Records: Mad Ants (6-6), Sioux Falls (10-3).
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne leaders: Ron Howard (22.2 ppg, 4.3 apg), Peyton Siva (24 points in debut), Sadiel Rojas (12.6 ppg, 9.0 rpg)
Sioux Falls leaders: Justin Hamilton (18.8 ppg, 9.5 rpg), DeAndre Liggins (16.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg), Larry Drew II (7.9 ppg, 6.9 apg)
Key matchup: It will be speed vs. size in this game. With the recent addition of Peyton Siva from the Detroit Pistons, the Mad Ants are able to go with a quick unit that includes Siva, Ron Howard and Trey McKinney-Jones – all good passers and shooters – on the floor. They will make Sioux Falls run. But Sioux Falls has some dangerous players – Justin Hamilton and DeAndre Liggins – who are great on second-chance opportunities. The Mad Ants will have to answer with big men Will Frisby, Chris Porter and Tony Mitchell, who had 10 rebounds in his debut with Fort Wayne, a 107-102 loss to Rio Grande Valley on Saturday.
The skinny: The Mad Ants have won five of their last six games. When they lose, it’s because they blow leads. On Saturday, it was a 19-point lead in the third quarter that they coughed up. There’s talent, but is there a killer instinct? The Pacers have assigned Solomon Hill to Fort Wayne – he’s a first-round pick out of Arizona – who in his rookie season had 1.5 points, 1.6 rebounds and 9.0 minutes per game, over 16 games, with the Pacers. At 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, he will help answer the Sioux Falls inside game, if he plays tonight.
– Justin A. Cohn,
The Journal Gazette