Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Okay, now that I have the non-sense somewhat out of my system, I thought I would give a quick update on the week for the team. As you can see from the pics above, Joey had the guys get into the gym to get some shots in and to walk through the game plan for tomorrow. They are currently on a bus out to Des Moines, Iowa, where they will take on the red hot Iowa Energy.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Turning to tonight's game, this is a great opportunity for the Ants to win second game of a back to back for the first time this season. It will be a tough task against a very good team, but I am hopeful. More later...
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The Mad Ants again featured in a national publication -- great for Fort Wayne and great for the Ants!
I've got my crazy eyed Scot up early today in anticipation of a Mad Ants win tonight against the dangerous Dakota Wizards. If you read my earlier post about this picture, you know that it is scientific fact when I post this picture before tip off of our games, we win. Indeed, it is scientific fact that 70 percent of the time, posting that picture works every time.
So we turn to tonight's game, and we face our franchise nemesis, the Dakota Wizards. Our friend over at Ridiculous Upside, Ridiculous Scott, likes to put it in Garrett Martz and my face that we are something like 2 and 50 against the Wizards. That may be an exaggeration, but not much of one.
This is a different team than what we have seen in past years. The biggest change is a change in coaches. Duane Ticknor is now an assistant with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (by the way, I think he would be one of the top three or four coaches in the league if he was the head man somewhere), and he was replaced with Rory White, who is an experienced and successful coach in minor league basketball. They have some very good returning players in Maurice Baker, Romel Beck, David Bell, and Renaldo Major. Baker is one of my favorite players in the D-League. I think he is tough as nails and is just a winner. David Bell is one of the best shooters in the league, and Romel Beck is one of the best scorers around. Renaldo is another winner who does a little of everything.
The new faces that we will have to contend with are Curtis Withers, a scoring big man who has had a strong start to the season; Marcus Dove, a solid big man who can score and rebound; and Connor Atchley, a player who can face up hit jumpers similarly to Sean Sonderleiter. Frankly, now that I have written all this, we are really going to have our hands full!
With all that said, I feel very good about our team and how they are playing. I think they are really getting to know each other well, and I feel the team is gelling very well. So, let's hope we can get ourselves started on a winning streak with a back to back victory against the Wizards!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas! I know my blogging has been inconsistent this week, but it has been a busy one trying to get everything done around the office with Christmas around the bend. It is the usual office stuff, so I won't bore anyone with details, but it is important nonetheless.
The team has had a couple of days off and will return to Fort Wayne today at some point for practice today. Tough to come to Fort Wayne on Christmas day, but at least they got some time with their loved ones.
Tomorrow we play a tough Dakota team that is red hot after beating a very good Utah team in back to back games. I'll have more details about their team tomorrow.
In the meantime, enjoy your families and have a wonderful Christmas day!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
So, it was indeed a nice win last night after an tough loss to Springfield. I think we received a lot of contributions from a lot of people, but I was probably most impressed with the job Oliver Lafayette did. He stepped up nicely with Kyle McAlarney out for a game due to a stiff neck, including a pick of Lester Hudson as he tried to bring the ball up the court. A very nice game by him, and I thought a nice rebound game for Ron Howard, who had a tough close to the Springfield game. We move on to a couple of games against a veteran laden Dakota team. I'd love to finally get some type of winning streak going with our team. If we can rattle some games off, we could be in good shape.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The purpose of this picture? None. I was thinking about Senator Blutarsky today, and it motivated me. Thus, I posted it.
A couple of developments since my last post. The first development -- we won! The guys played a really nice game against the Armor the other day. We have to not be happy with that, though. I hope our guys take the bottom of the heap approach. What is that approach you ask? Well, it means that any time you do something well (like an A on a test), you go right back down to the bottom of the heap and have to start over. So, we won, and we have to start right back over from the bottom of the heap. Okay, I admit it, that really makes no sense, but does anything I say make sense? (ed. note: My wife just yelled at me about not giving proper credit to who started the bottom of the heap stuff. It came from my wife's family, and she noted that her parents raised three valedictorians with that philosphy. Yes, my kids will be using it too!)
Moving right along, today we picked up big man Jared Reiner. Jared is a player from Iowa who has spent a couple of years in the NBA and should help us with what has been a weakness for us -- rebounding. He will play his first game against the Armor tomorrow in Springfield. I will preview it tomorrow, and you can bet that I will have William Wallace and inspirational videos available!
In my brief but illustrious legal career for the county of Cook, I wish I could have put together an argument as good as this one from Otter. Enjoy!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Okay, the last time I put Mel and his crazy eyes up, we got ourselves a win, so, he will keep going up until it doesn't work. Then, I will find a new photo to get the boys up and running. We are playing an 0-6 team tonight in Springfield, but they have just got two very good players in TJ Cummings and Morris Almond on their line up, so we are looking at a vastly different team tonight. The biggest thing for our guys is to come out hungry and aggressive. I feel like I keep saying this over and over. Our guys need to impose their will on the other team. In other words, stop being such nice guys and start to be the hammer instead of the nail. I probably have a hundred other metaphors for being tougher, but that should suffice for now. It really comes down tonight to how bad they want it, especially after last Sunday's game. So, to make sure there is no shortage of inspiration, I will also post the following videos to get them inspired!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Frank Tolbert has made this blog an international sensation. I checked my statcounter today to see that I have ten times the hits that I normally do. No, I have more than ten -- we are talking about thousands! Even more interesting is that most of the hits are coming from all over the world -- Argentina, Italy, Spain, Serbia. Well, it turns out that the word about Frank and his six digits has hit the web, and I now have everybody checking out the blog. Kudos to you, Frank Tolbert, and kudos to your extra digits!
Well, that is it from here. Hope you all have had a great day and hope to see you at the game tomorrow night!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
So, we have had some guys banged up this year, but I have to commend our trainer, Marc Schlictenmyer. He is just incredible at diagnosing issues and putting the players on the right treatment plan. Below, you will see some of the techniques he implements to get our guys off the bench and back on the court. Here it is:
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Well, this is how I hope your boys come out tonight -- wild eyed and with face paint on! Tonight begins a big weekend series against one of the best franchises in the D-League, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. They are a different team from last season, but they have some good returning talent back. First and foremost, the Bailey Bunch will have plenty to yell about tonight as David Bailey makes his triumphant return to Fort Wayne. With David is sharpshooting forward Mike Joiner. The new stud on their team is Reggie Williams, and he is clearly the straw that stirs the drink for this team. He is averaging about 26 a game, so our boys have their week cut out for them.
Yet, instead of worrying about the other team, let's worry about what we have to do. Here is my to do list:
- We have to get off to a strong start tonight. We can't continue to fall behind early and have success.
- Got to rebound. We are being outrebounded by 5 a game to this point. We are not the most athletic team, so we have to be physical and BLOCK OUT!
- We could be a good team if we execute, and that is a must do.
- Kyle McAlarney has to be a threat and understand that he has to be aggressive for the team and his teammates to be successful.
- Ron Howard has to make his teammates better and stop looking out for his game. Scouts will be much more impressed with that type of play compared to throwing up a bunch of contested jumpers to try and get 20.
Okay, I gots to go. I hope I see you tonight at the game!
Friday, December 11, 2009
This is Steve Gansey. He is the greatest intern ever. He is interning on our basketball ops side, and he is so smart and so savvy, he has the ability to turn away from his duties on the court to pose so skillfully for a picture. Steve helps with our scouting reports, but he is currently 0-3 with his scouts, so maybe we should reassign him. But, if you see Steve anywhere around town or at games, feel free to say hi. Long live Steve Gansey, the Greatest Intern Ever!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
In Springfield, they were able to pick up Morris Almond, who played for two years as an assigned player in Utah. He will really help their team, as well. So, things just keep getting tougher for the Mad Ants.
As for our team, I certainly like our talent, but we have to see better results on the court. The good news is that we have had some great practices this week. I think I see Lafayette and Wilmont becoming more and more comfortable with a new system, and I think they definitely lift the level of competitiveness in practice. We have two more practices before Sioux Falls come into town, so I hope we can continue to improve the next couple of days. Here are some pics:
That handsome stud on the right side of the picture in the red shirt, ladies? No, it isn't Tigey Woods. It is current Fort Wayne stud Steve Gansey!
Kyle and Oliver setting the offense up. There have been some interesting articles based on Kyle's Outside The Lines story this past weekend.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Moving on to team business, I thought we had a pretty good day in practice, and I am not sure I have seen Coach Meyer so intense. Nobody was getting away with anything today, and I thought it made for a very intense practice. We have three more days to get ready for Sioux Falls, so lets hope we keep getting better!
In other news, it would be a bit disingenous to ignore what is the big news in the D-League, and that is the promotion that did -- or did not -- occur in Utah last night. Here is the D-League's official statement:
"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."
Alright, not much more I will add to that. Tomorrow, I will try to get some photos of practice and more Tigey updates!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
- Hasselback really has to get some help from his running game. Right now, Julius Jones has done...
Whoops! You don't want Seahawks, stuff, you want Mad Ants thoughts. Here they are:
- Tough shooting game so far. Ron Howard and Rob Kurz a combined 2-20, and the team is shooting 24.5% from the field. I thought we had some good shots early, but we are clearly shooting over a hand too often. Here is something I noticed -- I have never seen so many balls go in and out in a half. Let's hope the bounce improves for us.
- Defense is solid again. Held them to 44% shooting and under 50 points.
- Our rebounding has been much improved. We are outrebounding and Sean, AK, and Rob have been tough on the offensive glass.
- Turnovers are much improved -- only 5 in the half.
So, looking at the stats, you have to think those positives are keeping us remotely in the game. Let's hope we get hot in the second half.
- Show some concern for the ball. We are not going to beat them with 22 turnovers.
- Get off to a better start. We seem to be constantly digging ourselves early holes by letting the other team take big early leads. I recommend scoring more points than the other team from the very beginning -- it makes it easier on my soul!
- Block out! Can it be just that simple? Yes. We have to block out better, and our wings have to keep their men off the glass. It is unacceptable for the wings to expect two guys to outrebound three or four.
- McAlarney needs to play more aggressively. He just has to get more shots off. He should watch that video I posted about him on this blog and make it the blueprint for every game he plays. When he is taking shots and hunting shots at all times, he is a real threat. When he isn't, it is going to be tough for him and this team.
- Rob Kurz has to learn to play without fouling. I think we win that game the other day if he isn't out for much of the second half due to foul issues.
- Score more points than the other team.
- Keep it real.
- Make sure their socks are folded no lower than right above their ankle.
- Make the easy play.
- Give it everything they have.
- Do it for the Gipper.
As always, I continue to demonstrate my motivational and analytical skills! Hope you are all having a great weekend, and it is now time to put up our Christmas tree!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
- We have to have all hands on deck when it comes to the defensive boards. They are going hard after the ball, and we have to get everyone with a body on their man to improve our board work.
- You are not going to win on the road with 22 turnovers. That is just horrendous. If 22 turnovers is not bad enough, I thought the type of turnovers we had were awful. I felt like I was watching a tennis player beat themselves with silly, unforced turnovers.
- The young guys have to get used to the speed of the game -- quick! These guys are coming at the ball fast and furious, and our guys are not ready for that type of pressure. It really cost us tonight.
- It is tough to see everything from the futurecast, but from what I saw, that was just an awful miss by the refs with about two minutes to go. We made three attempts at the bucket with Iowa hacking away, and we couldn't get a call. They go to the other end and Carroll hits a three. That is a game changing miss that just can't happen. I saw who was refing the game, and they are a very good crew, but they can't swallow their whistles at that moment. It was essentially over from there.
- We were outrebounded and it didn't have to be that way. If we can focus on all five guys putting a body on a person, we can eliminate that.
- We have, to this point, been a pretty good free throw shooting team, but we missed some big ones at the end when we needed it.
The good news:
- Despite an awful effort in terms of concern for the ball and turnovers, we were right there at the end with a chance to win.
- I thought Lafayette did a nice job at the point, especially so if he will stop jumping in the air to pass. (Kids, you learn that in the fourth grade -- never jump to pass the ball).
- Defensively, I thought we really solidified after a rough first quarter. We held them to 43% for the game, and I thought we still gave them too much. We are a much improved defensive team from years past.
- Rob Kurz demonstrated for a second straight night what a good player he is. He has to better learn to play without fouling, because I think we win if he isn't sitting out 12 to 15 minutes in the second half.
- Ron Howard had a nice, efficient game. Sean Sonderleiter had a nice game, but we can't have 6 turnovers from our center.
All in all, I feel like we missed an opportunity to win a game on the road. However, to win on the road, we can't have the mistakes we had tonight. With all that said, I am really encouraged by what I am seeing from the team. I think the issues we are looking at are easily fixed, and I know we have the right coach to get that done. Have a great night and thanks for reading! Tylenol PM, here I come!
- It isn't just that we have 13 turnovers, it is how bad they are. Two times we turned the ball over just throwing it in bounds. I think we helped them set a franchise record for deflections in the first quarter. We are being way to lazy with the ball, and we are going to get beat if we don't remedy that.
- Can we please, please, pretty please, with sugar on top, block out. 8 offensive rebounds for the Energy in the first half. You can't give a team like Iowa that many chances, or you are toast.
- McAlarney is going to have to learn how to get his shot off. If it is just pulling up from deep when his defender has his hands down, then fine. But he has to be a threat with that jumper or he is not nearly effective as he could be.
- We have to find their jump shooters. Jeff Trepagnier is absolutely killing us, and they are getting way too many open jumpers.
Here are the positives:
- Despite being a lackluster first 18 minutes, we have fought back to be within four.
- Kurz has been an absolute monster, and his post game is the most surprising aspect of that.
- Lafayette has done a nice job running the point.
- Sondy isn't shooting well, but I like all of his shots. When he starts to get his rhythm, he could be a real threat with his offensive skill set.
Alright, we have to tighten up on our turnovers and defense or we are going to get beat soundly. Let's see if the guys can pull it off.
I have watched Pat Carroll at the NBA Summer League the past couple of years, and he is a really good shooter. He has spent the last few years overseas playing in high level European countries, so you know he can play. We have to defend him exactly the opposite of Stinson. We have to find him early and often and make him a driver. If he is able to get his shot off from distance, we could be in trouble.
There big man is Earl Barron, who has some NBA service time with the Heat, I believe. He is not Courtney Sims, but he is a good face to the basket player with range. Mark Tyndale is a really strong three with a nice mid range game. Rashad Anderson is a guy I was really high on when the draft rolled around based on a great recommendation from a former UConn Husky great, Donny Marshall. Donny explained that Rashad could do it all on the court, and I think he is a guy we have to contain. Jeff Trepagnier is a veteran D-League all star type player who has moved his game away from his former high flying act into more of a perimeter game. Finally, Marvin Phillips is one of the top role guys in the league, in my estimation. He plays unbelievably hard and unbelievably unselfish, and you need that type of guy to win.
All in all, this will be a tough test for the Ants. We need to continue to improve our execution, and our scorers have to continue to be aggressive on the offensive end (hear that Notre Dame guys!). It will be tough for the guys with two new guys, but I am hoping we will see a smooth transition. Good luck Ants!
Now, I would be remiss if I didn't give my alma mater a shout out. Ducks vs. Beavers in the Civil War. The Beavers have been spanked on numerous occassions, but this is for the Rose Bowl. I suspect the Beavers will roll over like the dogs they are -- Ducks 42, Beavers 17. Go Ducks!
After I've slathered on my sauce. Hmmm, look at that fat leaking off to the right!
I thought a picture from further away would be so cool. I don't think it has the effect I thought it would have.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Oliver and Rod shooting free throws.
Oliver guarding Ron Howard with the ball. These two had some great battles last season, and I am anxious to see how they will play together. My sense is that they will be a good tandem on the court.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Yes, ladies of Fort Wayne rejoice -- Rod Wilmont's back with the Mad Ants! Today we picked up both Rod and Oliver Lafayette, who were both dropped by the Erie Bayhawks before the season started. They will help solidify our second unit, and will provide our team greater flexibility and
athleticism on the perimeter.
To bring in Rod and Oliver, we had to release Brandon Cotton and Andres Sandoval. Brandon was a great individual scorer, but we needed a more well rounded player, and that is where Oliver fits. Sandoval is a good player, but I think Rod is an upgrade, and I thought we needed to bring him back.
They will be in town tonight and will be in practice tomorrow morning. It will be a big crash session to get them up to speed, and it will include meetings with the coaches tonight to go over our offense. After practice, they all hop on a bus to go to Iowa and take on a very tough Energy team.
More to come later...
Tiger’s Other ‘Other Woman’?
Tiger’s alleged “other woman” Rachel Uchitel is denying an affair, but now a new woman is proudly claiming the mantel. Jaimee Grubbs, a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas, has told Us Weekly that she had a 31-month affair with Tiger and has the voicemails and texts to prove it. Grubbs, whose story will be on the new cover of Us, says she met him in April 2007 when she was 21 and had 20 sexual encounters with Tiger. Us Weekly has photos, texts, and a voicemail from November 24 that suggests Tiger’s wife, Elin, may have been onto the affair. Grubbs recently appeared on VH1’s Tool Academy.
Poor form, good sir, poor form.