A few notes from the first day of D-League action:
-- Asked an NBA scout whether or not Ish Smith had been as under the radar with the scouting community as he was with fans. His response: "Absolutely. We didn't have much on him at all."
-- Spud Webb was in attendance to see his Texas Legends in action. Wasn't too happy to see them turn the ball over 31 times in a one-point loss. On a different subject, Joe Alexander has become the inaugural pledge to the "Robert Swift Fraternity For Re-Shaping Your Career By Re-Shaping Your Body" -- his new trendy, frizzy haircut really set the mood for his performance.
And as for Rio Grande Valley's win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants? Some thoughts:
-- Jeff Adrien's only misses on offense came off three open jumpers from the free throw line. Otherwise, he was unstoppable, both on the boards and in the paint, finishing with 30 points and 12 rebounds. He's the kind of player who just bullies people off him, much like Joey Dorsey did. Adrien's got a little more polish on offense than does Dorsey, which isn't saying a whole lot. But he'd be a good fit for a team in need of an energy guy off the bench. Unfortunately, he already got waived by the Golden State Warriors, so his "ideal" team is already off the list of potentials. Should Houston lose a big body, Adrien wouldn't be a bad replacement, especially for a team used to utilizing undersized bigs.
-- Jerel McNeal and Mustafa Shakur each looked impressive in action. McNeal finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, while Shakur went 19, 6 and 3. Each only turned the ball over two times, a good number considering the theater. Shakur also had four steals and was very active on the outside, both on offense and defense. McNeal had the greater tendency to drive of the two and made some impressive passes. One thing McNeal might have going for him is the fact that his former partner in crime Wes Matthews -- another Marquette guard deemed to be a little undersized -- is succeeding with the Portland Trail Blazers. McNeal isn't a natural point guard, but if there's anyone who can properly run an offense without the use of a pass-first point guard, it's Rick Adelman.
-- Richard Roby looks like someone who has enough tools to be an off-the-bench scorer at the next level, but his abilities didn't translate to game action on Monday. He shot 3-15 from the field and finished with eleven points. He's not the most athletic wing, but he has a good looking jumper -- he just needs to improve his shot selection and be ready to shoot at the right times, as he declined to take a few open attempts when available. But I think he has a chance.
-- Oliver Lafayette had a good performance - shot well and looked generally active, in case any Coug fans were wondering.
I realize this wasn't a very good look, but I'll have better reports from tomorrow's game. There won't be a national championship game streaming on the computer next to mine.