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DWizards
05-02-2007, 09:48 PM
I know this was talked about a couple years ago in the Tribune, but I thought it would be fun to see who everyone would put on an All Time Wizards team. Here is my picks:

PG-Moe Baker (CBA All Star 06, All CBA 1st Team 05)
SG-Miles Simon (CBA MVP 02)
SF-Renaldo Major (DLeague Def MVP; All DLeague 1st Team 07)
BF-DeRon Rutledge (All IBA 1st team in 99 and 01)
C-Oliver Miller (All CBA 2nd Team 03; didn't play too long, but the only dominate Center we've had)
----------------bench---------
G-Malik Dixon (All IBA 2nd in 2000)
G-Melvin Sanders (All CBA 2nd Team 05)
G-Brian Green (IBA MVP in 2000)
F-Willie Murdaugh (All IBA 97, 2nd Team 98, All CBA Defensive Team)
F-Andy Panko (03 CBA MVP)

-A few names that were left off the team that could have possibly made it were Mike Jones, Kevin Rice, Kevin Beard, Chris Porter, Roderick Blankney, Nate Driggers, Michael Johnson, Kasib Powell, Billy Thomas, Chad Prewitt, Shawn Bankhead, Antonio Reynolds-Dean, Ben Ebong, and Darius Rice (his 1 big game should almost put him on the list). Some of these guys played when the IBA was at a much lower level that the DLeague or the CBA.
-A few names that most likely would be on the list but their time here was too short to do much: Eddie Gill, Rodney Buford, Justin Williams, Maurice Carter, Kaniel Dickens, Billy Keys.

DakotaWizardsFan
05-02-2007, 10:59 PM
I know this was talked about a couple years ago in the Tribune, but I thought it would be fun to see who everyone would put on an All Time Wizards team. Here is my picks:

PG-Moe Baker (CBA All Star 06, All CBA 1st Team 05)
SG-Miles Simon (CBA MVP 02)
SF-Renaldo Major (DLeague Def MVP; All DLeague 1st Team 07)
BF-DeRon Rutledge (All IBA 1st team in 99 and 01)
C-Oliver Miller (All CBA 2nd Team 03; didn't play too long, but the only dominate Center we've had)
----------------bench---------
G-Malik Dixon (All IBA 2nd in 2000)
G-Melvin Sanders (All CBA 2nd Team 05)
G-Brian Green (IBA MVP in 2000)
F-Willie Murdaugh (All IBA 97, 2nd Team 98, All CBA Defensive Team)
F-Andy Panko (03 CBA MVP)

-A few names that were left off the team that could have possibly made it were Mike Jones, Kevin Rice, Kevin Beard, Chris Porter, Roderick Blankney, Nate Driggers, Michael Johnson, Kasib Powell, Billy Thomas, Chad Prewitt, Shawn Bankhead, Antonio Reynolds-Dean, Ben Ebong, and Darius Rice (his 1 big game should almost put him on the list). Some of these guys played when the IBA was at a much lower level that the DLeague or the CBA.
-A few names that most likely would be on the list but their time here was too short to do much: Eddie Gill, Rodney Buford, Justin Williams, Maurice Carter, Kaniel Dickens, Billy Keys.

I'd say that you made good picks. I'm not even going to try since I seem to favor recent players because that's when I've been a huge fan. I definitely agree with Renaldo Major being up there and also Mo Baker. I don't care how bad Mo's stats were this year; he's still amazing.

I can tell I haven't been a fan as long as you when I have only heard the names Mike Jones, Roderick Blakney, Nate Driggers, Shawn Bankhead and Antonio Reynolds-Dean. In fact, I had never heard of Bankhead. When did those guys play?

And yeah, Darius Rice almost deserves a spot just because of the championship game. That's probably the greatest moment in Wizards history. Sure, there's been so many so maybe not, but it's sure up there.

If Rodney Buford had been here longer, wow. Our team would have been even more amazing. He's definitely in the Top 5 all-time. And I think that Justin Williams would have done quite well had the Kings not called him up. For crying out loud, he even had an alright season with the Kings.

Does anyone know why Maurice Carter never came this season? He was allocated to us and the Tribune had said that we was going to return in a couple months (January or February I think), but obviously, he never did.

DakotaWiz
05-04-2007, 08:20 PM
PG-Brian Green
SG-Miles Simon (CBA MVP 02)
SF-Renaldo Major (DLeague Def MVP; All DLeague 1st Team 07)
PF-Andy Panko
C- This wouldn't be the popular pick, but I think I'd put Kevin Beard here. He was never a standout on offense, but he is probably the best big man defender we've had, except for maybe Ken Johnson.
----------------bench---------
G-Malik Dixon (All IBA 2nd in 2000)
G-Melvin Sanders (All CBA 2nd Team 05)
G-Todd Sigel
F-Willie Murdaugh (All IBA 97, 2nd Team 98, All CBA Defensive Team)
C-Oliver Miller

That'd be my personal lineup, but I realize we're all going to play favorites. I do find it odd that Todd Sigel wasn't mentioned in your original list of possibilities. If he's good enough to get his jersey retired, I'd say he deserves a mention.

DakotaWizardsFan
05-04-2007, 08:38 PM
When did Todd play? I've never heard of him.

EDIT: I'm assuming 1996 since I searched his name and got this from the Bismarck Tribune:
10 years ago (1996):Homecourt. To a professional basketball player who has just spent a week on a chartered bus, homecourt is a place of sanctuary; a place where basketball teams limp into after a long road trip and emerge rejuvenated. Then there are the Dakota Wizards, who seem to have the formula mixed up. They are 1-3 at the Bismarck Civic Center and 3-2 on the road. "You usually don't let people come onto the home court and beat you like that," Wizards guard Todd Sigel said.

DakotaWiz
05-04-2007, 08:41 PM
I think it was 1996-1998, not completely sure. I know his last year was 98, so it makes sense that you wouldn't remember. Also, I'm surprised you've never heard Shawn Bankhead. He was a pretty decent player for us.

DakotaWizardsFan
05-04-2007, 08:44 PM
I think it was 1996-1998, not completely sure. I know his last year was 98, so it makes sense that you wouldn't remember. Also, I'm surprised you've never heard Shawn Bankhead. He was a pretty decent player for us.

Again, the problem is he probably played too early in our team's existance. The way I was able to know some of the older players is that I remember reading the Tribune's thing on the All-Time Wizards Team. When did Bankhead play?

EDIT: I found my answer again.
"Left out in the cold are a pair of all-stars, Shawn Bankhead and Nate Driggers. Bankhead had a big year in 1997-98, then took a dip similar to Jones' when he returned."

DakotaWizardsFan
05-04-2007, 08:57 PM
Incase someone wants to see the Bismarck Tribune's article from a few years back, I was actually able to find it:


Wizards' all-time team unveiled

By Lou Babiarz
With the Dakota Wizards tipping off their 10th season this weekend, I thought it might be fun to pick the franchise's all-time team.

It was important to get the opinions of other people who have seen the franchise evolve, so I enlisted some help: Dave Joerger, who had been with the team for eight of its nine seasons, first as a general manager and assistant coach, then as head coach before leaving for Sioux Falls after last season; Casey Owens, who has taken over for Joerger after three years as his assistant; Scooter Pursley, former Tribune sports editor; and Kerry Collins, Tribune sportswriter.

A couple of quick ground rules. Players in the CBA were given a little extra credit -- the league is much better than the IBA -- but not too much. Accomplishments were largely judged at their own level. Longevity was a factor, but with heavy turnover of players common, not the sole determining factor.

The roster includes 12 players, including a starting five and a bench that is dominated by guards and small forwards -- just as the Wizards' history has been.

Point guard

A tough one, with our panelists supporting several different players, but I've got to go with Malik Dixon as the starter. Having spent three years with the Wizards, Dixon is one of the few players to thrive with the team in both leagues. His best season was 1999-2000, when he averaged 20.7 points per game and led the IBA with 7.9 assists per night.

Michael Johnson gets the nod as the backup. Johnson never put up huge numbers, but was a floor general and a dogged defender. He ran the point on Dakota's first championship team in 2000-01. The following season he came back and replaced Khalid El-Amin -- who on paper was a far more talented player -- but turned the Wizards into a much better team and helped Dakota win the CBA title.

"When we got our rings for our first championship, I remember some of the CBA guys saying, 'Yeah, yeah. It's just the IBA,' " Joerger said. "... Johnson said, 'We're going to prove we can do this in the CBA.'"

Rod Blakney (20.1 ppg, 8.2 apg) was a second-team all-star and rookie of the year in 1998-99 but just misses the cut. Billy Keys and Eddie Gill combined to give the Wizards terrific play at the point last year -- Joerger says Gill would have been an MVP candidate if he hadn't gotten called up -- but each has notched just a half season with the club.

Shooting guard

The competition is fierce at the two guard, where the Wizards have nearly always had a standout player. But nobody comes close to Miles Simon, the choice by most as the best player in franchise history.

Simon won pretty much every award he was eligible for, including the CBA most valuable player, during 2001-02 while leading the Wizards to a title. He got off to a quick start in his second year before a death in the family and an injury effectively ended his season.

"I don't know that there's been a player who's had as good a year as he had in the four years we've been in the CBA," Joerger said. "He was incredibly mentally tough -- every night, every single night. He was not the fastest, not the highest jumper, not the quickest ... but guys went after him every night and he answered."

Backing him up is one of the most versatile, unselfish and popular players in franchise history, Willie Murdaugh. Little Willie has come back time and again to help the club, but his best season was 1997-98, when he averaged 21.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.1 steals per game, and should have been a first-team all-star.

Adding some scoring punch to the bench is Brian Green. Green averaged 26.8 points per game and won the 1999-2000 MVP award while helping Ticknor revitalize the franchise.

Because you can never have enough scoring, Mike Jones makes the squad as well. Jones helped the Wizards advance to their first championship series, in 1996-97, and finished second in the league in scoring at 25.1 ppg.

"He really had a dominating year," Pursley noted. "The second year (when he averaged 18.7 ppg) he wasn't the same, but the first year he was lighting it up."

Left out in the cold are a pair of all-stars, Shawn Bankhead and Nate Driggers. Bankhead had a big year in 1997-98, then took a dip similar to Jones' when he returned.

Driggers scored 23.6 points per game for the awful inaugural edition of the Wizards, but he's best remembered in these parts for what he did after he left. During a brief stint with the Boston Celtics, he popped off about how much he hated being in North Dakota.

It was no basketball players' dream to be playing in the IBA in Bismarck, but Driggers told the Boston Globe some howlers about living in a hotel with no heat and how he was basically coaching the team. Writer Peter May imagined Driggers "posting up potato farmers and tractor drivers."

"That was the first year of the IBA," notes Joerger, who wasn't around to see Driggers. "Would he have stuck out if he played later on?"

We'll never know, because he doesn't make this team.

Small forward

Another MVP fills the three slot. Andy Panko was a vital midseason addition to the 2000-01 championship club. But Panko didn't show what he was really capable until the following season when he poured in 23.2 points and hauled down 8.4 rebounds per game.

"Andy was tremendous for us that season," Owens said. "He's about as good a player as we've ever had."

Backing him up is Dakota's ultimate energy guy -- Rice. A four-year Wizard, Rice began his career as a backup in the IBA and improved to the point that he was deserving of all-star status in the CBA. Like Johnson and Murdaugh, Rice was a top-notch defender, the best the Wizards have had according to Joerger.

"He might be in our top three (players) of all time," Joerger said. "There are not enough good things to say about Kevin as a person."

Another dynamic player coming off the bench is Chris Porter, who could be plugged into a number of spots. Over the past three years Porter has logged about a full season's worth of time and proven to be a clutch player.

"Every year Porter has been here (to the end of the season), they've won the championship," Pursley said. "The one year he wasn't, they didn't."

Power forward

Not much doubt about this one. DeRon Rutledge was the IBA's best player in 1998-99, but didn't win the MVP because the Wizards were the worst team in the league. Rutledge came back in 2000-01 to help Dakota win its first title.

He still has the highest single-season scoring average (27.0) and rebounding average (13.6) in team history.

The backup here is tougher. Ben Ebong certainly was a valuable contributor to last year's championship club, but the pick is one of the more overlooked players, the Wizards have had, Antonio Reynolds-Dean.

Although Green garnered most of the headlines for his scoring in Ticknor's year at the helm, Reynolds-Dean was a very valuable accomplice. Though just 6-7 he led the IBA in rebounding with 12.2 per game and also contributed 18.7 points.

"Everybody had a role on that team," Joerger remembered. "Johnson was the passer and playmaker, Brian Green was the scorer. ... Antonio was the scorer and rebounder in the low block. It was so much fun to go 20-0 and watch our crowds go boom."

Center

Undoubtedly the team's weakest position. Oliver Miller is clearly the best player the Wizards have ever had there. If he sticks with the club for any length of time this year, he'd be an easy choice. Even with his first two stints amounting to about half a season, he still has to be the guy.

Courtney James really was a power forward, though he did start at center for the second half of the 2000-01 campaign. In fact, James supplanted Ken Johnson -- a first-half all-star who went to the NBA the following season -- in the lineup. He was a deft passer, solid rebounder and decent scorer, but his suspension by the league in his second season helped derail the 2002-03 team and costs him a spot.

"That team was smoking until we lost four power forwards in about two weeks," Joerger said.

Everybody had their own list of players who didn't make the cut. There were long-timers like Kevin Beard, who cut out a niche for himself with his work ethic. Then there were players who made a big impact in a shorter amount of time -- Maurice Carter, Kaniel Dickens, Victor Thomas, Demarkus Doss -- the list goes on.

"It's a fun thing to talk about," Joerger said. "It's the kind of thing you argue about over a couple of beers."

DWizards
05-05-2007, 01:51 PM
That'd be my personal lineup, but I realize we're all going to play favorites. I do find it odd that Todd Sigel wasn't mentioned in your original list of possibilities. If he's good enough to get his jersey retired, I'd say he deserves a mention.

Todd Sigel is probably my all time favorite Wizards, however, come on he wasn't that good. He wasn't a full time starter, but he was fun to watch. Todd Sigel had his jersey retired? I thought only Willie Murdaugh and Kevin Beard had that happen.... Anyways I'm glad to see people remember guys like Todd Sigel because it was players like that that really helped build that fan base that the Wizards have today.

DakotaWiz
05-05-2007, 02:33 PM
My bad, he didn't have his jersey retired, but they had a retirement thing for him, with a rocking chair and everything. Who's jersey do you think they'll retire next? I thought they'd retire Kevin Rice's this year, but who knows... Maybe he'll come back and head coach next year.... Also, let's go with an All-Time Crowd favorites team? I think my sleeper pick would be Victor Thomas. Also, my disclaimer on Mo Baker... I only wouldn't have him start since he left one year mid-season... Kind of lost some respect for him.

DWizards
05-05-2007, 04:50 PM
I'm OK with him leaving mid-season. Wasn't it during the whole Dave Bliss disaster of a season. Speaking of bad Wizards coaches from the past, did any one notice that former Wizard coach Steve Tucker is going to be coaching the Rio Grande Valley team. Good luck, I don't think they realize what they are getting. Granted it's been a long time since he was here, but I was not impessed at all.

-anyways, all time crowd favorite team
PG, Todd Sigel
SG, Wilie Murdaugh
SF, Rodgers Washington
BF, Marvin "Big Show" Rodgers
C, Oliver Miller

DakotaWizardsFan
05-05-2007, 05:41 PM
I'm OK with him leaving mid-season. Wasn't it during the whole Dave Bliss disaster of a season. Speaking of bad Wizards coaches from the past, did any one notice that former Wizard coach Steve Tucker is going to be coaching the Rio Grande Valley team. Good luck, I don't think they realize what they are getting. Granted it's been a long time since he was here, but I was not impessed at all.

-anyways, all time crowd favorite team
PG, Todd Sigel
SG, Wilie Murdaugh
SF, Rodgers Washington
BF, Marvin "Big Show" Rodgers
C, Oliver Miller

Yeah, Mo left for Lithuania last year about the same time we traded Billy Thomas (I think). I don't blame him. Last season was a disaster so it's better at least going overseas and making some money. And speaking of that, if you ever wondered how much the players get paid, I've got a little info on that. Darius made about $120,000 for one season in China and he made about $2,000 for 18 games here.

I really need to research the Wizards' first few seasons. I've certainly heard of Steve Tucker, but I have no idea how the Wizards did under him.

I'm not so sure who I'd have in my all-time crowd favorite team, but I know that Chris Porter needs to be there. Again my problem is not knowing players before the 2000-2001 IBA season. I'm not sure who Rodgers Washington is so I'm not sure if he deserves the spot over Porter.

EDIT: Okay, I can see why Tucker isn't so great in your minds. Coach Bliss had a better record with the Wizards. :eek:
Under Tucker we were 12-22 and under Bliss we were 19-29.

DakotaWizardsFan
05-05-2007, 09:01 PM
Courtney James really was a power forward, though he did start at center for the second half of the 2000-01 campaign. In fact, James supplanted Ken Johnson -- a first-half all-star who went to the NBA the following season -- in the lineup. He was a deft passer, solid rebounder and decent scorer, but his suspension by the league in his second season helped derail the 2002-03 team and costs him a spot.

Okay, is there a typo in this? Didn't Courtney James play in 2001-02 and 2002-03? There's no way he was on the IBA championship team.

DWizards
05-06-2007, 02:40 PM
I'm not so sure who I'd have in my all-time crowd favorite team, but I know that Chris Porter needs to be there. Again my problem is not knowing players before the 2000-2001 IBA season. I'm not sure who Rodgers Washington is so I'm not sure if he deserves the spot over Porter.
.

How could I have forgot Chris Porter. Rogers Washington was a lot of fun to watch, but he doesn't compare to Porter. I should have CP as the small forward.

DakotaWiz
05-06-2007, 03:51 PM
Just to clarify, Steve Tucker is coaching the ABA's Rio Grande Valley team, and not the D-Leagues. It's surprising that that area is getting two expansion teams in one season, but that's what it looks like is happening..

DakotaWiz
05-06-2007, 03:53 PM
I'm going to have to agree with the selection of the all-time crowd favorites team. Another guy I might include is Shawn Bankhead. I also seem to remember Victor Thomas being a favorite of mine, though I'm not sure if everyone felt that way, as I don't really remember much else about him.

DakotaWizardsFan
05-06-2007, 03:56 PM
I'm going to have to agree with the selection of the all-time crowd favorites team. Another guy I might include is Shawn Bankhead. I also seem to remember Victor Thomas being a favorite of mine, though I'm not sure if everyone felt that way, as I don't really remember much else about him.

I don't remember much about Thomas either except for the fact that he was one of my favorite players in 2002-2003.

DakotaWizardsFan
05-06-2007, 04:01 PM
Just to clarify, Steve Tucker is coaching the ABA's Rio Grande Valley team, and not the D-Leagues. It's surprising that that area is getting two expansion teams in one season, but that's what it looks like is happening..

That's strange. I just went to Yahoo! Maps to calculate how far the two cities (NDBL- Hidalgo, TX; ABA- McAllen, TX) are from each other and they are only 8.3 miles apart, which according to the website is a 16 minute drive.

That's like Bismarck having the Wizards in the D-League and Mandan having a team in the ABA.

And I just found even crazier information.
Populations (as of 2000):
McAllen (ABA)-106,414
Hidalgo (NBDL)- 7,322

So Hidalgo might be in the McAllen metro area, but do you think people from McAllen will go to Hidalgo when they have their own team? Now the ABA might be a disaster, but I'd stay in McAllen if I lived there.

DWizards
05-06-2007, 06:35 PM
Just to clarify, Steve Tucker is coaching the ABA's Rio Grande Valley team, and not the D-Leagues. It's surprising that that area is getting two expansion teams in one season, but that's what it looks like is happening..

Thanks for clearing that up. I was shocked when I was thinking someone was giving Tucker a head coaching job in the D-League. This makes a little more sense.

USBasket_EricE
05-06-2007, 09:17 PM
I remember Victor Thomas. He was a lot like Chris Porter. He had the big dunks and once in awhile he would sport the 'fro. I couldn't figure out why the Wizards waived him at the time, but then they signed Porter again. And then there was all that controversy with Porter's Italy team and he had to leave the Wizards. Then Sioux Falls signed Thomas and he was their star. I remember the 2002-2003 season better than I do last season with Bliss!