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Mad Ants NBADL

  • Whistle in final second grates on Mad Ants
      except the 15 or so players and coaches with the Maine Red Claws – wanted to hear Sunday.
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      Learning how to close out games successfully can take some time – especially for the Mad Ants, a team that's composed of almost an entirely new cast of players – and Fort Wayne came out of its season-opening 77-70 loss to the
  • Ants caught short as new season arrives
    The reigning D-League chanpion Mad Ants open their season tonight at Memorial Coliseum against Sioux Falls. And they will do so with the same big question they had at this point last season: Is there enough size?

Mad Ants player capsules

Mike Anderson

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-foot-8/205 pounds

College: VCU

The skinny: Spent the last two seasons with the Dakota Wizards where he averaged 11.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots.

Dairese Gary

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-1/205

College: New Mexico

The skinny: Averaged 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists during his senior season at New Mexico in 2010-11. Considered a strong defender.

Ron Howard

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-5/185

College: Valparaiso

The skinny: The Ants’ all-time scoring leader, he has been with team since its first year. Played 31 games last season and averaged 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

JaJuan Johnson

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-10/220

College: Purdue

The skinny: No. 1 overall pick in D-League draft. Was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2011. Averaged 20.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2 blocked shots.

Darryl Partin

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-5/195

College: Boston University

The skinny: Averaged 19.6 points and 3.9 rebounds at Boston University last season. Three-point shooter who hit 47.3 percent. Began college career at LaSalle.

Sadiel Rojas

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-4/190

College: Oklahoma Wesleyan

The skinny: Played 30 games with Ants last season and averaged 5.9 points and 5.2 rebounds. Was NAIA Player of the Year in 2011.

Walker Russell Jr.

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-0/170

College: Jacksonville State

The skinny: Was called up from Mad Ants to the Detroit Pistons last season, where he played 27 games and averaged 3 points and 2 assists. Averaged 16.0 points with Ants last season.

Sean Sonderleiter

Position: Center

Height/weight: 6-11/245

College: Iowa

The skinny: Played 25 games with Ants last season and averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds. Suffered career-threatening eye injury in Germany in 2011.

Tommy Smith

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-10/215

College: Arizona State

The skinny: Oldest player on the team at 31. Spent 2008-09 season in China and played in Syria the year before that. Averaged 11.2 points in final year at Arizona State (2003).

Bernard Toombs

Position: Center

Height/weight: 6-10/230

College: Troy

The skinny: Played 35 games in Sweden last season and averaged 11.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Averaged 9.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in final year at Troy in 2011.

Duane Ticknor

Job: Head coach, 1st season

Previously: D-League – Dakota, 2007-09, 56-44; IBA – Black Hills, 1995-99; Dakota, 99-00; Siouxland, 2000-01; CBA – Gary, 2002-05

College: South Dakota

Steve Gansey

Job: Assistant coach, 2nd season

Previously: D-League – Fort Wayne, 2011-12, interim head coach, 9-26

College: Ashland University

Mad Ants

Years: Sixth season, 96-154

All-time coaches: Kent Davison, 2007-08 (9-17); Jaren Jackson, 2007-09 (27-47); Joey Meyer, 2009-12 (51-64), Steve Gansey, 2011-12 (9-26)

NBA call-up history: Jeremy Richardson, Memphis (2 times), San Antonio, 2007-08; Chris Hunter, New York, 2008-09, Golden State, 2009-10; Rob Kurz, Chicago, 2009-10; Oliver Lafayette, Boston, 2009-10; Walker Russell Jr., Detroit, 2011-12

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette