Tonight, the Bulls are back at it, taking on the Raptors 905, a team that was once the hottest in the D-League. They, at one point were on a huge winning streak that gave them an early edge of their division.
Although they have slowed down a bit, they still are a dangerous team, and the Bulls need to plan accordingly. The Raptors 905 have lost three of their last four, but put up a winning performance against one of the best teams in the league, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, winning by 14 points, 114-100.
The key reason for this win, was due to solid play of Fred VanFleet, who the Bulls need to keep an eye on during this game. Bulls coach Nate Loenser will no doubt be having a good game plan set up to help slow down VanFleet.
VanFleet was on the 2012-2013 Wichita State Shcoker that reached the Final Four, and “shocked” the nation. He was a Freshman at the time who played a big role in Wichita State reaching the Final Four, scoring 12 points against Ohio State to help the Shockers reach that point.
The Rockford, Illinois native is also Wichita State’s all-time leader in assists. To this day, he is still proving to be a quality passer, getting six dimes in the game against the Mad Ants and also dropping 20 points.
So, with his combination of great passing, and solid scoring, he could be a handful, but the Bulls have weapons of their own. Alfonzo McKinnie has really developed into a star on the Windy City Bulls, and with no sign of slowing down, as he dropped 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the last game against the Knicks.
McKinnie has gained valuable professional basketball experience, not only playing in the D-League, but playing overseas as well. SportsTownChicago.com’s own Jamie Newell had a chance to chat with McKinnie who said that there is a lot more playing time in the D-League than overseas.
That difference seems to be paying off for McKinnie, who is nearly averaging a double-double this season, with 13.8 points, and 8.5 rebounds. He also has an impressive field goal percentage of a 50%, showing his scoring consistency.
The Chicago native had a solid stint at Eastern Illinois, averaging 10 points and seven rebounds as a sophomore with the Panthers. He also was second in the OVC in field goal percentage, with an impressive 56% from the field.
In a game against Maine, while at Eastern Illinois, he had one of the best games of his college career, getting 24 points, while also collecting 14 rebounds. He continued the solid play at UW-Green Bay, where he averaged eight points and 5.3 rebounds during his senior year.
Mickinnie’s surge as a top player on the Bulls, will ultimately help the team in the long run if he stays put. However, it wouldn’t be a shock if he gets a call from an NBA team sometime down the road, as he’s pushing that much closer to big league status.
Utilizing his size, getting the boards, as getting the inside buckets will be key for McKinnie, as he looks to help the Bulls get their second straight win. Who knows, since it is Dog Night at the Sears Centre, maybe the power of the pooches can help propel the Bulls to another W.
Tip off is at 7pm.
Be sure to listen to all home games and read up about the squad on the official radio home of Windy City Bulls basketball, SportsTownChicago.com.