Friday, November 9, 2012

Breaking Down D-League Rosters Pt. 4 : Erie Bayhawks

This past Friday 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 four of this series I'll be taking a look at this year's Erie Bayhawks.

The Bayhawks ended last season with a first round playoff loss to the champion Austin Toros.  This season they will be affiliated with only the New York Knicks.  They will return 5 players from a season ago as well 2 other players that saw time with Sioux Falls last year.  The team will be led by former St. John's standout D.J. Kennedy.  D.J. averaged 15.7 pts, 7.3 reb & 4.4 ast for Erie in 44 games last season.  He was then signed by the Cavaliers and appeared in 2 games with the team.  He played summer league with the Cavs before being traded to Memphis, being waived, re-signing & being cut again during training camp.  He, along with fellow teammate Mychel Thompson, was named All-Rookie 2nd team for his efforts.  Thompson is the son of the former #1 overall pick in the 1978 draft Mychal Thompson.  He spent 4 years at Pepperdine before going undrafted in 2011.  He played 26 games for Erie and averaged 13.8 points per game before receiving a call-up to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  He would play just 5 games for the Cavs before joining the Knicks during summer league and training camp.

D.J. Kennedy dunking on his new teammate
Seven-foot center Chris Daniels returns to Erie for a second season.  He averaged 16.8 pts & 8.6 reb over 14 games before leaving to play in South Korea.  He went on to play 26 games for Anyang KGC and put up 18.1 pts & 11.2 reb per contest.  The two other returnees are forwards Tirrell Baines and Marvin Phillips.  Baines, a year removed from Marshall, averaged 15.5 pts & 6.0 reb in 30 contests for Erie a year ago.  Phillips was a solid rebounder off the bench last season with 5.5 per game in just 18.7 minutes of action.

Keith Benson looks for another call-up this year
A post-draft trade with Sioux Falls netted 2011 second round pick Keith Benson as well as guard Nick Covington.  Covington saw limited minutes in 23 games for the Skyforce after spending previous seasons in Estonia & Romania.  Benson spent his college career at Oakland where he averaged a double double in both his junior and senior seasons.  He was named Lou Henson National Player of the Year in 2010 which is given to the top mid-major player in the country and was the 2011 Summit League MVP.  He signed in Italy with Sassari during the lockout where he played just 4 games and then signed with Atlanta before being cut before opening day.  He caught on with Sioux Falls and averaged 15.2 pts & 7.8 reb in 20 contests before being called up by the Golden State Warriors.  He appeared in 3 games during his 10-day contract.  He returned to the Hawks for summer league this year and was once again one of their training camp casualties.

G'Town product Henry Sims
A couple of fresh faces include Knicks training camp cuts Oscar Bellfield and Henry Sims.  Bellfield is a point guard who just graduated from UNLV where he was named to the All-MWC 3rd team for the second consecutive season.  Sims arrives from Georgetown where the big man received 3rd team All-Big East honors.  He spent summer league with both Chicago and Utah before being signed by the Knicks.

Rookie Oscar Bellfield
Demonte Harper, a 2-guard from Morehead State, arrives after the Bayhawks gave up Garrett Temple plus both their 1st & 2nd round picks in this year's draft.  Mike Davis was also acquired but was flipped to Sioux Falls for Benson & Covington.  Harper was a 2011 All-OVC 1st teamer who spent his rookie year in Croatia with one of the top teams in Europe, Cibona.  He did not participate in any Croatian A1 league games but saw action in 28 contests in the higher level Euroleague, Eurocup & Adriatic League.  He spent summer league with the Nuggets before being signed by the Portland Trail Blazers for training camp and subsequently being cut.

Demonte Harper arrives
After trading their 1st & 2nd round picks, Erie used round 3 to scoop up former Eastern Michigan forward Brandon Bowdry.  He started his rookie year in Turkey with Karsiyaka before seeing action in 2 Eurocup games with Latvian team VEF Riga.  The Bayhawks second pick in the 3rd round was used on a rookie big man from Detroit Mercy, LaMarcus Lowe.  Lowe decided to forego his final year of college eligibility to play in the D-League and will be auto-eligible for the 2013 NBA draft.  Malik Cooke was taken in the 4th round.  The small forward just graduated from South Carolina after averaging 12.3 pts & 4.7 reb per game.  Ronnie Moss, out of NAIA Texas Wesleyan, was tabbed in round 5.  He averaged 21.6 points during his senior season after 3 years at TCU.  6'10" center Donte Roberts was the pick in round 6.  He attended Lewis-Clark State, another NAIA school, and last played 2 years ago.  Carlton Guyton from Kent State was drafted in the 7th round.  In 2011, he was named 6th Man of the Year in the MAC.  The last Erie pick came in round 7 in the form of Danny Sumner.  Sumner's a 6'7" guard from William & Mary who was a big scorer (16.6 pts in 14 gms) for LTi Giessen in Germany before ending the season with Skallagrimur in Iceland.

TCU's Ronnie Moss
The last member of the team was signed out of tryouts, former University of Nebraska guard Ryan Anderson.  He was named to the 2009 Big 12 All-Defensive Team and played 12 games for Sioux Falls last season after spending previous years in Holland & 2nd division Germany.

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