The newest member of BK Prostejov takes some time to introduce himself, talk about his experiences and what he looks forward to accomplishing this season. Jamar Smith (191-G-87, agency: KMG Sports Management, college: S.Indiana), 6-3, 195lbs is coming off his first professional season spent in the NBA D-League with the Maine Red Claws. The former University of Illinois and Southern Indiana star had a stellar rookie season, being named to the D-League All-Rookie Second team after starting 45 of 48 contests and averaging 13.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 46.7% from the field, 43.2% from three and 88.9% from the free-throw line. Jamar picked himself back up after a tumultuous end to his time at Illinois by re-grouping at Southern Indiana and putting together two incredibly impressive seasons at the NCAA2 school before going undrafted at the 2010 NBA Draft. However, his refined shooting, especially from behind the arc, was too good to go unnoticed and he earned a training camp invite with the Boston Celtics prior to heading to Maine and the D-League. For reference, an abbreviated 21 game sophomore season at Illinois is the only time in his brief career where he failed to shoot at least 40% from three (31.7%). His chances cut short at joining the NBA this season due to the lockout, Smith is continuing his maturation as a player and person as he begins his European career in the Czech Republic. Now, as one of the key members of a re-tooled Prostejov squad, Smith will be counted upon by new Head Coach Zbynek Choleva to carry a big scoring load as he teams with returning center Yemi Nicholson, captain Jaroslav Prasil (201-F-80) and several other newcomers to try and return the team to its established levels of prominence over the past two seasons.
Q) First of all, thank you for taking the time for this interview. What was your first thought when you found out that you would be heading to the Czech Republic to play this season?
A) I was excited for the opportunity to play in another country and adapt and learn a new culture.
Q) Do you know anyone who has experience playing or living in Czech? What advice have you gotten so far on what to expect?
A) I don't know anyone personally who has played in Czech. Just to be open minded to the culture and enjoy the experience.
Q) Your new team has a completely different look from the last two seasons, when they were second-place finishers each of the last two seasons. Essentially you will be coming in and expected to put your stamp on the team right off the bat. Is this something you are accustomed and look forward to?
A) Definitely because my whole career I have been a scorer and then this past season I had to become more of the distributor, so I'm excited to get started.
Q) Asked to be primarily a shooting guard and scorer during your time in college, what was the biggest adjustment you had to make to your game to adapt to running the point at the pro level?
A) As a point guard you look to distribute first so it was just understanding when to look for my shot and the adjustment of running the offense.
Q) Obviously, you picked up the nuances of the position quickly, averaging 5.0 assists per game as a rookie starter for Maine last season. Under Austin Ainge (son of Boston Celtics Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge) what did you learn about yourself and your game while in the D-League?
A) That I could make any adjustment when it comes to the game and I feel now I can play either guard position just as effectively.
Q) Back to the connection to Boston, what was it like to be in training camp with all of those Future Hall of Famers?
A) It was a positive learning experience getting advise from guys like Rajon Rondo and his knowledge of the PG position.
Q) When we look back at your collegiate career, as a native of Illinois, what did it mean to you to play for Bruce Weber and the Illini? How did it affect you when you lost that opportunity to play for Illinois?
A) It was a disappointment; I'd always dreamed of playing there but when I lost the opportunity it bettered me as a person and I will always be very grateful to the University of Illinois for the opportunity.
Q) What led you to choose to transfer to Southern Indiana? How did your two seasons there help you develop and grow?
A) It was a school that was relatively close to home and a new opportunity for me. From the start I had to earn everything at Southern Indiana, nothing was given to me. I had to prove that I would not let anyone out work me and I wanted to be the leader of the team.
Q) Going into this season, what are your goals for yourself and the team?
A) Win the Czech Championship and perform very well in the EuroCup and EuroChallenge games.
Q) As the NBA is of course a goal for everyone, what are your thoughts on the lockout? Will the season start on time?
A) I'm not really sure because I haven't thought much about it. I try to really focus on what I can control and that is the upcoming season with BK Prostejov.
The Santa Cruz Warriors set a pair of franchise marks against the Reno Bighorns on Friday. Only one of them was positive. After holding the host Bighorns to just 11 points in the first quarter - an all-time low for the Warriors - Santa Cruz blew its largest lead when it allowed Reno to erase a 25-point deficit en route to a 109-108 victory. The game was held at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, where the NBA's Kings - the Bighorns' affiliate - compete. Kings players Tyreke Evans, Buddy H... [read more]
The Santa Cruz Warriors set a pair of franchise marks against the Reno Bighorns on Friday. Only one of them was positive. After holding the host Bighorns to just 11 points in the first quarter - an all-time low for the Warriors - Santa Cruz blew its largest lead when it allowed Reno to erase a 25-point deficit en route to a 109-108 victory. The game was held at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, where the NBA's Kings - the Bighorns' affiliate - compete. Kings players Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield, Kosta Koufos, Skal Labissiere and Garrett Temple were in attendance, as was general manager Vlade Divac. Georgios Papagiannis (7'2''-C-97), another Kings player who was on assignment with Reno (13-23), recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Bighorns' come-from-behind victory. His pair of free throws with 2:31 remaining in regulation supplied Reno its first lead of the game. The Warriors never reclaimed the lead. No player was more key to the comeback than Gary Neal (6'4''-G-84, college: Towson), however. Neal dropped a game-high 41 points - making all 15 of his free-throw attempts - to go along with eight rebounds and five steals. He shot of 12 of 20 from the field in 40 minutes. The 25-point lead, which Santa Cruz grabbed early in the second quarter after a Cleanthony Early (6'8''-F-91, college: Wichita St.) layup made it a 36-11 game, topped the 22-point lead the Warriors had in their January 2014 loss to Fort Wayne. The 11 points allowed in the first quarter, meanwhile, bested the 12 points Santa Cruz surrendered to Canton in January 2015. Little of what transpired Friday made sense for the Warriors, who led 34-11 after the first quarter. Although it did have 17 turnovers to Reno's 12, Santa Cruz made 18 3-pointers. Then again, it also took 47 attempts from behind the arc. James Southerland led the Warriors with 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds. He was 5 of 11 from 3-point range, while LaDontae Henton was 7 of 13 for 23 points. Scott Wood (6'6''-F-90, college: N.Carolina St.) chimed in with 13 points and Phil Pressey (5'11''-PG-91, college: Missouri) had 12 points and 10 assists. Early had 11 points for the Warriors (19-17). Santa Cruz led 54-37 at halftime. However, it was outscored 72-54 in the second half. The Bighorns went on a 17-7 run to start the third quarter, bringing the deficit to seven. The Warriors' lead was later five points, but Santa Cruz managed to nevertheless hold an 87-78 lead on Reno entering the final stanza. The Bighorns scored 41 points in the fourth quarter, with Neal alone depositing 23 points on 7 of 8 shooting. Golden State center Damian Jones (7'0''-C-95, college: Vanderbilt), who was assigned to Santa Cruz earlier in the day, finished with eight points and seven rebounds. Courtesy of: santacruzsentinel.com
Austin Spurs Defeat Sioux Falls Skyforce 122-105 - 2 days ago
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The Austin Spurs (16-19), presented by SWBC, defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce (23-14), 122-105, at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park Thursday evening. On assignment from San Antonio, Bryn Forbes (6'3''-G-93, college: Michigan St.) set a new team season-high with 36 points (13-17 FG, 6-8 3P, 4-4 FT) and paced the Spurs with 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes. Patricio Garino (6'6''-G/F-93, college: G.Washington) added 18 points and 3 rebounds in 31 minutes, while Charles Garcia contribut... [read more]
The Austin Spurs (16-19), presented by SWBC, defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce (23-14), 122-105, at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park Thursday evening. On assignment from San Antonio, Bryn Forbes (6'3''-G-93, college: Michigan St.) set a new team season-high with 36 points (13-17 FG, 6-8 3P, 4-4 FT) and paced the Spurs with 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 36 minutes. Patricio Garino (6'6''-G/F-93, college: G.Washington) added 18 points and 3 rebounds in 31 minutes, while Charles Garcia contributed 15 points (5-9 FG, 5-10 FT), 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in 21 minutes off the bench. In his first game back from All-Star Weekend, Cory Jefferson (6'9''-F-90, college: Baylor) recorded his thirteenth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Austin held the lead throughout the game, up by as many as 20 points in the second quarter. The Spurs finished the half ahead 63-50, paced by Forbes' 27 points. In the second half, Sioux Falls attempted a comeback, but could only pull within 12 points. For the night, Austin shot .547 from the field and .476 from beyond the arc, while holding Sioux Falls to .411 and .200, respectively. For Sioux Falls, Patrick Miller (6'1''-PG-92, college: Tennessee St.) finished with 22 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in 33 minutes, while Bubu Palo (6'1''-G-91, college: Iowa St.) chipped in with 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists in 34 minutes. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
In their first game back from the all-star break, the D-Fenders fell to the Texas Legends on Wednesday at the Dr. Pepper Arena, 135-120. Los Angeles (27-9) was led by 22 points from Vander Blue (6'5''-SG-92, college: Marquette), who added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Rookie David Nwaba (6'4''-G-93, college: Cal Poly - SLO) totaled 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for his seventh double-double of the season. Justin Harper (6'10''-F-89, college: Richmond) and Troy DeVr... [read more]
In their first game back from the all-star break, the D-Fenders fell to the Texas Legends on Wednesday at the Dr. Pepper Arena, 135-120. Los Angeles (27-9) was led by 22 points from Vander Blue (6'5''-SG-92, college: Marquette), who added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Rookie David Nwaba (6'4''-G-93, college: Cal Poly - SLO) totaled 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for his seventh double-double of the season. Justin Harper (6'10''-F-89, college: Richmond) and Troy DeVries (6'4''-G-82, college: N.Mexico) each chipped in 14 points for the away team, and Josh Magette helped to facilitate the offense with his 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Newly-acquired center DeJuan Blair (6'7''-F/C-89, college: Pittsburgh) finished with four points, four rebounds and one assist in 12 minutes of action. Texas (16-18) was guided by a 30-point, 14-rebound performance from Jameel Warney, while C.J. Williams (6'5''-G-90, college: N.Carolina St.) led all scorers with 32 points. Pierre Jackson followed closely with 20 points and 12 assists. Former D-Fenders Manny Harris (6'5''-F/G-89, college: Michigan) (22 points, nine rebounds) and Stephane Lasme (6'8''-C-82, college: Massachusetts) (11 points, 10 rebounds) rounded out the home team's double-digit scorers. The D-Fenders trailed 72-69 at halftime, despite 18 first-half points from Blue. A lopsided third quarter proved costly for Los Angeles as the team was outscored 35-21 out of the break. The Legends led by as much as 23 in the third period - their largest lead of the day - before maintaining a double-digit margin for the remainder of the evening. Overall, Los Angeles shot 41.9 percent from the field but connected on only 27.0 percent of their three-point attempts. Powered by a starting unit that combined for 115 points, Texas converted on 52.7 percent of their attempts on the day. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
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