Speaking with Coach Moser on the Vipers Coaches Show (Every Thursday at 5:00 pm on ESPN 1240) he was stoked about the team he was able to put together for this season. He was especially excited about former Lakers point guard Smush Parker dropping all the way to the 12th spot right into his lap. According to Parker's agent he is excited about the opportunity to showcase his game and get back to the NBA.
I am going to break down the 17 man training camp roster as best as I can. I am still getting to know the team and where they have been so bare with me.
- G/F - Trent Strickland 6-6 Wake Forest
- G - Quin Humphrey 6-4 Youngstown State
- F - Stanley Asumnu 6-5 - Tennessee
- G - Craig Winder 6-2 - Texas
Sorry to say it is not the strongest returning line-up in the D-league. The Vipers will sorely miss Ivan Johnson who is a presence on the inside. Jesse Smith is now in Reno and should be a solid role player for that expansion franchise. The most important returnee is without a doubt Trent Strickland. Strickland is the quintessential pro hoops player. He fits into any role you give him. Early in the season Strickland played an off-the bench role but as the Vipers started to lose players to overseas defections he stepped up and filled in nicely and averaged over 13ppg. Strickland should continue to provide valuable minutes to the squad. As for the rest of the squad, Humphrey and Asumnu are very strong defensive players and both played big minutes last year, but they didn't have big nights offensively every night. Humphrey is a big time rebounding guard and both players work hard on both ends of the floor. As for Winder a very good, but streaky shooter. Stepped up for some big games and ran the offense late in the year along side Kris Collins (who is now in Austin).
I like all of these guys and they can all contribute, but will they all make the squad? Who knows. I think Strickland is a lock but not sure who else is. Coach Moser is keeping a tight lip on this. But these guys should know that no one has been guaranteed a spot on the roster or the rotation, they will have to earn it.
Allocation Players/Local Tryout:
- C/F- Alton Ford - 6-10 - Houston
- C/F- Kendal Dartez - 6-10 - Louisville
- G -Damone Morris - 6-3 - Eckard College
SIZE!! This allowed Coach Moser to draft best available player and not need. Alton Ford is a familiar name to local hoops fans. He played at Houston Milby who played down here in the Valley in the Los Fresnos Tourney several years ago. He was a McDonalds All-American and was a Clyde Drexler recruit at Houston.. although he never played for Coach Drexler. He has bounced around the NBA and overseas. He is a big body who can score and rebound. Dartez much of the same, although not as big of a body. Long. Can block shots and rebound and has a couple years of D-League expereince. Not gonna light up the score sheet but can contribute off the bench. Damone Morris, the local tryout player,looks like he could be a steal. I am a big fan of small college guys who put up big guys. Why? They play with passion that some big time college program players don't. They play with a chip on their shoulder because they didn't get recruited by the big guys. Morris averaged 17 ppg for NCAA D-2 Eckard College in Florida and looks like a scorer in every sense of the word. I like this pick-up
Drafted Players - by round
- G - Smush Parker - 6-4 - Fordham - LA Lakers
- F- Delonte Holland 6-7 - DePaul
- C- Kurt Looby 6-10 - Iowa
- G - Alpha Bangura - 6-6 - St. Johns
- G- Thomas Sanders 6-3 - Texas Pan American - Garnder Webb
- C/F - Boomer Herndon - 6-10 - Belmont
- C - Jeffrey Day - 6-9 - Creighton
- G/F Lance Perique - 6-8 - Georgia State
- G - Keoni Watson - 5-10 - Idaho
- F - JR. Harrison - 6-6 - Rice
Without a doubt the Vipers are thrilled to have a hungry NBA ready guy to lead the offense, until he gets a Gatorade Call-up of course. I like the Smush Parker selection.. Why? I know some of you might be saying, " But A.D.B. he's just going to get called up, won't that hurt us?" Well in a sense, yes. Parker has something to prove, it is always nice to have a guy who is hungry on your team. The other thing is, the Vipers start the season with 8 home games. Personally If I am a Team President, I love this pick because we have an NBA name guy to help put butts in the seat and to help my coach get off to a great start to the season.