The Erie BayHawks should've gone 2-0 on this weekend road trip. They didn't. The Erie BayHawks could've gone 0-2 on this weekend road trip. They didn't. After the smoke cleared on two games in two cities in a span of 18 hours, the BayHawks wound up 1-1.
I watched (and tweeted throughout) all of Friday night's giveaway game, which Erie lost 82-78 against a roster-depleted Maine Red Claws team. I watched none of Erie's 93-91 win over Springfield this afternoon, which featured Mike Gansey hitting the game winning layup with just seconds remaining.
There's a lot to cover from these two games, so I'll offer some quick notes on each game along with the video highlights and then go on to a player-by-player analysis for the BayHawks.
Erie BayHawks 78 at Maine Red Claws 82
With J.R. Giddens getting recalled by the Celtics, and Alexis Ajinca and Billy Thomas out with injuries, the Red Claws had a makeshift roster heading into this one that included two players making their team debuts, Russell Robinson and Dominique Coleman. Despite shooting 1-15 from 3-point range, the Red Claws found a way to win, outscoring the BayHawks 32-17 over the final 15:25 of the game.
Erie BayHawks 93 at Springfield Armor 91
The BayHawks overcame the early 1 p.m. tipoff, staying within a point at the end of one and taking the lead at the half in this one. It's no surprise that a game that featured 13 ties and 13 lead changes came down to the wire. Mike Gansey hit a driving layup with just 8 seconds to play, and T.J. Cummings missed a jumper that would've tied the game for Springfield as time ran out. Springfield star Morris Almond didn't get the start, but he still managed to score a game-high 28 points, going 12-13 from the free throw line.
- Mike Gansey's calf must be feeling better. Not only did he tie for the team-high scorer in both games (21 vs. Maine, 27 vs. Springfield), the sharpshooting guard also played all 96 minutes of this weekend's game action. In addition to scoring the game winner against Springfield, Gansey was hot from the outside, connecting on 8 of 17 from 3 in the two games combined.
- Like Gansey, Jackie Manuel played every minute of the way this weekend. He didn't shoot well (just 7-24 in the two games) but he contributed in other facets of the game—5 steals, 2 blocks—and the team is noticeably more active defensively when he's in the game. He also converted a team-high 11-12 free throws in today's win against Springfield.
- The box score show that Frank Tolbert got the start in both games as a forward.
Considering how much more often he handled the ball than Manuel, I'm going to disagree. That said, Tolbert isn't fooling anyone into believing he's a point guard. His 0.9 assist-to-turnover ratio is not good, but the crucial nature of the turnovers actually made it worse, really costing them some crucial possessions against Maine. He also blew a dunk in that one and continued his shooting woes. Not a good weekend for Tolbert.
- The fourth and final player that started both games this weekend was Ivan Harris, who shot the ball well (14-22 from the field, 3-6 from 3). Of course, more than 6 of those 22 attempts should have been 3s if Harris didn't have such an affection for shooting the long, foot-on-the-line 2-point jumpshot. This has been an issue that's bothered me all year long. Since it doesn't look like it's going to be changing anytime soon, I tweeted during the Maine game to start calling the long, foot-on-the-line 2-point jumpshot a "Harris" for the sake of concise language.
- The biggest question of the weekend is what is going on with Alade Aminu? Unless he's got some sort of unreported illness or something, there is no reason he should play a COMBINED 38 minutes in two games. After getting off to a slow start against Maine, coach Treloar took Aminu out of the game at the 5:54 mark of the first quarter. He didn't return until early in the fourth quarter. Then today, Aminu didn't even get the start, entered almost 9 minutes into the game, and played a total of just 21:26, scoring just 2 points on 0-4 shooting. I'm not sure if more of the blame goes to coach Treloar for not giving Aminu the minutes or to Alade for underachieving, but these two performances definitely hinder him, especially when inconsistency has been the biggest critique of his game as he tries to earn an NBA call-up.
- As much as Alade Aminu wants to forget about his weekend, John Bryant wants to remember it. Big Bad John went for 12 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots on Friday, and he was even better today with a much more efficient shooting performance for 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots. Are Scott Schroeder and I the only two who think Bryant and Aminu should be starting and playing together for the BayHawks? The starting five should be Bryant, Aminu, Manuel, Gansey, and a point guard, but probably not Tyc Snow.
- As reported by Duane Rankin, point guard Tyc Snow tried out for the BayHawks all six times they've had open tryouts since the franchise began last season. This weekend, his persistence finally paid off as he made his BayHawks. With Cedric Jackson playing for the Cavs and Cliff Clinkscales a late scratch with an injury, the team needed to find a fill-in at point guard. Snow played just 20 minutes total with 3 assists and 2 turnovers in each outing. Snow likely will last until either Jackson and/or former BayHawk Maureece Rice returns to the team.
- Jarvis Gunter saw limited action in both games, but he was the third big man in the rotation, behind Aminu and Bryant, but ahead of Kyle Goldcamp, who ironically has not played at all in the three games since this article was published with the headline "Goldcamp seeing more action with BayHawks."
- Cliff Clinkscales missed both games with a foot/ankle injury.
- Cedric Jackson played just 2 minutes in a Cavaliers 94-73 blowout victory over the Pacers. The BayHawks call-up scored his first NBA point (on 1-4 shooting from the free throw line) to go along with 1 rebound and 1 turnover. Despite Cleveland's shortage at guard, Jackson has played just 5 minutes total in 3 games with the Cavaliers.