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Mad Antics

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    The Mad Ants’ defense of their D-League championship has gotten off to a rough start. A 99-87 loss Friday at Erie, Pennsylvania, dropped them to 0-3 on the season.
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Mad Ants closing in on coach

The Mad Ants hope to have their vacant coaching position filled within three weeks, team president Jeff Potter said Friday, adding that he has his pool of candidates whittled down to five.

While Potter declined to identify those applicants, a source confirmed that one candidate is Pat Zipfel, an assistant coach and advance scout for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Potter declined comment.

Zipfel has also worked for the Los Angeles Clippers as a scout, the Portland Trail Blazers as a scout and the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach and scout, while also working as a scout with national teams from the Ukraine and the Dominican Republic.

He has been a head coach before – with the New Jersey Squires of the American Basketball Association, Centenary College and Bucks County Community College.

“I feel like we have plenty of time to find a coach,” said Potter, whose team is coming off its first playoff berth, under Duane Ticknor, and opens this season Nov. 22 at Frisco,Texas. “I’ve got (assistant coach) Steve Gansey here, too, to do some of the camps and other work that needs to be done in the meantime.”

Gansey, who was an interim coach in the 2011-12 season, is not a candidate for the head-coaching job, Potter said.

And, because he lacks previous coaching experience, former NBA player and Kendallville native Brad Miller has also not been considered.

The Mad Ants went 27-23 last season. Ticknor has since been hired as an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Fort Wayne’s home opener is Nov. 29 at Memorial Coliseum against Maine.

jcohn@jg.net

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