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Ants in holding pattern in draft

– The Mad Ants already have a good nucleus for their roster – Ron Howard, Anthony Harris, Chris Porter and Chris Hunter – and they hope to give it a big boost today.

The D-League will hold its draft, beginning at 7 p.m., though Fort Wayne lacks a first-round pick because it was dealt to Canton as part of the trade for Luke Harangody last season.

The results of that trade were mostly positive.

Harangody averaged 19.9 points and 11.8 rebounds over 17 games, and the Mad Ants finished 27-23 and with their first playoff berth, but Harangody’s stint was cut short because of a knee injury.

JaJuan Johnson, the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, who was also sent to Canton, was later traded to Idaho.

Now the Mad Ants won’t have a pick until the 13th pick of the second round.

“We need to get us a good player with that second-round pick,” said Conner Henry, in his first season as the Mad Ants’ coach.

“Time will tell if we do.”

While the draft is eight rounds long, the last two rounds are optional, and Fort Wayne may decline to pick, president Jeff Potter said.

Some of the top prospects in this draft include former Ohio State player William Buford, who was second-team all-Big Ten; longtime NBA player Ricky Davis, who is attempting a comeback; former Miami player Malcolm Grant, a long-range specialist; NBA veteran James Johnson; and Purdue product Lewis Jackson.

Former IPFW player Frank Gaines is also eligible.

Note: Individual game tickets go on sale today at the Memorial Coliseum box office or through Ticketmaster. Of the 24 home games, 13 will be on Fridays and Saturdays.

The home opener is Nov. 29 against Maine.

jcohn@jg.net

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