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Weekend Wrap: Dec. 9-11

The NBA D-League gets a facelift.
Jam guard Osiris Eldridge was one of the notable names not to go to an NBA training camp. He took it out on a rim.
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

On Thursday night, there were almost 180 players in the NBA Development League.

By Friday, one-third of them were gone.

When NBA training camps (finally) opened up last week, the NBA D-League answered the call, with every one of its 16 teams sending at least one player – and the L.A. D-Fenders sending six – to the Show for a chance to make an NBA opening day roster.

So the weekend, with one-third of the league missing and a bumper crop of fresh faces playing together for the first time, would be diluted, right?


Performance of the Weekend
Brandon Costner’s been pulsing on the Top Prospects radar since opening weekend this year, when he led the D-Fenders – a team that, remember, sent six guys (including Jamaal Tinsley) to NBA camps – in scoring in both of Los Angeles’ first two games. He wasn’t necessarily scoring with a whole lot of efficiency (he was 17-for-his-first-47 shots), but he was scoring from the inside and outside. On Saturday, with the D-Fenders in need of an engine to drive them, he played all but two minutes of the game and scored 42 points with eight rebounds to keep L.A. in the game with an Idaho Stampede team that had most of its roster intact. And he did so while going 14-of-28 from the field (which included a dismal, 3-for-14, night from outside – meaning he went 11-for-14 from inside the arc) and 11-for-14 from the foul line.

Stanley Asumnu -- Forward, Rio Grande Valley: Thus far in 2011-12, the longtime NBA D-League veteran bears very little resemblance to the longtime NBA D-League veteran we knew. Playing by far the best basketball of his career, he’s scoring and rebounding at clips twice his career average (18.7 ppg this year vs. 9.2 career; 8.2 rpg vs. 4.2 career). And this weekend saw him at his best. On Friday night, he pulled down 16 rebounds – the most for any player from Friday through Sunday – and scored 20 points, only to follow that up with a 24-point, 11-rebound night on Saturday, for his second straight double-double and his fifth straight game with at least 20 points.

Play of the Weekend(ecade)
Osiris' Eldridge Helicopter Dunk Against Texas: The former Illinois State star took reps with the Trail Blazers’ summer league team back in 2010, but eventually spent the season in Turkey, where he proceeded to lose 20 pounds because they don’t have Steak N Shakes in the Mediterranean. Which is a good thing for us, because, as this 360-degree dunk he threw down on the Legends shows, the man can flat out fly.

Every Day I’m Doublin'
This weekend’s action featured 13 games…and 29 double-doubles. Twenty-five of them (including the two from Asumnu) came from points-rebound double-doubles, while four of them came from point-assist combos.

Here, friends, are the men who achieved the feat:

Points-Rebounds: : Austin's Terrance Woodbury; Bakersfield's David Palmer; Canton's Dante Milligan; Dakota's Edwin Ubiles, Mike Anderson, Maurice Baker and Curtis Withers; Erie's Tirrell Baines; Fort Wayne's Sadiel Rojas; Iowa's Anthony Simpson; L.A.'s Otis George; Maine's Justin Brownlee and Anthony Kent; Reno's Terrance Thomas; Rio Grande Valley's Stanley Asumnu (twice!) and Suleiman Braimoh; Sioux Falls' Billy McShepard; Springfield's Johnny Thomas; Texas' Jamine Peterson and Ramone Dyer; Tulsa's Billy Rush, Ryan Reid and Nkem Ojoughboh (twice!)

Assists: Iowa's Brandon Ewing; Maine's Tyc Snow; Sioux Falls' Dominique Coleman; Texas' Vance Cooksey

Secret Weapon
Maine’s Courtney Pigram came off the bench on Saturday night to score 33 points – the second-highest total of the weekend – thanks to a 7-for-11 effort from behind the arc.

Break-Out Brady
We’d been waiting for this. Tulsa guard Brady Morningstar, who’d played at Kansas with the Morris twins, had averaged 6.7 games through his first six games in the NBA D-League. On Friday night, he finally exploded, scoring 29 points to send the 66ers to a win over the Wizards. It was more points than he scored in his first four games combined.

The Long Goodbye
Dakota swingman Edwin Ubiles, who’s now at camp with the Golden State Warriors, stuck around for Friday night’s game against Tulsa. Just to remind everyone why he’s now a step away from being the first-ever Siena player to play in the NBA, Ubiles went out and cranked out a 29-point, 12-rebound effort to bid goodbye to North Dakota, like Wiz Khalifa (and Phil Jackson) before him, and head to the West Coast.

Baines and Spain Bring the Pain
The Erie BayHawks’ tandem of Tirrell Baines and Kyle Spain, out of Marshall and San Diego State, respectively, stepped up in the absence of five BayHawks. While Erie fell twice to Fort Wayne, the pair combined to score 46 points and pull down 17.5 rebounds between them over the two games.