November 18, 2013

D-LEAGUE BASKETBALL: Allmond makes the cut

Red Claws trim roster

By KEVIN THOMAS

Staff Writer

When Corey Allmond walked into the Maine Red Claws’ coaching office Sunday night, he did not like that Deja Vu feeling.

Allmond, a 6-foot-2 guard from Oxon Hill, Md., entered head coach Mike Taylor’s office last year at this time and got the bad news. He was the last player cut from the team.

“I was devastated,” Allmond said. “I thought I had a good camp. I drove straight home (to Maryland).”

For this year’s team, Taylor made cuts on Sunday. Allmond approached Taylor’s door for his scheduled meeting with the coach.

“Judgement day,” Allmond said. “I didn’t know what to expect.”

The decision was favorable. Despite a plethora of guards on the team, Allmond was one of 10 players picked for the final roster.

“I’m so happy,” Allmond said, sitting in the stands of the Portland Expo.

The Red Claws, an NBA D-League affiliate of the Boston Celtics, will open their season at 7 Friday night at the Expo. They are also home for a 1 p.m. game Sunday.

Five of the 10 players are guards.

“We feel like we picked the best 10 guys for the team,” Taylor said Monday after practice.

The team includes six players who took part in NBA preseason camps this fall — guards Abdul Gaddy (Bobcats), Jermaine Taylor (Cavaliers) and Chris Babb (Celtics); and post players Chris Wright (Raptors), Romero Osby (Magic) and Damon Bell-Holter (Celtics).

Guard Kammron Taylor, who took part in the Celtics camp, was not officially cut but has not been able to play because of a sore Achilles tendon. He is expected to be put on the inactive list.

Allmond, 25, was not with an NBA team this past preseason. Back in 2010, when he finished his college career with Sam Houston State, he took part in the San Antonio Spurs training camp. After he was cut, Allmond played for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League.

Allmond played part of 2011-12 with the Red Ants, too, before being released after 12 games. He joined a team in Turkey.

Last year, Maine drafted Allmond in the eighth and final round of the D-League draft. A prolific scorer, Allmond faced tall odds for a shooting guard spot — against Micah Downs, Xavier Silas and Champ Oguchi.

“I was shooting the ball well, but the two-guard spot was locked down,” Allmond said.

Allmond drove back to Maryland last year and spent time watching the Red Claws on the internet.

“I was wondering if some guys were called up, or if things did not start out well, they might call me back,” Allmond said. “Coach said they might call me back. But they didn’t.”

When Maine did not call, Allmond joined a pro league in Morocco, where he averaged 23.8 points a game, shooting 42 percent from the 3-point arc.

The Red Claws invited Allmond to a tryout last September and then brought him to training camp.

“He made a good impression on us last year,” Taylor said. “Then he came back (this year) and played well again.

“We know he can shoot, but he has done a lot of other things well — he’s played a little bit of the point (guard position) and has defended well”

On Sunday, Allmond got the good news in Taylor’s office and soon shared it on his cleverly-named twitter account (@TeamAllmondJoy):

“It’s official, I’m a Maine Red Claw.”

Allmond sat out of Monday’s practice with a sprained ankle.

“I’ll be ready Friday,” said Allmond, who has waited a long time to make his Portland Expo debut.

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