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OBWL D-League Dispatch

OBWL D-League Dispatch (39)

Monday, 12 August 2019 16:31

New Sheriff in town

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August,7th,      San Jose California:                                                                                                           Albert Finklestien reporting

 

     The OWBL D-League San Jose Eagles have been one of the league’s top teams. The Eagle have won 3 D-League titles 2018, 2021 and again in 2024. Today the team has big news. The San Jose Eagles has a new owner. One who is committed in keeping the team in San Jose. Michael Olson is the new owner of the Eagles. A sports mogul, Michael has various other sports team across the United States. We sat down with Michael and found out just what he had in mind for the future of the Eagles.

         "I have been watching the OWBL for some time now. I like the direction they are going in. It’s a well-established league, and with the D-League I can get my foot ion the door. Mark my words I will own a OWBL franchise.  I just need to wait for the right time. It's all about timing that's for sure. I plan to have a great working relationship with the parent franchise Inferno. Since most of our players are sent down from Honolulu.  We have to have a great relationship. It is our job to get these players ready to be part of the Inferno team. If we don't do our job, they will never be ready to do theirs.”

      “I would like to say  we do have plans to change the look of the franchise. we have already been in negotiations with an graphics design agency to update and change the logo and identity of the Eagles. We will though keep the team colors the same. To stay in line with the Honolulu Infernos look.  I look forward to a great new era in Eagle basketball. What is the first thing that sells for a franchise.  It’s their look, if you don't have a look that excites the fans. You are starting behind the eight ball. We want the fans to be proud of their home town team.”

     “I look forward to being a vital part of the San Jose city and community.  We look to be San Jose's top professional franchise. Look for all kinds of special events and appearances, by players our Cheerleaders and our mascot all over this great city.  If you’re not seen all around the city, You will never get the fans excited about your product. We plan to spend a lot of time and effort in making sure everybody knows the Eagles are here and here to stay.”

      I would like to thank the new owner Michael Olson for taking the time to speak with us. I for one can’t wait to see the Eagles soar this season. With a new owner at the helm the Eagles look to be in great shape for years to come.

Wednesday, 05 December 2018 23:59

Stalkers Harvested

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The Iowa Stalkers have been officially harvested and their season ends at the hands of the Melbourne Padres in 7 games. It was one heck of a series that included a miracle comeback in game #6, where the Stalkers were down 13 points with just over 3 minutes to go and made a serious comeback. With the game tied and the Stalkers in possession of the ball, they gave it to their big man and team leader, Tuan Bunch, who went up with the ball down low only to get rejected and then grab the offensive board and put it back at the buzzer. Bedlam ensued and the fans rushed the court which later turned into a dance party grooving to the 80s hit, "Celebration!"

That would be the last celebrating the fans would do as the Padres took them down in game #7 due to a major free-throw advantage. The Stalkers shot a series high 58% from the floor but couldn't over come the referees, who many fans thought were crooked to begin with before the series even began. Of course the D league wants the teams with the major stars to move on to the next round so they can get their dirty hands on more cash. The Stalkers front office called major shenanigans on the Commissioner of the OBWL, Mr. Steele, who is also the Commissioner of the D league. A rule is put into place that allows for younger OBWL players that have never played a single minute in the D league this season to be sent down just for the D league playoffs. The Stalkers had no reinforcements sent down, but the hated Padres sent down Not 1… Not 2… Not 3… Not 4… But 5 players! General Manager Jason Rouse commented…

"Bush league!"

So now the Stalkers are done for the season and can only imagine how far they could of made it without the "Cheater Rule" being in place. Life goes on and so must this team and they need to focus on next season which means most likely an entirely new roster. Iowa City loves their Stalkers and fans have already renewed their season tickets and hope next year brings a much wanted Championship to this sports crazed city. This is over and out until next year and I would like to say Go Stalkers!

Friday, 16 November 2018 03:31

Playoff Time!

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The Iowa Stalkers finished the season on a strong note making it to the .500 mark good enough for a 40 – 40 final record which slides them into the #5 seed by one full game over the Blue Dragons.  C Tuan Bunch, picked up some hardware making the All-League 3rd Team and also making the All–Rookie 1st Team. PF Raphael Brownell, also landed himself some hardware taking home the All–Defense 2nd Team. The real hardware that the team wants is taking home the D league championship trophy and parading it around Iowa City to there deserving fans.

As the #5 seed the Stalkers will head out on the road all the way to Melbourne, Australia to face off with the #4 seed, the hated Melbourne Padres. The Padres by far are the most talented team in the D league, but for some strange reason are only 6 games above .500. They are absolutely loaded with the league's MVP C Willie McDermott, who obviously made the All-League 1st team along with, C Mustafa Ranby, who starts at PF and making the All-League 2nd team is, Darrick Van Pelt, who comes off the bench and is also a Center. You take those 3 players and then look at the roster and shake your head mystified how this team can't be sitting in 1st place. They are a bit banged up though with a couple day to day injuries including McDermott and starting SG Jame Phillips, along with 2 bench players that look to be out for the series. Looks like the Stalkers need to steal game 1 on the road if they want a chance in this series, but even with the injuries they lost to the Padres at home by 12 points in the closer.

We already know one outcome of this series and that is that the Stalkers team won't quit and will give it their all despite the massive talent gap. It's been a up and down season to say the least here in Iowa City with turmoil between the front office and the coaching staff which has also affected the players. A first-round series win and or a major run in the Playoffs would be huge and could galvanize the entire franchise into the off-season and the start of next year. The team will be heading out early tomorrow to get to Australia early so they can adjust to the time change and surrounding conditions. In a separate charter flight the crazed group, "The Corn Holers" will be making the trip to cheer on their favorite team and enjoy plenty of Foster's Beer, along with taking in the scenery and most likely the beautiful women along the beach.

Thursday, 25 October 2018 03:51

Stalkers Snap 8–Game Losing Streak

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 The Iowa City Stalkers finally snapped their season long 8-game losing streak by beating the Golden Dragons, 110–100 at home. It's been a roller coaster ride from the start of the 2nd half of the season where the teams only All-Star, SF Ismael Arias, went down with a broken nose  after the team won there first game. He tried to play through the pain but just made things worse and the team struggled even more. Then, Tuan Bunch our best post player broke his finger and tried to tough it out, but just couldn't produce his normal numbers. You add those two things along with deciding who gets more minutes and changing the game plan, the Stalkers nosedived to a 8 –game losing streak. The team now sits at 27 and 28 and #7 in the playoff standings coming down the home stretch. General Manager Jason Rouse commented…

 

"We're definitely struggling right now to say the least and there's not much I can do to get things turned around. We are slightly above average in talent and can't afford any of  our top players to go out with injuries, especially 2 of our best. As everybody already knows,  Coach and I are not getting along which you all know, it began with me taken over as head coach and then having to rehire him after I was moved to the front office. Coach Smith will definitely be fired at the end of the season!"

 

The question is can this team somehow someway turn things around, make the playoffs and then actually be able to advance? I would bet my house that they won't get out of the 1st round. Team chemistry is terrible along with Coach Smith and Jason Rouse constantly butting heads,, brings a lot of negativity to the game. Fans are growing restless and boos rained down pretty much every home game. The only thing that can cure this is winning and there hasn't been much of that going on here.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 01:56

Stalkers Improving, Weatherford Joins Roster

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The Iowa City Stalkers are back on track right before the All-Star break after a very rough start with there new General Manager, Jason Rouse. The team has climbed to 5 games over .500 which is a season-high and are currently sitting 6 games back in the division. As for the playoffs the Stalkers would be the #5 seed if they had started today. The team is not talented enough to win the division but I think there goal should be trying to grab the #3 seed. Several lineup changes, roster moves and game plans has the team's offense playing top-notch again, but consistency on the defensive end needs to be achieved for next level success. Team rebounding was a huge issue earlier in the season and now the team seems to out rebound their opponents more times than not.

 

The big news has been the recent transaction of former 1st-round pick, John Weatherford coming down from Detroit to Iowa City. In his 2nd year he was getting basically no game time at all so it made sense to send him down. GM Mark Sands and the Detroit Muscle can't afford Weatherford to sit around not developing his game, so GM Rouse promise to start him at Center and give him plenty of minutes. So far so good, in 10 games of action he has averaged 12 points per game and grabbed 8 rebounds per game, while shooting nearly 60% from the floor and 87% from the free-throw line. Also, he is the team leader in points per shot at 1.58 and 66% true shooting percentage. GM Rouse commented…

 

"The sky's the limit for John, he's very very raw but has a huge upside to say the least and his intangibles are off the chart. Were very happy that GM Sands trusted us to handle and develop Weatherford's game."

 

As for now the team is getting plenty of rest and waiting to see if any players made the Rookie squad or the All-Star roster.

Sunday, 30 September 2018 05:08

Rouse Fired! Moves to Front Office

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In a shocking turn of events, Jason Rouse has been fired as Head Coach of the Stalkers. He held the job for just over one week before getting the ax by
ownership. He failed to show up to the first 2 games and then went 0 – 3 to start his tenure. Tommie Smith, who was fired after going 16 – 12 was asked back to
coach the team and he accepted his former position back. If that's not enough drama for everybody involved, Rouse will move to the front office and become the
General Manager.

Fans held a protest outside of Daniel Evans house, who is the owner of the Stalkers. Around 500 fans showed up mostly liquored up including the crazed group, the "Corn  Holers!"  3 fans were arrested for the throwing of eggs and full beer cans into the three-story house. Many other fans threatened to revoke there season passes for the following year. Not only were the fans angry with the decision to fire the Head Coach, but so too were the players and according to sources half the team did not show up for practice earlier yesterday morning. With that said, now he moves to the front office where tension is high to perform at a high level and not upset the cohesion of this Franchise. Rouse, will now be the man in power that decides the future of not only the coaches, but now the players too. We tried to get a comment as Rouse left the facilities and he had this to say…

 

"It is what it is."

Saturday, 29 September 2018 03:26

Stalkers Hire New Coach

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The Iowa City Stalkers hired former OBWL Coach, Jason Rouse, to hopefully lead the team into the playoffs. Coach Rouse, was the former Coach of the Philadelphia Americans, but took a 6 year absence due to health issues. He is back starting from the bottom with his home state team and back in Iowa City where he once lived for 5 years. The game has changed completely in the last 6 years and we will see if Coach Rouse can keep up with the new ways. Rouse commented,

 

"I'm really happy I'm back coaching again and being back in my home state doing what I love most, just can't get any better than this. The game has changed so much since I've left, but I feel very confident that I'll figure things out sooner than later. Right now, I'm focused on getting to know my players strengths and weaknesses, personalities and how I can maximize their potentials. Let's see what happens from here."

 

He's not off to a great start as he's missed 2 games due to a misunderstanding with the General Manager, where the team played without a coach going 1– 1. When he's actually on the bench coaching the team has not responded going 0 – 3, losing to 3 teams with a losing record and 2 games at home. Looks like there's going to be an adjustment period before the team gets back on track. Coach spoke,

 

"We are trying to adjust on the fly finding the right rotation, game plan and style that best fits the team and my strengths as a Coach. We really really struggle on the defensive side of the court, along with rebounding and keeping teams off the free-throw line. On offense, that's where we really excel and have great scorers/shooters that gets this team wins. The officials have been a big problem and I feel like I'm getting hazed, we've been out shot at the free-throw line in 3 games 104 to 48. Completely ridiculous!"

 

Let's just hope the Stalkers get back on track very soon and make it into the playoffs or this could be a short comeback stent for Rouse. Thankfully, it's still early in the season and he has time to get things figured out. Sources close to the team, believe Coach Will focus on defense and get more playing time for those who will put in the effort on that end of the court. Let's see how things shake out in the future, Go Stalkers!!!

 

 

The Melbourne Padres remain in first place as the end of January nears, maintaining a two game lead over the Kansas City Chickles. The Padres have been a team in transition with new management – rookie general manager Joshua Biddle – which has resulted in some lineup tweaks that have affected the team in the past week. Head coach Eric Huffman has reportedly been receptive to different ideas, despite the mixed track record for the month, but it seems like things will start to get back to normal in February. The lack of SG Eldon Hartzog in the lineup due to a strained back has contributed to the mediocre month of January – an injury that has held the 23-year old out for 18 days.

 

Leading the Padres in scoring is 23-year old PF John Lenoir, who is averaging a solid 15.8 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game, in an average of 36 minutes per contest. The team has high hopes for PG Cecil Means, who scouts believe is the most potent player on the roster. The 20-year old Means was drafted by the Kentucky Stallions – the Padres’ parent organization – with the 13th pick in the 1st round of the 2021 OBWL Draft, and has spent part of two seasons with the Stallions. During the 2022 season with Kentucky, Means averaged 4.4 points per game on 46.9% shooting/72.7% free throw shooting/25.0% 3-point shooting, 0.4 offensive rebounds per game, 1.0 rebounds per game, 0.9 assists per game, 0.7 turnovers per game, 1.1 steals per game, 0.1 blocks per game, and 1.3 personal fouls per game in 11.2 minutes per game (9 games, 0 starts). During the 2022 season with Melbourne, Means has averaged 13.7 points per game on 51.5% shotting/75.8% free throw shooting/38.3% 3-point shooting, 0.5 offensive rebounds per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 1.6 turnovers per game, 1.0 steals per game, 0.1 blocks per game, and 3.1 fouls per game in 24.9 minutes per game (34 games, 28 starts).

 

To end the month of January, the team will reportedly employ an eight-man rotation, showcasing what the organization believes to be a solid starting five.

With Augustine Williamson returning to the lineup early, an end-of-season rally by the Omnipotence saw them play 7-3 in the last 10, and they finish 7th in the league, and in the playoffs. Their first challenge: the Mumbai Avatars. The teams split their 4 games at two a-piece, and every win was at home. Not really a good omen with the Avatars having court advantage.

Bruce Copeland - Player of the Month

Rookie Bruce Copeland took home Player of the Month (and Rookie of the Month) for April in the D. Copeland stared the season off the bench, but has since been moved to  starting at SF for the Omnipotence, and he taken to it with enthusiasm. This next challenge will be to overcome the play of defensive specialist Charles Lines in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Friday, 17 November 2017 17:57

Williamson Out For the Season

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Omnipotence center Augustine Williamson was led off the court with a bad limp in a recent home game against the Toros. X-rays show he has a stress fracture in his right fibula, and with an expected downtime of a month, it would appear Ottawa is without its starting center for the duration.

 

There is a possibility he would be ready in the event of a playoff run, but without their lead-off big man that seems only possible if the team actually possessed their namesake. Now two games back from a surging Mayhem, and only 3-7 in the last 10, without irony it would take a miracle for the team to see the post-season.



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