Basketball / BJ-League | BJ-LEAGUE NOTEBOOK

Roster, coach change but Tokyo's game still same

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Tokyo Cinq Reves had an atrocious 2014-15 season, losing 47 of 52 games.

Last spring, bench boss Motofumi Aoki left the Cinq Reves after three seasons at the helm.

The current Cinq Reves squad is having another historically bad season, dropping 11 of its first 12 games.

New coach Hirosumi Tomatsu’s team has lost seven of those 11 games by 20 or more points, including margins of 26, 29, 33 (twice), 43 and 56 points.

(They’ve also been beaten by 17, 18 and 19 points.)

Turnover woes have plagued the Cinq Reves, who have 139 assists. They’ve committed 208 turnovers — eight fewer than their number of 2-point field goals to date.

Guard Yuji Ide, the lone go-to Japanese standout on the Cinq Reves over the past two seasons, is now making his mark for the expansion Kanazawa Samuraiz, averaging 11.0 points in 12 games.

Tokyo’s roster has essentially turned over, and the program that Tomatsu is trying to implement is not unlike an expansion team’s.

Through Sunday, guard Tomoyuki Shinzato leads Tokyo in scoring (12.6 ppg) and post players John Florveus and El Hadji Ndieguene are tied for second in that department (11.6).

Looking at the big picture, if the Cinq Reves are going to turn their season around and show signs of respectability, the next 10 or so games will be their critical stretch; otherwise, 40 or more losses appear inevitable.

League accolade: Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix standout Terrance Woodbury earned the league’s Lawson/Ponta Weekly MVP honor, it was announced earlier this week.

The University of Georgia product helped the reigning champions triumph in back-to-back games last weekend against the expansion Hiroshima Lightning.

In the series opener, Woodbury had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

A day later, he scored a team-high 36 points on 12-for-22 shooting plus 8-for-11 at the free-throw line and grabbed seven boards.

In the two games, he sank 6 of 14 3-point shots.

Woodbury is averaging a team-high 21.1 points per game.

Getting to know … Larry Owens: The Kyoto Hannaryz veteran leads the Kansai club in scoring (14.5 ppg) and has four double-doubles through the first 10 games.

After attending Oral Roberts University, Owens’ pro career has included stops in France, Belgium and Mexico and several stints in the NBA Development League. He also saw court time in 19 games for the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards and New Jersey Nets during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

Owens, who hails from Mesa, Arizona, competed in the NBA Summer League for the Miami Heat (2007), New Orleans Hornets (2008 and 2009), NBA D-League select team (2010) and Boston Celtics (2012).

Verdell Jones III update: The former Oita HeatDevils and Fukushima Firebonds guard made his NBA Development League preseason debut on Saturday for the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The reigning D-League champs open their season on Friday.

Weekly schedule: Here’s a rundown on games from Friday through Sunday. Kyoto plays host to Osaka starting on Friday. The rest of the weekend’s action tips off a day later.

Here’s the list of the other two-game series: Aomori vs. Saitama, Sendai vs. Iwate, Niigata vs. Fukushima, Shinshu vs. Akita, Tokyo vs. Toyama, Yokohama vs. Gunma, Shiga vs. Hamamatsu, Nara vs. Kanazawa and Shimane vs. Fukuoka.

Feedback: edward.odeven@japantimes.co.jp