Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants' coach Steve Gansey speaks before the start of the game against Greensboro Swarm at the Coliseum on Tuesday.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Jarrod Uthoff, right, tries to move the ball around Greenboro's Jalen Jones during the third quarter Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Ben Moore, left, goes up for a shot against Greensboro's Jalen Jones during the third quarter Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette he Mad Ants' Ben Moore, left, tries to get the ball around Greensboro's Luke Petrasek during the third quarter Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' C.J. Fair, top, shoots the ball over Greensboro's Jalen Jones during the third quarter Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Walt Lemon Jr., right, tries to block Greensboro's Marcus Paige during the first quarter Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Walt Lemon Jr. communicates with teammates as he brings the ball down the court during the first quarter against Greensboro on Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' DeQuan Jones, top, moves the ball around Greensboro's L.G. Gill during the first quarter Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Tuesday, November 07, 2017 11:00 pm
Mad Ants show their speed, win
JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette
There was much on which the Mad Ants can build from their 105-93 victory tonight over the Greensboro Swarm –another great game from Walter Lemon Jr., defensive intensity, a competent effort closing out once they built a lead – and they showed that speed that we had heard so much about.
The victory for the Mad Ants (1-1) was cemented with 4:44 left in the fourth quarter, when Lemon intercepted a Charles Cooke pass at center court and sprinted for a lay-up and a 95-83 lead.
“As times goes on, we’ll just get more used to playing with each other,” said Lemon, who played for Fort Wayne in 2015-16 but spent last season overseas. “I think the first game (of the season), the guys had butterflies in their system. But we’ve got the jitters out and we came with a purpose on the defensive end, and that led to get us getting fast-breaks and just got us going.”
Walter Lemon Jr. had 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting to go with seven rebounds, four assists and three of the Fort Wayne’s nine steals.
Jarrod Uthoff had 23 points and six rebounds. Rookie Ben Moore had 19 points, nine rebounds and second-quarter play where he dove over the scorer’s table to successfully stop the ball from going out of bounds. Stephan Hicks added 16 points, C.J. Fair had 12 points and nine rebounds, and DeQuan Jones, who has NBA experience with the Orlando Magic on his résumé, totaled eight points and a team-best four shot blocks.
In the early minutes, it looked again like the Mad Ants would be playing catch-up. But they went on a 16-2 run to take a 19-12 lead. They had been leaving Greensboro (1-1) players open for too many long-range shots and they began switching, which coach Steve Gansey said really got his players involved in the game and put the Swarm on its heels.
Here are some other impressions:
-- Gansey joked that he wants Lemon to work with former Mad Ants star Ron Howard on how to fall so he can, you know, draw some more fouls through his speed. Video of Lemon's night is above.
-- Jones is going to be valuable because of his talent and also his experience. His teammates are looking up to the former NBA player.
-- Moore, who the Indiana Pacers really like, could end up being one of the best sixth men in the G League if he keeps up this hustle.
-- Adam Woodbury got seven minutes of action. He was used sparingly last season because of a back injury, but at 7-foot-1, he could be a factor. Frankly, with the lack of size, they could use him.
-- With Woodbury, Jones, Uthoff and others, the Mad Ants should block a lot of shots this season.
-- There were some technical difficulties, so if you saw some scores and statistics change on the G League web site, the Mad Ants are still working on it.