Archive for December, 2016

Playing along side dominant scorers Manny Harris and the recently departed Pierre Jackson, Kyle Collinsworth is far for the first option for the D-League’s Texas Legends.

It also means Collinsworth doesn’t have the ball in his hands nearly as much when he was a triple-double machine for the BYU Cougars.

While his shot attempts and assist totals have reflected his opportunities on such a deep team, he has started to make strides on the offensive end of the floor.

His growth was evident in a Legends’ 112-104 loss to the Reno Big Horns when he finished with a career-high 14 points on 6 for 9 shooting from the floor. He added nine rebounds and five assists while tying his career-high with four steals while playing 31 minutes.

A huge part of his growth has come from an improved touch from beyond the arc where he has connected on four of his last six attempts after making one of his first 14. That has pushed his 3-point percentage on the season from 7.1 percent up to 25.

He showed off that stroke in the loss to the Bighorns as he connected on 2 for 4 from deep, including a corner three in the third quarter that cut the deficit to eight. A key to the wide open look was that he didn’t hesitate to let the shot fly.

He added his second 3-pointer of the night late in the fourth after a little fake created extra space before he squared up and hit nothing but net from the right wing.

His solid night pushed his averages to 6.6 points on 44.5 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 7.5 rebounds (3.2 on the offensive end), 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals in 27.6 minutes a game.

Those numbers place him eighth in the league in offensive rebounds, 12th in steals, 29th in rebounds, and 31st in assists.

Up next for Collinsworth and the Legends is a week off before they have back-to-back games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

 

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The Shanghai Sharks overcame a terrible first-quarter performance to knock of the Guangzhou Long-Lions 100-93 on the road on Friday.

The Sharks scored just 13 points in the first quarter as they fell behind by 14 points before turning up the offense. They scored 27 points in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 10 at the break before taking over in the third.

Shanghai put together a 60-point second half, while holding the Long-Lions to just 43 points to improve to 21-2 on the season.

Guerschon Yabusele and Jimmer Fredette led the way for the Sharks in the win. Yabusele finished with a game-high 29 points on 10 for 17 shooting from the floor, including 5 for 8 from beyond the arc to go along with eight rebounds.

Fredette registered 28 points on 10 for 25 shooting from the field, including 2 for 7 from 3-point range and 6 for 7 from the free-throw line. He added eight rebounds, three assists and three steals in 36:49.

Liu XiaoYu also had a big night for Shanghai as he totaled 26 points on 11 for 15 shooting from the floor, including 3 for 5 from distance to go along with five assists and three rebounds.

Zheng Zhun paced the Long-Lions with 19 points on 8 for 16 shooting with five rebounds while D.J. Kennedy added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Alex Stepheson chipped in with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

On the season, Fredette is averaging 39 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor, including 40.9 percent from 3-point land and 92.4 percent from the foul line. He also chips in with 9.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.0 steals.

Up next for Fredette and the Sharks is a huge match-up with the Guandong Southern Tigers.

The Southern Tigers are in second place in the league at 19-4 on the season after a 133-110 loss to Liaoning. Some players to watch are former NBA players, Donald Sloan and Carlos Boozer.

Sloan is averaging 26.3 points, 6.7 assists and 4.9 rebounds while Boozer puts up 15.6 points and 11.1 rebounds.

Another player of note is former NBA first round pick Yi Jianlian who is averaging 24.6 points and 10.6 rebounds a night.

Will Maupin of SBNation’s Mid-major Madness released his West Coast Conference basketball Power Rankings and the BYU Cougars landed in the familiar No. 3 spot once again.

Talking about the Cougars’ 9-4 nonconference schedule, he writes, “Last season, also with a 9-4 nonconference record, they missed the NCAA Tournament. We’re far enough into this season to say with certainty that they’re on the same track again and might need to win the WCC Tournament to snag a bid.”

After talking about how the Cougars fared in their tougher games, he then turns his attention to conference play, saying, “They’ll get four more shots at quality wins in WCC play, but if that 1-3 record isn’t enough now, a 1-3 record against Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s won’t bolster the resume much either.”

On the positive side, Maupin did have Yoeli Childs on his Team of the Week, saying, “After moving into the starting lineup seven games ago, Childs has blossomed. The freshman averaged 13.5 rebounds over two games last week.”

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