Point guard Kenny Satterfield has played a starring role in the Saitama Broncos’ turnaround, helping the club rattle off seven straight wins from late December until a two-game sweep at the hands of the host Shiga Lakestars last weekend.
In January, Satterfield was the bj-league’s best all-around player. He averaged 23.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists as the Broncos won four of six games.
Tokyo Apache point guard Byron Eaton, meanwhile, had a solid month as the team’s floor leader. He averaged 14.1 points and 4.5 assists in helping the Apache win seven of 10 games.
Satterfield and Eaton are The Japan Times’ Offensive Players of the Month for January.
Also receiving strong consideration for the award were the following:
• Sendai guard Mac Hopson, who averaged 24.7 points and 6.2 assists as the 89ers went 4-2 in January.
• Sendai forward Mike Bell, who averaged 19.8 points and 3.5 assists. He also hauled in 30 offensive rebounds and had 15 dunks.
• Niigata forward Yuichi Ikeda, who averaged 14.3 points as the Albirex went 3-3 in January.
• Tokyo guard Cohey Aoki, who canned 20 of 37 3-point attempts, including 5-for-5 on Jan. 7 and 4-for-4 on Jan. 27. He averaged 15.0 ppg in the month.
Defensive accolade: Shimane Susanoo Magic center Jeral Davis is The Japan Times’ Defensive Player of the Month for January.
Davis, the league’s top shot-blocker (2.8 per game), swatted 29 shots in January, a key factor in the expansion team’s 3-3 month. He blocked six shots in three consecutive games (against Toyama on Jan. 15-16 and Hamamatsu on Jan. 29). He had at least three blocks in all six games.
Davis, who wrapped up his collegiate career at Talladega (Ala.) College, had 13 or more rebounds in four January games, making his presence felt on the defensive boards, too.
The 216-cm big man suited up for the Tijuana Zonkeys in the Mexican League last season.
Versatile forward Jeffrey Parmer of the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix was another top candidate for the accolade.
Parmer, the team’s top theft artist (50 steals), had three games with three or more steals in January as the defending champion Phoenix went 6-0 in the month and improved to a league-best 26-2. In addition, he had seven or more defensive rebounds in four of those games.
Other top candidates:
• Ryukyu’s Jeff Newton, who had 10 blocked shots in the month. For him, that’s typical production in six games.
• Kyoto’s Wendell White, the reigning league MVP, who swatted 13 shots in six games and helped the Hannaryz go 3-3 in the month.