D-League Dream Factory Friday Night Preview

Idaho's Lance Allred will be trying his hand at H.O.R.S.E.
Otto Kitsinger/Getty Images/NBAE

by Matthew Brennan, D-League.com

NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2008 – All-Star weekend just got even more exciting with the introduction of D-League Dream Factory Friday Night. This year's inaugural event, which will be held at Jam Session Center Court in New Orleans on February 15 at 9 p.m. ET, features D-League players (and even some fans), participating in four different events, including the long awaited return of H.O.R.S.E. to All-Star Weekend. Let's take a look at each event, the event rules, and the participants.

H.O.R.S.E. Rules

Two preliminary rounds of two games each will be played with the winners of the first two rounds competing in a final round for the title of H.O.R.S.E. Champion. Each round will be capped at five minutes, and will utilize a 24 second shot clock. Participants will be outfitted with a wireless microphone in order for fans to hear the player call his shot.

H.O.R.S.E. Participants
NO.
PLAYER (TEAM)
POS.
HT.
WT.
BIRTHDATE
FROM
41 Lance Allred (Idaho) C 6-11 250 2/1/81 Weber State
24 Morris Almond (Utah) G 6-6 225 2/2/85 Rice
15 Kasib Powell
(Sioux Falls)
F 6-7 215 3/18/81 Texas Tech
23 Jeremy Richardson (Fort Wayne) F 6-7 190 2/11/83 Delta State

H.O.R.S.E., the staple of gyms and playgrounds everywhere, makes a return to All-Star weekend and four D-League All-Stars will be trying to match each other's trick shots. It might be difficult to predict a winner in an event like this, but Utah's Morris Almond could be a favorite after scoring a D-League record 53 points last week. Fort Wayne's Jeremy Richardson, who earned GATORADE Call-Ups to the Spurs and the Grizzlies this season, is the most accurate long-range shooter after connecting on .409 (18-44) of his attempts from beyond the arc this season. The majority of Idaho All-Star big man Lance Allred's shots come from within the paint, but both he and Sioux Fall's Kasib Powell could have some tricks up their sleeves. Allred is a perfect 2-2 from three-point range this season, so maybe he has some unknown wrinkles to his game that will be unveiled through the game of H.O.R.S.E. The event and the rest of Dream Factory Friday Night will be streamed live on D-League.com so be sure to check it out if you can't make it to the event in New Orleans.

Dunk Contest Rules

The Slam Dunk Competition, which will consist of two rounds of two dunks each, will begin with each dunker submitting their top two dunks and selecting a fan from the crowd who will choose the first dunk to be performed in the first round of competition. A composite total of the scores from the first round of dunks of competition will be tallied for each dunker and the dunkers with the two highest scores will compete in a Championship round consisting of two dunk attempts. Participants will be allowed one replacement dunk per attempt.

Dunk Contest Participants
NO.
PLAYER (TEAM)
POS.
HT.
WT.
BIRTHDATE
FROM
15 Brent Petway (Idaho) F 6-8 210 5/12/85 Michigan
24 Eric Smith (Fort Wayne) F 6-8 210 5/13/83 Virginia
4 Mike Taylor (Idaho) G 6-2 165 1/21/86 Iowa State
21 Doug Thomas (Iowa) F 6-9 235 9/20/83 Iowa

"Air Georgia", Idaho's Brent Petway, has to be considered the favorite here. Petway was the first runner-up in last year's 2007 NCAA Dunk Contest at the Final Four, so he has already proven that he can bring it in the dunk contest format. If you don't remember, Brent refreshes your memory in the first entry to his D-Scribes blog. Petway, who is a key player off the bench for the 22-5 Stampede, will be joined in the contest by his teammate Mike Taylor. Taylor is the shortest participant at 6-2, which might be able to gain him some love from the crowd. Two big men will also try their hand in the dunk contest in the form of Iowa's 6-9 Doug Thomas and Fort Wayne's 6-8 Eric Smith. The size difference between the competitors should make this contest even more entertaining, as it could come down to a power vs. style compeitition.

Tulsa's Adam Harrington is one of the league's most accurate three-point shooters.
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images/NBAE
Three-Point Shootout Rules

Each competitor will have 60 seconds to sink up to 21 three-pointers from seven shooting stations assembled around the three-point line. Each station will have two orange balls (worth one point each) and one “money” ball (worth two points) which may only be attempted after both orange balls have been shot. The participants with the top two scores from the first round will advance to the championship round.

Three-Point Shootout Participants
NO.
PLAYER (TEAM)
POS.
HT.
WT.
BIRTHDATE
FROM
7 Josh Gross (Albuquerque) F 6-6 205 11/25/83 UNC-Greensboro
21 Adam Harrington (Tulsa) F 6-5 200 6/5/80 Auburn
15 Keith Langford (Austin) G 6-4 210 9/15/83- Kansas
50 Kaniel Dickens (Colorado) F 6-8 235 7/21/78 Idaho

Four of the league's premier long-distance marksmen will be competing in the three-point shootout. Colorado's Kaniel Dickens could be the favorite here as he is dominated the leaderboard in three-pointers made with 88 to date. Tulsa's Adam Harrington, who has made 48 this season, will represent the Tulsa's 66ers while Albuquerque's Josh Gross has made 25 shots from beyond the arc this season. Austin's Keith Langford, one of the league's leading scorers, has connected on 39 of his 93 long-range attempts this season. Since this contest is about accuracy (in addition to quantity), Harrington will also be a force to be reckoned with as he has connected on 50 percent (48-96) of his three-point field goals this season.

Hot-Shot Participants

Hot-Shot participants take to the floor to compete in a race against the clock to score the most points with the help of a D-League fan. Each team will have one minute to tally the highest score from four designated shooting spots on the court, including a one-point layup, a two-point foul shot, a three-pointer from behind the arc, and a five-point half-court shot, with the fan only eligible to shoot from the lay-up position. Two teams will compete simultaneously, one on each end of the court, during the first round with the winners advancing to a final round of head-to-head competition where the stakes are high – the fan from the winning squad will have an opportunity to be a judge in the Slam Dunk Competition.

Hot-Shot Rules
NO.
PLAYER (TEAM)
POS.
HT.
WT.
BIRTHDATE
FROM
7 Andre Barrett (Bakersfield) G 5-10 173 2/21/82 Seton Hall
32 Randy Livingston (Idaho) G 6-4 210 4/2/75 LSU
15 Carlos Powell (Dakota) F 6-7 220 8/29/83 South Carolina
18 Billy Thomas (Colorado) G 6-5 220 12/23/75 Kansas

Four of the league's best ballhandlers and shooters will take part in this contest, including Randy Livingston and Andre Barrett, who are ranked 1-2 in assists in the D-League. Colorado's Billy Thomas is also one of the league's best point guards, earning a GATORADE Call-Up to the Nets earlier this season. The reigning D-League Performer of the Week, Dakota's Carlos Powell, rounds out the field. Powell is one of the league's leading scorers, checking in at third in the league with 22.3 points per game. Of course, this event features fan involvement, so their skills could make all of the difference when it comes to which team emerges as the winner.