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Irish NBA D-League Season Review

The NBA Developmental League had a banner year in 2012-13, and fans around the country had a chance to watch some big names throughout the season. A record 58 NBA players were assigned to D-League squads this year, including 11 first-round draft picks in 2012. There were 31 D-League players that were called up to the NBA.

Forward Carleton Scott suited up for the Springfield Armor this past season.

More and more, NBA teams are starting to own and operate their own minor league affiliates, including the Boston Celtics, which took over the Maine Red Claws in 2012, and the Portland Trail Blazers, which began working with the Idaho Stampede last year. The Delaware 87ers, owned by the Philadelphia 76ers, will begin play in 2013-14 as the 17th team in the D-League.

It was the fourth straight year the D-League surpassed one million spectators, growing three percent from 2011-12.

Here’s a look at the Notre Dame alumni who competed in the D-League in 2012-13:

Carleton Scott (Played at Notre dame from 2008-11)
Springfield (Mass.) Armor
The Armor posted an 18-23 record for seventh place (out of eight teams) in the Eastern Conference. Scott — who famously passed up his final year of eligibility at Notre Dame to enter the 2011 NBA Draft and, as a free agent, was the final cut made by the Brooklyn Nets two years ago — appeared in 48 games and averaged 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 block per game. The San Antonio product shot 43.4 percent from the field and 84.3 percent from the free throw line.

No member of the team, which is affiliated with the Nets, was called up to the NBA this season, and there was a high rate of personnel turnover.

“You’ve got to learn on the fly and develop chemistry quickly,” Scott, one of only three players that lasted the entire season, told near the end of the year. “Coach says we don’t have the time for it, we’ve got to go with what we have.”

Luke Harangody (2007-10)
Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants
The Mad Ants went 27-23 for third place in the Eastern Conference for their first winning season and playoff bid in franchise history (they lost to Santa Cruz in the first round). Harangody appeared in 17 games, and averaged 34.8 minutes, 19.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per contest. Notre Dame’s second-leading all-time scorer (2,476 points) shot 44.7 percent from the field and 40.4 percent from behind the arc, and finished the year with 13 double-doubles. The Cleveland Cavaliers waived Harangody early in the season after he re-injured his right knee — a similar injury to the same knee as the one that cost him several games at the end of his senior year in South Bend.

Harangody, who was selected 52nd overall in the second round by the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Draft, spent the first part of the season with the D-League’s Canton (Ohio) Charge on assignment from Cleveland.

Ryan Ayers (2006-09)
Austin Toros
The Toros finished 27-23 and tied for second place in the D-League’s Central Division, losing to Santa Cruz in the second round of the playoffs. Ayers, who joined the team in February, averaged 4.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 14.2 minutes per game. He shot 50.0 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from the three-point line. Ayers averaged 4.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in six games this season for Orleans, a ProA (top tier) team in France. He spent the 2011-12 campaign in France playing for Boulazac.

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