It's season-opener No. 6 for the Mad Ants, but a first for the franchise.
The Indiana Pacers, one of the Ants' NBA affiliates, have at last realized there is a D-League team two hours away.
For the first time, the Ants will have not one, but two players from the Pacers in 6-10 forward Miles Plumlee and 6-5 guard Orlando Johnson. They'll join JaJuan Johnson, Ron Howard and Walker Russell Jr. in the starting lineup, which could be the best team the Ants have put on the floor when they face Erie in the 7:30 p.m. opener Friday at the Coliseum.
Erie will start a familiar face in 6-11 Keith Benson, who, as a member of Oakland in the Summit League, played on the Coliseum floor.
Tonight also marks the head coaching debut of new Ants coach Duane Ticknor.