Give and Go
By Erie Times-News Sports Erie Times-New staff bloggers
The Erie Times-News sports staff delivers in-depth coverage of the Erie BayHawks and pro and college basketball   Read more about this blog.
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Posts tagged ‘Erie’
Posted: November 19th, 2011

Chris Daniels/Photo by Rob Engelhardt/Erie Times-News

The Erie BayHawks closed out Saturday’s three-team exhibition with a convincing 57-42 win against expansion Canton at Penn State Behrend.

Center Chris Daniels had 19 points while forward Tirrell Baines added 16 as the BayHawks shot 62.2 percent from the field.

Erie won its earlier game, 43-39, against Fort Wayne, which beat Canton in the opening game, 49-41. The three games were only two quarters long. Forward D.J. Kennedy (knee) and point guard Al Nolen (foot) didn’t play for Erie.

Look for the Bayhawks to make some cuts in the next day or so. The BayHawks have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 23 to reach the 10-man roster limit. Before looking at the BayHawks, here’s a quick observation of Fort Wayne and Canton.

Fort Wayne is experienced. Has key returnees in Ron Howard and Walker Russell. Got some solid pick ups in former Michigan State forward Antonio Smith and Marvin Phillips, who was a key contributor for the Iowa Energy.

However, the biggest force the Mad Ants have – Chris Hunter – was in street clothes. The big fella was nearly unstoppable in the D-League. With him, Fort Wayne could be be scary.

Canton – The Charge didn’t finish their second scrimmage with Erie well. Got pretty good talent, but they’re young and didn’t play like a cohesive unit down the stretch against Erie.

Now to the BayHawks.

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Posted: November 11th, 2011

Mychel Thompson/Photo by Rob Englehardt/ETN

After starting training camp Nov. 9, the Erie BayHawks had their media day Thursday and an evening practice at the LECOM Health and Wellness Center.

Here are a few notables:

1. General manager of basketball operations, Allan Houston, hasn’t been in Erie for camp, but is expected to arrive this weekend on Sunday. Erie coach Jay Larranaga said he doesn’t plan to cut a player until Houston has seen the group.

Houston is the assistant general manager with the New York Knicks, who are in a hybrid partnership with the BayHawks.

2. Two players – D.J. Kennedy (knee) of St. John’s and Al Nolen (foot) out of Minnesota – haven’t practiced due to injury. Both had surgeries in their final college seasons.

3. Larranaga hoped to use practice players in camp and had one in 7-footer Jeff Foote, but received a notice from the D-League that teams can’t use practice players in training camp. Larranaga knew Foote from when he was an assistant at Cornell.

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Posted: November 9th, 2011

The Erie BayHawks traded veteran point guard and fan favorite, Blake Ahearn, to Reno for Donald Sloan, a 23-year old point guard who is also an NBA prospect.

Here’s a look at Sloan. The BayHawks will open training camp tomorrow in Erie. They open the 2011-12 season Nov. 25 at Rio Grande Valley.

Posted: November 2nd, 2011

Kyle Spain averaged 8.1 points for Erie in 44 games last season./Photo by Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News

Shooters. Rebounders.

That’s how Erie BayHawks general manager of basketball operations, Allan Houston, summarized what Erie will look for in the 2011 D-League Draft, which starts Thursday at 7 p.m.

The BayHawks have the seventh and ninth pick in the first round and have two more picks in the second round. Before figuring out what they need, you got know what they got coming back.

Returning players:

PG – Blake Ahearn (27 years old, 6-2, 190, Missouri State) – Shooter. Scorer (Avg. 16.9 points in 31 games for  Erie last season, 96.2 FT%). Not a great defender, but is scrappy.

PF – Kyle Goldcamp (25 years old, 6-10, 230, Gannon) – Tough. Plays hard. Has a lefty hook, but gets garbage points. Aggressive.

SF – Kyle Spain (6-5, 210, San Diego State) – Plays on the perimeter. Has unlimited range on the jump shot. Struggles defending on perimeter.

SF Chaz McCrommon (6-6, 200, Robert Morris) – Joined Erie late last season. Only played one game for the BayHawks. Considered a solid defender and capable scorer.

Here are the free-agent invites:

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Posted: November 2nd, 2011

In 2008-09, Taj McCullough (with the ball) injured his knee as a rook. Then the BayHawks released him./ETN file photo.

Recognize some of them.

PG Jamaal Tinsley – old school NBA vet. PF Chris Taft – big fella had much potential at Pitt.

SF Taj McCullough – once wore a BayHawks uniform before then Erie coach John Treloar released him. Highly skilled on offense.

PG Tristan Thompson (North Texas) – Lit up Kansas State for 28 points in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. SF Alando Tucker – was all world at Wisconsin (all-time leading scorer with 2,147 points).

There are a few others sprinkled here and there, but for the most part, there are more unknowns than known guys on this list of 30 players to watch in the 2011 D-League Draft, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m.

Why?

Well, you could say because the NBA is still in lockout and guys either went overseas or aren’t confident the lockout is going to end anytime soon.

You could say guys just don’t want to play for less than $30,000.

Whatever the reason, there are enough guy the pool to have an 8-round draft. It won’t take long to see if it’s watered down or possesses the same level of talent it has in previous years.

For example, is there an Ivan Johnson in the draft. A guy who can come in and average 22 and 8 for an entire season like he did for Erie last season.

Have to wait and see, but as always, the best players will surface. The question is, who are those guys?

Posted: January 7th, 2011

In beginning his second stint in the D-League, Miami Heat rookie center Dexter Pittman scored 15 points in the Sioux Falls Skyforce's 97-91 loss at Erie against the BayHawks on Friday night.

“YOU PLAY FOR THE HEAT?”

“YOU PLAY FOR THE HEAT?”

Yes, Ivan, Dexter Pittman is a rookie center with the Miami Heat.

While Pittman was on the bench for the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Friday night at Tullio Arena, Erie BayHawks power forward Ivan Johnson was barking at him while waiting for one of his teammates to attempt a free throw.

Pittman said stuff like that happened to him during his first run with the Skyforce this season.

“I expect it,” he said. “When you come down to this level, you’ve got a big target on your back. It’s nothing.”

Pittman is where Johnson wants to be – the NBA.  So Johnson was taking this game even more personal since he was matched up against the 6-foot, 11-inch, 300-plus pound rookie out of Texas.

“That just shows me that I can play in the league (NBA),” Johnson said. “Playing against dudes like him. I’m not saying he’s a trash player, but I can hang with some of the best of them.”

They went at each other in Erie’s 97-91 win. Johnson had a game-high 25 points and five rebounds while Pittman had 15 points and just three boards.

It was fun to watch.

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Posted: November 19th, 2010

Solomon Alabi's shot blocking ability came to the front for Erie on Friday night.

In their D-League debuts, Toronto Raptors rookie center Solomon Alabi and Cleveland Cavaliers rookie forward Christian Eyenga were pretty solid Friday night.

They started and contributed to Erie’s 109-71 win against the Springfield Armor. Alabi had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks while Eyenga had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.

Let’s look a little deeper than the numbers.

Alabi. At 7-foot-1, he’s going to block shots, but he did his job. At the same time, he didn’t finish as well around the basket on a consistent basis. Alabi even admitted he could  have gotten more than seven boards, but he played hard, had fun and you could see he has talent.

Eyenga. Very athletic. Had a block in which he just came out of nowhere and swatted the ball out of bounds and his one-handed dunk l0oked effortless as he took off outside the lane to throw it down. However, he admitted his defense could have been better and he even drew a technical foul.

The key for both guys is to see how they’ll play in a back-to-back as Erie and Springfield meet Saturday night at 7 at Tullio Arena.

Will they have the same energy? Will one or the other or both raise their level of play? In the case of Alabi, Springfield wanted to go at him to get him in foul trouble, but Vernon Goodrich got in foul trouble early.

If Goodrich can stay on the floor, he may make Alabi work. As for Eyenga, I’d like to see Erie put him on Scottie Reynolds just to see if he can stay in front of a shorter, quicker guard. Reynolds had 21 last night.

Posted: September 28th, 2010

Rookie guard/forward Christian Eyenga had a good time Monday at media day, but will he be a factor for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season is the question.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers opening training camp today, the one thing I look at is to see what first- or second-year players they have that may get sent down to play for the Erie BayHawks.

This year, the Cavaliers have a couple who may wind up spending time in Erie in second-year small forward Danny Green and rookie guard/forward Christian Eyenga out of the Congo.

Let’s look at Eyenga first.

He was the guy the Cavaliers picked in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft,  but he decided to go back overseas and play in Spain. Didn’t feel as if he was ready for the NBA.

Not sure if he’s ready now, so I asked Eyenga point blank Monday at media day if he’d be open to getting sent down to the D-League.

“I’m open to it, but I want to make (the Cavaliers),” he said. “I’ve been working out to stay on the team and get some minutes. I know that they have the option to send me to the D-League, but I’m working hard to make the team.”

At 6-5 and 210 pounds, Eyenga has talent, but he didn’t average a lot of points (3.9 in 29 games for DKV Joventut Badalona) in Spain, but he’s athletic. So many would categorize someone like that as being raw.

So depending on how new Cavaliers coach Byron Scott uses him, Eyenga could be that energy guy off the bench or see his share of action in the D-League with the Erie BayHawks.

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Posted: September 26th, 2010

Bubba Luv has gone from the stands to the spotlight.

I remember when he used to sit behind the basket at Tullio Arena and cheer for the Erie BayHawks in their first year as a franchise. He was so vocal and supportive, the BayHawks began giving him court side seats.

Then last season, he joined the BayHawks dance team. The two biggest cheers in the crowd were for one, a dunk, and two, when he performed with the the dance team. The dude is a crowd favorite.

Now Bubba Luv has a commercial for the General Electric Federal Credit Union in Erie. He’s its ”Super Fan’ and the guy just released a 60-second music video that I caught on TV today.

Who knows what he’s going to do next, but trust me, he’s going to do something – major

Posted: June 29th, 2010

On the eve of two-time NBA MVP LeBron James being able to declare himself a free agent July 1, I asked basketball fans in Erie one simple question Tuesday.

Should James stay in Cleveland with the Cavaliers or go elsewhere?

Here’s what they said.


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