Wednesday, February 2, 2011

News and Notes: More on the Wittman Signing

Below, some late day news and notes on the Ryan Wittman signing by the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants...
  • Lost Lettermen writes, "Ryan Wittman, the sharp-shooting guard who led Cornell to last year’s Sweet 16, was acquired by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBDL. Wittman had been playing for Forli of the second division in Italy, averaging 14.5 points per game. Wittman, whose father Randy played in the NBA, has a stroke as silky smooth as they come. Cornell probably wishes they had him best. The Big Red are currently 4-14 this season."

Lafayette exits; Ants sign son of ex-IU star

Oliver Lafayette, called up from the Mad Ants to the NBA’s Boston Celtics late last season, is on his way out of Fort Wayne again.

The 6-foot-2 guard has signed with Besitkas, Turkey, where he will replace Allen Iverson on the roster.

“I guess it was an offer he couldn’t refuse,” Mad Ants president Jeff Potter said. “Things change, and something could happen, but it looks like it’s a done deal.”

Joining the team will be a familiar name, particularly with fans of Indiana University.

Ryan Wittman, son of former IU standout guard Randy Wittman who was a member of the 1981 national championship team, will join the Mad Ants for Thursday’s 7 p.m. game against Austin at Memorial Coliseum.

A four-year starter at Cornell, the 6-7 Wittman was the model of consistency, averaging 15.6 points as a freshman, 15.1 as a sophomore, 18.5 as a junior and 17.5 points as a senior in leading Cornell to the Ivy League championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament Sweet 16, where the Big Red lost to Kentucky. Wittman also shot over 40 percent from the three-point line in each of his four years.

“He was in Italy most of this year, and played pretty well, actually,” Potter said. “I’m surprised they let him go. He was averaging about 14 a game.”

The elder Wittman, once the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, is an assistant with the Washington Wizards.

On the surface, the loss of Lafayette means the Mad Ants (13-16) are losing their second-leading scorer, who averaged 16.4 points per game.

But except for a 31-point effort in a Mad Ants win in Boise, Idaho, last week, Lafayette had not been playing well. In his last five games, he was shooting 31 percent from the floor.

Lafayette going, Wittman coming

Tuesday's news that Oliver Lafayette will be leaving Fort Wayne and going to play in Turkey isn't that devastating for the Mad Ants.

The Lafayette who was sensational down the stretch last season and was called up to the NBA Boston Celtics is not the same Oliver Lafayette who has played 21 games with the Ants this year.

The 6-foot-2 guard has not been playing well, shooting well, or even defending well. Yet coach Joey Meyer felt obligated to play Lafayette with the hope that his game would eventually come around.

It didn't. In his last five games, Lafayette shot 31 percent from the floor.

To fill Lafayette's spot will be the son of one of Indiana's favorite sons.

Ryan Wittman, son of former Indiana University standout Randy Wittman, will be with the team Thursday when the Ants play Austin.

Like his father, Ryan Wittman is a 6-foot-7 outside shooting threat. He was the one who led Cornell to victories over Temple and Wisconsin in last year's NCAA Tournament. Cornell then lost to Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

Amazing how life can spin about.

Kentucky's best player last season was guard John Wall, who went to the NBA Washington Wizards, where Randy Wittman is an assistant coach.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for Witt to continue his career!! He'll will go far to bad about the misunderstanding... What about that double double louis had feb 2!