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The Journal Gazette

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ Walt Lemon Jr. looks to make a play during the fourth quarter against Lakeland Magic at Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ Ike Nwamu looks to make a play during the fourth quarter against Lakeland Magic at Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ C.J. Wilcox dribbles the ball down the court during the fourth quarter against Lakeland Magic at Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ Travin Thibodeaux shoots the ball during the fourth quarter against Lakeland Magic at Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ Brian Bowen II passes the ball during the fourth quarter against Lakeland Magic at Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ Naz Mitrou-Long dribbles the ball down the court while Lakeland Magic’s Hassani Gravett tries to defend him during the third quarter at Memorial Coliseum on Friday.

Friday, November 08, 2019 10:40 pm

Mad Ants hold Thabeet out of opening loss

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

In case you’re wondering why Hasheem Thabeet didn’t play in the Mad Ants’ 117-89 season-opening loss to the Lakeland Magic, it was a mix of him still needing to get into game shape and Fort Wayne getting trounced at Memorial Coliseum tonight.

“They were killing us up and down and I don’t think (Thabeet) is ready to give us significant minutes,” Gansey said of his center, who didn’t play last season.

“I wasn’t going to throw him in there at the end when we were getting our butts kicked. He doesn’t deserve that. He’s going to continue to get ready for games and his number is going to get called.”

Gansey was pretty perturbed over his team’s showing, which included 22 turnovers, 37.8% shooting from the field, only 12 assists, and a lack of passion on defense.

“We’re not conditioned, we’re not ready. I’ve got to do a better job of getting these guys ready for games, but it’s just embarrassing to go out for our home opener and showcase like that,” Gansey said. “The good thing about this league is that you play tomorrow.”

The Mad Ants play host to the Long Island Nets at 7 p.m. Saturday, during which fans will get T-shirts for a “gold out.”

The only bright spot for Fort Wayne were Stephan Hicks, who had 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting; Ike Nwamu, who totaled 15 points and seven rebounds; and JaKeenan Gant, who had 15 points.

jcohn@jg.net