Two Bits of News:

Wow, it’s been incredibly slow on the Rainmen front as of late.  Still no word on what exactly is happening with the roster, though it’s safe to assume that the Caro rumours will not come to be.  Two quick bits of info:

– The Rainmen went to Truro to help with a fundraiser for the Bathurst High School basketball team (or a fund for the families, it’s not totally clear).  Obviously a good idea on the Rainmen’s part.  One of the problems with tragedies like this is that you want to be able to do something to help or express sympathy, but you just don’t know what to do.  CBC television said that they’ll be covering it tonight on the news which is a nice PR boost as well.

edit: I saw the piece.  500 people in the gym for a game between a junior high team and community members.  The Rainmen coached and refereed and Crookshank and Richard looked like they were great with the kids (couldn’t see anyone else in the piece).  Definately impressive.  I really think that the Rainmen players in general are really good character guys.  The guys on the team definately deserve better than the ABA.

– Planning for college night seems to be going well.  SMU quarterback Erik Glavic will the 13th man (which people have said is obvious for a long time), tickets are $10 for students, there will be “indoor tailgating,” and halftime may include a hilarious event that I will tell you all about later.  My one concern is that I haven’t seen much promotion on campus at King’s/Dal.   It’s still 2 weeks out, though.  So I guess we’ll see.

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Gwizzlies Clinch Playoff Birth?

Really strange press release out of Macon:

Gwizzlies gearing up for history, ABA Playoffs
The Macon-based American Basketball Association Georgia Gwizzlies are about to make Georgia sports history.Because of the strength of scheluded games against other ABA teams, the organization will play in the March 15 ABA playoffs.The Gwizzlies schelude for February and early March includes games against the First State Fusion,Texas,Houston and inter-state rival the Atlanta Visions.”Macon and Central Georgia have never had a professional basketball team in a playoff series ever” says excited Embry Malone.The team in the Southern Division with the best winning record will be the host.In 2005 David Archer named Malone the SEBL Coach of the Year after a 11-5 season.”During the regular season you make a name,but in the playoffs you make your fame states Embry Malone.During thje Gwizzlies 2008 playoff the team will wear warmups with the number 3# honoring the late great Dennis Johnson,Malone college teammate and friend for over 30 years.

Even if you disregard the normally awesome Gwizzlies gwamar and spelling errors this press release is still nuts.  First of all: they’ve only played nine games and have 13 more on their schedule.  Second of all, they have only won one game and it was against the 1-3 Bahama Pro Show who are probably defunct right now (they have no functional website and the ABA website doesn’t provide much help when it comes to figuring out is and isn’t active).  The ABA… where stuff happens.

Halifax Lose to Montreal, 120-116

There’s still no box score up, but this is dumb.  Halifax can’t win close games which is almost always a sign of a bad coach.  This is really starting to get out of hand.

The Daily News also reports that the location of the game was changed and no one told the Rainmen.  A classic ABA incident.  I am just glad that the game was played at all.  The Daily News article also has this classic quote from Rick Lewis:

“They didn’t even tell us the game site was changed until we showed up at the gym,” Rainmen head coach Rick Lewis lamented. “Game-wise, we just gave this one away. We have to learn how to finish.”

I am sick and tired of reading this after every game the Rainmen lose.  If they give away close games, don’t finish games, lose concentration, have emotional lapses, exploit mismatches, etc.  then it’s your fault Lewis.  It’s a coach’s job to make sure these things don’t happen.

Eichelberger Leaves Team

So my source was correct on Eichelberger leaving and the addition of a new player to the roster.  No word on whether or not Riley or Caro are in their way in down the road but I wouldn’t hold my breath.  I think I have been pretty decent at getting information on roster moves before they happen, but all signs point to Caro joining the team as being totally unlikely.

The Rainmen website and the Daily News are reporting that 6’10, 240lb centre Jon Clark, formerly of Div. I Rhode Island will try out with the team tonight in Montreal.  I have suggested picking up a big, cheap Canadian for some time and I think that this can’t really hurt… except for the fact that they’re going to just throw him in the game without ever practicing with the team as his try out.  When you consistantly play players who joined the team the day before, you’re pretty much just admitting you don’t have any system or plays.  Right?

The Daily News article also has some other fun bits of info:

  • Silverhorn has been having back spasms and hasn’t been playing as a result, but he will be back against Montreal tonight.
  • Oliver has been working full time and that’s why he hasn’t been traveling.  He’ll miss tonight’s game, too.
  • Levingston is currently in California scouting for a “slasher type” to add to the team
  • And my personal favourite:

Halifax head coach Rick Lewis said he’d do everything in his power, including ‘playing himself’ if he had to, to grab a W in tonight’s road game against the Montreal Royal (6-12). The Rainmen (8-13) have lost two straight and four of five.

Yes. I am sure Rick Lewis suiting up will be a great help get that win.  His basketball IQ is through the roof.  If he wants to help the team win he should just let Jermaine Anderson or Andre Livingston coach the team.

Manchester Not Only Team Looking at Celtics D-League Relationship

Not Rainmen related but with all this talk of what league Halifax will play in next year it is sort of interesting: A group from Portland, ME are looking at getting into the NBA-D League for 2008/2009. One quote from the article is particularly interesting: Continue reading

Rumour: Eichelberger Gone, New Players Coming In

So rumour has it that Chad Eichelberger has been released by the Rainmen. No word on why, but if I had to venture a guess it would be because he sucks at basketball.

Eichelberger gone means more time for James Booyer which sounds good to me. Booyer and Eichelberger seem to have similar skill sets – i.e. scorers with height but not a lot of rebounding presence… the difference is that Booyer appears able to score. Eichelberger’s release is addition by subtraction if you ask me.

The other news is the more traditional addition by addition approach. The same source telling me that Eichelberger is gone is also telling me that one or two players may be added to the roster. Hardy Riley might be back (not sure how I feel about that one) and there is an outside chance that Izzy Caro, formerly of the Millrats, might be joining the Rainmen. If Caro shows up in Halifax I will lose my mind. He’s a great player who can shoot from outside and get to the basket. Him and Anderson in the backcourt gives us one of, if not the, best backcourt in the ABA.  My source was unsure about this but if it comes to be then I will be ecstatic.  I am prepared to be let dow, though – he has other opportunities in the BSN and I am sure their training camps are opening soon.  Still – one can dream.

Oh yeah, and Levingston is challenging Halifax to sell out the MetroCentre on Feb. 13 for student night… I doubt that will happen but his message that he sent out over Facebook is after the jump:

Continue reading

Andre Levingston

Chad Lucas’ profile of Andre Livingston certainly didn’t  disapoint.  Wow.  It is extremely well written and Levingston comes across as an inspirational figure and stand up guy.  It’s nice to get these sorts of details on Levingston and his pretty amazing life.  I really hope that the Rainmen work out for him and that he stays around this city.  Like Lucas said in his blog last night:  he’s exactly the sort of person that Halifax needs to attract.

Chad Lucas’ Profile of Andre Livingston in Tomorrow’s Paper

I am pretty excited to read Lucas’ interview with Rainmen owner Andre Livingston in Herald.  Lucas put up a bit of a preview on his blog, including some stuff which won’t appear in tomorrow’s article about the ABA and other leagues.  By the looks of it the article is going to be pretty awesome and will provide some biographic details on Levingston which I don’t think we’ve seen enough of.

There was one excerpt in particular from Lucas’ blog that I agree with in full.  Read it and some of my thoughts after the jump. Continue reading

Video of Lewis Blowing a Game and Blaming it on the Refs

Isiah Thomas Rick Lewis made a big deal about an alleged phantom call after the whistle in Satirday night’s game.  From the Herald:

The Millrats scored the deciding point on a foul shot after Halifax’s Jermaine Anderson fouled a Manchester player on a Hail Mary pass at the buzzer. Rainmen head coach Rick Lewis said it appeared there was no time left on the clock when Anderson committed the foul, but the officials added a fraction of a second back on after the foul was called.

“Their guy made the first foul shot after that and they ran off the court celebrating,” Lewis said. “It was a tough way to lose.”

Fortunately there is actually video of this game.  Check it out.  At 33:05 you can clearly see that there is a foul, and it is well before the buzzer goes.  Had Anderson not fouled Sanders it would have been an easy putback for him, but here’s my question:  why is it that the other team’s best player/powerforward in the key and the closest player to him is our point guard?  Where was Booyer or whoever else was at PF?  How does this happen on the last play of the game?

Even worse is what happens at 30:36:  The 3D light is on and there is an out of bounds play for the Millrats.  A time out is called and coming out of a timeout the Rainmen somehow lose a man for an uncontested lay up worth three points.   HEY LEWIS:  GET THE TEAM’S DEFENSIVE ASSIGNMENTS SORTED OUT BEFORE YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT THE REFS.

 In addition to the terrible blunder on the baseline inbounds, the game just never should have been this close.  Manchester are severely undermanned right now and were in a huge losing skid.  The game never should have been that close, and Lewis’ inability to make this team succeed in games that come down to the final few posessions is embarassing.

Rainmen Lose to Manchester, 111-112

I couldn’t make the radio broadcast work on my computer for some reason so I didn’t get to hear the game.  But what a disapontment.  This is just Manchester’s second win in 11 games.  Manchester lost two of their better players over the last week and they’re missing their starting centre, Souleyman Wayne, plus they were involved in a brawl in Manchester and Halifax still can’t beat them? What a joke.  Four losses in the last five games for Halifax.  I want Lewis gone.

No stats or recaps available yet, but while I was browsing the Manchester website I found this gem:

Game Preview

The Halifax Rainmen, featuring former 7 yr NBA veteran Sam Mack, visits the home of the Millrats!
Yeah… so he never showed up in Halifax (I wonder what’s up with that) and was announced in a press release back in August.  I can’t believe Manchester don’t even bother to check the other team’s roster before they put that on their website.  Good work, Millrats.

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