Legends Wrap Up Jamboree - Season Starts Friday

Credit: Britney Wynn: Texas Legends
For more pictures from the jamboree, click here.

By: Bobby Karalla --- @BobbyKaralla

The Texas Legends, presented by Veracruz (visit Veracruz.mx), ended this week’s Preseason Jamboree with an 85-72 loss to the Austin Toros. It was the Legends’ second loss in the two-day, four-game exhibition series at the IAD in Carrollton, but it was the third game that provided the most entertainment – and the most interesting result.

The Legends led the Rio Grande Valley Vipers by as many as 19 during the team’s first game of the day, from which Legends guard Terrel Harris was ejected following a double-technical. But the Vipers bench mounted a huge comeback to even the score with less than a minute remaining. After misses by both teams, the game ended in unprecedented fashion: a draw. Not even the players knew such a thing was possible.

“I was telling myself coming to the bench that we’re going into overtime, I’m about to kick it up another notch,” Adrick McKinney said. “It was pretty weird.”

Legends coach Eduardo Najera and Vipers head coach Nevada Smith met with the referees at the end of regulation and decided because it was a preseason game and another contest was scheduled to start immediately, ending in a draw would have to do.

“(Najera) was huddling with the coaches like he was about to draw up something, and then they walked over and said it was a tie,” McKinney said. “He said ‘we play them eight times, and they’re our rival. We’ll get them again.’”

McKinney was one of five tryout players on the roster for the Jamboree, as 17 players were vying for the 10 available roster spots. The TCU alumnus thrives on playing with energy and hustle, and said he tries to set the tone defensively when he steps on the court. However, there are times when he admits he might have used too much energy.

“A couple times, I got the ball and I traveled because I was moving too fast,” he said. “But if I would’ve just (slowed down), I would’ve had an easy bucket. That just comes with calming down and just staying steady.”

he Legends’ only win in the Jamboree came Thursday morning in a 102-95 victory against the Tulsa 66ers. In that game, returning Legend Sean Singletary flirted with a triple-double, and Devin Ebanks had a 15-point second quarter en route to the comfortable win. Later that afternoon, the Legends fell to the Erie Bayhawks, 124-112. Chris Douglas-Roberts and new Legend Paul Sturgess are among notable players who sat out both of the 10:30 a.m. games, instead playing in the afternoon contests.

In the Legends’ win and draw, the starting lineups shone. Harris and Ebanks are potent scorers with range, Singletary was extremely active on defense, and Melvin Ely and Ramon Dyer patrolled the paint and controlled the glass. The three-point shot figures to be a significant part of the Legends' offense.

The next step for the club is trimming the roster to 10 ahead of a home back-to-back against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday and Saturday. Both games tip-off at 7 p.m.