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17 Things in 2017

By Matt Dykstra | April 10, 2017

Sioux Falls Skyforce–Season Recap

 

#1 Keith Benson climbed the Skyforce history boards throughout the 2016-17 campaign, achieving multiple career milestones along the way. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored (2,003), 2nd all-time in rebounds (1,048), and 1st all-time in blocked shots (219). Benson became the first player in Skyforce history to score over 2,000 points and collect over 1,000 rebounds.

More milestones for Keith Benson! 2,000+ points, 1,000+ rebounds 🔥 Congrats, KB!

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KB is earning his spot in Skyforce history! 🔥

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#2 Despite missing the playoffs, the Skyforce still had one of their most successful seasons in franchise history. In 28 years of existence, this years’ 29-21 record marked 10th highest winning percentage Sioux Falls has ever recorded during the regular season. Though this was the first season the Skyforce failed to reach the playoffs since partnering with the Miami HEAT, their 29 wins matched their win total from the 2013-14 season in which they managed to make the playoffs.

 

#3 Okaro White served as the first of three call ups this season for the Skyforce, being called up by the Miami HEAT on January 27, 2017. White was then signed to a second 10-day contract on February 6, and ultimately signed a multi-year contract on February 16, 2017. White has since appeared in 31 games for the HEAT and has averaged 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in just over 13 minutes per game. White appeared in 23 games (23 starts) while with the Skyforce this season and averaged 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

 

#4 Briante Weber was called up by the Golden State Warriors on February 4, 2017 and proceeded to sign back-to-back 10-day contracts before returning to the Skyforce on February 26. Upon his release from Golden State, the Charlotte Hornets immediately signed Weber to back-to-back 10-day contracts of their own, and eventually signed him to a multi-year contract on March 19, 2017.

OFFICIAL | Briante Weber has earned a call up to the Golden State Warriors! #ForceNation #DubNation

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OFFICIAL | the @hornets have signed Briante Weber to a 10-day contract. #FORCENATION

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#5 Henry Walker continued to climb the ranks for all-time three-pointers made and attempted throughout the 2016-17 campaign. Walker appeared in just 25 games this season, and averaged just over 21 minutes per contest, but that didn’t stop him from lighting it up from long range. Walker made 81 three-point field goals on 209 attempts (.338 percent). He now sits in fourth place in three-point field goals made (231), sixth place in three-point field goals attempted (600), and eighth place in three-point field goal percentage (.385 percent) in franchise history.

 

#6 The Skyforce hosted a game on Christmas Day for the 27th time in their 28 seasons of existence, defeating the Northern Arizona Suns in a double-overtime thriller 96-94. The only year the Skyforce failed to host a game on Christmas Day was during the 2008-09 season when a blizzard forced them to postpone the game until the next day. It remains one of the most popular games of the season, and draws league-wide attention as no other Development League games are scheduled that night.


#7 
The Skyforce were actively involved in the community this season, especially during February and March. Coaches and players spent time in classrooms reading to students, talking about their careers as professionals, and discussing how hard work, goal setting, and perseverance can do when chasing your dreams. Skyforce forward Jabril Trawick formed a special bond with a student at Garfield Elementary after the team visited on multiple occasions. Trawick and the student are striving to remain in contact even throughout the offseason.

 

#8 The Skyforce won 20 straight regular season games on their home floor spanning from February 19, 2016 to January 13, 2017. In doing so, they earned a share of the NBA D-League’s record for the longest regular season home winning streak in history, matching a mark set by the Idaho Stampede, who won 20-straight games spanning the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. The Skyforce have won at least 14 home games in every season since entering their exclusive partnership with the Miami HEAT. In four seasons, Sioux Falls has won 69 of a possible 96 games at the Sanford Pentagon, equating to a .718 winning percentage. The Skyforce finished 15-9 on their home floor this season.

Coach Spo on the @miamiheat re-signing Okaro White 🔥

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#9  The Skyforce was featured on NBA TV’s Beyond the Paint.  The show took viewers behind the scenes of the community that has been behind
the team since it began in 1989 and shows why professional basketball thrives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

#10 Denver Nuggets assignee Malik Beasley played in 16 games (12 starts) for the Skyforce this season. Because Denver does not have an NBA D-League affiliate, they were able to assign him to the Skyforce via the flexible assignment rule. In 16 games at the D-League level, Beasley averaged 18.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists, highlighted by a monster 32-point, 19-rebound and seven-assist double-double on March 30 against the Oklahoma City Blue.

Malik Beasley can fly… don't believe us? 👀 Watch this ⬆️

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#11 Sioux Falls utilized 18 different starting lineups this season as the roster featured much more turnover than it did a season ago. Due to assignments, call-ups and trades, four players that had started multiple games for the Skyforce did not finish the year on the teams’ roster, including Briante Weber (Charlotte Hornets), Okaro White (Miami HEAT), Luis Montero (Reno Bighorns), and Stefan Jankovic (Erie BayHawks).

 

#12 On January 31, Briante Weber finished just one steal shy of recording the first quadruple double in NBA D-League history. Weber finished the game with 18 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds and nine steals in 46 minutes in an overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Blue. In total, Weber finished with 11 double-doubles, including a league-leading five triple-doubles in just 31 games played for the Skyforce this season.

#13 Patrick Miller started quiet, then finished emphatically this season since being traded to the Skyforce from the Texas Legends. In his first 14 games with Sioux Falls, he came off the bench to averaged just 7.1 points per game. He was inserted into the starting lineup on January 19 against the Reno Bighorns, where he put up a career-high 29 points in the NBA D-League Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada). After that, he started 24 of the final 25 games of the season, averaging 21.2 points, 6.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Patrick Miller can get 🆙 #FORCENATION

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#14 The Skyforce finished with their first winning season over the Iowa Energy since the Energy came into existence in 2007. Sioux Falls defeated Iowa 132-99 in its final home game of the season, finishing with a 3-1 record against the Energy on the year. The best the Skyforce have ever done prior to this season was tie the Energy in a season series. Even a year ago when the Skyforce finished with a 40-10 record, they only managed to split the season series with Iowa 3-3.

#15 Sioux Falls went undefeated against the league’s newest expansion teams this season, collecting wins against the Long Island Nets, Greensboro Swarm, and Windy City Bulls in their lone meeting with each team. The D-League’s expansion caused the Skyforce to be bumped into the Western Conference. The Skyforce also finished with a 5-3 record against the D-League’s recently relocated teams in the Northern Arizona Suns (formerly the Bakersfield Jam) and Salt Lake City Stars (formerly the Idaho Stampede).

 

#16 The Skyforce played at a faster pace than any other team in the league this season, averaging 107.54 possessions a game. This paced marked the fastest pace that a Skyforce team has played since becoming a member of the NBA D-League. The Skyforce ranked third in shot attempts per game at 90.6, and finished ranked fourth in points scored per game at 115.7.

👀🔥💯#DLeagueShowcase #Repost @nbadleague

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Miller ➡ Beasley 🔥

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#17 The Skyforce scored the most points within a three-game span in franchise history, beginning with a 148-122 win over the Texas Legends on January 6, 2016. They followed that up just one night later with a 130-118 win over those same Legends, and then won 135-129 over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on January 11 as Briante Weber tallied a 31-point, 11-rebound, and 11-assist triple-double.