OREM The Utah Flash had a busy week, losing one player to the NBA and pulling off a trade for another.
Guard Morris Almond, who had been leading the NBA Development League in scoring at 29.8 points per game, was recalled by the Utah Jazz on Jan. 8 because of injuries to the Jazz.
However, Flash general manager David Fredman said he expects Almond to be back with the Flash fairly soon.
Fredman also engineered a trade on Jan. 10, which sent guard Michael Cuffee to the Bakersfield Jam in exchange for forward Britton Johnsen, who played his college basketball in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah.
"Obviously, we think Britton's a very good player," Fredman said. "We also think Cuffee is a very good player, but he plays the same position as Almond, so he isn't getting as much playing time as he deserved. It's a win-win."
Fredman cited Johnsen's desire to be close to his family in Utah as an additional motivation behind the trade.Johnsen has played a total of 26 games in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers and the Orlando Magic from 2003-05, averaging 2.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 14.5 minutes per game.
The week that was
The Flash played three games this past week.
After being pounded 112-96 at home by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday, Utah rebounded on Monday to take a 102-80 win over Bakersfield in the D-League Showcase in Boise, Idaho.
Between Kyrylo Fesenko, on assignment from the Jazz, and James Lang, the Flash got 36 points and 11 rebounds on 15-20 shooting from their center position.
"That was definitely our game plan," Flash coach Brad Jones said. "Bakersfield was a little undermanned on the front line. We wanted to create offense inside out. Those two big guys were terrific. If you find something working, you keep going to it."
The win improved Utah to 11-8, good for the fifth best record in the D-League. The Flash also played the Iowa Energy on Wednesday afternoon.The D-League showcase is an event that allows the D-League players to show off their skills in front of all 14 D-League teams, as well as representatives from all 30 NBA teams.
The Flash will play three games in four days over the weekend. They travel to play road games against the Dakota Wizards and Sioux Falls Skyforce on Friday and Saturday, respectively, with both games starting at 6 p.m.
They then return home for a game against the Anaheim Arsenal on Monday night. The game will start at 7 p.m. at the McKay Center at the campus of UVSC in Orem.