Saturday, September 29, 2007

News and Notes

Over on they have a write-up about Media Day, which was held yesterday. There are also plenty of photos and player portraits to peruse, including the one shown here. Rudy Gay caught a fish "this big".

(Copyright 2007 NBAE. Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Grizzlies announced that they signed two free agents to the training camp roster yesterday -- Kasib Powell and Dontell Jefferson.

Dontell Jefferson is a 23-year old 6'4", 195-pound guard who played two seasons with Atlanta Metropolitan College, then transferred to the University of Arkansas for his final two seasons. He then played professionally last season with the NBADL champion Dakota Wizards, where he averaged 9.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 3.7 apg and 1.37 spg. He was coached there by David Joerger, who was recently hired as a Grizzlies assistant.

Kasib Powell is a 26-year old 6'7', 215-pound forward who attended Texas Tech for 4 years. Powell played professionally overseas in Bosnia, Greece, Russia and Greece. Last year, Powell averaged 9.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.0 apg and 1.4 spg for Spartak (St. Petersburg, Russia) in the Russian Superleague. He attended the training camps of three different teams the past three years: Orlando Magic (2006), Chicago Bulls (2005) and Minnesota Timberwolves (2004).

In other news, it looks like the rest of the sports world has caught on to the story we reported here on Shades of Blue four days ago -- Mark Price is the shooting coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. When news breaks, we're first on the scene with the duct tape.

Marlon Morgan has a nice column in the Commercial Appeal, detailing the fact that the team is actually healthy for this season's training camp -- a big difference from last year's disastrous start. He's got quotes from Brian Cardinal, Damon Stoudamire, Marc Iavaroni and Tarence Kinsey, all of whom are ready to prove that last season was an aberration and that this team was a lot better than their record indicated. Damon, in particular, seems to have a chip on his shoulder going into this season, which could result in him playing a lot more minutes than many fans would have expected after the selection of Mike Conley Jr. on draft night.

Finally, I urge all of you to read Geoff Calkins' column in this morning's Commercial Appeal titled "There's nothing hopeless about the Grizzlies this season". In it, Calkins details just how much things have changed from the standoffish, keep-at-arm's-length approach the organization had employed for the previous few seasons when dealing with its fanbase. The column is highlighted by President of Business Operations Andy Dolich offering his parking space so that a longtime season ticket holder would renew for this season. It is a new era in Memphis for the Grizzlies, so I think everyone should be willing to give them a chance to prove themselves to the community at large.

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