For the second consecutive season, CBS Sports Network will televise a portion of the NBA Developmental League schedule — this year’s slate includes 10 regular season games, two NBA D-League showcase tune ups, postseason and D-League finals coverage.
CBS Sports Network is available to more than 99 million households in the United States.
The Austin Toros’ March regular season meeting against the Maine Red Claws and their last home game against the Canton Charge is slated for the CBS Sports Network. Live streaming of every Toros game is available on YouTube this season.
Nando De Colo and Aron Baynes, who had one-game stints with the Austin Toros before being called back up, were reassigned to the Toros today along with the San Antonio Spurs’ recently-signed Malcolm Thomas, who has previously played in Austin.
As Paul Garcia noted on our sister site, Project Spurs, Baynes finished with with 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in Austin’s 114-102 victory over the Delaware 87ers while De Colo scored a game-high 29 points, along with eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals.
Thomas, a former San Diego State teammate of Spurs starting small forward Kawhi Leonard, previously played for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the D-League. Through two games this season, he was averaging a league-best 33.5 points and 15.5 rebounds.
All three players are available for today’s home game against the Reno Bighorns, which will be starting shortly.
Baynes finished with with 24 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in Austin’s 114-102 victory over the Delaware 87ers.
De Colo scored a game-high 29 points, along with eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals.
Austin created 26 turnovers in their 114-102 victory, snapping their two-game losing streak. Delaware’s 14-0 run in the third quarter cut the margin to two points with 1:32 remaining in the third period. De Colo and Baynes accounted for 18 of the Toros’ 21 points in the first seven minutes of the final period.
The Toros will play the 1-2 Texas Legends Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Many expected former Phoenix Suns forward Alando Tucker to be headed to the Capitol city with the Austin Toros’ second overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft.
Just before draft night started, the Toros decided to shake things up, by hipping the rights to the second pick to the Texas Legends in return for guard Justin Dentmon.
Dentmon, a 6-foot guard out of Washington. averaged 19.1 points, four assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game for the Legends last season.
While Dentmon declined a bit with fewer minutes in the playoffs, he shined in the final two regular season games against the Toros, which obviously had a lasting impact. In 39 minutes, the former Mavericks prospect finished the game with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals as he slashed through the Toros defense and Toros guards had troubles staying in front of him.
I’m not too surprised about the trade considering Dentmon gives the Toros added scoring and some depth at the guard positions. The Toros front court is also jam-packed with players that can play small forward, including Lance Thomas, Leo Lyons and Kevin Palmer. The addition of Tucker, while a good prospect for the Spurs, would likely stunt the growth and development of the Toros’ young forwards.
Here’s a rundown of some of the Toros’ other draft night selections.
• Tristan Thompson
With their next pick in the draft, the Toros selected Tristan Thompson, a 6-5 guard from North Texas, not to be confused with the former Longhorns center.
Thompson played all four years at North Texas, averaging 18 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Thompson is primarily regarded as a high-percentage shooter, finishing his senior season with a career high from the field (.459) and from beyond the arch (.418).
His best game of the season came late in the season against Florida Atlantic. He shot 60 percent from the field, made both of his three-pointers and got to the line 20 times, finishing the game with 36 points. Thompson also led the Mean Green in big wins over Texas Tech and LSU.
Thompson could see some time behind Aubrey Coleman at shooting guard.
• Omar Reed
In the third round, the Toros picked up Omar Reed, formerly of Bluefield College.
The 6-6 swingman is yet another scorer, but he plays big for his size. In his last season at Bluefield, Reed averaged 24 points and nine rebounds per game.
Reed is comfortable playing inside and backing his man down. On the wing, he has the speed and athleticism to drive to the rim. While he can shoot the outside shot, his shot selection is suspect.
He’ll be able to play at either shooting guard or small forward for the Toros, but his best bet is competing for minutes at shooting guard.
• The Rest
The Toros also selected guard Solomon Bozeman (6-1, 175 Arkansas-Little Rock), guard Myles McKay (6-4, 195 Wisconsin-Whitewater), forward Dan Vandervieren (6-10, 265 Concordia), guard James Lewis (6-3, 200 Fresno Pacific) and forward Jerel Hastings (6-5, 215 Albany).
With so many guards, that’ll leave several players competing for a few spots. They’ll have the opportunity to battle it out when training camp starts in Austin on November 14.
Austin Toros forward Leo Lyons will be working out for the San Antonio Spurs tomorrow, according to Lyons’ twitter stream.
Lyons, who joined the Spurs D-League affiliate in January, averaged 14.9 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes per game last season. The second half of the D-League season proved to be Lyons’ best, as he regularly finished in double figures regardless of the constant Toros roster changes.
It didn’t take long for Lyons work to get noticed, as he was named the D-League Performer of the Week in February, averaging 31.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and two assists in a three-game stretch.
In the final game of the Toros season against the Texas Legends, the 6-9 forward finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
After covering the Toros all season, it’s easy to see that Lyons is destined for the NBA and he has the character that would make him a perfect fit for the Spurs.
Lyons can play both forward positions and is a versatile offensive player, with the ability to shoot outside or drive inside. He certainly isn’t your prototypical 6-9 power forward. He is quick enough on his feet to defend on the perimeter and will not back down in the post. He also has the handles of a point guard and can break down his defender for a mid-range jumper or drive and finish or get fouled.
We’ll be talking to Lyons after his workout tomorrow, so be sure to look for his interview tomorrow. For more information on Lyons, you can read a one-on-one interview Jeff Garcia did fwith Lyons earlier in the D-League season.
San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Danny Green was assigned to the Austin Toros today.
But it’ll be a short stint for Green, who will only play one game as a member of the Toros, since they are now officially out of playoff contention, regardless if they beat the Texas Legends tonight.
Green (#4, 6’6”, 210, 6/22/87) most recently signed with the Spurs on March 16, appearing in three games totaling 7 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. He originally signed with the Spurs on November 17, when he appeared in two games, totaling 6 points in 9 minutes, before being released on November 23. In between those two stints with the Spurs, Green saw action in 16 games with the Reno Bighorns, where he averaged 20.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.38 steals in 37.4 minutes per game. He shot .451 (114-253) from the field, .434 (36-83) from three-point territory and .795 (58-73) from the free throw line.
Green showed the Spurs a glimpse of what they can expect from him when he was on the floor for 20 minutes against the Trailblazers. He hit all three of his shots from the field, including one three-pointer and his defense was on display against Portland’s backcourt.
Travis Atkins will be covering the Toros vs. Legends game tonight, so look for a full report on his Austin debut tomorrow morning.
The Spurs, today, announced that they have assigned newly-signed forward Da’Sean Butler to the Austin Toros.
Butler was cleared to play three weeks ago, and will be joining the Toros for their final three regular season games on a rehab stint, similar to James Anderson’s two stints with Austin.
Butler, a 6-7, 230-pound forward out of the University of West Virginia, was signed by the Spurs on March 25. He was originally selected by the Miami Heat with the 42nd pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He signed with the Heat on August 30 and was later waived on October 25. He has been out of action since suffering a torn left ACL in the 2010 Final Four against Duke on April 3. Butler played four seasons with the Mountaineers, finishing with 107 career wins, the most in school history. As a senior, he was named First Team All-Big East, averaging a team-high 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 38 games.
The extra help at small forward couldn’t come at a better time, as the Toros have not announced a timeline for forward Lance Thomas’ return after he suffered an epileptic seizure during Saturday’s game against the Idaho Stampede.
With the loss of Thomas, the Toros went to a three guard lineup on Sunday. The Toros are also one of several bubble teams batting for a playoff seed. If Butler can contribute right away, that could help their cause even more.
Aside from that, Toros forward Michael Joiner says Butler will bring energy to the Toros.
“I think he will fit in fine,” Joiner said. “A lot of youth on the team so their will be a lot of energy and chemistry.”
Toros fans can see Butler in action tomorrow night as he and the Toros will be in Reno to take on the Bighorns at 9 p.m. CST. The game will be available via futurecast.