What time is it? Game Time...! Only tonight it is a little later than usual. The Vipers have tipped off most of their regular weekend night games at 7:30. Tonight tip-off moves to 8 pm because both the RGV's hockey team and the Vipers play games today on February 20th. It is 3:44 and the hockey game has just ended. The State Farm Arena, (still getting used to the name) has promised us that they will have the arena ready for an 8:00 pm tip-off. The arena crew is busy as we speak hopefully they get it done in time.
Back to the basketball... The Vipers haven't played a game since February 9th. That's a 10-day lay-off which included the All-Star Break and some roster moves as well.
February 8th - Garrett Temple earns Gatorade Call-up to Houston Rockets. Will Conroy's 10-Day expires, returns to the Vipers. Vipers acquire guard/forward Russell Carter.
February 9th Vipers beat Ft. Wayne Mad Ants 118-101. Will Conroy posts triple-double
February 10th - Vipers scheduled game versus Springfield Armor is postponed due to weather conditions in the Northeast. Vipers return home to RGV. Mike Harris and Vipers coaching staff travels to Dallas, TX for D-League All-Star Game.
February 13th - Mike Harris scores 14 points to help Western Conference All-Stars beat East All Stars 98-81
February 15th - Vipers release Center Julian Sensley and acquire Forward/Center Kevin Rogers
February 16th - Vipers release Russell Carter before he ever played a game with the club.
February 18th - NBA Trading deadline deal by Rockets. Rockets acquire G - Kevin Martin , F/C- Hilton Armstrong from Kings and G/F Jared Jeffries, and F/C Jodan Hill from Knicks. Rockets send Joey Dorsey and Carl Landry to Kings. Tracy McGrady to Knicks.
February 19th - Rockets re-assign Jermaine Taylor to Rio Grande Valley. Vipers acquire G- Kenny Hasbrouck.
February 20th - Rockets sign Garrett Temple to second 10-Day Contract.
Whew... obviously a lot of activity going into game one of the weekend double-header with the Maine Red Claws who have had their own share of roster turn-over this season. They still sit at the second spot of the Eastern Conference.
One of the more intriguing story-lines is the two former Rice Owls, Mike Harris for RGV and newly acquired Morris Almond for Maine. Although they play different positions they are two of the top scorers in Rice history (Harris 1, Almond 4 all time), and are two of the top scorers in the D-League.
It should be a fun match-up at the Dodge. Looks like the 8pm tipoff is gonna happen. As I am finishing this post. The arena crew is just about done setting up. Oh Happy DAY!
Gotta go for now... I gotta do the pre game interview. For now.. always remember... Rule #76: No Excuses Play like a champion...