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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Breaking Down D-League Rosters Pt. 13 : Sioux Falls Skyforce

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 post-draft trades which lead to today's current rosters.  In part thirteen of this series I'll be taking a look at this year's Sioux Falls Skyforce.

The Skyforce finished the 2011-12 season with a 15-35 record, good enough for 2nd worst in the league.  Luckily, the team that will represent Miami, Minnesota, Orlando & Philadelphia this season secured the number 2 pick in this year's draft.  That pick turned out to be Lakers' guard Andrew Goudelock.  Goudelock was drafted 46th overall in 2011 out of the College of Charleston where he averaged 23.7 pts per game and was named Southern Conference Player of the Year.  He played 40 games last year for the Lakers as a reserve and put up 24 points & 7 assists in his lone D-League assignment game with the L.A. D-Fenders.

No. 2 overall pick Andrew Goudelock
Goudelock will be flanked by a trio of outstanding allocation players.  36 year old point guard and 11 year NBA veteran Troy Hudson begins his comeback attempt with Sioux Falls.  Hudson went undrafted in 1997 out of Southern Illinois but was scooped up by Utah.  He spent 2 years with the Clippers before joining the Orlando Magic for the 2000-01 season.  He would be a part of two playoff teams in his two years in Orlando before finding a home in Minnesota.  The 2002-03 season was his best statistically as he averaged 14.2 pts & 5.7 ast and help the T'Wolves take the Lakers to 6 games in the first round of the playoffs.  He would go on to spend 4 more years in Minnesota and was last seen during the 2007-08 season with Golden State.  Hudson was sent to the Skyforce along with Demetris Nichols by Minnesota.  Nichols was a 1st Team All-Big East selection in 2007 when he averaged 18.9 pts & 5.5 reb before being drafted 53rd overall by the Blazers.  He would appear in just 18 NBA games in his first two pro seasons and spread those between 3 different teams.  Nichols saw D-League assignment duties 3 times during those two years and was dominant to say the least.  In 32 career D-League games he has averaged 20.6 pts & 4.8 reb.  He returns after 3 years in the French Pro A league where he spent last season with Cholet.

Troy Hudson begins his comeback
The third member of the allocation group comes from Miami in the form of shot-blocker supreme Jarvis Varnado.  Varnado's college career at Mississippi State was phenomenal to put it lightly.  He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year three times as well as winning the Lefty Driesell Award & NABC Award for the best Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, his senior season.  He finished college as the NCAA's all-time leading shot-blocker and joins David Robinson as the only college players to ever record career totals of 1000 points, 1000 rebounds & 500 blocks.  He was selected 41st overall in the NBA draft by the Heat and sent overseas for some seasoning.  He spent his rookie year in the Italian LegaDue with Pistoia where he averaged 15.4 pts, 8.9 reb & 3.1 blk per game.  Last year he split his time between Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem & top division Italian club Virtus Roma.  He attended both summer league and training camp with Miami before being waived.

Jarvis Varnado doing what he does
Sioux Falls will have another player with NBA experience this year with the return of point guard Gabe Pruitt.  Pruitt was drafted 32nd overall by the Celtics in 2007 after his junior year at USC.  He would go on to play 62 games with the team over two seasons.  This will be Pruitt's 4th stint in the D-League and second consecutive with the Skyforce.  Last season he averaged 10.6 pts & 3.9 ast in 39 games.  Brian Hamilton returns after spending the first half of the season with L.A.  Along with his time in Sioux Falls he played a total of 42 D-League games last year and put up 9.1 pts & 4.3 reb mostly coming off the bench.  Hamilton wasn't finished there as he went on to Mexico after the season and played 36 more games with Hermosillo and averaged 13.3 pts & 5.2 reb.  It will be the 5th year in the D-League and 4th consecutive for the former Louisiana-Lafayette guard.  The only other player coming back is the seven-foot-five-inch monster that is Will Foster.  Foster spent just 3 games with Sioux Falls after being claimed off waivers towards the end of the year.  He also saw time with Idaho & Rio Grande Valley for a total of 24 games played.  He graduated from Gonzaga in 2010 and played his rookie season with Penafiel in Portugal.

Gabe Pruitt returns
Keith Benson & Nick Covington were sent to Erie in a post-draft trade in which the Skyforce acquired power forward Mike Davis.  Davis was originally selected 5th overall by Reno before being traded twice and landing in Sioux Falls.  He averaged 12.5 points & 7.2 rebounds for Illinois as a senior during the 2010-11 season.  Last season he put up good numbers for Ferro-ZNTU in Ukraine finishing with 11.2 pts & 8.4 reb per contest.

Mike Davis arrives
After selecting Goudelock, the Skyforce picked up forward Mark Tyndale in round two.  Tyndale averaged 15.8 pts, 7.2 reb & 4.3 ast in his 2008 senior season with Temple before heading to the D-League with Iowa.  He would play two seasons before heading overseas to ball in Australia, Germany & Ukraine.  He spent last year in Sweden with Sundsvall and scored 13.2 points per game while pulling down 5.5 rebounds.  Sioux Falls' next pick came in round 5 and the choice was former Southern University guard Chris Davis.  Davis spent the first 2 1/2 years of his career with the Reno Bighorns before being traded to Idaho in late January.  2010 Pacific grad Michael Nunnally was selected in the 7th round.  Nunnally is a power forward who spent the first two years of his career overseas in Germany, Japan & Finland and is also the brother of UC-Santa Barbara rookie & the Bakersfield Jam's second round pick James Nunnally.  Guard Travis Cohn was picked in round eight.  He graduated from Jacksonville in 2011 and spent his rookie season playing 13 games for the Springfield Armor.

2nd rd pick Mark Tyndale
The Skyforce have two tryout players still on their roster.  Joston Thomas is a rookie forward from Hawaii who went undrafted as an early entrant in this year's NBA draft.  He averaged 13.7 pts & 5.3 reb last year as a junior.  Daniel Coleman is another forward who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008.  He played professionally in Portugal & in France's 2nd division before averaging 14.2 pts & 6.6 reb per game for Vichy in the French Pro A league last year.

*Note - 6th round pick Malcolm Campbell & Robert McKiver, who earned a roster spot via tryout, were announced as waived earlier this afternoon.

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