The Fort Report: Anigbogu Helps Mad Ants Keep Rolling
The Pacers' G League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, has continued its torrid start to the 2017-18 season. The Mad Ants won two more games this past week and have now won five straight contests overall since dropping their season opener at Long Island. As of Tuesday morning, Fort Wayne (5-1) is tied with the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee's affiliate) for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Pacers rookie center Ike Anigbogu joined the Mad Ants last week. At just 19 years old, Anigbogu is the youngest player in the NBA this season. Since he has seen sparse playing time with the Pacers, the team sent him to Fort Wayne to give the second-round pick an opportunity to log some minutes in competitive action.
Anigbogu performed well during his brief stint with the Mad Ants. The 6-10 rookie started a pair of games at center. He tallied 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and seven rebounds in a 127-115 win over the Delaware 87ers (Philadelphia's affiliate) on Saturday, then followed up that performance with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting and eight rebounds in a 91-78 victory over the Canton Charge (Cleveland's affiliate) on Monday.
The Pacers recalled Anigbogu from Fort Wayne on Tuesday and he is expected to remain with the parent club during their upcoming three-game homestand.
Anigbogu was just one of six Mad Ants players to score in double figures in Saturday's win. Veteran guard Walter Lemon Jr. led the way with a game-high 34 points, going 12-for-20 from the field and 4-for-8 from 3-point range, while also collecting seven rebounds and six assists.
Forward Jarrod Uthoff — who spent training camp with the Pacers — also stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 19 points, eight boards, seven assists, and five steals. Stephan Hicks (20 points and four rebounds), C.J. Fair (19 points), and DeQuan Jones (13 points and four boards) also reached double figures in the win.
Offense was harder to come by on Monday evening, but the Mad Ants still found a way to win thanks to a strong defensive effort, holding the Charge to 34 percent shooting.
Fair led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three assists. Lemon (5-for-18) and Uthoff (5-for-14) both struggled from the field, but still managed to score 13 points apiece.
Despite an off night on Monday, Lemon ranks sixth in the G League in scoring at 25.2 points per game and is third in steals at 3.0 per contest.
The Mad Ants close out a four-game homestand this weekend by hosting the Maine Red Claws (Boston's affiliate) on Friday, Nov. 24 at 7:00 PM ET and the Northern Arizona Suns (Phoenix's affiliate) on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 5:00 PM ET.
Stay tuned to Pacers.com for continued updates on the Mad Ants, and make sure to check out Pacers.com/MadAntsTV » to watch Mad Ants games free online.