Amaker Recruits Run the D-League

Dylan Burkhardt

I linked to an article last week about Courtney Sims’ blossoming D-league career. I was intrigued, I wanted to see if it was a couple fluky performances from Courtney or if he was new and improved. Well Courtney led the Iowa Energy into a battle with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants Friday night and much to my disbelief Courtney had continued his streak with more monster numbers: 34 points on 13-17 shooting with 14 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 5 turnovers in 47 minutes. Courtney led all scorers and willed the Energy to the overtime victory over the Mad Ants.

Being the curious blogger that I am, I took a look at the box score and noticed another ex-Wolverine going head to head with King Court. Chris Hunter led the Mad Ants with 31 points (13-25) and 13 rebounds. I wondered if both Michigan products mutually agreed not to play defense Friday night (Chris probably wouldn’t have to change his game much) but it appears Chris is having a very good year in the D-league as well.

Sims is averaging 23.8 ppg (5th in the league) and 12.5 rpg (tied for 2nd with Hunter) and 5.2 bpg (1st). Hunter is averaging 20.4 ppg, 12.5 rpg (2nd), and 2.2 bpg (5th).

In all honesty, I’m happy for these guys that they are playing well. I know Courtney got a little time with the Pacers and it’d be great if he gets another chance. Many of these guys’ careers will be remembered as a disappointment and these performances may even vindicate those feelings. However, the bottom line is they both graduated (I believe) and continue to represent this university.

Where Are They?

If you were wondering… Several other guys with some kind of Michigan ties are in the D-league as well: Joe Crawford leads the league in scoring. Malik Hairston probably doesn’t have such a huge Nike contract. Brent Petway’s field goal percentage indicates he is still a fan of the dunk. Dion Harris is playing ball in Poland and averaging 10.8 ppg Cyprus! Daniel Horton is playing in France and averaging 12ppg.

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  • BJ

    I remember hearing a while ago that Louis Bullock was dominating in Italy

  • This serves to reinforce the popular wisdom that Amaker was a quasi-decent recruiter, but could teach his way out of a paper bag.

  • Rob
  • Giddings

    Credit812, you nailed it on the head. There’s a reason why guys like Courtney, Chris Hunter, Brent Petway, Dion Harris, etc were all 4-star recruits on Rivals and Scout – they were talented, athletic players with tons of potential. Problem is, Tommy simply could not bring out that potential.

    Of course, it’s easier to bring out potential when the players have the right attitude (which is why Beilein may have stayed away from guys like Dion and Courtney).

  • Mat

    Looks like Harris is actually in Cyprus now. I think the eurobasket profile hasn’t been updated to reflect this season.

  • SFH

    Notably, one Mateen Cleaves is also a D-League regular these days. What a pain in the ass that guy was in college.

  • jg

    agree with credit and giddings. the contrast has a lot to do with the quality of amaker’s motivational tactics and coaching ability or lack thereof.

    I hope those guys continue to find success in the d-league. They won some memorable games in crisler over the years.

  • ohmigods

    one ex player i respected and felt sorry for
    (playing for ellerbe) is Lavell Blanchard.
    i believe he is playing in Cyprus also.

  • mike wall

    Blanchard is playing in Cyprus! Put up 31 and 22 in his last two games