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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Breaking Down D-League Rosters Pt. 9 : Maine Red Claws

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 nine of this series I'll be taking a look at this year's Maine Red Claws.


The Red Claws are solely affiliated with the Boston Celtics this season.  They finished last year 6th in the Eastern Conference which set them up for the 4th overall pick in this year's draft.  Maine drafted Washington Wizards point guard Shelvin Mack with that pick.  Mack was selected 34th overall in the 2011 NBA draft after 3 years at Butler, the last two of which he led the team to back to back Final 4 appearances.  In his junior, and final, year at Butler he averaged 16.0 pts, 4.5 reb & 3.5 ast.  Last season, as John Wall's primary backup, he averaged 12.2 minutes per game in 64 appearances.

4th overall pick Shelvin Mack
Maine will boast two more players who also saw time in the NBA last year.  Forward Chris Wright joined the D-League for his rookie season after 4 years at Dayton.  He began his season with Maine before being called up by Golden State and signing a contract with the team.  He would go on to play 24 games with the Warriors while also being re-assigned 3 times to Dakota over the course of the year.  He ended up averaging 17.8 pts & 8.8 reb in his 13 D-League games throughout the year.  He spent summer league with the Raptors before re-signing with the Warriors for training camp before eventually being cut.  Xavier Silas returns to Maine as well.  He began his rookie season in France with Gravelines after averaging 21.7 points per game as a senior at Northern Illinois.  After the lockout he joined the Red Claws where he put up 9.8 points over 40 games.  He received his call-up in April from the 76ers and would end up with 2 NBA games on his record.

Chris Wright during time w/ Warriors
Ex-Illinois State wing Champ Oguchi returns to Maine also.  He spent his rookie season in France with Le Havre before joining Maine in 2010-11 when he averaged 10.2 pts in 32 games.  Oguchi then played on three different continents within a year culminating with his return to the Meralco Bolts in the Philippines last year.  He spent the summer in the Olympics playing for Nigeria and decided to return to the D-League once again.  Center Chris Ayer was acquired in a pre-draft trade with Reno in which Maine gave up a 3rd round pick.  Ayer graduated from Loyola Marymount in 2006 and went on to play 3 years in Japan and another 2 in the IBL before entering the D-League with Utah for the 09-10 season.  This will be the 4th consecutive season in the D-League and the 5th team for Ayer.

Champ Oguchi in the Olympics
Micah Downs joins Maine after training camp with the Celtics this year.  The 2009 Gonzaga graduate spent last season in Spain with Manresa where he averaged 11.3 pts and has also played in Croatia & Belgium during his career.  Downs also saw summer league duties with the Mavericks this year.  Brian Cusworth is a 7-foot center who graduated Harvard in 2007.  He began his career by winning a title with Tartu in Estonia.  Cusworth was named both regular season & finals MVP as a rookie.  He then moved on to Spain for a few seasons before leaving Manresa early in the 2010-11 season due to an ankle injury.  After suing to gain his salary from the Spanish club, Cusworth seemingly hasn't played in almost 2 years now.

Micah Downs w/ Manresa last year
After picking Mack in round 1, the Red Claws had to wait until the 4th round for their next 2 picks.  First, they selected forward Omar Reed who spent 22 games with the Austin Toros last year.  Reed graduated Bluefield College in 2010 after averaging 16.2 pts and played his first pro season in the United Kingdom before joining the D-League.  Cervante Burrell was tabbed as Maine's second 4th round pick.  He is a rookie point guard from Seattle who averaged 8.3 pts & 4.7 ast last year.  Round 5 pick Jeremiah Rivers is better known as Celtics' coach Doc Rivers' kid.  Rivers spent 2 years each at Georgetown & Indiana before starting his pro career in Serbia with Mega Vizura last year.  He also spent summer league with the New York Knicks.

Jeremiah Rivers w/ the Knicks summer league team
The remaining 3 draft picks all saw time in the D-League last year.  Power forward Ron Allen, round 6, spent 13 games split between Texas & Austin and will begin his 5th season in the D-League since graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 2007.  Maine brought in another 7-footer with their 7th round pick by selecting Scott Vander Meer.  He started last year in Romania with Gaz Metan before playing 18 games with Rio Grande Valley.  The Illinois-Chicago product also spent 2010-11 with the Iowa Energy.  8th round pick Corey Allmond graduated from Sam Houston State in 2010 and spent his rookie season with Fort Wayne.  He played 12 games with Fort Wayne last year and averaged 15.5 pts before leaving to play in with Vestel in Turkey's improving 2nd division.

Intriguing prospect Daquan Brooks
The Red Claws also bring in 3 players via tryout beginning with rookie Daquan Brooks.  The 5'10" point guard averaged 29.1 pts & 6.1 ast for division three Western Connecticut State last year.  Raheem Singleton is a guard who just graduated from the University of Maine where he averaged 7.8 pts, 3.4 ast & 3.3 reb per game as a senior.  Farnold Degand was last seen during the 2009-10 season with North Carolina State and looks to put his up & down college experience behind him with hopes of making this team.

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