Olanders lead #7 Siauliai to Victory (Video)

Gintaras Siuparys

Gintaras Siuparys

Ryan Olander had 12 points/4 rebounds and Tyler Olander played possibly his best game of the season adding 9 points (on a perfect 3/3 from downtown) and a team-leading 7 rebounds in #7 Siauliai’s 92-61 victory over #9 Prienai. The win snaps a four game losing streak for Siauliai and puts them two games ahead of #8 Lietkabelis, who clings to the last playoff berth. Ryan Olander’s dunk in the first half was voted the “Moment of the Game” and has led some in Lithuania to call him “Air Olander”.

Game highlights can be found below with TOlander appearing around the 1:05 mark and ROlander at 2:15:

The full game can be viewed here:

Siauliai returns to action January 18th when they take on Lithuanian powerhouse Lietuvos Rytas. Rytas, featuring Travis Leslie (Georgia/LA Clippers) and Billy Baron (UVA/URI), compete in both the LKL and EuroCup (think Jerome Dyson). Leslie led Siauliai to the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) championship last year before signing with Rytas.

Jerome Dyson absolutely POSTERIZES defender (video)

This is what happens when 6’10 Italian center Tomas Ress tries to jump with Jerome Dyson:

euroleague.net

euroleague.net

Dyson has been on absolute fire the last 5 games in Italian Series A League play averaging a ridiculous 26.2 points, 6.6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2.5 steals for #2 Banco Di Sardegna. Sassari competes in both the Italian Series A League (national) as well as the EuroCup (regional). The club also competed in the Euroleague (Euro NBA, think Niels Giffey/Marcus Williams) earlier in the season but failed to reach the Top 16. They were booted into the Top 32 of the EuroCup (one level down) to play for a chance at the EuroCup crown and an automatic bid back to the Euroleague for next season. Essentially, the EuroCup (and lesser regional leagues) is a chance for clubs without the necessary accolades to qualify for Euroleague play automatically, similar to how conference tournament’s work with March Madness. European clubs rely heavily on sponsors who rely heavily on exposure, better leagues = more exposure = more money = better players.

To gauge the scope of the EuroCup, here is a map of all participating clubs (minus late additions):

Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Dyson is having a career year for Sassari with his 18.5 points per game, 4.8 assists per game and 2.3 steals per game good for 4th, 4th and 1st respectively in Series A play. On January 11th, Dyson dropped 30 points (6-10, 3P), dished out 8 assists and added 4 steals. In fact, his DEEP 3’s in the last two minutes led Sassari to the come-from-behind victory. Follow the link below for highlights (shots come at 2 minute mark):

http://video.gazzetta.it/video-embed/61232c74-9915-11e4-a044-3f0f5e5c1c1c

Sassari returns to action January 20th when they battle Buducnost (Montenegro) in EuroCup play. The matchup pits Dyson against former Big East standout Omar Cook (St. John’s). Dyson and his squad will need to finish in the top two of Group H to advance to the Final Eight – they currently sit at 3rd with a record of 1-1. Other Group H members include Buducnost, Canaria (Spain), and Banvit (Turkey).

We always knew Dyson could make plays like this…

…now he is making winning plays.

 

UConn in Europe: Jerome Dyson and Marcus Williams

euroleague.net

euroleague.net

Marcus Williams

Club: Crvena Zvezda Telekom

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Leagues: Adriactic League, EuroLeague

Marcus Williams is enjoying a great year taking over for DeMarcus Nelson (Duke) as point guard for Crvena Zvezda, a Serbian team competing in both the Adriatic League (ABA) and Euroleague (top level in Europe). The ABA is a regional professional league that features clubs from the former Yugoslavia including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia as well as Israel and Hungary. The league was founded in the years after the Yugoslav Wars and has featured American players such as Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), Jordan Farmar (UCLA) and Scoonie Penn (Ohio State). Williams has partnered this season with 2011 Golden State Warrior’s draft pick Charles Jenkins to lead Zvezda to a perfect 8-0 record, good for first in the ABA. Always a pass first point guard, Williams’ 6.8 APG are good for fourth in the league. Here’s a look at his complete stat line:

ADRIATIC G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS PTS EFF
M. Williams 8 22.5 13-39 33% 16-36 44% 2.4 6.8 10.5 10.8

As one of the premier clubs in European basketball, Zvezda also competes in Group D of the Euroleague, which, as I mentioned earlier, is the equivalent to the European NBA. The Euroleague regular season runs from October 16th to December 19th, with 24 teams divided into 4 groups (A, B, C, D). Each team plays 10 games within the group, in a round robin format, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the Top 16. The Top 16 divides clubs into two additional 8 club groups (E, F), where teams play a 14 game round robin season spanning December 30th, 2014 to April 10th, 2015. The top 4 teams from Groups E and F then advance to a best-of-five series with the series winners advancing to the Final Four. The 2015 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four will be held in Madrid, Spain from May 15th to 17th on a single elimination basis. Also competing in the Euroleague for UConn this season is Jerome Dyson (Banco di Sardegna, Italy, Group A) and Niels Giffey (ALBA Berlin, Germany, Group B).

Currently, Zvezda sits at #2 in Group D with a record of 3-3. Williams has put together an impressive season thus far, setting a Euroleague record with 17 assists in his last outing. Overall, his 8.0 APG lead the league through six games. Here is a complete statline below:

EURO G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS PTS EFF
M. Williams 6 30 13-38 34% 13-43 30% 4.2 8.0 13.5 14.7

Euroleague Assist of the Night:

Marcus Williams Zvezda Highlights:

 

Jerome Dyson

Club: Dinamo Banco Di Sardegna Sassari

Location: Sardinia, Italy

Leagues: Lega Basket A, EuroLeague

euroleague.net

euroleague.net

 

Jerome Dyson comes to Sassari after one year with Enel Brindisi of the Italian National League (Lega Basket A) and has made an immediate impact. Dyson was named MVP of the Italian SuperCup, a yearly preseason competition that takes place between winners of the Italian Championship and Italian Cup from the previous year. It comes as no surprise Sassari is a great fit for Dyson- the team’s offensive philosophy is similar to Coach Calhoun’s at UConn, a run and gun that emphasizes getting out in transition and pushing the tempo. Dyson, along with Edgar Sosa (Louisville), Rakim Sanders (BC/Fairfield) and Jeff Brooks (Penn State) have led Sassari to a 5-1 record, good for second in a league widely considered one of the best in Europe. A quick search through the rosters seems to support this claim as former Big East stars Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Allan Ray (Villanova), Samardo Samuels (Louisville), Sam Young (Pittsburgh), MarShon Brooks (Providence) and Darius Johnson-Odom (Marquette) all participate. True to his UConn days, Dyson is first in the league with 2.7 steals per game. Here is a complete stat line below:

ITALY A G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS ST PTS EFF
J. Dyson 6 28.7 14-32 44% 11-33 33% 3.2 4.8 2.7 14.7 16.8

Following a 2013-14 campaign that saw Sassari win the coveted Italian Cup, the club earned a chance to compete in the Euroleague. The adjustment has been difficult as Sassari currently sits in last place in Group A with a record of 1-5, a group that includes European powerhouse Real Madrid. The team struggles have not  stopped Dyson’s individual performance however, as he continues to fill up the box score on a nightly basis. Here is a complete Euroleague statline:

EURO G MIN FG-FGA FG% 3PM-A 3P% REB AS ST PTS EFF
J. Dyson 5 29 15-37 41% 12-29 41% 3.0 3.8 2.0 14.4 9.0

Dyson interview on Euroleague Media Day:

Highlights from 2013/14 season (low quality):

CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR AN UPDATE ON NIELS GIFFEY / ENOSCH WOLF…

 

 

 

El-Amin to Wolf: UConn in Europe 2014-2015

Here is an alphabetical list of former UConn players currently abroad. Most leagues are already underway and the remainder tip off this week. Check back for weekly updates on your favorite former Huskies. The list will be updated as more information becomes available.

Khalid El-Amin

Team: Goettingen, Germany

Top League: BBL (German National League)

Notable American teammates: Jason Clark (Georgetown), Raymar Morgan (Michigan State)

Hilton Armstrong

Team: Besiktas, Turkey

Top League: TBL (Turkish National League)

Notable American teammates: JaJuan Johnson (Purdue/Boston Celtics), Chris Lofton (Tennessee) 

Josh Boone

Team: Al Manama, Bahrain

Top League: Bahrain Premier League

Notable American teammates: none

Deandre Daniels

Team: Perth Wildcats, Australia

Top League: National Basketball League

Notable American teammates: Jermaine Beal (Vanderbilt)

Jerome Dyson

Team: Banco Di Sardegna

Top League: Italian Series A

Notable American teammates: Rakim Sanders (BC/Fairfield)

Niels Giffey

Team: ALBA Berlin, Germany

Top League: Euroleague

Notable American teammates: Reggie Redding (Villanova), Clifford Hammonds (Clemson)

Lasan Kromah

Team: ALBA Fehervar, Hungary

Top League: Hungary A Division

Notable American teammates: Cleveland Melvin (Depaul)

Tyler Olander

Team: Siauliai, Lithuania

Top League: EuroChallenge

Notable American teammates: Ryan Olander (Fairfield)

Alex Oriakhi

Team: Pieno Zvaigzdes, Lithuania

Top League: Baltic Basketball League

Notable American teammates: none

Marcus Williams

Team: Crvena Zvezda, Serbia

Top League: KLS (Serbian National League)

Notable American teammates: Charles Jenkins (Hofstra)

Enosch Wolf

Team: VFL Kirchheim Knights, Germany

Top League: Germany Pro A Division

Notable American teammates: none

Unavailable:

Rashad Anderson, Denham Brown, Taliek Brown, Ater Majok, Stanley Robinson

Notes:

Roscoe Smith signed to the Los Angeles Lakers practice squad on September 24th. With three veteran forwards and newcomer Julius Randle, Smith will have a hard time making the final NBA roster but could be kept with the teams D-League affiliate.

Tyler Olander signs in Lithuania

UCONN hotel post Championship

UCONN hotel post Championship in Dallas

Tyler Olander has joined his older brother in Lithuania, signing with BC Siauliai of the Lithuanian National League (LKL). Siauliai won the 2014 Baltic Basketball League (BBL) title this past season led by former Georgia Bulldog/Los Angeles Clipper Travis Leslie and former Fairfield guard Derek Needham. This season, Siauliai will compete in the EuroChallenge featuring teams from across Europe including Enel Brindisi, Jerome Dyson’s former club. Although Olander’s UCONN statistics do not stand out (2.8ppg/2.6rpg in 135 games), his willingness to play out of position resulted in two National Championships during his tenure. In doing so, he became only the third player in the storied history of UCONN men’s basketball to win multiple National Championships. In Europe, Olander will be used on the perimeter as a stretch 4- much more conducive to his style of play. Congratulations to Tyler and best of luck in Lithuania next season.

2014 Las Vegas Summer League Recap

Summer League

The  Sacramento Kings won the 2014 Las Vegas Summer League earlier this week, featuring newly acquired Alex Oriahki at the center position (sneak peak into celebration below). Oriahki was just one of a slew of former Huskies participating in Vegas this summer. Others included Deandre Daniels (Toronto Raptors), Jerome Dyson (Charlotte Hornets), Niels Giffey (Utah Jazz), Shabazz Napier (Miami Heat) and Roscoe Smith (Los Angeles Lakers). Here are the complete statistics from Vegas:

Player

G

GS MPG FG% 3P% RPG APG SPG TO

PPG

Daniels

5 5 21.4 .36 .26 6.2 .2 .4 1.8

10

Dyson

4 0 16.8 .22 .22 1.3 1.3 0.0 2.8 3.8

Giffey

5 0 12.2 .25 .17 1.8 .6 .6 .6 3.4

Napier

4 4 27 .28 .250 1.3 2.8 2.5 3.5

10.3

Oriahki 4 4 12.5 .40 0.0 3.0 .5 0.0 1.5

2.8

Smith 5 0 12.8 .56 0.0 2.2 0.0 0.0 .4

5.0

 

Deandre Daniels

Getty Images

Getty Images

Out of all UCONN players in the two summer leagues, it is safe to say Deandre Daniels was the most consistent. Starting all five games at small forward for the Raptors, Daniels contributed UCONN-esque numbers of 10 points/6 rebounds per game. In a July 18th win versus the LA Clippers, Daniels registered a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Although roughly half of Daniels field goal attempts were from deep, he led the team in rebounding, proving he is not content to just hover on the perimeter but ready to mix it up in the middle. Already leading the team in rebounding, when he packs muscle onto his scrawny frame, Daniels will be a force. It has been rumored he will play this upcoming season overseas which will give him time to mature before returning to the Raptors next season.

Jerome Dyson

July 10th Jerome Dyson signed with Dinamo Sassari of the Italian Series A League, according to Sportando. The same release stated Dyson had an NBA out in his contract until July 23, allowing him to sign with a NBA team if his performance in the summer league won him a roster spot. Unfortunately for Dyson, he was stuck behind first-round pick PJ Hairston on the depth chart and averaged only 4 points in 17 minutes of play. Dyson will return to Italy next season teaming up with former Louisville guard Edgar Sosa and BC/Fairfield transfer Rakim Sanders. The club is a newcomer to the Euroleague (European NBA) and hopes to boost their championship aspirations with the addition of Dyson who averaged 17 points/4 rebounds with Enel Brindisi (Italian Series A) a season ago.

Niels Giffey

Following two summer leagues where he struggled to find playing time, Niels Giffey has signed in Germany.

Shabazz Napier

Player G GS MPG FG% 3P% RPG APG SPG TO PPG
Napier (LVSL) 4 4 27 .28 .250 1.3 2.8 2.5 3.5 10.3
Napier (OSL) 5 5 27.6 .273 .154 3.0 4.6 1.8 4.8 9.2

Here is a comparison of Napier’s statistics from the OSL to the LVSL. In Vegas, Napier shot the ball better (it couldn’t have gotten much worse) and his turnovers were down, but he averaged only 2.8 assists per game, third on the Heat. As I wrote earlier, I am not worried by Napier’s struggles. The learning curve is much sharper for a point guard and especially in a summer league setting with players hailing from all over the world and little time to practice offensive sets. Another point to consider: Napier finalized his contract at the end of the summer league. With this final distraction off his mind it will be all basketball from now until training camp.

Alex Oriahki

AO Kings Gear

AO’s Kings Gear

July 12th the Sacramento Kings acquired the draft rights to Oriahki in exchange for guard Isaiah Thomas. Oriahki was drafted by the Suns in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft but the Suns’ talented front court forced him to begin the season overseas. Oriahki started 4 games for the Kings in Vegas, averaging 3 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block per contest. This block against Cameron Bairstow and the Chicago Bulls made it to nba.com’s summer league highlights. This season, Oriahki faces another uphill battle to make a Kings roster featuring  veterans Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, Reggie Evans and Jason Thompson. If he is unable to make the Kings roster this year, Oriahki will return overseas or play another year with a D League affiliate.

Roscoe Smith

Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, Smith earned an invite to play with the Lakers in Vegas. Scoe averaged 5 points and 2 rebounds in 13 minutes per game, playing with his typical high energy and intensity. Smith is a long shot to make a NBA roster this season and will most likely play overseas.

 

Sacramento Kings Championship Celebration via Snap Chat:

Kings Celebrate Championship

The Sacramento Kings celebrate their championship

Where Are They Now: Rashad Anderson/Denham Brown

 Image

     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:

denham Brown

     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.

Where Are They Now: UCONN edition

Image

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iRej3BOh_o&list=PLY-s_C0dtivG2Zfi9tLa0DgSZaNyD4YHy&feature=c4-overview-vl

Dyson end-to-end fancy finish

Image

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.

Image

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):

 STICKS OOP

Stay tuned for updates on Marcus Williams, Taliek Brown and more former Huskies…