The unbeaten Ryukyu Golden Kings added steady scorer Terrance Woodbury in the offseason, and the move paid off.
The NBA Development League veteran is the team’s leading scorer, averaging 19.9 points per game (No. 5 in the league) and helping the Golden Kings chalk up victories in each of their first 14 games entering this weekend.
In November, Woodbury, a University of Georgia alum, averaged 21.3 points in six games. He is The Japan Times’ November Offensive Player of the Month. He shot 11-for-22 on 3s and 62.9 percent from the field in the season’s second month.
Other November standouts on offense included:
*Chiba Jets point guard Kensuke Tanaka, who dished out 48 assists against 14 turnovers.
*Yokohama B-Corsairs guard Draelon Burns, who produced the following scoring totals for the second-year club: 19, 24, 21, 16, 12, 37, 21 and 23. In four of those games, he got to the free-throw line for seven, eight (twice) and 10 shots.
*Tokyo Cinq Reves center Jonathan Jones, who averaged 20.4 points in eight games, including a 31-point outburst on Nov. 11 against the Sendai 89ers.
*Chiba Jets center Joe Werner, who had four or more offensive rebounds on four occasions, giving his team extra chances to score. He also had four games with between 20 and 26 points.
*Akita Northern Happinets forward Kazuhiro Shoji, who drained 13 of 26 3-pointers in the month. The 38-year-old veteran is No. 2 in the league in 3-point shooting accuracy at 47.7 percent.
*Kyoto Hannaryz shooting guard Yu Okada, who had 18-, 19-, 20- and 25-point performances. The Hannaryz have won eight straight games as Okada and his teammates found their rhythm after an eight-game losing streak to begin the season.
Defensive recognition: Shimane Susanoo Magic center Jeral Davis, the league’s premier shot blocker in the past two season, leads all players with 3.3 per game.
His long arms and impeccable timing create problems for opposing players, as evidenced by Davis’ 26 blocks shots last month. This includes nine against the Takamatsu Five Arrows on Nov. 9 and six versus the Shiga Lakestars seven days later.
In addition to all those blocks, the 216-cm Davis alters the shooting mechanics of countless players, taking them out of their comfort zone.
Davis, a Talladega State (Alabama) alum, is The Japan Times’ November Defensive Player of the Month.
The Susanoo Magic went 6-2 in November.
Other noteworthy November defenders include:
*Rizing Fukuoka power forward Reggie Warren had six double-doubles in November, making his mark as a rebounder, especially on defense with 83 boards on that end of the court.
*Iwate Big Bulls guard Masato Tsukino, who collected 10 steals, including four against Akita on Nov. 11. He’s averaging 2.3 steals a game, second-best output in the league behind co-leaders Burns and Anthony McHenry (Ryukyu) at 2.4.
*Niigata Albirex BB center Chris Holm, who hauled in 107 rebounds (65 off the defensive glass) in eight games. He’s the team’s last line of defense and often the primary person to take the ball away from the opposition after a missed shot. Holm and Tokyo’s Dennis Carr share the league lead in rebounds (13.4 per game).