2020 FBA Season/20.04.20/ALK@AZW/Capsule
What do you do when you have nothing to lose?
For Alaska, this means getting in some much needed experience. As the season winds to a close and the playoff positions are all but set, the Alaska Arctics made a move to experiment with their remaining games.
The Arctics have had a difficult season without a doubt. In recent years, talent has coalesced in the West to distinguish it as the premiere conference in the whole of the FBA. Since the exit of Cliff Mathews, they have struggled to maintain consistent results, even if there seems to be talent in their midst.
Alaska has made some interesting moves since new management came to roost in Anchorage. With somewhat unexpected picks and two players plucked from potential undrafted obscurity, it is surprising that they have done as well as they have.
As two basement teams squared off, the Arctics have elected in recent games to allow their bench players to get some firsthand experience starting. While some may see this as throwing in the towel, this reporter notes that there is rarely a better time to challenge your players than when defeat has dealt you a bad hand.
The Arctics walked away with a win and three double-doubles from their starters. Ogun Okayu took the PotG award with an impressive 25 points and 11 rebounds, and his sister, Harmonie, rounded out the impressive sibling duo with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Veteran Otis Najac seemed to be struggling to nail his threes tonight. The second double-double, pulled by the third undrafted player on Alaska's lineup tonight, showcased Mark Gerena Jr.s continued relevancy with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Though the most unexpected double-double tonight came from the FBA's least assuming player. Lady Black earned her first double-double of her career by leading the Arctic's lineup as the starting PG. 14 points, for a rookie, is nothing to sneeze at, but the 10 assists show where much of her strength lies. The shortest player in the league, Black has seemingly put her training into areas that her height do not keep her from. Her assists for the night go unmatched on the team tonight, only Kendrick Komminsk and Advit Dhokia pulling 4 apiece. What worked in the spunky corgi's favor was her accuracy from the free throw line. The fastest of her draft class, Black seems to draw fouls (and usually injuries) left and right, but with a 75% accuracy to her free throws tonight, she comes away with a career first.
When asked how she would celebrate on this most infamous of eves, she responded, "I'm going to Nugs Aplenty!"
This reporter is unsure of what this means.
- Tabitha LaFleur