City 6 Stars of Old Team Up Tonight at SJU

City 6 Stars of Old Team Up Tonight at SJU

Anyone who reads our college coverage will realize this is pretty much a dream come true. Or, as Phil Martelli put it, "It's a concept basketball junkies will embrace."

Really, the chance to see guys who used to star on local teams reuniting for well-marketed summer league ball? How can we lose?

At 8 p.m. this evening at the Hagan Arena inside the Alumni Fieldhouse on the campus of Saint Joseph's University, Team Philadelphia takes on Team Washington D.C. in the second leg of a two-day showcase for the new Basketball Alumni Legends League (aka The-BALL).

Oh, and college kids -- you're getting in for free. Hit the jump for more...

The league, founded by a former filmmaker with a passion for basketball, is set to kick-off in Summer 2013, and will feature rosters comprised of former college stars from the competing cities.

Tonight's rosters feature the following names:

Philly: Curtis Sumpter (Villanova), Tasheed Carr (St. Joe’s), Pat Carroll (St. Joe’s), Dwayne Jones (St. Joe’s), Ryan Brooks (Temple), Dionte Christmas (Temple), Ramone Moore (Temple), Dustin Salisbery (Temple), Mark Tyndale (Temple), Rodney Green (La Salle) and Frank Elegar (Drexel). Nova's Allan Ray was originally part of the roster, but is now scratched.

D.C.: Chris Monroe (George Washington), Tony Taylor (George Washington), Jason Clark (Georgetown), Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Henry Sims (Georgetown), Chris Wright (Georgetown), John Gilchrist (Maryland), James Gist (Maryland), D.J. Strawberry (Maryland), Folarin Campbell (George Mason), Jai Lewis (George Mason) and Will Thomas (George Mason).

Procedural notes:
-- Game 1 was Saturday on the campus of GW, where D.C. won 111-93.

-- Comcast Sportsnet will be airing the game live at 8 p.m.

-- College students get in free with a school ID and their institution's team colors.

-- All other interested parties may purchase tickets in advance here.

-- Speaking of parties...

Player updates:
-- This evening marks the last game in the basketball careers of Pat Carroll and Curtis Sumpter. Carroll is moving on to the healthcare industry and Sumpter will apparently become a coach.

-- Dionte Christmas is, for now, your newest Boston Celtic and will have the chance to make the team out of camp.

-- Ramone Moore spent time with the Chicago Bulls in Summer League, but has signed on overseas in Italy to play on the same team, Angellico Biella, as Craig Brackins.

-- Maryland's D.J. Strawberry, who spent part of a season with the Phoenix Suns in 2007-2008, is indeed the son of the Darryl Strawberry.

For more:
-- Check out Dave Zeitlin's writeup on and visit the league website at

-- Follow along @cnmenta for the occasional update during the game.

Sixers-Thunder 10 observations: Joel Embiid electrifies in debut

Sixers-Thunder 10 observations: Joel Embiid electrifies in debut

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric playing in a regular-season game for the Sixers? Check.

Russell Westbrook being, well, Russell Westbrook? Check.

An overzealous fan giving Westbrook a crude salute and getting tossed from the arena? Yeah, check that one off too.

The Sixers' tight 103-97 loss to the Thunder in Wednesday night's season opener at the Wells Fargo Center had a little bit of everything (see Instant Replay).

Let's take a closer look at the action with 10 observations.

1. Embiid is already a rock star among Sixers fans thanks to his personality and social media antics, but if his game ever matches his fame, look out. When he caught the ball at the free throw line during the first quarter and did a mini "Dream Shake" to bury a jumper for his first NBA points and then followed it up on the other end with a massive swat of a Westbrook layup attempt, he gave the crowd an in impressive glimpse of his vast potential. He was even showered with “Trust the Process” chants when he stepped to the free throw line during the second half. Embiid finished the game with 20 points on 6 of 16 shooting and seven rebounds along with two blocks.

2. That's not to say the big fella was without his faults. After spending two years on the sidelines, Embiid was understandably amped up and tried to do too much at times on both offense (held the ball too much, four turnovers) and defense (over-helping on rotations, which left the paint open). Like anything involving Embiid, it's a process.

3. Note to fans: Westbrook is already a supremely focused and competitive player. He doesn't need any help to get going. However, one Sixers fan took it upon himself to rev up the Thunder's All-Star point guard with a special salute in the first quarter before being promptly ejected (see story). No wonder Westbrook scored 12 of his game-high 32 points in the first quarter and finished just one assist shy of a triple-double.

4. Saric didn’t have a great shooting night (2 of 12 from the field for five points), but he still looked relatively solid in the victory. The Croatian showcased the versatility that had the Sixers salivating over him for the past two years, including a number of pump/head fakes to get defenders off balance before he missed the ensuing shot. He was overmatched inside when OKC went to its super-sized lineup with mustache afficionados Steven Adams and Enes Kanter (combined 33 points and 17 rebounds) down low. But that’s more on Brett Brown leaving the rookie out to dry than Saric’s ability.

5. Speaking of Brown, I’m not sure if the Sixers will ever value possessions like they should under a head coach with his Spurs pedigree. However, just 14 for a squad that has finished 30th, 30th and 29th in that category during Brown's first three years at the helm is definitely a step in the right direction.

6. Surgery for a meniscus tear didn’t do anything to hamper Jahlil Okafor’s post moves. The second-year big man looked spry after playing in just one preseason game before the opener. His shot was a tad rusty (4 of 10), but Okafor managed eight points in 16 minutes.

7. I’ve been critical of the Sixers’ defense over the years mainly because … it was non-existent. That wasn’t the case Wednesday until the fourth quarter. They were outscored, 34-22, in the final period. For the most part, the Sixers closed out to shooters and rotated with purpose on the defensive end of the floor. They held the Thunder to 41.5 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three-point range. Not bad when the “crown jewel” of the D in Embiid was limited to 22 minutes.

8. Jerryd Bayless might want to hurry back from that wrist injury. Sergio Rodriguez had the ball on a string all night long for the Sixers. The point guard had 12 points to go along with nine assists, zero turnovers and countless dribble moves that left Thunder defenders grasping at air. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t played an NBA game since 2010.

9. Sauce Castillo lives! OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but Nik Stauskas was excellent. He was decisive with his movements and got himself going by driving to the rim. The guard posted 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting off the bench. Perhaps coming into a season without the pressure of having to live up to being the No. 8 pick in the 2014 draft and playing with close friend T.J. McConnell are what the third-year player needed.

10. Wednesday’s game was a thriller down to the end, but you can’t help but feel that some of the extra juice that would have been in the building for No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons was missing. Instead of suiting up, Simmons held a press conference to discuss his health after foot surgery (see story).