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Old 03-08-2006, 07:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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CBA Weekly

Idaho Stampede Completes Field of Six for 2006 CBA Playoffs

The Idaho Stampede became the sixth and final team to clinch a spot in the 2006 Continental Basketball Association Playoffs thanks to the Dakota Wizards garnering just one quarter point against the Yakama Sun Kings in a 107-93 loss on Sunday, March 5.

With the loss and only three regular season games remaining, Dakota can accumulate no more than 159.0 quarter points. The Wizards currently have 138.0 quarter points and are fourth in the Western Conference. Idaho currently sits in third place in the Western Conference with 162.5 quarter points (3.61 QP avg.), a 23-22 record, and three games remaining.

Idaho's final three games will come in the friendly confines of Qwest Arena in downtown Boise. The Stampede host Dakota Tuesday, March 7, and Friday, March 10, while conference-leading Sioux Falls comes to town on Saturday, March 11. All games are scheduled for 7:10 p.m. (MT).

Others who have clinched spots in the 2006 CBA Playoffs are Gary and Rockford (Feb. 17), Yakama (Feb. 27), Sioux Falls (Feb. 28), and Albany (March 2). The CBA regular season ends on Sunday, March 12. The playoff dates and times will be determined based on the order of finish and arena availability.

2006 CBA Playoff Scenario (based on league standings as of the March 7, 2006)
Eastern Conference Western Conference
1B) Rockford - 4.06 avg. 1A) Sioux Falls - 4.17 avg.
2A) Gary - 4.03 avg. 2B) Yakama - 3.98 avg.
3B) Albany - 3.11 avg. 3A) Idaho - 3.61 avg.

Sioux Falls (1A) would host Rockford and Gary, travel to Albany
Rockford (1B) would host Yakama and Idaho, travel to Sioux Falls
Gary (2A) would host Yakama and Idaho, travel to Sioux Falls
Yakama (2B) would host Albany, travel to Rockford and Gary
Idaho (3A) would host Albany, travel to Rockford and Gary
Albany (3B) would host Sioux Falls, travel to Yakama and Idaho

CBA's 60th Anniversary Season Coming to a Close

The 60th Anniversary Season of the Continental Basketball Association is drawing to a close. The final day of the regular season is this Sunday, March 12, with three contests scheduled. While the six playoff teams have been finalized, the seedings are still up in the air. The only definite seed is the 3B slot, which will be filled by the Albany Patroons out of the Eastern Conference. The top five seeds (1A-3A) are still up in the air with five days left in the regular season.

The round-robin, first round of the CBA Playoffs will begin either Tuesday, March 14, or Wednesday, March 15, based off who the top seeds are and their arena availability.

Youth Movement This Season in the CBA

There were 11 CBA Draftees from the 2005 CBA College Draft appear in games this season, the most since 18 draftees from the 2000 CBA College Draft played in the 2000-01 campaign. Of those draft picks, two were called up to the NBA (Yakama's Ronny Turiaf and Sioux Falls' Stephen Graham), with both signing remainder-of-the-year contracts. Also, four draft picks and another free-agent rookie are ranked among the CBA league leaders in several statistical categories as we enter the final week of the season.

Albany guard T.J. Thompson (George Washington) has become the first CBA No. 1 draft pick to play his rookie season since Gary's Ryan Blackwell (Syracuse) was the top pick of the 2000 draft and appeared in 22 games that season. Thompson leads the league in scoring (25.3 ppg.) while he is fifth in free-throw pct. (85.3 pct.), sixth in steals (1.8 pg.), seventh in assists (5.2 pg.) and seventh in 3-point field goal pct. (42.2 pct.). Fourth-round draft pick Roger Powell (Illinois) was drafted by the Rockford Lightning. He is among the league leaders in three categories, including scoring (3rd, 21.5 ppg.), offensive rebounds (3rd, 3.4 pg.), and overall field goal pct. (5th, 57.3 pct.). Second-round draft pick Kenyon Gamble (Tuskegee) is also a member of the Lightning. He is second in the league in both blocked shots (79, 1.8 pg.) and overall field goal pct. (63.3 pct.). The Yakama Sun Kings fourth-round selection was Ralph Holmes (Cal-State Fullerton). He leads the league in 3-point field goal pct. (47.3 pct.). And free-agent rookie Karlton Mims (Washburn) of the Michigan Mayhem is seventh in the league in steals (1.7 pg.).

Overall, 20-plus rookies have competed this season in the CBA, including two that were drafted in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft, Yakama's Turiaf (Los Angeles Lakers) and Idaho's Ricky Sanchez (Denver Nuggets).

CBA Oldies, But Goodies

This year's 60th Anniversary Season hasn't gone by without some nostalgia taking place. There are several veterans that have moved up the all-time CBA leader board, including 13-year veteran Willie Simms. Simms signed with the Mayhem on Jan. 3, 2006, and began his ascent in several career categories. The 1991 Wisconsin alum leads the CBA all-time in career games played (560) and career minutes played (17,029), while he is second all-time in points scored (8,288) and third in career rebounds (3,048). He also is among the top-25 all-time in steals (18th, 459) and assists (23rd, 1,227).

Not to be outdone, Rockford's Ronnie Fields has moved up to 8th all-time in steals (578), 14th in points scored (4,796), 31st in games played (274), and 41st in minutes played (7,708). Ten-year CBA veteran Leonard White of Yakama is sixth in career steals (589), seventh in rebounds (2,396), 21st in games played (311), 26th in minutes played (8,987), and 31st in points scored (4,156). Teammante Anthony Goldwire recently cracked the top-40 in career assists with 1,024 (36th). Lastly, Idaho's Randy Livingston, who is in his eighth CBA season, is eighth all-time in assists (1,729) and 38th in minutes played (7,938).

Albany Patroons (19-26, 3rd Eastern Conference, 140.0 points, 3.11 QP Avg.)

Albany played three consecutive games last week, resulting in a 2-1 weekly record and gaining 13 out of a possible 21 quarter points. The Patroons became the fifth team to clinch a spot in the 2006 CBA Playoffs after garnering 6.0 quarter points in its 98-81 victory over Michigan on March 1. The Patroons assured themselves of a third place finish in the Eastern Conference. The Patroons finished the rest of the week 1-1 home series split against the first-place Gary Steelheads. The March 2 win against Gary came down to an incredible 4th quarter, 3-point buzzer-beating shot made by guard T.J. Thompson. The win extended Albany's season-best winning streak to six games. Jamario Moon did not dress for the two home games against Gary due to a hyper-extended & sprained left knee. Notable performances last week were from Thompson with a scoring average of 28.7 ppg., and fellow rookie Chester Mason's scoring average of 19 ppg. and a double-double in points (23) and rebounds (12) against Gary on March 2. The Patroons' Player-of-the-Week, James Thomas, averaged a double-double in scoring (16 ppg) and rebounds (20 rbg). The Patroons end the regular season with back-to-back home games against the first-place Rockford Lightning (March 9 & 10), and an away game at Michigan on March 12.

Dakota Wizards (18-27, 4th Western Conference, 138.0 points, 3.07 QP Avg.)

Dakota managed to slip by visiting Idaho, 101-99, in the Wizards' home finale last Wednesday, March 1. Newcomers Rocky Walls and Rashad Phillips paced the Wizards, as Phillips led the Wizards with 31 points and Walls followed with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Wednesday's five-quarter point win kept the Wizards' play-off hopes alive for a few more days until they had to hit the road Sunday night facing the Yakama Sun Kings. Yakama diminished the Wizard's play-off contention by picking up six quarter points during Sunday night's contest, beating the Wizards 107-93. Dakota will finish their season on the road, playing two games in Idaho this week and their last in Rockford on Sunday night. The Wizards will also be finishing their season without CBA All-Star Kasib Powell who has been placed on inactive reserve due to family matters.

Gary Steelheads (27-19, 2nd Eastern Conference, 185.5 points, 4.03 QP Avg.)

Gary continued a seven-game road trip with two games in Albany against the red-hot Patroons. Guard Jimmie "Snap" Hunter signed an overseas contract prior to the first game, while forward Randy Holcomb remained sidelined with a groin injury. Guard Brian Chase rose to the occasion with a 47-point performance in the first game. But Gary fell 112-109 when guard T.J. Thompson had his game-winning shot blocked, only to track down the deflection and throw in a three-pointer at the buzzer. The following night the Steelheads turned the tables with a 115-109 victory, ending Albany's six-game winning streak. The Steelheads finished the week in second place in the CBA's Eastern Conference with a 4.03 quarter point average.

Idaho Stampede (23-22, 3rd Western Conference, 162.5 points, 3.61 QP Avg.)

The Stampede have made the playoffs, grabbing the sixth and final playoff spot. Now it is a matter of finishing off the season strong to carry in some momentum. The final three regular season games will be played in Qwest Arena against the Dakota and Sioux Falls. Forward Matt Freije has had a big impact since his return. In the three games since rejoining the Stampede roster he has averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds and has worked his way back into the starting lineup. The Key Bank Reading Stampede program will be visiting area schools this week. The program brings in Stampede players to elementary schools where they read to classes and give away books to the students. The program is intended to convey the importance of strong reading skills and encourage children to continue to read. Former Idaho Stampede player Smush Parker has continued to carry the Stampede and CBA reputation to the NBA level. Parker had games of 17 and 14 points last week for the Lakers and is averaging 11.3 points and 3.4 assists in the 60 games that he has started.

Michigan Mayhem (7-37, 4th Eastern Conference, 84.5 points, 1.92 QP Avg.)

Michigan had three games last week, dropping all three to extend its losing steak to 13 games. The Mayhem played Feb. 28 at Rockford losing 113-88. Guard Marwan Gaines led with 20 points. On March 1 they lost to Albany 98-80 at home. Guard Jason Boucher led the team with 18 points. Saturday, March 4 they played at Western-Conference leading Sioux Falls and lost 114-87 against the Skyforce. Keith Salscheider had 30 points in the defeat. Michigan also added two new players to their roster, Lonnie Jones and Marwan Gaines. Michigan finishes its season playing back to back home games March 8 & 9 against Yakama and Gary. Michigan travels to Gary on March 11 and finishes the season with a home game against Albany on March 12.

Rockford Lightning (28-16, 1st Eastern Conference, 178.5 points, 4.06 QP Avg.)

The Lightning moved back into first place in the Eastern Conference standings after going 1-0 last week. Rockford has won 3 of its last 4 games, and appear to be back on track after losing 7-of-8 before their current streak. The Lightning beat the Michigan Mayhem, 113-88, at the MetroCentre on Feb. 28. Rockford collected all seven quarter points for the first time this season. Lawrence Nelson picked up his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ronnie Fields led the team in scoring with 24 points. Fields is averaging 31.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.5 steals over his last four games this season. The 6-foot-4 CBA veteran ranks second in the league in scoring (22.1 ppg), third in steals (2.1 pg), and eighth in 3-point FG percentage (41.6%). Forward Roger Powell scored 20 points in last week's game. The rookie forward needs 68 points (17.0 pg) over the final four games of the season to break Kendrick Warren's scoring record of 1,012 points by a Lightning rookie. Rockford currently has 3 of the top 4 scorers in the CBA. Fields (22.1 ppg), Powell (21.5 ppg), and Marlon Parmer (21.4 ppg) are ranked second through fourth, respectively, among CBA leading scorers this season. Rockford is the only team in the CBA shooting above 50.0 pct. from the field this season (50.5 pct.). The team has five of the top seven league leaders in field goal percentage this season. Rookie Kenyon Gamble leads the team and is second in the league at 64.5% pct. He is followed by teammates John Jackson (62.0%), Sidney Holmes (57.4%), and Powell (57.3%) who are ranked third through fifth, respectively. Lawrence Nelson ranks fifth on the Lightning, but seventh in the CBA at 56.3% from the field.

Sioux Falls Skyforce (30-16, 1st Western Conference, 192.0 points, 4.17 QP Avg.)

Sioux Falls won their final three home games of the regular season last week... the 'Force won March 3 against the Idaho Stampede 122-108 (6,1) with only seven healthy players in uniform... the 'Force then swept two home games from the Michigan Mayhem to finish the regular season with a CBA-best 21-3 record at home... the 'Force is currently riding an 11-game winning streak with a chance to tie the franchise record of 13 straight if they win their final two games of the regular season... Skyforce guard Corey Williams was named CBA Player of the Week after averaging 22.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 14.7 assists, and 4.7 steals in three games... Williams posted his third triple-double of the season against the Mayhem on March 6 to tie the franchise record for triple-doubles in a single season with former Skyforce great Cedric Hunter... forward Noel Felix was called-up by the Seattle Sonics on March 2, marking the fifth call-up this season for the Skyforce... the 'Force wraps up the regular season in Idaho on March 11 and in Yakama on March 12.

Yakama Sun Kings (28-17, 2nd Western Conference, 179.0 points, 3.98 QP Avg.)

The Yakama Sun Kings head into the final week of regular season play as the fourth seed (2B) for the 2006 CBA Playoffs. Under the format being used for the playoffs this season, the Sun Kings would host one game and head out on the road for two contests. If Yakama can move up into the third seed (2A), the Sun Kings will host two games and have one on the road... The Sun Kings record currently stands at 28-17 with three regular season games remaining. The 28 wins are one more than the Sun Kings recorded during the past two seasons combined. Yakama went 10-38 during the 2003-2004 season and were 17-31 last year... former Sun King Raja Bell has appeared in 57-of-58 games for the Pacific Division-leading Phoenix Suns this season, making 57 starts. The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 14.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 2.6 apg. Bell was First Team All-Rookie for the Sun Kings in 1999-2000 when he averaged 11.5 ppg to help lead Yakama to the 2000 CBA Championship. He appeared in nine games for the Sun Kings in 2000-2001, averaging 19.1 ppg. Bell played for Philadelphia, Dallas and Utah before signing with Phoenix last summer... guard Anthony Goldwire continues his fine play, averaging 20.0 ppg and 11.5 apg last week while recording two more double-doubles. Goldwire's 12 double-doubles ranks second this season among CBA guards... for only the third time this season, four Sun Kings notched double-doubles in Yakama's 107-93 (6,1) win over Dakota March 5; Goldwire had 21 points and 12 assists, rookie Ralph Holmes had 17 points and 15 rebounds, Elvin Mims had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Rosell Ellis had 12 points and 14 rebounds. Anthony "Pig" Miller just missed a double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds... Rosell Ellis returned to action on March 5 after sitting out 10 games with a new injury.
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