Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts heading into Sioux Falls tonight

Head coach Nate Tibbetts returns to South Dakota tonight as the 66ers begin an important two-game swing through the Dakotas. Tibbetts spend the last four seasons with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, including two as their head coach, so there will be plenty of familiar faces tonight when the 66ers match up with Sioux Falls. However nice the homecoming might be, I'm sure Tibbetts is much more concerned about seeing his Tulsa team get back on track than shaking a few hands and talking about the good old days.

Sioux Falls has a bit of revenge in mind as Tulsa won two games at the Convention Center to start the year, but this is a different 66ers team than the Skyforce saw when they came to Oklahoma ... and Sioux Falls has a missing piece back in its puzzle as well. Greg Stiemsma was injured and did not play in either game for Sioux Falls, and Tulsa heads north without D.J. White in the middle. In addition, Tulsa is only traveling nine to the Dakotas with Zabian Dowdell no longer on the Tulsa roster. Nothing official has come from the 66ers yet, but plenty of social media sites are reporting that Dowdell has left the 66ers to join Unicaja in Spain, part of an exodus of D-Leaguers heading overseas in the last couple of weeks.

Can Tulsa win on the road with nine players this weekend against what should be a stronger Sioux Falls team? Absolutely, but it's going to take the 66ers rediscovering their chemistry (see my previous post) and Chris Richard returning to his old form in the middle.

Stay tuned...

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