Saturday, November 10, 2012

Breaking Down D-League Rosters Pt. 7 : Iowa Energy

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 seven of this series I'll be taking a look at this year's Iowa Energy.

After winning the 2011 D-League title, the Energy fell in the first round of the playoffs last season.  They will serve as affiliate to Chicago, Denver, New Orleans & Washington this season.  Iowa welcomes back Othyus Jeffers after a one year hiatus.  Jeffers was coming off the 2008 NAIA Player of the Year as a senior at Robert Morris when he began his pro career with Iowa.  He immediately impressed and earned both an All-Star bid and the 2009 D-League Rookie of the Year award.  He earned his first NBA call-up from Utah during the 09-10 season.  In the 2010-11 season he averaged 21.1 pts & 9.1 reb per game en route to 2 more call-ups, first by San Antonio and then by the Wizards.  Jeffers received All-Defensive 1st Team & All-D-League 2nd team honors that season.

Othyus Jeffers is back in Iowa
The only returning players from last year both had reserve roles.  Wing Nick Murphy averaged 10.8 pts & 5.3 reb in 49 games in his rookie season.  As a senior at Jacksonville State he put up 15.5 pts, 5.9 reb & 1.9 stl per game.  Center Ben Strong is back as well after 8.0 pts, 5.1 reb & 1.6 blk a year ago.  He was a NCAA Division III All-American in 2008 when, as a senior, he averaged 25.8 pts & 10.8 reb for Guilford.  He was also Division 3 Player of the Year as a junior.  He spent his first two professional seasons in Israel & Holland before making Iowa last season as a tryout.

Dominique Morrison
One of the new players heading to Iowa is the 2012 Summit League Player of the Year Dominique Morrison.  At Oral Roberts, Morrison averaged 19.8 points per game as a senior which was his 3rd consecutive season as a 1st Team All-Summit League member.  He spent about a week of training camp with the Hornets before being released.  Former Georgetown point guard Chris Wright was also part of the Hornets training camp this season.  He was 3rd team All-Big East as a senior and spent his rookie season with Olin Edirne in Turkey where he averaged 12.8 pts & 4.3 ast.  Iowa traded the first of their three 3rd round picks to Bakersfield for Mustapha Farrakhan.  The grandson of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan played his college ball at Virginia before being selected by the Jam in the first round of the 2011 draft.  He averaged 9.0 pts & 3.4 ast in 18.7 min for Bakersfield last season and then went on to play summer league with the Knicks & attend training camp with Milwaukee.

Justin Hurtt last season in Belgium
Iowa had a stockpile of draft picks in the early rounds this year.  With the 9th overall pick they selected former Tulsa guard Justin Hurtt.  He averaged 20 points per game in his senior season before starting his pro career last season in Belgium with Mons-Hainaut.  Their first second round pick was spent on big man Kenny Lawson.  Lawson attended Creighton where he was named to the MVC All-Defensive team as a sophomore & junior.  He began his career last season with Bnei Hasharon in Israel where he averaged 12.6 pts & 6.3 rebs.  He started this season in South Korea where he played 5 games before leaving for the draft.  Their second 2nd round pick was Terrence Jennings.  The former Louisville product left college after his junior year and played for Liege in Belgium where he averaged 8.7 pts & 5.1 reb per game.  He spent the summer league with the 76ers.

Ralph Mims gives D-League a shot
As mentioned above, the Energy traded their first 3rd round pick, Cam Tatum, to Bakersfield.  Their second was forward George Odufuwa who averaged a double double in both his junior & senior seasons at North Texas.  As a rookie last year he played for Monthey in Switzerland.  The last 3rd round pick for Iowa went to Phil Martin.  The rookie out of UC Riverside averaged 17.5 pts & 5.6 last year on his way to a 1st Team All-Big West selection.  The fourth round brought two more picks.  First was Ralph Mims, a 2008 Florida State grad, who has played for top European teams in Turkey, France & Greece since graduating.  He signed earlier this year to play for Poitiers in France but the team wasn't happy with the results of his medical tests perhaps due to a previous knee injury.  Liam McMorrow was taken next and appears to be a project rookie who played mostly as a reserve at Tennessee Tech.

Vance Cooksey joins the Energy
In the 5th round Iowa selected Mike Smith.  He was the 2011 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year when he averaged 17.9 pts & 6.8 reb as a senior for East Tennesse State.  He spent his rookie season in Germany with Bremerhaven and put up 8.3 pts & 3.5 reb per contest.  Vance Cooksey was the choice in round 6.  He split his rookie season between Texas & Rio Grande Valley after averaging 18.7 pts, 5.1 ast & 2.2 stl as a senior with NAIA team Pikeville.  The 2012 Southland Player of the Year Patrick Richard was picked in the 7th round.  He averaged 17.9 pts & 6.4 reb per game for McNeese State.

The last roster member comes via tryout and his name is Eric Frederick.  He just graduated from Texas-Wesleyan, a NAIA school, where he put up 25.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

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