There are currently 6793 ex-college players, who play 2014-15 season overseas
BLOGS of pro basketball players overseas
Behind the backboard: the truth about life overseas
*the number is for both men and women players, who play outside of the U.S. (updated on 6/26/2015) Check Detailed list by College or by country
Jets Defeat Broncos - Jan 16, 2013
According to a report monitored by the Japan Times, the Chiba Jets enter the All-Star break on a roll, picking up their fourth straight victory by thumping the Saitama Broncos 98-66 on Sunday afternoon at Funabashi Arena.
The Jets didn't rely on outside shooting an aspect of the game that many bj-league teams struggled with on the day to overwhelm the Broncos; in fact, they were only 1-for-11 from beyond the arc (that shot found the bottom of the net courtesy of Marquin Chandler).
Instead, Chiba found its comfort zone in the lane. That was where the majority of its points came from. And in his post-game interview sessions with reporters, Saitama coach Tracy Williams said he only recalled the Jets attempting three shots outside of the lane in the opening half.
It worked. The Jets, who built a six-point lead after one quarter, had 26 second-quarter points and, in doing so, increased the margin to 47-32 at the break.
Saitama had a dreadful start to the third quarter too many turnovers, too many missed shots, too many missed assignments on defense and Chiba exploited the Broncos' weaknesses, using a 18-0 run to open the half and take a 65-32 lead on a Kensuke Tanaka layup. That was the biggest margin for the hosts, who never let up the rest of the way, as exemplified by Tanaka, who had a pair of blocks, including one on a 3-point attempt in the fourth quarter, to go along with nine points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 28 intense minutes of court time.
Big man Joe Werner, a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse product, scored a game-high 24 points, including an 8-for-10 effort at the charity stripe, and pulled down 11 rebounds for Chiba (12-12). After the game, Jets coach Shinji Tomiyama said he considers Werner the team's MVP for the first half of the season, citing his energy on both offense and defense, and his productivity (19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds).
Commenting on the victory, Tomiyama said, "It was an important game before the All-Star Game. Good overall effort today on offense and defense. The guys played hard today."
Saitama, which has a league-worst 3-21 record, was 15-for-56 from the field over the first three quarters, and in the third, when Chiba pulled away for good, the Broncos were 3-for-19 from the field. They wound up with 53 missed shots out of 73 on the afternoon, including 15-for-54 from inside the 3-point arc.
Forward Chandler, who'll represent Chiba in the Jan. 20 All-Star Game at Ariake Colosseum, had a strong all-around game, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two blocks, and Marquise Gray scored 17 points. D'Andre Bell and Hiroki Sato finished with 12 points apiece for the Jets.
Newcomer Wayne Oliver led Saitama with 18 points on 7-for-21 shooting and teammate Yuki Kitamuki scored 14 on a 4-for-18 effort, while Nyika Williams had 13 points.
"Basically, we came out and we rebounded the ball well . . . but we just shot the ball terrible," Williams said after the game.
The Broncos did have more offensive rebounds (23-18 edge) than Chiba, but were outperformed in every key area.
"You can't shoot the ball 26 percent and win," Williams continued. ". . . That right there in itself is the tale of the tape right there. We picked a terrible time to not shoot the ball well, and as well as the fact of not really guarding (them) in front of the basket.
"Werner, he's tough, as well as Chandler, who I think is the best player in the bj-league. He does everything. . . ."
In defeat, the Saitama bench boss chose to focus on the positives.
"But the good thing I just told my team about was Chiba showed us how you've got to play," the coach said. "If I had to pick one play that describes what I just said, I would say it's 1:23 left in the game and they're up by 31 and their player (Tanaka) goes to the corner against Kitamuki and blocks his shot and closes out of it. See, that's how you've got to play to be a winner anywhere. You've got to play hard no matter if you're up by 30 or you're losing by 30.
"So I told my team for this not to be a wasted trip, we've got to take that example that Chiba showed us and learn from it. . ."
Five Arrows 57, Golden Kings 54
In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Takamatsu edged the defending champions on a day when Ryukyu's outside shooting delivered a big doughnut 0-for-17 from 3-point range.
Floor leader Dexter Lyons scored a team-high 16 points for the Five Arrows (10-16) and Brandon Penn added 13.
Narito Namizato and Anthony McHenry led the Golden Kings (20-4) with 13 points apiece and Jeff Newton had 11 points and 15 boards.
Ryukyu only put four points on the board in the second quarter, and shot 21-for-69 for the entire game. All those missed shots led to nonstop rebounding chances. The Golden Kings collected 26 offensive boards and 70 rebounds on the day, but failed to consistently capitalize on those extra opportunities to put the ball in the basket.
Hannaryz 78, HeatDevils 49
In Muko, Kyoto Prefecture, former NBA center Marcus Cousin and Gyno Pomare both notched double-doubles as the Hannaryz handed Oita its 13th straight defeat.
Cousin finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, Pomare added 17 points and nine boards and David Palmer scored 18 points for Kyoto (14-12). Yu Okada chipped in with 12 points for the hosts.
Oita (9-17) shot 18-for-63 from the field.
Andre Coimbra had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Taishiro Shimizu scored 13 points for the HeatDevils.
Grouses 85, Big Bulls 68
In Mizusawa, Iwate Prefecture, Jeremy Jacob's 25 points spearheaded a balanced attack to lead Toyama to a bounce-back win over the Big Bulls.
Masashi Joho scored 12 points and Takeshi Mito and Tatsunori Fujie each had 11 for the Grouses (16-10). Big man Ira Brown added 10 points, 11 boards and four assists.
For Iwate (19-7), Carlos Dixon was the leading scorer with 22 points, Reggie Okosa had 19 and Lawrence Blackledge finished with eight points and 13 rebounds.
The Big Bulls were 4-for-19 on 3s.
B-Corsairs 79, Crane Thunders 61
In Yokohama, Draelon Burns scored 22 points and Thomas Kennedy poured in 18 as the hosts salvaged a series split.
Pape Faye Mour contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds and Masayuki Kabaya had an 11-point afternoon for the B-Corsairs (18-8), who play a Tuesday-Wednesday series against the Akita Northern Happinets in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefeture, and Yokohama, respectively.
Lewis Witcher paced Gunma (5-21) with 16 points and Shingo Okada scored 15 for the expansion squad. Jermaine Dixon had eight points and four steals, and was 1-for-10 on 3-point shots.
Phoenix 93, Rizing 87
In Hamamatsu, Wendell White's 23-point, 10-rebound, four-assists effort guided the hosts to their second triumph in as many days over Fukuoka.
Kevin Galloway finished with 15 points, eight boards and eight assists for the Phoenix (19-9), while Jeffrey Parmer scored 14 points and Shoji Nakanishi and Yoshitomo Shiina supplied nine apiece.
Josh Peppers led the Rizing (16-10) with 25 points and Reggie Warren had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Jun Nakanishi scored 16 points for Fukuoka and Julius Ashby and Akitomo Takeno added 11 apiece.
The Rizing had 17 turnovers and shot 65.4 percent (17-for-26) at the foul line.
Susanoo Magic 99, Shining Suns 69
In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Shimane rebounded from an overtime loss in the series opener, thrashing the hosts in the teams' final contest before next Sunday's All-Star Game.
Center big man Jeral Davis scored a team-high 24 points, raked in 14 rebounds and swatted five shots for the Susanoo Magic (17-9). Frontcourt mate B.J. Puckett added 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, Brandon Freeman scored 18 points, Tatsuhiro Yokoo had a 14-point outing and Edward Yamamoto poured in 13 points with four assists.
Shimane star Michael Parker, the four-time reigning league scoring champion, was sidelined with an injury sustained in Saturday's game. His teammates picked up the scoring slack in his absence.
Ricky Woods led Miyazaki (4-22) with 21 points. The Magic made him work for his points, sending him to the foul line for 12 shots (11 makes). Larriques Cunningham scored 14 points for the Suns, who shot 23-for-74 from the field.
Lakestars 75, Evessa 57
In Osaka, Dionisio Gomez was the tone-setter for Shiga in the series finale, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Lakestars earned a series split.
Wayne Arnold finished with 14 points and Ray Nixon had 12 points and five assists for Shiga (15-11). Veteran guard Jumpei Nakama scored 11 points in the rout.
In short, perimeter shooting cost the Evessa (5-19) the game. They were 2-for-21 on 3-point attempts.
Mike Bell and Rick Rickert paced Osaka with 19 points apiece, and Rickert hauled in 15 rebounds.
| Suzuki takes charge at Kanazawa- Jun.20, 2015 (by Emeka)|
Yukinori Suzuki, who guided the Oita HeatDevils for the past four seasons, was named the first head coach in Kanazawa Samuraiz history on Thursday.The expansion team will make its bj-league debut for the 2015-16 season, the circuit's final scheduled season before the launch of the JPBL, a three-tier entity consisting of 40-something NBL, bj-league and NBDL squads, a year later.ADVERTISINGLooking at the next chapter of his basketball career, Suzuki acknowledged that 'my job, of course, is... [read more]
Yukinori Suzuki, who guided the Oita HeatDevils for the past four seasons, was named the first head coach in Kanazawa Samuraiz history on Thursday.
The expansion team will make its bj-league debut for the 2015-16 season, the circuit's final scheduled season before the launch of the JPBL, a three-tier entity consisting of 40-something NBL, bj-league and NBDL squads, a year later.
Looking at the next chapter of his basketball career, Suzuki acknowledged that 'my job, of course, is to strengthen the team.'
In a team-issued statement, he also said 'the team and the front office must work together' to build the Samuraiz.
The cash-strapped HeatDevils, ended a seven-season postseason drought in May, but finished 18-34 in the regular season for the team's eighth straight losing campaign.
In four seasons, Suzuki compiled an 82-126 regular-season record.
Suzuki, 38, played in the backcourt for the JBL's Niigata Albirex BB from 2001-05 before joining Oita. The next spring, he was named to the bj-league's Best Five Team during its first season.
A three-time All-Star in the upstart circuit, Suzuki retired in 2011 and took over Oita's coaching duties. The HeatDevils went 23-29 in the Kanagawa Prefecture native's first season at the helm, followed by 21-31 and 20-32 seasons before the aforementioned 18-victory campaign.
Meanwhile, the HeatDevils are scheduled to be based in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, next season.
Aiming for the NBA: Forward Olu Ashaolu, who sank the championship-clinching shot with 3.1 seconds to play for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix in the bj-league finale on May 24, is participating in Toronto Raptors' two-day free agent minicamp, which started on Thursday.
The camp is in Toronto, the 27-year-old Ashaolu's hometown.
He was born in Lagos and competed for Louisiana Tech and the University of Oregon before his pro career began in 2012.
Competing in the minicamp could boost Ashaolu's chances to be picked to play in the upcoming NBA Summer League.
Ashaolu played for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2012 NBA Summer League. Current Hamamatsu coach Tomoya Higashino was an assistant for the Bucks at the camp.
The 200-cm Ashaolu averaged 14.9 points in 52 regular-season games this season for the Phoenix.
| Akita, Iwate, Hamamatsu, Shiga advance to Final Four- May.12, 2015 (by Emeka)|
The Final Four picture is now set, and it's a decidedly different look this year according to the Japan Times. Japan Times can authoritatively report that The Akita Northern Happinets and Iwate Big Bulls will represent the Eastern Conference, while the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix and Shiga Lakestars advanced from the Western Conference.The Big Bulls and Lakestars both earned their first trips to the Final Four. The Happinets, the 2013-14 championship runnerup squad, will return for a... [read more]
The Final Four picture is now set, and it's a decidedly different look this year according to the Japan Times.
Japan Times can authoritatively report that The Akita Northern Happinets and Iwate Big Bulls will represent the Eastern Conference, while the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix and Shiga Lakestars advanced from the Western Conference.
The Big Bulls and Lakestars both earned their first trips to the Final Four. The Happinets, the 2013-14 championship runnerup squad, will return for a second straight season, while the Phoenix will appear in the playoffs' final weekend for the first time since 2012.
The bj-league's 10th annual championship weekend will be held May 23-24 at Ariake Colosseum.
On May 23, the West final is scheduled for 1:10 p.m., followed by the East final at 5:10 p.m.
The same times are slated for the third-place contest and title tilt a day later.
(1) Northern Happinets 82, (4) Albirex BB 63 (Game 2)
Northern Happinets 19, Albirex 18 (Game 3, 10-minute tiebreaker)
In Akita, the hosts outplayed Niigata in Game 2 to force the tiebreaker, then won by the slimmest of margins to punch a ticket to the Final Four.
In the mini-game, Deshawn Stephens led the Northern Happinets with nine points on 4-for-4 shooting. Shigehiro Taguchi chipped in with seven points, including a big 3-pointer. Richard Roby had Akita's three other points in the 10-minute tiebreaker and a pair of blocked shots.
Six Albirex players scored in the mini-game. Stephan Van Treese was the high scorer with four points.
For Niigata, one of the league's two charter teams as a JBL defector (along with the Saitama Broncos), another opportunity to vie for a spot in the title game for the first time since 2006 came to a disappointing end.
Earlier, in the regulation game, Ruben Boykin had 18 points for Akita, which took a 36-28 lead into halftime and extended its advantage to 64-47 entering the fourth quarter.
Roby scored 16 points in the must-win contest with five assists and Taguchi and Yuto Otsuka both put 14 points on the board. Otsuka dished out six assists in the win.
Kimitake Sato and Van Treese were Niigata's high scorers in Game 2.
The Albirex ended their season with a 39-18 overall record, including the playoffs.
In a post-game interview, Boykin commended the effort of both teams.
'First I would say Niigata played a hell of a game,' Boykin told The Japan Times. 'Both teams deserved to win. Our team showed a lot of heart in the second and third games .
'In the third game we were down 9-1 to start and a lot of times this season we would fold, but our guys stuck together and it showed a lot of character. Deshawn and Shige stepped up so much in the final game. Deshawn had nine huge points in five minutes and Shige seven points and five big rebounds and one big putback to win the game Man, I'm just very happy right now.'
(2) Big Bulls 111, (6) Wat's 57
In Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, the Big Bulls, who matched Akita for the East's best record (41-11) during the regular season, overwhelmed Aomori in the series finale.
The Big Bulls, a fourth-year franchise, triumphed in overtime on Saturday, but never let the Wat's (25-31 overall) get within striking distance in this one.
Iwate led by 12 points after the opening quarter and by 22 at halftime.
In a dominating third quarter, the Big Bulls outscored the visitors 25-10 to pull ahead 76-42.
All told, Iwate outscored Aomori 57-25 in the second half.
'This is a big win for the Iwate Big Bulls and our boosters,' Iwate coach Dai Oketani told The Japan Times after the game. 'We couldn't make it to go to Ariake, even (though) we played in our home the last two seasons. Now, we broke through. To my players, everybody played their role. Everybody played hard, everybody played tough, and everybody played together.'
Oketani, a two-time title winner while coaching Ryukyu, called it a 'great team win.'
Scootie Randall led Iwate with 26 points and Gonzaga University alum Abdullahi Kuso scored 20 on 9-for-12 shooting. Wayne Arnold and Shota Onodera both had 12-point performances. Jun Nakanishi and Masato Tsukino contributed 10 and nine points, respectively. Lawrence 'Trend' Blackledge finished with eight points, eight rebounds and six assists in the rout.
Eight Iwate players had at least one steal, with six collecting two or more. Arnold led the team, which racked up 17 steals, with four.
The Big Bulls shot 60.5 percent from inside the arc and drained 13 of 27 3s. They doled out 21 assists against six turnovers.
Gyno Pomare, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds, was Aomori's lone double-digit scorer.
The Wat's turned the ball over 23 times.
Blackledge said reaching the Final Four is a part of the team's ultimate goal.
' (It's) just another step towards our goal of winning a championship,' Blackledge told this newspaper. 'It's great for the people of Iwate to get to experience Ariake. But just getting there is part of the process. Half of our roster have been to Ariake before and/or have won the championship before so we are still focused on the final mission.'
Arnold said, 'It's great to be a part of the first team in this franchise's history to reach the Final Four, but that was never our goal. We talk all season about winning the championship.
'The trophy is our only focus. This is just another step in the right direction.'
Nakanishi, who has played in the league since his 2005 debut with the now-defunct Tokyo Apache, called the team's weekend victories a big deal.
'It means a lot for not only myself but the whole Iwate Big Bulls organization, fans, and Iwate Prefecture,' Nakanishi said, 'I know this team has been through the tough situations, losing in the conference semifinals two seasons in a row. Finally making our way to Ariake is great, but we haven't accompished anything yet.
'Our ultimate goal is to win two more games at Ariake and get the championship. But I will celebrate today's victory and making my sixth appearance in the finals, which I don't think too many bj-league players have accomplished.'
(1) Hannaryz 81, (4) Lakestars 73 (Game 2)
Lakestars 25, Hannaryz 20 (Game 3, tiebreaker)
In Kyoto, after a defeat in the series opener, the regular-season conference champion Hannaryz bounced back with a Game 2 victory to force the tiebreaker.
In the mini-game, Shiga forward Ray Nixon was the high scorer with eight points and Yutaka Yokoe had six. The Lakestars shot 100 percent from long range in the 10-minute contest, with Nixon, Terrance Woodbury and Yu Okada all making their lone attempt.
Kyoto's Ryan Forehan-Kelly and David Palmer combined for 15 points in the team's final game, the former scoring 10.
With the loss, the Hannaryz (47-10) won't extend their streak to four straight Final Four appearances.
Forehan-Kelly was the top scorer in Game 2 for both teams, finishing with 25 points. Kyoto veterans Reggie Warren and Palmer each scored 20 points.
After Shiga star Jeff Parmer lit up the scoreboard for 25 points on 11-for-12 shooting in Game 1, the hosts held him to seven points on 3-for-8 shooting in the scheduled rematch.
Okada and Woodbury both had 18 points, Chris Holm added 11 and Yokoe 10.
Lakestars coach Koto Toyama, 32, who is leading his fourth franchise in as many seasons after stops at Nara (2013-14), Ryukyu (2012-13) and Miyazaki (2010-12), has led a team to the Final Four for the first time in his coaching career.
'Today's victory meant everything for us as a team and organization,' Parmer told The Japan Times. 'We really played as a team today. We knew coming in that teamwork was the only way to beat a team like Kyoto. We accomplished that, along with the help and support of our awesome boosters. They really deserved this win today.'
(3) Phoenix 70, (2) Golden Kings 63
In Okinawa City, University of Oregon product Olu Ashaolu sparked Hamamatsu with 19 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a series-clinching victory over reigning champion Ryukyu.
Tasuku Namizato had a 15-point game, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range, and Mo Charlo contributed 10 points and seven rebounds for the Phoenix (45-11). Nile Murry, the hero of Game 1 with a buzzer-beating OT jumper, added nine points and Shingo Okada six.
'It's a step in the right direction,' Murry said of eliminating the Okinawan powerhouse and reaching the Final Four. 'We have an opportunity to do something special.'
Hamamatsu bench boss Tomoya 'Coach Crusher' Higashino is leading a team into the bj-league Final Four for the first time.
Anthony McHenry scored 15 points with nine rebounds and four assists for the Golden Kings (44-13). Draelon Burns and Narito Namizato, Tasuku's younger brother, supplied 12 and nine points, respectively. Big man Kibwe Trim provided eight points and 11 rebounds.
Ryukyu was 14 of 23 at the free-throw line and 5 of 18 from 3-point range.
| Shiga's Toyama relies on mentor to improve Lakestars- Apr.10, 2015 (by Emeka)|
According to Japan Times, coach Koto Toyama's stint as an assistant coach for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix's 2009-10 title-winning team to veteran forwards Ray Nixon and Jeff Parmer teaming up to help lead the squad to a second championship under Kazuo Nakamura in May 2011, those experiences serve as building blocks for the Lakestars.Toyama, 32, is a bench boss for a fourth franchise in as many seasons.Following his departure from the now-defunct Miyazaki Shining Suns in 2012, the... [read more]
According to Japan Times, coach Koto Toyama's stint as an assistant coach for the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix's 2009-10 title-winning team to veteran forwards Ray Nixon and Jeff Parmer teaming up to help lead the squad to a second championship under Kazuo Nakamura in May 2011, those experiences serve as building blocks for the Lakestars.
Toyama, 32, is a bench boss for a fourth franchise in as many seasons.
Following his departure from the now-defunct Miyazaki Shining Suns in 2012, the Hokkaido native spent one season each with the Ryukyu Golden Kings (who fired him after they went 42-10 but failed to defend their title or reach the Final Four) and expansion Bambitious Nara before being hired by Shiga.
Parmer and Nixon have reunited as teammates this season. The former stayed with the Phoenix until 2013, then suited up for the Shinshu Brave Warriors last season. The latter competed for the Lakestars for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 campaigns, went back to Hamamatsu last season, and is now on his second tour of duty with the Kansai-based franchise, which will finish above .500 for the sixth straight season.
Having both played under the now-retired Nakamura, who turned 74 in December and led the Akita Northern Happinets for three seasons, Parmer and Nixon said they can see the influence that the respected mentor has on Toyama's coaching philosophy. (In fact, Nakamura's coaching tree extends throughout the league under former Hamamatsu staff members-turned sideline supervisors: Akita's Makoto Hasegawa, Sendai's Shuto Kawachi, Shinshu's Ryuji Kawai and Fukushima's Hiroki Fujita.)
Shiga, meanwhile, improved to 30-16 on Sunday, handing the host Saitama Broncos a 104-69 beatdown. The Lakestars have won four straight and eight of their last 10.
Looking at the influence that Nakamura has had on Toyama, Parmer had this to say at Saitama Municipal Gymnasium after the series finale: 'He has his own ideas in certain ways, and also he has some similarities to Kazuo. Each way is good.
'For me, I love his energy and the way he coaches us. He's striving for us to attain a certain excellence, and that's the only way you're going to get better - if you have a coach that's always pushing you. . . . He just wants us to get better and I love that about him as a coach and I respect that.
'That helps me play harder and be a better leader out there on the court,' Parmer added after his 22-point, six-assist, three-block, two-steal performance.
Nakamura stays actively involved in observing his former staff members' teams, including the Lakestars.
Has that helped Shiga?
'Well, at the beginning of the season, coach was really finding his way on how to really use us and our strengths,' recalled Parmer, who is tied with Yu Okada as the team's second-leading scorer (13.1 points per game, trailing only Terrance Woodbury's 18.2).
A conversation with Nakamura after Shiga faced host Akita on Dec. 6-7 (two losses for the visitors, which dropped them to 11-5) proved helpful for Toyama.
Parmer recounted Nakamura's message to Toyama: 'If you want to win games, you have to use Jeff and Ray more.'
'So after that, he's been pretty consistent on trying to do that, and that has helped us as a team. Kazuo has been a huge influence on him this year,' Parmer said of his coach.
Which has meant Nixon, who has made the most of his court time, will be called upon to be a key contributor. The University of Wisconsin alum leads the team in 3-pointers made (94) and dunks (21) and is averaging 12.3 ppg.
Despite Nakamura's advice and longtime mentorship, Toyama, a manager for the JBL's OSG Phoenix from 2005-08 before the team defected to the bj-league, is putting his own stamp on the Lakestars.
'He bring his own brand of basketball,' Parmer insisted, 'because he wants us to be more of like a motion team, move the ball and nobody is holding the ball and stagnant with the ball. He wants everybody to get involved in the game, and that's his own style, and it's working for us.
'Everyone is knowing their role and taking heat to the role, and that's the difference between him and Kazuo.'
With Toyama at the helm, the Lakestars study successful NBA teams and watch game highlights (Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs, for instance) as a learning tool.
'He's definitely up on the NBA,' Parmer said of Toyama.
Toyama also gleaned material while watching a Chicago Bulls-Houston Rockets showdown, especially a 21-4 Chicago run, according to Parmer.
That game turned into a talking point for Toyama and Co. Or as Parmer put it: 'When you guys don't have the rhythm, you have to do certain other things to get the rhythm. He was showing how the Chicago Bulls got the rhythm from the Rockets, and after that the game's over.'
Nixon agreed with Parmer that Nakamura and Toyama share similar traits on the court.
'They are both extremely passionate coaches,' Nixon said. 'Kazuo has a bit more extreme style, but it definitely shows in Coach Toyama and the way he goes about coaching the basketball game. He wants to leave an imprint on his players and make sure that they all do well, and I think he got a lot of that from Coach Kazuo.'
Is Toyama as fiery as Nakamura during practices and games?
'It really depends on us,' Nixon told The Japan Times. 'If we're playing well and doing the things that we're supposed to do, then he's pretty laid back, but just like Kazuo, when things get out of hand, that's when the intensity picks up.'
There are times, too, when Toyama keeps his emotions in check. 'Sometimes he even says it in practice like, 'Right now, I want to yell at you guys, but I'm not,' ' Nixon explained. 'So that let's us know we need to tighten things up and get back to square one.'
The Kyoto Hannaryz (38-8), Ryukyu Golden Kings (39-9) and Hamamatsu (38-10) are ahead of the Lakestars in the Western Conference standings, but Shiga is locked into the fourth-place spot as the season winds down.
'There's a couple of games that we could have won, and could've been in a better position or a higher seed or whatever, but I think he's doing an excellent job with our team this season,' Nixon said of Toyama.
And that carries over to defense as well. The Lakestars rely on help defense, players staying actively vocal.
'Everybody has to talk, and there's going to be some breakdowns in the game,' Nixon said. 'We have to stay focused and change our mind-set if things to bad. . . . He tries to instill that in us to always stay focused, be aggressive on defense and always help each other out.'
Weekend slate: One series (Oita-Shiga) begins on Friday, while the rest of the teams await Saturday's series openers. Those matchups are: Shinshu vs. Niigata, Kyoto vs. Shimane, Aomori vs. Akita, Iwate vs. Saitama, Fukushima vs. Tokyo, Toyama vs. Sendai, Gunma vs. Yokohama and Osaka vs. Takamatsu.
Plans to build: The Ryukyu Golden Kings are finalizing plans for construction of a new 10,000-seat arena in Okinawa, according to published reports.
Team president Tatsuro Kimura told the Ryukyu Shimpo that the Golden Kings are looking at different sites, and he plans to hold further talks with local government officials. Okinawa City and Naha were cited as potential candidates for a new home gym.
| Karimata, Jones carry Fukushima past Yokohama Mar.31, 2015 |
| Akita overcome struggling Tokyo Dec.19, 2014 |
| Shiga outplays Gunma in first bj-league contest for ex-NBA coach Parker, center Ely Oct.11, 2014 |
| Alvark hold off Kings spirited comeback Sep.6, 2014 |
| Gunma hires longtime NBA assistant Parker as new coach Aug.2, 2014 |
| Isa to lead champion Ryukyu again next season Jun.26, 2014 |
| Golden Kings dismantle Happinets in bj-league final As Kishimoto is named MVP May.26, 2014 |
| Brave Warriors avenge loss to 89ers Apr.21, 2014 |
| Nakama set to retire Apr.21, 2014 |
| Iwate cruises past Gunma, keeps victory streak alive Apr.21, 2014 |
| Joho powers Grouses past Evessa Mar.18, 2014 |
| East power Akita decides to make roster move: source Feb.7, 2014 |
| Shimizu leads HeatDevils past Hannaryz Jan.9, 2014 |
| Shimane struggling after departure of coach, top star Jan.9, 2014 |
| Akita making run for title Dec.8, 2013 |
| D-League teams draft five bj-league alumni Nov.6, 2013 |
| Murry leads Niigata past previously unbeaten Toyama Nov.6, 2013 |
| B-Corsairs slump to defeat against Big Bulls Nov.6, 2013 |
| Alvark beat Brex to get NBL up and running Oct.3, 2013 |
| Players react after NBL takes unilateral action Oct.3, 2013 |
| Nakamuras coaching tree stretches throughout league Sep.2, 2013 |
| Hitachi Sunrockers sign Darryl Webb Jul.28, 2013 |
| Kyoto set to join NBL for 2014-15 season Jul.22, 2013 |
| Yokohama to name Katsuhisa coach Jul.22, 2013 |
| Nara selects Toyama as first coach Jun.23, 2013 |
| Kyoto acquires forward Komoda Jun.23, 2013 |
| Nara takes Yamashiro with first pick in expansion draft Jun.23, 2013 |
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