The Erie BayHawks set the bar high by posting a 27-23 record and qualifying for the postseason in their inaugural season last year. The team had high hopes for the 2009-10 season despite an opening day roster that returned just three players from last year’s team. In fact, they were ranked fourth in the initial D-League power rankings.
But after winning the season opener on the road against Fort Wayne, Erie lost seven of their next eight games and never again rose above the .500 mark. The midseason trade that brought in Mike Gansey and late-season trade that brought in Blake Ahearn provided small boosts, but the team was unable to find a consistent winning formula, finishing the season 21-29, sixth in the East Conference and six games back of the eighth playoff spot.
Here now is part one of three of my month-by-month review of the BayHawks’ 2009-10 season, a season that was ultimately disappointing but not without its share of memorable moments.
Record: 1-1 (0-0 Home, 1-1 Road)
Erie 85, Fort Wayne 77 (box | review)
Erie 82, Fort Wayne 93 (box | review)
Nov. 6: Acquired Alade Aminu from Fort Wayne for rights to Rob Kurz.
Nov. 16: Waived Derrick Mercer, Raheem Moss, Jeff Skemp, and Ryan Troutman.
Nov. 18: Waived Joe Jones.
Nov. 25: Waived Oliver Lafayette and Rod Wilmont.
BayHawks Player of the Month
John Bryant: 37 mpg, 15 ppg, 14 rpg, 2 bpg
Lafayette and Wilmont both signed with the Mad Ants soon after Erie cut them. Both would factor into Fort Wayne victories over Erie later in the season. Kurz pushed for a trade and had little or no interest in playing for the BayHawks, but I can't help but wonder how the season would've played out differently had he been on the roster all season in place of Aminu, who was himself eventually traded to Bakersfield.
Record: 3-8 (1-5 Home, 2-3 Road)
Erie 101, Sioux Falls 110 (box | review)
Erie 109, Sioux Falls 107 OT (box | review via D-League)
Maine 116, Erie 90 (box | review)
Maine 81, Erie 77 (box | review)
Maine 96, Erie 75 (box | review)
Erie 88, Iowa 95 (box | review)
Erie 89, Iowa 99 (box | review)
Erie 108, Springfield 94 (box | review)
Iowa 99, Erie 90 (box | review)
Iowa 100, Erie 95 OT (box | review)
Bakersfield 78, Erie 91 (box | review)
Dec. 18: Acquired Cliff Clinkscales. Waived Zach Sowers.
Dec. 31: Acquired Mike Gansey in a trade with Idaho for Donell Taylor.
BayHawks Player of the Month
Jackie Manuel: 42 mpg, 14.2 ppg, 6 rpg, 1.9 stocks (steals+blocks) per game
This wasthe month the train got off track. Erie lost its first five home games and sputtered offensively, failing to score 95 points seven times in 11 games. Fairly or not, Erie's offensive disarray was traced back to the failed experiment to play Donell Taylor at point guard. As a result, Taylor was shipped to Idaho for Mike Gansey, which also allowed rookie Cedric Jackson to take over the role of point guard. The Dec. 27 loss at home to Iowa was among the worst of the season for the BayHawks as they blew a 30-point lead before bowing out in overtime.