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Mad Antics

  • NBA veteran Jones back with Ants
    The Mad Ants have signed Dahntay Jones, who played for the Mad Ants in 2007-08 and averaged 24.4 points and 4.6 rebounds over 10 games.
  • Payne returning to Atlanta
    Adreian Payne has returned to the Atlanta Hawks, but there is a chance he could return to the Mad Ants for their game Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
  • Mad Ants grab 1st win of season
    Led by 28 points from Andre Emmett, the Mad Ants got their first victory over the season Saturday night, defeating the Erie Bayhawks 103-93 in front of 4,617 fans at Erie Insurance Arena.

Mad Ants cut 2

The Mad Ants, who open the regular season Friday at Texas, trimmed their roster by two today.

They released Brandon Beasley and Matt Humphrey, giving them 13 on their roster, which will eventually be pared down to 10 (on the active roster).

Bad timing for me, since I had a story planned on Beasley that would run Tuesday.

If you're interested in seeing what was going to be published, here it is ...

Brandon Beasley knows some fans of the Mad Ants will hear that he's from William Penn University and scratch their heads a little bit.

After all, a forward who played at an NAIA school can't possibly be an NBA prospect, right?

He's faced questions about playing there for years, and Beasley suggests you don't make any incorrect assumptions.

"People hear 'NAIA' and automatically think, 'Oh, it's going to be super easy because it's not NCAA.' But it's good competition" he said. "Some teams aren't as good, but when you schedule all the top teams, it's definitely like NCAA competition."

Beasley, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, who is from Indianapolis, was a first-team All-American in NAIA Division II last season, after averaging 18.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

The rookie was highly touted coming out of Arlington High School in 2007, and he considers landing at William Penn in Oskaloosa, Iowa, to be a blessing.

His grades weren't the best and he wound up playing a couple of years at Ohio's Columbus State Community College before thinking his basketball career was at least going on a hiatus, at most being over.

But a man who coached him back in Indianapolis, Keambi Thomas, was assisting at William Penn and got Beasley there in 2010.

By the time he left William Penn, which went 34-2 last season, defeating Grace in the national semifinals and losing to Cardinal Stritch in the finals, he had wound up on the radar of NBA scouts.

The Pacers were the ones who recommended Beasley, 25, to the Mad Ants, who had him in for a private workout.

On the night of the D-League draft, Nov. 1, Beasley hooked up his computer to the TV and watched with a small group of friends and family, clueless if he would get picked until Mad Ants assistant coach Steve Gansey texted him seconds before their third-round pick.

"The draft is crazy. It's wild. But it's definitely a great experience," Beasley said. "You're excited, but you're also nervous. You want to see your name go up there but you also have this thought, 'Man, what if it doesn't go up there?' It goes both ways. Good and nervous feelings. … And it was a relief to know I would be playing somewhere this season."

(Of course, we know now, that won't be in Fort Wayne.)

He had been to Fort Wayne before, having played in youth tournament locally at Spiece Fieldhouse.

"(Being here) is going to help my game a lot," Beasley said. "The biggest transition is going to be with the change of speed. I'm so used to having a high motor and going fast all the time, so there's going to be (an adjustment) with stopping and going and learning to pick my spots.

"You have to lay it all out there every day if you want to be here. It's a business and you have to do what you do, if you want to get your job."