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Mad Ants NBADL

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  • 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?
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D-League preview: Mad Ants at Erie

Records: Mad Ants (16-11), Erie (8-20)

When: 11 a.m. today

Where: Erie Insurance Arena

Mad Ants leaders: Ron Howard (22.2 ppg, 3.9 apg), Trey McKinney-Jones (17.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Peyton Siva (13 ppg, 5.2 apg)

BayHawks leaders: Scott Suggs (17.3 ppg), Micah Downs (17.3 ppg), C.J. Leslie (13.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg)

Key matchup: Tony R. Mitchell has loads of talent – he was the D-League’s Rookie of the Year last season – but he needs to make sure he shares the ball. That didn’t happen enough in a 101-100 loss at Canton on Friday, when he had 35 points on 25 shots and all-star Howard, amazingly, was limited to one point on four shots. In Saturday’s 105-95 victory, Howard had 25 points and Mitchell’s playing time was cut by coach Conner Henry. Mitchell must score and distribute against Erie and not get caught up in going one-on-one with Leslie, who is coming off a 31-point performance in a 115-105 loss to Springfield. He has been one of the few consistent scorers for Erie this season.

The skinny: The Mad Ants have won 10 of 14 games but still struggle with inconsistency within games. But they have a lot of savvy veterans and a deep bench; Will Frisby scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter Saturday to lead the Mad Ants to the win. … The Mad Ants addressed their biggest weakness – the lack of a dominant center – by getting Brian Butch in a trade with Bakersfield on Monday. He should take the pressure off players such as Chris Porter and ease the loss when the other Tony Mitchell is recalled by the Detroit Pistons in the next 10 days.

jcohn@jg.net

– Justin Cohn, The Journal Gazette

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