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NBA D-League Power Rankings: January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012: It's a New Year and thankfully the vexing propensity of teams placed in the top spot of the D-League Power Rankings promptly settling into a slump is a thing of the past, as the Austin Toros actually won a game after climbing to the top of the ladder. With the unbalanced holiday schedule (some teams played one game, while others competed in as many as four) and rosters settling in after the NBA squads were finalized, there has been plenty of movement in the Power Rankings as the premier event of the season -- the D-League Showcase, Jan. 9-12, at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada -- approaches.

----- 1st last week
Austin maintained first place in the Power Rankings by completing the two-game sweep of Springfield at the Cedar Park Center with a 104-92 victory on Friday. Forward Jamarr Sanders led the way with a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Terrance Woodbury poured in a game-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Austin hosts Maine and Texas this week before host ingTulsa on Sunday prior to the Showcase.
3rd last week
Iowa moved up a spot after recording a 108-86 victory over the Idaho Stampede on the Friday before the New Year. Point guard Nick Covington paced the defending D-League Champions with 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in just his second game with the squad. Top prospect Moses Ehambe chipped in with 19 points for the Energy. Iowa hits the road for a pair of games at Sioux Falls this weekend.
5th last week
Los Angeles climbed a few rungs on the Power Rankings ladder thanks to a three-game win streak, including a 104-94 victory over the local rival Bakersfield Jam on Wednesday night. Brandon Costner (24 points) and Elijah Millsap (21 points) sparked the D-Fenders to the big win, which pushed LA's record to 11-6. The D-Fenders have an away-and-home doubleheader with Reno on Jan 6-7.
7th last week
Rio Grande Valley celebrated the New Year with a three-game win streak and also climbed up the Power Rankings accordingly -- sparked by a New Year's Eve and Day sweep of the Maine Red Claws. Forward Tyren Johnson scored 30 points, dished out 13 assists and grabbed 12 rebounds in the two games at Maine, while guard Kelvin Lewis scored 33 points across both sides of the holidy double-header. The Vipers host the Dakota Wizards for a pair of games this weekend (Jan 6-7).
2nd last week
Bakersfield dropped a few spots after a substandard -- for them -- 1-2 week, where they split a pair of games against Reno and dropped a 104-94 decision to fellow Golden State squad Los Angeles on Wed, Jan 4. Guard Jeremy Wise scored a team-high 17 points for the Jam against LA, while Seton Hall product Jeremy Hazell chipped in with 14 points off the bench. Bakersfield looks to get back on the winning track this weekend when they host the Idaho Stampede for a pair of games.
4th last week
Tulsa dropped two games and two spots in the Power Rankings this week. The 66ers fell to Idaho (Jan 29) and Texas (Jan 30) and are slated to host Texas, Maine and Austin this week prior to heading out to the D-League Showcase. Former UConn guard Jerome Dyson leads Tulsa in scoring (18.8 points per game0 and assists (4.1 apg).
9th last week
Reno went 3-1 for the week, including back-to-back wins over Fort Wayne, sparked by D-League Co-Performers of the Week, Blake Ahearn and Andre Emmett. Ahearn scored 19 points and dished out five assists in the Wed, Jan 4 win over the Mad Ants, while Emmett scored a team-high 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Bighorns. Reno has back-to-back games against the LA D-Fenders on Jan 6-7.
6th last week
JamesOn Curry had 22 points and L.D. Williams scored 18 but the Armor lost to the Toros 104-92 in Austin on Dec 30 in Springfield's lone game since last week's Power Rankings. With the loss, the Armor drop a few spots, but Springield looks to get back into the win column when it hosts a pair of games with local rival Erie this week.
10th last week
Dakota defeated local rival Sioux Falls twice last week to reach the .500 mark for the season entering the New Year. Forward Mike Anderson led the Wizards with 20 points and eight rebounds, while guard Justin Johnson added 14 points off the bench in Saturday's 93-88 victory in Bismarck. The Wizards travel to Rio Grande Valley for a pair of games this weekend prior to the Showcase.
8th last week
The Charge went 1-2 for the week, defeating Maine prior to falling to Erie and Fort Wayne. Newcomer Christian Eyenga, assigned by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Charge this week, should provide a nice spark this weekend when Canton has a home-and-away series against the Mad Ants.
-----11th last week
Idaho went 1-1 for the week, maintaining their hold on 11th place in the Power Rankings. The Stampede beat the Tulsa 66ers 95-77 on Dec 29, with guard Terrico White scoring 16 points in his first game as a member of the squad. Forward Paul Carter, another newcomer to the Idaho squad, grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. The Stampede travel to California for a pair of tough games against Bakersfield this weekend.
13th last week
Erie dropped a tough one to Los Angeles last week, but recovered with a solid 98-92 victory over local rival the Canton, snapping the Charge's four-game winning streak. Guard Kyle Spain scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the BayHawks, while center Chris Daniels scored 13 points and dominated the defensive paint with five blocks. Erie plays a pair of games at Springfield this weekend.
16th last week
Texas split a pair of games last week, including a big 96-87 victory over the Tulsa 66ers on Dec 30. Guard Chris Roberts scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench for the Legends, while teammate Dominique Johnson scored 17 points and pulled five boards. Texas plays at Tulsa and Austin before returning home on Sunday to host Maine.
------14th last week
Fort Wayne went 1-3 last week but the victory was a cracker, as the Mad Ants edged the Charge 104-103 on New Year's Day. LSU product Darnell Lazare led Fort Wayne with a game-high 24 points, including 12 in the decisive fourth quarter. Guard Darington Hobson scored 22 points and dished out five assists for Fort Wayne, which has two games this weekend with the same Canton Charge team prior the D-League Showcase.
12th last week
The Skyforce lost a pair of games fo the Dakota Wizards over New Year's weekend but reinforcements are on the way as former NBA forward Trey Gilder was acquired from the Canton Charge in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2012 D-League Draft. Sioux Falls hosts the defending D-League champion Iowa Energy in a pair of games this weekend.
15th last week
Maine lost three games over the holiday period and embarks on a tough road trip this weekend, with games at Austin, Tulsa and the Texas Legnds. The Red Claws did make some news over the holidays, however, as former Boston Celtic Ricky Davis signed with the club.