check out Erie BayHawk Mike Gansey's new blog over at Ridiculous Upside. Mike is Mad Ants Assistant Coach Steve Gansey's brother and having quite the season over in Erie. Steve is having a good season as well in his role with the Mad Ants .....if you don't count the broken hand! (The Stop Sign really had it coming though!)