Although Walker Russell Jr. won't be able to play tonight when the Mad Ants play host to Sioux Falls, the 6-foot point guard is expected to be in the lineup Friday when the Ants play Austin at Memorial Coliseum.
Russell was released by the Detroit Pistons and will join Ron Howard on the floor. Howard was recently released by Milwaukee.
By the time the Ants play at Erie on Wednesday night, the team that started the season will be together, after forward Darnell Lazare and center Chris Hunter were also released from their NBA camps. Lazare was let go by the Indiana Pacers, and Hunter was released by the New York Knicks.
Because so many players are returning from camps, the Ants will have to trim their roster. The guess is that Jabil Banks, a little-used forward, will be the first to go. He could be released after tonight to make room for Russell.
That means two others will have to go, and this is where things could become difficult.
Ramon Harris, the 6-7 swingman who was cut before the season, has played well in four games after being recalled, averaging 7 points. His versatility of being able to hit the three-pointer as well as being an inside presence makes him a valuable commodity.
On the bubble could be 6-4 swingman Sadiel Rojas, who averages 4 points, 6-11 center Justin Neuhaus, who averages 3.1, and possibly 6-8 veteran Antonio Smith, although Smith would be a tough cut since he is the team's second-leading rebounder (8) and is among the hardest workers in practice.
Whatever the final roster will look like, the Ants could be a force in a week or two.