Sioux Falls Skyforce

Force Rolling Through February

February 15, 2024 - NBA G League (G League)
Sioux Falls Skyforce News Release

The Sioux Falls Skyforce currently hold a 1.5 game lead atop the Western Conference with an impressive overall record of 15-5, much improved from the squad's 8-8 Showcase Cup record.

The Force ranks first in points per game, scoring 121.2 per contest, and ranks third in both rebounds and steals per game which can be attributed to the team's fast paced style of play that head coach Kasib Powell has preached from day one of camp.

"Never quitting on a play, whether it's a fast break or in help defense," Force guard, Jamaree Bouyea, spoke about the team's buy-in to work hard on the defensive end and hustle in transition "just trying to do whatever I can defensively so that we can win the game."

After a brief skid at the end of January, losing three of four to end the month, the Force have bounced back in February, with a 5-2 record in the month so far, thanks to some large scoring outbursts and comeback victories.

Justin Champagnie acknowledged that despite the incredible start to the season, there are still loose screws to tighten occasionally.

"It's that time of the year where we might lose a couple games and we have to tighten up a little bit, including myself, so I feel like going out there and making sure my performances are bullet proof and that I go out there and show what I'm about and put my best foot forward to help the team win."

On February 3rd, playing in Iowa against the Wolves, the Skyforce found themselves down 26-points in the third quarter, and down 23-points entering the fourth at 107-130.

The fourth quarter was dominated by the Force as they stormed back to take the lead 154-153 late in the game. Wolves guard and NBA veteran, Lance Stephenson, nailed a go-ahead contested corner three, leaving the Force 0.6 seconds left down 154-156.

"When I shot it, it felt good, I mean I guess I can say I doubted it a little bit since it was a last second shot" said Bouyea of his buzzer beater. "I just really didn't know if I got it off in time and we started celebrating and the ref said it was good. It was a wonderful feeling."

"It was a crazy game," said ManMan Williams who scored a game-high 39 points in the comeback, "a lot of adversity in the game but we stuck together to win with Bouyea hitting the CRAZY, 0.6 seconds left, shot."

The Force never went away in the game, getting buckets when they needed to stay within striking distance, en route to scoring a G League season high 157 points in the win.

Head coach Kasib Powell spoke on staying in the game saying, "We hit timely shots, shots that showed that we were still in the game even though the lead was double digits, we just kept fighting to see how the chips would fall at the end. We just stayed positive and kept fighting."

Justin Champagnie, who had 22 points and a career-high eight assists in the game, credited the team's mentality, "I think we just have an undying belief in ourselves. I feel like everybody in this locker room believes in themselves to a high-degree and we all believe in each other so just going out there and saying, 'Let's go do this'."

Alondes "ManMan" Williams' 39 points against Iowa came after being named January's NBA G League Player of the Month, averaging 25.7 points, 6.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per contest in the month, including his 55-point night against Salt Lake City.

"Whatever the game is giving me, I don't really try to force anything, I just let the game come to me," ManMan said of his playstyle and approach to each game. "If the scoring isn't really going then I try to do whatever else it takes to win. If they need 10 assists then that's what I do, if it's 10 rebounds, or 30 REBOUNDS, then that's what I'm going to do."

As well as being named NBA G League Player of the Month, ManMan was also selected for the NBA G League Up Next Game alongside Cole Swider (February 18th, 12:30 PM CST) and the Panini Rising Stars (February 16th, 8 PM CST) to take place in Indianapolis as part of NBA All-Star Weekend.

While these are all big honors for ManMan, perhaps the biggest moment of the season for Alondes came pre-game on February 9th.

ManMan Williams was promoted to a two-way contract with the Miami HEAT joining Jamal Cain and Cole Swider as Miami's two-way players.

"As a player the HEAT are getting a competitor, he's going to go out and compete every night," said Kasib Powell of ManMan, "As a person a kindhearted guy that's very likeable, that's going to bring good energy to the team by being himself and spreading that positive energy."

Teammate Justin Champagnie said, "He's a great dude, fun to be around, good vibes, great energy in the locker room and on the court. He brings that toughness every day. As a player he's a dog man. Y'all can see it for yourselves, he gets buckets. That's my boy right there. Really excited for him, super deserving, and I'm excited to see what they got in store for him."

ManMan is happy to stay with the HEAT organization, "It's amazing. I always told my agent from the start; I feel like the HEAT culture is a good fit for me because they're a hard-nosed team and I feel like I'm a hard-nosed player. It feels great to be on that next level again and playing against high level players."

Alondes made his debut with Miami in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin against the Bucks.

While ManMan was making his HEAT debut, the Skyforce played without Alondes in the lineup for the first time this season.

The Force had six players reach double figures, four scoring 19+ points, in a 122-103 win against the Oklahoma City Blue. Caleb Daniels exploded for a game-high 26 points, Jamaree Bouyea 20 points and a season-high 12 assists, Justin Champagnie 24 points and 12 rebounds, Josh Christopher 19 points and nine rebounds, and Malik Williams 11 points and a career-high 21 rebounds.

In the month of February Caleb Daniels has elevated his game, averaging 15.6 points per game and shooting 51.2% from beyond the arc.

Malik Williams has seen an increased role as of late as well after an injury to Center Brandon McCoy. Malik has scored in double figures in six of seven games to open February, and is averaging 11.3 rebounds per contest in the same stretch.

The Force will enjoy a much needed six-day break as Alondes Williams and Cole Swider make their way to Indianapolis for NBA All-Star Weekend for the G League Up Next Game and Alondes to participate in the Panini Rising Stars.

The Skyforce resumes play on Feb. 22, as they face the South Bay Lakers (10-6), who are fourth in the West. It will be an eight-day, four game LA trip, with two against the Lakers and Ontario Clippers (9-11).

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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