January 19, 2006 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1)
Western Conference Captures the 2006 CBA Athletes.com All-Star Game, 119-110 The Western Conference rallied from a 57-49 halftime deficit to down the Eastern Conference, 119-110, in the 22nd CBA Athletes.com All-Star Game. The festivities were held at Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho, and was hosted by the Idaho Stampede.
The Western squad tallied 39 points in the third quarter to jump ahead of the East, 88-79, entering the fourth quarter. Each team scored 31 points in the final stanza for the nine-point West victory.
Gary Steelheads forward Randy Holcomb, who flew into Boise from Chicago late Monday night following a 10-day call-up by the Bulls, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Holcomb led the Eastern Conference with 20 points, while pulling down 13 rebounds, blocking two shots and dishing out one assist.
Albany forward James Thomas made his presence known, as well, scoring 17 points with a game-high 16 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. Thomas signed with the Patroons in late December.
Idaho guard David Jackson led all scorers with 22 points, including a game-high four 3-pointers. Jackson also garnered the Long Distance Shootout Championship prior to the game, defeating Gary's Jimmie "Snap" Hunter in the finals. Jackson tallied 21 points to Hunter's 15 in the finals.
Jackson added that the All-Star game is a chance to have teammates that are normally your opponent.
Idaho teammate Alpha Bangura captured the Hopkins Financial Slam Dunk Championship before the game, as well. Bangura defeated Albany's Jamario Moon in the finals to make the home crowd happy.
2006 CBA All-Star Classic Notes...
- 3,883 were in attendance at Qwest Arena.
- The Eastern Conf. shot 42.0 pct. from the field (42-of-100) while the Western Conf. shot 47.5 pct. (47-of-99).
- The Eastern Conf. had seven players in double figures and the Western Conf. had six.
- The Western Conf. played with nine players after Sioux Falls rookie Stephen Graham was called up by the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 17.
- The All-Star game victory for Western Conf. Coach Paul Woolpert was his first. He coached the West in a 135-124 loss in 2000.
- Four rookies were name to the CBA All-Star game, the most all-time. That group included Rockford's Roger Powell (11 pts., 3 rebounds, 3 blocks), Rockford's Kenyon Gamble (6 pts., 6 rebounds, 1 block), and Albany's T.J. Thompson (2 pts., 4 assists). A fourth rookie, Sioux Falls' Stephen Graham, did not play in the game due to being called-up by the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 17.
- Six players in the 2006 CBA All-Star game hailed from Big 12 schools, including two from Oklahoma State (Maurice Baker and Cheyne Gadson). The only other NCAA conference with multiple players in the game was the Great Lakes Valley Conference (Div.-II), with Rockford's Marlon Parmer (Kent. Wesleyan) and Albany's Carl Mitchell (N. Kentucky).
- Judges for the Hopkins Financial Slam Dunk contest were Denver Nuggets Head Coach and former CBA coach George Karl, former CBA and NBA player Chris Childs, Idaho Statesman sports columnist Brian Murphy, founder and Vice-President of Athletes.com Russ DeLuca, and Randy Hopkins, President and founder of Hopkins Financial.
CBA Gets Seventh and Eighth NBA Call-Ups of the Season
The CBA had its seventh and eighth NBA call-ups of the season within a span of 24 hours this week when two rookies signed on with NBA squads. Sioux Falls forward Stephen Graham signed a 10-day contract with the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 17 while Yakama forward Ronny Turiaf signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 18.
For Graham, it is his second NBA call-up of the season. Graham signed with the Houston Rockets on Dec. 10, 2005, and in six games averaged 2.8 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 6.3 minutes before being waived on Dec. 29. The Oklahoma State grad was selected by Sioux Falls in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2005 CBA Draft. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward has appeared in 13 games (all starts) with the Sky Force. He has averaged 23.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.08 steals and 36.2 minutes, while shooting 59.7 pct. (108-181) from the field, including 72.2 pct. (13-18) from three-point range, and 86.4 (70-81) from the free throw line. Graham was named to the Western Conference All-Star squad.
Turiaf is also a 2005 CBA Draft pick, being selected by Yakama in the fifth round (36th overall). He also was selected in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Lakers (37th overall). The 6-foot-10 forward made his debut with Yakama on Dec. 26, 2005 at Idaho. Turiaf played in nine games for the Western Conference-leading Sun Kings, averaging 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. He shot 57.9 pct. from the field and tallied season-highs of 21 points in his last two games as a Sun King (Jan. 8 vs. Rockford and Jan. 10 vs. Sioux Falls). He also pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds in the game vs. Rockford.
CBA-to-NBA Call-Ups for 2005-06
Date Player CBA Team NBA Team
Nov. 16 Darrick Martin Michigan Mayhem Toronto Raptors
Dec. 5 Josh Davis Idaho Stampede Milwaukee Bucks
Dec. 10 Stephen Graham! Sioux Falls Skyforce Houston Rockets
Dec. 29 Josh Davis Idaho Stampede Houston Rockets
Jan. 5 Randy Holcomb Gary Steelheads Chicago Bulls
Jan. 9 Josh Davis* Idaho Stampede Phoenix Suns
Jan. 17 Stephen Graham! Sioux Falls Skyforce Chicago Bulls
Jan. 18 Ronny Turiaf! Yakama Sun Kings Los Angeles Lakers
* - Ties CBA single-season record for call-ups by a player.
! - Rookie
CBA Legend Back in the League and Building Upon Record Numbers
On Jan. 3, 2006, the Michigan Mayhem signed forward Willie Simms. In the daily transactions that might not have caught the eye of too many people. However, what it did do was scare any CBA record holder NOT named Willie Simms. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound forward last played in the league during the 2002-03 season with the now defunct Great Lakes Storm. His signing with the Mayhem in early January marked his 12th season putting on a CBA uniform, dating back to his first year with the Tri-City Chinooks in 1991-92.
The 36-year-old Simms holds the all-time CBA record for games played (540) and minutes played (16,428). The latter record was broken in his last game, Jan. 15, vs. Gary when he played 39 minutes, posting 21 points, nine rebounds and one assist in that time. Simms also sits second all-time in points scored (8,014) and third in rebounds (2,954).
In five games with the Mayhem this season, Simms is averaging 21.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He has scored 20 or more points in four of his five points, including a season-high 27 vs. Yakama on Jan. 7. In his first game back in the CBA on Jan. 3, he scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds with three assists and a blocked shot vs. Rockford.
Any record holders NOT named Simms beware!
Another Oldie, But Goodie
Yakama forward Leonard White appeared in his second CBA All-Star game on Jan. 17 in Boise, Idaho. Considering this year marks his 10th season in the league and his two All-Star appearances have come in his last two years in the CBA, you could say White is like a fine wine, getting better with age. White grabbed eight rebounds and scored six points with an assist and steal in 22 minutes of action on Tuesday. The 6-foot-7, 224-pounder has been holding his own over the years as the infusion of talent keeps getting younger and younger. This year, White has played in all 22 games and started 21 for the Western Conference-leading Sun Kings. He is averaging 13.0 points per game while his 6.7 rebounds per game are second-best on the Yakama squad. He is also averaging over 30.0 minutes per game (30.2) and 2.1 assists. He ranks among the CBA's all-time leaders in steals (7th-558), rebounds (T7th-2,240), games played (25th-292), minutes played (33rd-8,339), and points (47th-3,827).
Attendance and Averages, Checks and Balances
The average attendance around the CBA is close to matching the average from a year ago. So far through 99 games this season, the average attendance for CBA games is 2,357, just 52 less than last year's average of 2,409. While nearly six teams are averaging 2,000 per game, several teams are approaching their average of last year. The Yakama Sun Kings lead the league with an average of 3,632 this season, nearly 1,600 more than a year ago (2,036). There have already been two games this season that drew over 5,000, doubling the total from all of last season. This year's home opener at Sioux Falls vs. Dakota had 5,914 in attendance while the Dec. 27 contest in Yakima between the Sun Kings and Idaho drew 5,063.
CBA Did You Know?
Did you know... that through the first half of this season, 70.3 pct. of home teams are winning while only 29.7 pct. of road teams are victorious? Home teams are 71-30 this year while road teams are 30-71. Only two teams have winning records on the road, Yakama (7-5) and Rockford (7-6), while six of the eight CBA teams have winning records at home. Sioux Falls has the best home record this year at 12-2 (.857 pct.).
Albany Patroons (7-18, 3rd Eastern Conference, 66.0 points, 2.6 QP Avg.)
Despite going 1-4 over its past five games, the one bright spot came Jan. 13 in a hard fought 115-112 victory over the Western Conference leading Yakama Sun Kings. This win was sandwiched around two tough losses at Dakota, 105-95 on Jan. 10, and at Idaho, 108-106 on Jan. 14... the Patroons' "Player of the Week" James Thomas continued his dominant play averaging 25.1 ppg on 57.7% from the field, to go with 14.3 rebounds last week... rookie T.J. Thompson averaged 26 ppg. against the three Western Conference teams and Jamario Moon contributed 14.0 ppg. and 6.3 rpg... through the mid-point of the season, the Patroons have several players among the top-10 statistical leaders in the CBA. Thompson remains the number three scorer in the league at 25.5 ppg. and fifth (5.7) in assists. Carl Mitchell is fourth in the CBA in both total rebounding (8.7 rpg.) and offensive boards (3.3 pg). Mitchell is also second in 3pt. field goal percentage at 51.8 pct... Albany made its presence known in the CBA All-Star game as Thomas scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Mitchell contributed 13 points, and Thompson chipped in with two points and four assists for the Eastern Conference. Moon also placed second in the Slam Dunk contest. The Patroons begin the second-half of the season at home verses Yakama on Jan. 19.
Dakota Wizards (13-13, T-3rd Western Conference, 95.0 points, 3.7 QP Avg.)
Despite being limited to only seven players due to injury, the Wizards earned a respectable split with Eastern Conference-leading Rockford, winning 128-119 Thursday evening, and dropping a 104-102 overtime decision Friday... guard Mo Baker put up big numbers for the week and managed to earn his second Player of the Week award for the week of Jan. 9th-15th. Baker nearly averaged a triple double for the week posting 21 ppg, 9 rpg and 11 apg while leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record for the week. Baker currently leads the CBA in steals with 67 (3.2 spg) and assists with 211 (8.4 apg). He joined fellow teammate Kasib Powell as a member of the 2006 CBA Western Confernce All-Star Team. The Wizards' next match-up is back-to-back games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce this Friday and Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center.
Gary Steelheads (13-12, 2nd Eastern Conference, 90.5 points, 3.6 QP Avg.)
Gary played three games in four days, with two on the road. Gary needed overtime to defeat the Michigan Mayhem at the Genesis Center last Thursday night, 109-101. Guard Brian Chase hit for a personal CBA career-high of 26 points and eight assists. The following night, Chase logged his second double-double of the year with 25 points and 10 assists as the Steelheads lost at Sioux Falls, 109-104. On Sunday, the Steelheads fell at Michigan 95-94, as Willie Simms banked in the winning shot as the horn sounded. Guard Jimmie "Snap" Hunter paced Steelheads' scorers with 33 points.
Idaho Stampede (15-11, 2nd Western Conference, 99.0 points, 3.8 QP Avg.)
The Stampede welcomed three new players to their team in the last 12 days including Alpha Bangura, Eric Williams and Nate Johnson. Bangura has been efficient for the Stampede in his first two games. He has been shooting .609 pct from the field while averaging 19.0 ppg. He also managed to work in a Slam Dunk Championship during the All-Star Classic. David Jackson has also been on a tear averaging 24.6 points and 5.6 assists in the last five games. He was not to be outdone by Bangura, as he took home the All-Star Classic's Long Distance Shootout Championship. Stampede players continued the franchise's Key Bank Reading Program last week when they visited local schools. There they read and answered questions for elementary aged kids and stressed the importance of developing strong reading skills. Idaho plays 9 out of their next 12 games on the road starting on Thursday, Jan. 19, at Rockford.
Michigan Mayhem (5-18, 4th Eastern Conference, 51.0 points, 2.2 QP Avg.)
Michigan went 1-1 last week, with both games against the Gary Steelheads. The Mayhem traveled to Gary on Thursday, Jan. 12 and were defeated in overtime, 101-109. Michigan played Gary again on Sunday, Jan. 15 and barely escaped another overtime, winning 94-95. Michigan's top performers for the week included: Willie Simms (19 ppg, 6.5 rpg); Jamar Brown (17.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg); and Dubrey Black (19 ppg, 2.5 steals). Jason Boucher also recorded the only double-double for the week (Jan. 15) with 14 points and 10 assists, as well as four steals, vs. Gary. The Mayhem received its largest crowd of the season on Jan. 15 with 2,152 in attendance. Former Mayhem player Darrick Martin, who was called up to the play for the Toronto Raptors (Nov. 16), has so far played every game for Toronto. His best game so far has been 10 points and five assists against Orlando on Jan. 4. Martin has been averaging 8.9 min. with 2.1 ppg and 1.5 apg for the Raptors this season. The Mayhem only play one game this week at home against the Eastern Conference leader Rockford (Jan. 21).
Rockford Lightning (17-8, 1st Eastern Conference, 104.0 points, 4.2 QP Avg.)
The Lightning improved on a league best 17-8 record (104.0 pts) going 1-1 in the eighth week of the season... the team finished 2-2 on a four-game West coast road trip with a 104-102 overtime win over the Dakota Wizards on Friday night. Marlon Parmer averaged 36.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last week. He had a Lightning season high 45 points, third highest scoring performance in the CBA this season, on Thursday night against the Wizards... John Jackson earned his first start since November 25 in Friday's game and picked up 18 points and 16 rebounds. He had a Lightning season high 12 offensive rebounds in that game and helped the team snap a two-game losing streak... Sidney Holmes is tied for sixth in the league with 8.2 rebounds per game after averaging 13.5 boards last week. He ranks fourth in offensive rebounds with 3.3 per game... rookie Roger Powell and Ronnie Fields rank in the top-8 in point's leaders in the CBA this season. With Powell at sixth (21.9 ppg), Fields at eighth (19.8 ppg), and Parmer at fourth (22.2 ppg), the Lightning are the only team in the CBA with three players ranked among the top-10 scorers in the league... Head Coach Chris Daleo picked up the 100th win of his four-year career with the Lightning on Friday night. The 2006 Eastern Conference All-Star coach is one of just two Coaches in Rockford history to reach the coveted 100 win mark.
Sioux Falls Skyforce (15-13, T-3rd Western Conference, 103.5 points, 3.7 QP Avg.)
Sioux Falls is currently tied for third place in the very close Western Conference standings after losing two out of three games heading into the All-Star break...the 'Force lost two straight road games as they fell to Yakama 122-108 (6, 1) and then lost to the Idaho Stampede the next night 113-106 (5, 2)... the 'Force returned home to beat the Gary Steelheads on Friday night 109-104 (5.5, 1.5) to move to 12-2 at home this season... Noel Felix was added to the All-Star team as a replacement on Friday after both Rodney Buford and Brandon Hunter left the team to play overseas... rookie forward Stephen Graham was called up for the second time this season, this time by the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 17. He was named to the Western Conference All-Star team, but was not able to play due to his call-up... the 'Force will not play again until this Friday and Saturday night on the road against the Dakota Wizards... the 'Force continues the long road trip with a game apiece against the Rockford Lightning, Michgan Mayhem, and Gary Steelheads as they will not play another home game again until Thursday, February 2.
Yakama Sun Kings (16-8, 1st Western Conference, 98.0 points, 4.1 QP Avg.)
Yakama heads into the second half of the season with the best record in the
Western Conference, 16-8, and the best road mark in the CBA at 7-5...
Yakama's win total of 16 is only one victory shy of last year's total number
of wins, 17... Ronny Turiaf's CBA-to-NBA call-up on Jan. 18 was the first
for the Sun Kings this year. The former Gonzaga University star appeared in
nine games for Yakama, averaging 13.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 2.1 apg in only 23.9
mpg. The call-up to the Lakers was the Sun Kings first since Reggie Jordan
in 1993-1994. Since Yakama relocated in the summer of 1990, the Sun Kings
have received 27 NBA call-ups... the Sun Kings retired Anthony Goldwire's #6
prior to the Jan. 13 game vs. the Albany Patroons. The 6-foot-1 guard
responded by scoring 27 points and dishing out 12 assists in Yakama's
115-112 (5,2) loss to the Patroons. Goldwire is the third player to have
his number retired by the Sun Kings. Kevin Holland and Eldridge Recasner
are the others... rookie Ralph Holmes finished the first half of the season
in fine form, leading the CBA in three-point shooting. Holmes has hit
16-of-29 attempts beyond the three-point line this year, good for 55.2%. Two
other Sun Kings, Goldwire at 50.0% and Antwain Barbour at 47.5%, are the
league's #3 and #4 long distance shooters, respectively... despite averaging
only 23.1 mpg, guard Elvin Mims is leading the team in blocked shots, 1.5
bpg. Mims currently ranks third in the CBA in blocks and is the top shot
blocking guard in the league.