Cuse Country

Home Away From Dome for Syracuse Orange Fans

Home Jobbed (Pro Update 5-13)

Posted by Josh on May 13, 2007

When we last looked at the Polish League playoff picture, Otis Hill and his team Anwil Wloclawek had just tied their best-of-seven playoff series at 2 games apiece. Game 5 was last Sunday, May 6, on the road. Otis had 16 points and five boards but Anwil got handled easily, losing by 14. This set up a make-or-break home game for Anwil on May 10, and they responded. Otis led the way with 23 points and also grabbed 6 rebounds in a ten-point win that set the stage for Game 7, back on the road. Alas, Anwil’s opponents Prokom Trefl took advantage of the home-court, shooting a whopping 45 free throws (nearly 20 more than Anwil) en route to a five-point win earlier today. Otis had 17 points and three rebounds, but fouled out in 24 minutes of action. Any time there is that kind of discrepancy in free throws, you know something ain’t right. Throw in the fact that it was the top team in the league getting all the calls, and maybe there is some tampering going on?!? I don’t want to make any bold accusations, but if you go to the league website, there is a Prokom player on the masthead. The NBA has been accused of this sort of thing in the past by disgruntled fans of underdog teams who feel like the stars and the top teams get more than their share of calls from the refs, with a few people subtly suggesting that the league office leans on the referees so that their star players don’t get eliminated from the playoffs early. This is probably the Polish version of that.

Anyway, Otis’ season is now over. His line for the year since leaving his Croatian team for the Polish League back in December: 28 games, 16.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg. His highs for the year were 35 points (in an overtime game) and 10 rebounds. Both efforts came against the same team in consecutive weekends.

Elsewhere in Europe (namely Italy), Preston Shumpert’s season has also ended. In Benetton’s penultimate game Preston had 25 points and 5 rebounds; he then concluded the season with a 10-point, 7-rebound effort. They lost their final game; even if they had won, they would have missed the playoffs by one game, thanks to the points penalty they incurred. Preston’s final numbers with Benetton: 22 games, 13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, with highs of 30 points and 12 boards. If you include the first part of his season with Climamio Bologna, his averages overall are 12.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg.

This leaves Elvir Ovcina as the only former Orangeman whose European season is still going. The stats website I usually link to has not been updated for a couple of weeks, strange because they are usually right on the ball with that. I don’t think it’s the official league site though. This other site shows that his team (Telindus Oostende) won their next-to-last game (back on May 2), and this site has a mini-report in English on their final game, which they also won (click on “Results Div 1 (Final Round)” to read it, it’s near the bottom of the page). Elvir and the boys finished the season as the #2 seed; their playoff series (vs the #3 team, Antwerp) begins Tuesday. Hopefully the site with the box scores will be back up to speed by then.

However, there is better stuff from Belgium. You may recall that earlier this season we shared with you the “Elvir Is In Jail” photograph from the team’s official site. Here it is again if you’ve forgotten:

Well, the marketing wizards at Telindus have come up with a new campaign: their players as superheroes. It’s all a Flash site so I can’t embed the images, but trust me, a quick peek is totally worth your time.

Meanwhile, as the European seasons wrap up, New Zealand is still going strong. Josh Pace had 16 points and 5 rebounds in a surprising loss last weekend to the middle-of-the-pack Mountain Airs. But this weekend they bounced back, cruising to a win over the bottom-dwelling Otago Nuggets. Josh had 20 points and 5 boards. There are five more weeks in the regular season.

Back in this country, the Albany Patroons have had no games with published online boxscores since we last checked in. Their “stats to date” which include only eight of the thirteen games they’ve played (even though the page says “Statistics through 5/12/07”) show that Craig Forth has played in a total of five games, averaging 3.6 ppg. This page on the Patroons’ website confirms the hypothesis posed in the previous Update, that Craig is only playing in home games while he is still teaching. So he probably won’t see much of an increase in playing time anytime soon.

In future pro news, both Demetris Nichols (as expected) and Darryl Watkins (more surprisingly) were invited to the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando. This is technically unconfirmed, as the NBA has not yet released the invitation list to the general public, but Mike Waters had it on the Post-Standard hoops blog so it’s legit. The camp will be held in the last week of May, and there will be plenty of coverage online even though the top 20 (or so) players generally skip the camp.

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