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Yellow Jackets to face Indiana's Naptown Pros Saturday night in Allentown


Last updated 11/22/2022 at 9:44pm

Thomas Leturgey

Yellow Jackets guard Tim Jackson

The American Basketball Association's #1 ranked club in the Power Rankings return to action this Saturday A Giving Heart Community Center in Allentown as the Naptown Pros (1-0) come to town to take on the defending National Champion Steel City Yellow Jackets (1-0).

Indianapolis' franchise recently registered their first win of the season, a 143-132 contest with the Akron Aviators. The Naptown Pros are tied for 22nd in the ABA early-season power rankings with the 1-0 Florida Sun Blazers (1-0).

Very little is known about the Naptown Pros, but based on their 143-point output, Ace Pippen's Yellow Jackets will have to continue their focus on defense.

The Yellow Jackets have been hit by the injury bug early on with co-captain Tone Reddic Sr. still on the Injured Reserve, along with Claude Scott, Jr. Both of those veterans are missed, but are expected back. Scott said recently he should be returning to action in a couple of weeks, while Reddic's back is resting nicely. Pippens doesn't want to rush either star to the court before their time.

And in the season/home opener last Saturday, co-captain Gilmore Cummings wrenched a calf muscle and Brandon Johnson, who had a productive first game with 24 points, has a hip pointer. After the game Saturday, Pippens said both guards were day-to-day.

Regardless of the ailments, the Yellow Jackets are in good hands. Tim and James Jackson led much of the game against the Beaver County Indians. That is when Kenny Holmes wasn't. Holmes' 38-points off the pine led all scorers.

The season's first win was completely a team effort with new forward Dominick McClung rebounding under the hoop. With McClung, as well as a returning Brandon Burnett, the Yellow Jackets were afforded an inside game they didn't have for the second half of last season.

If Johnson is out, look for an added contribution from Amaru Caldwell. Touted as a key addition in the pre-season, Caldwell hit four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points.

Another returning guard, Cam Wiley, could get more playing time. In the home opener, Wiley added six points, all in the 4th quarter. In February, Wiley–in one of his handful of games with the club–came on to score 16 points in a rare Friday night contest against the Buchannon Bears. Wiley's defense was also in fine form that evening.

Pippens has emphasized press defense this season, and he has more tricks up his sleeve for the defending champions to use on November 12.


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