The Mad Ants held their first practice of training camp at the ASH Centre today. Just looking around, it’s easy to see that this team is very young and it looks bigger and longer than we're accustomed to seeing.
In recent seasons, size often seemed to be an early issue, but the Mad Ants seem to have it addressed already with the likes of Deion McClenton (6-foot-10), Jared Sam (6-10), Ike Anigbogu (6-10), Omari Johnson (6-9) and Wade Guerin (6-9).
Of course, there are 17 players in camp right now, and that doesn’t include Edmond Sumner who is still with the Indiana Pacers, so there’s no telling how many of these bigs will actually stick once the season starts.
Clearly, coach Steve Gansey is going to be doing a lot of teaching leading up to the first game. These guys are raw for the most part.
The Mad Ants have until Nov. 2 to get things polished; that’s when they play their regular-season opener against the Sioux Falls Skyforce in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Then, they play Nov. 9 at Memorial Coliseum against the Erie BayHawks, the team that knocked Fort Wayne out of the single-elimination conference semifinals last season.
“I want to have a lot of practice early on, instead of a lot of talking,” Gansey said. “But if there’s something going on that we don’t like, we’re going to stop it. Some of these guys have already been in camps – some in NBA camps – and some of them have not. We’re going to continue to condition them and get these guys ready for our first game Nov. 2.”
There’s a video interview with Gansey above.