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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 10:03 pm

Indy product added to Mad Ants roster

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants added another player to their roster Tuesday, and he’s another one with ties to the state of Indiana.

New guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera is a native of Indianapolis and played for North Central, winning the 2010 4A state championship with a 95-74 win over Warsaw as a sophomore, averaging 17.5 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game, before finishing his high school career at famed Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.

Smith-Rivera, 24, played college basketball at Georgetown 2012-16. He was first-team all-conference as a junior and twice made the second team before not being selected by an NBA team in the draft this year.

In college, he averaged 14.8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, including 16 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists as a senior.

The Mad Ants already have two former Indiana University players – Nick Zeisloft, who has family ties to Auburn, and Christian Watford – and Jordan Loyd, a rookie out of the University of Indianapolis.

After spending training camp with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, Smith-Rivera played six games with the D-League Windy City Bulls and averaged 3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 11.1 minutes. Windy City waived him Dec. 5.

The Mad Ants, who are coming off a 120-110 loss Monday afternoon at Greensboro, North Carolina, were in need of a body after they lost Julyan Stone to a concussion last week. Stone is unlikely to be available tonight at Memorial Coliseum against the Grand Rapids Drive.

Smith-Rivera could certainly help on the defensive end, averaging 1.3 steals in college and 1.5 last season.

The Mad Ants (11-4) have won four of their last six games – they are tied with Raptors 905 for first place in the Central Division – and they boast a 7-2 record at the Coliseum.

Grand Rapids (8-9), which has lost back-to-back games, has a road record of 4-2.

The Drive is being paced by Kevin Murphy, who is averaging 23 points, and former Fort Wayne guard Jordan Crawford, who is averaging 22.2. Over the last 10 games, Crawford is scoring 26.4 points per game.

Fort Wayne has gotten strong performances lately from Trey McKinney Jones, who is averaging 20.2 points over the last five games, just behind the 25.2 of rookie Alex Poythress.

This is the first of four straight road games for the Mad Ants, who play host to Westchester on Friday, Windy City on Tuesday and Raptors 905 on Jan. 6.

jcohn@jg.net