November 22, 2012

Sturdy dozen complete Claws roster

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - The Maine Red Claws roster is down to a dozen as they prepare for their first game on Friday.

The Red Claws, entering their fourth season in the NBA D-League, released shooting guard Corey Allmond.

The move puts the Red Claws roster at 10 (the D-League maximum), plus two Boston Celtics players (guard/forward Kris Joseph and center Fab Melo). The D-League allows teams a maximum of three NBA players on the roster.

The Red Claws had expected to have their roster set by Sunday, but they had trouble letting go of Allmond, 24, a 6-foot-2 guard gifted with a scoring touch.

The decision came down to Allmond, a third-year pro, and rookie point guard Raheem Singleton from the University of Maine.

"Both guys played well enough to be here," Red Claws Coach Mike Taylor said. "Despite Corey's excellent three-point shooting in camp, we felt it was more valuable to keep Raheem as a backup point guard for the continuity of the team."

Singleton will back up starting point guard Shelvin Mack, with two-guard Xavier Silas capable of playing the point if needed.

Singleton means the Red Claws have one rookie besides Joseph and Melo. The D-League requires at least one rookie on each team. With Singleton, Maine does not have to worry if both NBA players rejoin the Celtics.

Meanwhile, Allmond was behind several players in the two-guard spot.

"We just felt there was a logjam of players on the wing," said Taylor, who began listing his two-guard options: "Kris Joseph, Micah Downs, Champ Oguchi, Omar Reed, Xavier Silas."

Plus, all of the above-mentioned players are taller (6-5 to 6-8) than Allmond and most can also play small forward.

The roster also includes post players Chris Wright (6-8), Chris Ayers (6-11) and three 7-footers: Melo, Brian Cusworth and Scott VanderMeer.

The Red Claws open their season on the road this weekend, playing Friday in Canton, Ohio, and Sunday in Fort Wayne, Ind. They begin their home schedule the following weekend, Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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