Breaking down the essentials from the NBA D-League's premier event

By the time the dust settles in the Biggest Little City in the World, more than 150 basketball players will have auditioned for a precious few spots in the best basketball league in the world. They'll start on Monday and wrap on Thursday and over the course of those four days, 16 games and hours upon endless hours of hope and scrutiny, futures will be defined.

From teams to watch to players to know to the math that makes this year an extra-special one at Showcase, click here to read the top 10 things you need to know in Reno.
Well-traveled NBA D-League alumnus Ivan Johnson went on a rampage for the Hawks on Thursday night
The studio crew breaks down what to expect from the 8th annual NBA D-League Showcase
The NBA D-League Showcase, where all 16 teams come together to play two games each over a four-day span in one place, is a special thing. Not only do you get to see nonstop hoops played by people who'll one day be NBA fixtures (like, say, these people), but as players do everything they can to stand out in front of NBA scouts, the week takes on the tenor of a reality show.

Before the Showcase tips on Monday in Reno, check out what NBA Game Time had to say about an event that's become a must-attend for scouts, executives and all sorts of talent evaluators from the NBA and around the globe.

A total of 12 games will be shown on NBA TV across the four-day event

NBA TV will broadcast the NBA Development League Showcase from Reno, Nev., when play tips off on Mon., Jan. 9, and ends with the final game buzzer on Thurs., Jan. 12. NBA TV will broadcast eight live games total throughout the showcase that will air daily at 1 p.m. (ET) and 3:45 p.m. (ET).

The eighth-annual NBA D-League Showcase is hosted by the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority and will take place at the Reno Events Center, home to the NBA D-League’s Reno Bighorns. The showcase provides an opportunity for NBA D-League players and coaches to perform in front of NBA general managers, player personnel executives and scouts over four consecutive days as each team competes in two games each day throughout the showcase.

Play-by-play announcer Chad Andrus and analyst Kenyon Murray will be courtside providing match-up coverage, highlights, postgame recaps and more for all of the basketball action.

NBA TV’s NBA D-League Showcase Game Schedule:

1 p.m. (ET) Idaho Stampede @ Erie BayHawks
3:45 p.m. Springfield Armor @ L.A. D-Fenders

1 p.m. Maine Red Claws @ Sioux Falls Skyforce
3:45 p.m. Erie BayHawks @ Austin Toros

1 p.m. L.A. D-Fenders @ Maine Red Claws
3:45 p.m. Bakersfield Jam @ Idaho Stampede

THURSDAY, JAN. 12 1 p.m. Austin Toros @ Dakota Wizards
3:45 p.m. Tulsa 66ers @ Ft. Wayne Mad Ants

* All times Eastern

Twenty-three percent of players on 2010-11 NBA end-of-season rosters had NBA D-League experience, many of whom participated in an NBA D-League Showcase since its inception in 2005. During its seven-year history, more than 30 NBA D-League players have earned GATORADE Call-Ups from the NBA D-League to the NBA during or after the NBA D-League Showcase; while an even larger number benefited from the exposure afforded them at the NBA D-League Showcase.

Times writer Rob Mahoney chronicles the flood of talent hitting the NBA D-League right before the Showcase
Over the past week, a surge of former NBA players have joined the NBA Development League, with Mike James, Willie Warren, Luther Head, Damon Jones and Mikki Moore joining recent additions Greg Ostertag and Ricky Davis in their bids for NBA comebacks. (Read our Q&A with Davis here ... and Ostertag here)

On Saturday, the New York Times' always-readable Off the Dribble blog focused on the recent talent boon in the NBA D-League, which has undergone a revolution in reputation of late. As the number of NBA players with Development League experience grows (it's at 22 percent right now, just shy of the record of 23 percent set last year), the league's mission has never been better-realized.

The Texas Legends' 38-year-old big man and former NBA player tells the gang about life on the comeback trail
The Austin Toros' star point guard checks in from South Padre Island during last year's Showcase

2012 Showcase Schedule

Monday, Jan. 9, 2012
Erie 103, Idaho 101 - Game Info | Highlights
L.A. 97, Springfield 82 - Game Info | Highlights
Ft. Wayne 100, Bakersfield 96 - Game Info | Highlights
Reno 116, Rio Grade Valley 99 - Game Info | Highlights
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012
Maine 98, Sioux Falls 92 - Game Info | Highlights
Austin 111, Erie 88 - Game Info | Highlights
Texas 94, Tulsa 86 -- Game Info | Highlights
Canton 99, Dakota 94 -- Game Info | Highlights
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012
Los Angeles 106, Dakota 94 -- Game Info | Highlights
Bakersfield 113, Idaho 98 -- Game Info | Highlights
Texas 98, Sioux Falls 95 -- Game Info | Highlights
Reno 107, Iowa 72 -- Game Info | Highlights
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012
Austin @ Dakota10 a.m.NBA TV
Tulsa @ Ft. Wayne12:45 p.m.NBA TV
RGV @ Springfield3:30 p.m. Futurecast
Canton @ Iowa7 p.m. Futurecast
FULL SCHEDULE *All times local (Pacific)

Names to Know

No other event on Earth brings together as many scouts, general managers and bona fide NBA Prospects as the NBA D-League Showcase. Before action tips Monday, get acquainted with these names.