Rashad “The Dagger” Anderson used his deadly 3 point stroke to lead UCONN to the 2004 National Championship and now, that same deadly stroke is leading him to clubs all over the world. In his 7 year professional career Anderson has established himself as a premier scorer in Europe which should come as no surprise to UCONN fans. Undrafted in 2006, Anderson played briefly for the Washington Wizards summer league team before landing with Egaleo BC of Greece. After a jump across the Adriatic Sea to spend the 2007-08 season with Italian club Livorno, Anderson signed with Snaidero Udine of the Italian A League (Jerome Dyson’s current league) where he led the league in scoring at 18.2 points per game. This was no small feat considering the league featured future NBA players Brandon Jennings and Gary Neal (Anderson lit up Jennings for 37 points when the teams met head to head).
Anderson’s play in 2009 was noticed by NBA scouts and he was selected by the Iowa Energy in the 1st round of the 2009 NBA D-League draft, only to be waived months later. Anderson returned to Europe where he bounced from Italy –> Latvia –> Iran –> Lebanon –> Venezuela –> Lebanon from January 2010 to April 2013. Once again selected in the D-League draft, Anderson spent 9 games playing with the Canton Charge teaming up with former Big East forwards Arinze Onuaku (Syracuse) and Kevin Jones (WVU). Cut just before 2014, Anderson signed with STB Le Havre of the French Pro A League giving a much needed scoring boost to the last place club. In his first game, Anderson led Le Havre with 17 points in 28 minutes off the bench in a losing effort. The club returns to action Saturday against Taurean Green (U of Florida) and Limoges.
Watch below as The Dagger delivers from the corner to top off a 19 point game in November 2013:
2004 National Champion Denham Brown was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 40th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Since then, he has been back and forth between the NBA D-League, Europe and South America. Brown played the first half of the 2006-07 season with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League averaging 18/5 before heading across the pond to Cantu of the Italian Series A league- electrifying fans with his athleticism (see below). Brown bounced around for the next few years with stops in Utah, North Dakota, Iowa (all D-League), Philippines, Poland, Ukraine, Canada and finally Argentina in 2012. His best all-around year during that stretch came in 2010-11 when he registered 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in 20 games for Ukrainian club Dnipro of the VTB United League. Brown has spent the last two seasons in the Romanian National League, last year with Timba Timisoara (17/8 in 19 games) before transferring to Targu Mures for the current season. Through 6 games Brown is averaging 13 points and 5 rebounds per game for the 2nd place club including a 19/8 effort this past Saturday. He returns to the hardwood this Saturday for a match-up against Pitesti and former URI forward/New Haven native Lamonte Ulmer.
Marcus Williams joined Russian club Lokomotiv-Kuban to replace point guard Nick Calathes whose performance last season earned him an invite to the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. Lokomotiv participates in both the VTB United League and the EuroLeague. Through 12 VTB games for the 7-5 defending EuroCup champs, Williams is averaging 8.7 points and 4.2 assists running the point. In 13 Euroleague games, Williams contributes 9.2 points and 4.6 assists for the 7-6 club. Williams’ best game of the season saw him rack up 23 points/7 rebounds in Lokomotiv’s first ever Euroleague win against Crvena Zvezda of Serbia- featuring American guards DeMarcus Nelson (Duke) and Charles Jenkins (Hofstra) .
Although it’s not Rudy Gay or Josh Boone on the receiving end, catch Williams thread the needle below…
As a freshman at UCONN Smith was a major contributor to the 2011 National Championship team averaging 5.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks including 4 in the NCAA Final against Butler. Following a transfer to UNLV, Smith was forced to redshirt the 2012-13 season where he competed on the scout team against eventual #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. The competition evidently paid huge dividends for Smith who is averaging a double-double (12.1 points/12.5 rebounds) for 13-7 Runnin’ Rebels. In fact, Smith’s 12.5 mark leads all NCAA Division 1 players in rebounds per game. Smith has 12 double-doubles on the season including an 18 point/ 21 rebound effort against Arizona State back in November. UNLV currently sits in 6th place (4-3) in the Mountain West with 11 games remaining until the conference tournament. It is worth mentioning nbadraft.net slots Smith as the 29th pick in the 1st round to the OKC Thunder, a pick behind former teammate Shabazz Napier.
Jerome Dyson went undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft and played briefly with the OKC Thunder before his eventual release. Dyson then signed with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League where he was the team’s leading scorer at 15.5 points per game. On April 10, 2012 he signed a ten-day contract with the New Orleans Hornets averaging 7 points and 1 steal in nine games including a 24 point effort against the Memphis Grizzlies. Dyson ultimately ended up with Hapoel Holon of the Israeli Winner League where he averaged 20 points and 2 steals during the 2012-13 season. Currently, Dyson plays for 11-5 Enel Brindisi of the Italian Serie A League where he is 9th in the league in scoring at 16 points per game. UCONN fans will remember his signature dunk (Link 1, #8) and baseline-to-baseline speed.
After senior season averages of 11.2 points per game and 8.4 rebounds, Alex Oriakhi was taken by the Phoenix Suns with the 57th pick in the 2nd round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Limited playing time with the Suns D-League affiliate pushed Oriakhi to sign with Limoges CSP of the French League for this season. This however does not suggest the end of Oriakhi’s NBA career as the Suns retained his rights and have monitored his overseas progress. According to GM Ryan McDonough, Oriakhi will attend training camp with the Suns next season. As mentioned, Oriakhi spent the first month of the 2013-14 season with Limoges in France before heading to Hapoel Holon (Israel) in November to play with former Missouri teammate Laurence Bowers and ex Nova guard Scottie Reynolds. On December 19th Oriakhi signed with the Erie Bayhawks of the D-League where he has averaged 8 points and 7 rebounds as the team’s starting center.
After a one year hiatus from the game of basketball, Stanley Robinson has resurfaced north of the border with the Moncton Miracles of NBL Canada. Selected by the Orlando Magic with the 59th overall pick in 2010, Robinson was cut following training camp. Robinson then signed with the Iowa Energy of the NBDL and averaged 8 points/6 rebounds during the team’s championship run. Robinson resigned for the 2011-12 season but suffered a serious staph infection in December that kept him sidelined for much of the season. Currently, Robinson is averaging 15 points to go along with a team leading 8 rebounds through the first 27 games of the season for the 9-18 Miracles. Robinson was named NBL Canada player of the week for the week ending November 10, 2013 due to his performance which included two 20+ point games.
Check out Sticks at #5 of the NBL Top Ten from Week 3 (not quite the bounce we are used to but hey, it works in Canada):
#1 seed Tonybet picked up the road win against #11 Lietkabelis, 80-61. The game marks the fourth consecutive loss for Lietkabelis as they fall to 3-13 in league play. Ryan Olander led Lietkabelis with 16 points on 7-10 shooting while also grabbing 7 rebounds.
Without starting center Ryan Olander (flu) #8 Juventus dominated the glass (50-35) in an 82-57 victory over #11 Lietkabelis in Utena. American center AJ Matthews (Farmingdale St) paced Juventus with 18/10 in 23 minutes of play. Juventus led 42-24 at the half and shot 95% (22-23) from the line to close out the game.
American David McClure (Duke) led #6 Siauliai to a 62-50 win over #11 Lietkabelis. McClure, who played high school ball at Trinity Catholic in Connecticut prior to his Duke days, contributed 13/9 in 29 minutes. Ryan Olander added 6/8/2 blocks in 32 minutes of action. Lietkabelis remains in 11th place with the loss.
#11 Lietkabelis picked up a huge road win Saturday afternoon surviving a ferocious second half comeback against #4 Nevezis. Lietkabelis took the lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back shooting 88% (15-17) from the charity stripe to close out the game. Ryan Olander had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the victors who controlled the glass by a 46-35 margin. The win ends a 6 game losing streak and propels the team into 10th place in the LKL standings. Lietkabelis returns to LKL action February 1st as they travel to #11 LSU-Atletas.
On December 18th, 2013 8th ranked Dzukia defeated 10th ranked Lietkabelis in Panevezys by a 74-64 margin. Lietkabelis entered the 4th up 2 before a foul-plagued final quarter allowed for a 27-15 run by the visitor. Nigerian Chukwudinma Odiakosa (Illinois State) led Lietkabelis with 20 points and 7 rebounds while Ryan Olander added 9 points and 6 rebounds in a losing effort.
On December 21st, 2013 3rd ranked Zvaigzdes defeated 10th ranked Lietkabelis 86-50 at home. Lietkabelis was held to just 5 points in the first quarter and never recovered from the early deficit. Zvaigzdes shot 43% (9-21) from deep including a 3-3 effort off the bench from Latvian swingman Ingus Bankevics. American Parrish Brown (Maryland) paced Lietkabelis with 14 off the bench and Ryan Olander contributed 8 points and 2 rebounds.
Top-ranked Lietuvos-Rytas moved to 8-0 with a 98-68 victory over #11 Lietkabelis December 27th in Panevezys. Colombian Juan Palacios (Louisville) led Lietuvos with 16 points and 7 rebounds while American Zabian Dowdell (Virginia Tech/Phoenix Suns) collected 7 points and 8 assists. Dowdell finished his college career as the seventh leading scorer in Virginia Tech history (1,785) and top five in assists (380), however shockingly went undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft. In 2011 he was the subject of a Sports Illustrated article giving a behind the scenes look at 10-day contracts in the NBA (link found below). UCONN fans remember Palacios as a key contributor for Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals from 2004-2008. Lietuvos also features former St. John’s point guard Omar Cook who was not featured in Friday’s action. Ryan Olander scored 11 first half points -including two pick and roll dunks- battling Palacios in the post. Parrish Brown (Maryland) chipped in 8 points and 8 rebounds for Lietkabelis who fell into last place with their third consecutive loss.