Sunday, November 11, 2012

Breaking Down D-League Rosters Pt. 10 : Reno Bighorns

November 2nd marked the 2012 D-League draft while each team also released their training camp rosters a few days earlier.  Teams can currently carry 17 players on their training camp rosters.  That number will be whittled down to 10 by November 21st at 5pm eastern time.  There were a bevy of trades on Monday which lead to today's current rosters.  In part ten of this series I'll be taking a look at this year's Reno Bighorns.

After making it to the semifinals 2 years ago Reno ended last season dead last in the Western Conference.  They enter this year representing the Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings & Utah Jazz.  On November 7th it was announced that Reno has receiving it's first assignment of the year in the form of Sacramento forward Tyler Honeycutt.  Honeycutt was the 35th pick in the 2011 NBA draft and played 15 games off the bench as a rookie while also receiving a ten-game assignment with Reno.

Garrett Temple in training camp with Miami
Reno is loaded with NBA experience after trading away their 1st, 2nd & 4th round picks after the draft.  One of the players acquired from the trades was former LSU guard Garrett Temple.  Temple his rookie year with Rio Grande Valley and earned 3 separate call-ups with Houston, Sacramento & San Antonio.  He returned to RGV in 2010-11 and was traded to Erie.  Once there he received call-ups from both Milwaukee & Charlotte.  All in all, Temple played 51 NBA games over 2 years with 5 different teams.  He headed to Italy during the lockout and played the year with Junior Casale before summer league duties with the Cavs & training camp with Miami.  The 51st pick in the 2009 NBA draft Jack McClinton was also acquired in the same deal as Temple.  McClinton failed to make the Spurs roster as a rookie after back to back seasons with All-ACC 1st Team honors.  He averaged 15.9 pts per game in 2009-10 with Aliaga Petkim in Turkey. The following year he played for Galil Gilboa in Israel where he excelled best in Euroleague qualifying and Eurocup competition.  Last season he played for Ukranian club Budivelnik and averaged 13.9 pts per contest.  Dar Tucker, who entered the 2009 NBA draft after his sophomore season, was the final trade acquisition.  Tucker spent his first two pro season in the D-League and even earned the 2011 Most Improved Player award.  He spent last season in French's 2nd division with Maurienne and averaged 13.4 points per game.

Jack McClinton last year with Budivelnik
Darnell Jackson joins the club fresh off of training camp with the Jazz where he was part of the final cuts.  Jackson was originally drafted by the Heat with the 52nd pick in the 2008 draft.  He bounced around with for 138 games in 3 years with 3 teams and also saw 4 D-League assignments during that time.  He spent the 2011-12 season in Ukraine with BC Donetsk where he averaged 7.8 pts & 4.9 reb in just 17.7 minutes per game.  Cyril Awere also joins the Bighorns after NBA training camp duty however his time was spent in Sacramento.  The 6'11" Nigerian national played in Tunisia last season and has played professionally in Italy, Poland & Nigeria as well.

Darnell Jackson in Utah
Will Blalock is back for his 5th season in the D-League.  He was originally drafted 60th overall in 2006 by the Pistons but played just 14 NBA games as a rookie.  Last season he averaged 6.7 pts, 4.7 ast & 3.5 reb for Reno in a reserve role after starting the year in Canada.  He played the previous season with the Townsville Crocodiles in Australia.  Adrian Oliver returns as well.  Oliver was a big time scorer at San Jose State where he averaged 22.6 pts as a junior and 24.0 pts as a senior.  He began his rookie campaign in Greece with Aris last year before joining the Bighorns.  He would only play in 5 games before being waived due to injury.

Will Blalock with Townsville
Marcus Landry, brother of Carl, is back for his 3rd year in the D-League.  The forward graduated Wisconsin in 2009 and was signed by the Knicks.  Before appearing in any games with New York he was traded to the Celtics.  He would go on to see 18 games of action with Boston while also being assigned to Maine for 13 games.  He spent 2010-11 with Reno and averaged 17.1 pts & 4.4 reb per game.  Last season he played in Venezuela for Bucaneros before joining the Suns in summer league play.  Anthony Richardson is also back after a year hiatus.  He's a 2005 Florida State grad spent time in Holland & Germany before joining the D-League in 2010.  He would average 13.5 pts & 7.0 reb per game between New Mexico & Reno.  Last season he averaged 10.9 pts & 5.0 reb per game for the Aishin Sea Horses in Japan.

Marcus Landry returns
The highest draft pick Reno did keep was 3rd rounder Ralph Sampson III.  The rookie out of Minnesota is best known for being the son of the number one overall pick in the 1983 NBA draft.  He averaged 7.9 pts & 4.6 reb as a senior and played for the Bobcats in summer league.  5th round selection Reggie Willhite is a rookie guard from Yale University.  He averaged 12.1 pts, 6.1 reb, 3.9 ast & 2.2 stl in his senior year on his way to being named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year.  Fromer Arkansas guard Dontell Jefferson was taken in the 6th round.  He has played in the D-League since his rookie year in 2006 including last year with Idaho & Sioux Falls.  He has 6 games of NBA experience from a call-up with Charlotte in 2009.  Columbus State guard Chris Telesford was picked in the seventh round.  He spent last season in the WCBL with the Santa Monica Jump.  Reno's 8th round pick was spent on 35 year old forward Brant Bailey.  Bailey spent last season in Finland with Namika Lahti and averaged 16.7 points & 5.5 rebounds per game.  He has split his decade-long pro career between Finland, Germany & the USBL.

Brandon Armstrong
The final two roster players came via tryout and one is quite a familiar face, Brandon Armstrong.  The former 1st round pick, 23rd in 2001, played 3 years & 108 games with the New Jersey Nets, the last of which came in 2004.  He also saw 26 games of D-League action during the 2006-07 season.  He was last seen in 2008 when he played in Poland & Venezuela and was assumed retired before popping back up with Reno.  The other player is 2011 Rice graduate Suleiman Braimoh.  He spent 15 games with Rio Grande Valley as a rookie last year and averaged 8.1 pts & 4.1 reb in 15 games.

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