Booyer returns, Williams Waived

 The ABA does not want me to study German.  Press release from the Rainmen after the jump.

Booyer’s Back, Williams Waived

MON, JAN 14, 2008 • The Halifax RainmenThe Halifax Rainmen made two changes to their active roster earlier today. The Rainmen will welcome back forward James Booyer who was released before Christmas due to chronic injury issues. He has been given a clean bill of health from his doctor and will return to the team when they meet Quebec on Wednesday, January 16.
 
Booyer, a six-foot-nine forward is a former NCAA player from IUPUI who went on to play pro in Saudi Arabia.
 
“We are very excited to have James back on our team,” added Coach Lewis. “We’re glad he is fit and ready to play.”
Guard Devino Williams is being waived as a result of conduct unbecoming to the overall development of the team.
 
“We recognize the skill of this young man; however, he has not displayed the level of maturity to play professional basketball,” said Coach Rick Lewis.

Booyer’s size returning is a very good thing.  He has some legit Div. 1 experience and it will be interesting to see how he does.

I wonder what Williams did to deserve being sent home.  He was  great 2 guard off the bench and provided instant energy, though I thought he took too many jump shots, I hope that Downey gets some more minutes now.  Williams is young – he was only 18 or 19 and fresh out of high school, plus he was a huge hit with the ladies, so if anyone was going to get into trouble I am not shocked that it’s him.  His popularity with fans and the fact that, unlike Riley, he was a legit contributor to the team makes me think that something pretty serious must have happend to get him sent home.

Now that we lost our back up two-guard Halifax need to go after John Huggins, the recently waived starting two guard for the Manchester Millrats who was averaging 16.9 points per game before he got cut.  He is a legit second ball handler and is as good of a three point shooter as Silverhorn, giving us some insurance when Silverhorn is cold from outside.  It would also give Halifax the option of running Anderson off the ball a bit letting him drive more often.  I want Huggins on the Rainmen.

 EDIT:  Chad Lucas did some real reporting instead of my method (i.e. blind speculation and rumour mongering) and posted some info on his blog.  It looks like it wasn’t a single event that got him booted, but instead was just a pattern of behaviour and attitude.  Let’s keep in mind that the kid is at least 3 years younger than me and didn’t go to college.

Lewis said the issue with Williams was maturity, not talent. He’s just a teen straight out of high school, and while he’s certainly talented he’s also been streaky on the court and apparently sometimes moody and homesick away from the gym. I didn’t have a lot of interaction with Devino, but he came across as a likeable, goofy guy who was obviously still a kid in a lot of ways. In fact, I rarely sought him out for interviews because he seemed kind of flaky. The kid can play ball, but I think maybe he wasn’t quite prepared for life so far from home (he’s from Michigan). Here’s hoping he catches on in a good situation.

Lucas also poses the most important question about these two roster changes:  Will this help the Rainmen?  I think it’s obvious that Booyer’s size will help, but who knows what sort of shape he’s in, and there isn’t much of the season left.  Eichelberger has not been particularly competent as a fourth big man, and I cringe every time Silverhorn is matched up against a PF, so I think he will be helpful. 

Williams departure eliminates a fast scorer off the bench who was not a great defender and was very streaky.  One side effect is that his departure shortens the guard section of the bench (meaning that now we will have Benoit and Downey backing up Ferguson at the 2, plus Green who is more of a combo-guard getting some minutes), hopefully giving Downey a few more minutes will be the result. 

The real question will be what this does to the chemistry.  I have heard mixed things about Booyer as a lockerroom guys.  Some people have told me that Booyer is not particularly well liked on the team, but other people have said that he’s a mature guy who has more experience than anyone else on the team.  I  guess we’ll see how this works out, unfortunately we’ll have to wait a month before we see him in Halifax.

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8 thoughts on “Booyer returns, Williams Waived

  1. The Rainmen have enough shooters to absorb the loss of Williams. You need more help inside and this could help bring some balance.

  2. The dumping of Williams is not a good thing. He was some what of a fan favorite and the Rainmen NEED the continuality, I don’t think this looks good on the team. He was good off the bench as well and young.

    That being said, I hope Booyer will help inside, he has some good experience.

    Huggins would be great from an on court perspective.

  3. “On February 13th, we will host Student Night, so grab all of your friends and come and celebrate with us, your Halifax Rainmen.”

    Sound familier?

  4. I like Huggins because he is out there and available and is a proven quality. I think that Anderson has shown some slashing abilities as of late. I just really liked the way Huggins played in the games I have seen.

    I agree that the Rainmen need a consistant line up, and I actually think he was a great player off the bench, but at this point it seems like this was something related to off the court behaviour, my guess is that it had to be something major or part of a series of questionable actions to lead to a popular and useful player getting the boot. I really wonder if either of the papers will ask about this and print it – my guess is that the most in depth info we will get will be online from Chad Lucas. I may try to dig into this, too.

    EDIT: Looks like Lucas did clarify a bit. I linked to his blog in the main post.

  5. I hope the situation of Devino Williams will be looked into. You got to admit the front office needs help as well as the team. Coming off the bench he could score 16 to 18 points a game just in one quarter. The coach Rick Lewis is a baseball coach not a basketball coach. So what does that tell you about the front office. The other players have to play the 48 minutes just to get 20 points.

  6. I don’t think that loosing Williams is a good thing. He is an asset to the team. Williams is a team player. Which is more than what I can say for some of the other members. Yes he is young and maybe not as mature as some of the other players, this is an issue that should have been considered before signing him. They knew what they were getting into before signing Williams, so really it is an error on their part. The way in which the issue was dealt with also speaks volumes about the team’s management and PR. The issue was dealt with little class and, or empathy for Williams. Placing blame on his age and maturity level is only a way of skirting the issue of how Booyer is all of a sudden healed, just as Williams is waived. Something smells a little Strange here Folks. Hopefully Williams will find a home with another great team, one where he can thrive as a player and a person, showing the Rainmen Management what he is capable of without them.

  7. I wonder if there is some kind of internal deal with the players to keep a maximum of 10 players on the team? We definitely need more forwards and fewer guards, so hopefully this is a step in the right direction. While Devino is talented, we have other shooting guards who have more facets to their game. It also seems like Coach Lewis has favourites, and apparently Devino wasn’t one of them. From the first round of Booyer’s stay with the Rainmen, he allegedly is one of Coach’s favourites. How will this play with the rest of the team?

    Having the players live in one house may be good for bonding as a team, but having the wrong guy in a house can act as a poison for morale. Was Williams that wrong guy? Was Booyer (in his original stint with the team)? One thing is for sure, the revolving door cannot be helping morale. Not knowing if you will still be with a team that has moved you to Halifax for a few weeks and then cuts you (Hardy, Gladden, and now Williams) must weigh on the players’s minds.

    On the other hand, all of this speculation is just that – speculation. We fans don’t live in the house and we don’t really know how the dynamics run in that household. I just hope the core players are able to overcome this apparent obstacle of player turnover and finish the season strong. The wins will come if the players are happy.

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