2004-05:32-16, 4.11 quarter-point average, first place in WesternConference; lost to Sioux Falls 3-2 in conference finals.
Coach:Dave Bliss, first year, 526-328 at the college level.
Fast fact:The Wizards have been the top seed entering the postseason each of the last six years, four times in the CBA and twice in the IBA.
2004-05:23-25, 3.50 avg, third place inWestern Conference; did not qualify for playoffs.
Coach:Joe Wolf, second year, 23-25.
Fast fact:Ricardo Sanchez, who turned 18 in July, is the youngest player in CBA history.
Roster:Eddy Barlow, 6-0, 164, G, Sam Houston State '03. Jermaine Blackburn, 6-5, 210, G, Boise State, '05. Jermaine Boyette, 6-3, 205, G, Weber State '03. Eric Chenowith, 7-1, 275, C, Kansas '01. Matt Freije, 6-9, 245, F, Vanderbilt '04. David Jackson, 6-5, 210, G, Oregon '01. Ricardo Sanchez, 6-11, 215, F, IMG Academy, '05. Jefferson Sobral, 6-8, 205, F, Brazil. Nick Vander Laan, 6-10, 253, C, Concordia (Calif.) '04. Eric Washington, 6-4, 200, G, Alabama '97.
Notes: Freije was chosen by the New Orleans Hornets with the 53rd pick of the 2004 NBA draft. He played 23 games with the Hornets last year, averaging 4.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg. - Jackson comes to the Stampede after helping Sioux Falls win a championship last year. Jackson 17.0 ppg for the Skyforce last year and 19.5 ppg in 2003-04. - Sanchez was chosen by the Portland with the 35th pick in this year's NBA draft, then dealt to Denver, which retains his NBA rights. - Chenowith was taken by the New York Knicks in the second round of the 2001 NBA draft. He was a teammate of Valley City's Jeff Boschee's at Kansas and has extensive experience in the NBDL. - Washington played 104 games with the Denver Nuggets from 1997-99, averaging 6.9 ppg. - The Stampede has had a winning record just twice in its seven seasons in the CBA. - Idaho picked Blackburn in the fifth round of the CBA draft. … Wolf had an 11-year NBA playing career and played college ball for Dean Smith at North Carolina.
Coach Wolf's comments:"We've got some bigger bodies and we're going to slow the game down a little bit and perform in the half-court. … It's way too early to talk about Ricky (Sanchez). He's so young."
Sioux Falls Skyforce
2004-05:31-17, 4.04 avg, second place; defeated Rockford 3-1 for CBA championship.
Coach:Dave Joerger, second year with Sioux Falls, 31-17 with Sioux Falls, 122-62 in CBA.
Fast fact: Joerger has won more CBA championships than any team currently in the league except the Sun Kings. Both have won three.
Roster:Rodney Buford, 6-5, 200, G, Creighton '99. Joe Dabbert, 6-10, 255, Creighton '04. Noel Felix, 6-9, 240, F, Fresno State '03. Stephen Graham, 6-6, 220, F, Oklahoma State '05. Brandon Hunter, 6-7, 275, F, Ohio '03. Renaldo Major, 6-7, 215, F, Fresno State '04. Josh Mueller, 5-11, 180, G, South Dakota '05. Alfred Neale, 6-6, 210, G, New Mexico, '05. Jemeil Rich, 5-10, 170, G, Southern Methodist '97. Eric Sandrin, 6-9, 225, F, Seattle Pacific '02. James Wright, 6-1, 190, G, Colorado '03.
Notes: Joerger led the Skyforce to their first championship since 1996 in his first season after leaving the Wizards. He has now won four titles - three in the CBA, one in the IBA - in his five seasons as a head coach. - There are no returning players from last year's squad, and Joerger completely retooled the team in the past week by signing Buford, Rich and Felix. - Buford played for Joerger with the Wizards in 2003-04. He appeared in just four games, averaging 26.3 ppg before being called up by the Sacramento Kings. Buford spent last year with the New Jersey Nets, averaging 7.0 ppg and 3.0 rpg in 64 games. - Rich has been one of the top point guards in the CBA the past three seasons playing for Gary, leading the league in assists the past two years and finishing second in 2002-03. Rich averaged 17.8 ppg and 9.7 apg last year, and in 2003-04 he averaged a double-double (15.5 ppg, 10.6 apg). - Felix averaged 15.7 ppg and 7.4 rpg in 30 games with Yakima last season. - Dabbert averaged 8.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg with Great Lakes last season. - Major averaged 7.2 ppg and 3.4 rpg with Gary last year. - The Skyforce has three rookies on its squad. Graham was the seventh overall pick in the CBA draft and Neale eighth. Mueller is the second-leading scorer in South Dakota high school history. - Wright is on injured reserve.
Coach Joerger's comments:"We're going to be young and energetic, more up and down the floor than we were last year. It will be similar to the team we had in Bismarck two years ago. … Neale is a Melvin Sanders kind of guy. … Bismarck is far and away the most talented team in the league right now. There's not even a doubt in my mind. …The Western Conference is loaded."
Yakama Sun Kings
2004-05:17-31, 3.03 avg, fourth place in Western Conference, did not qualify for playoffs.
Coach:Paul Woolpert, second year; 139-125 in CBA including previous stints with the Sun Kings and Sioux Falls.
Fast fact:Woolpert's father, Phil, coached the great University of San Francisco basketball teams with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones that won NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956.
Roster:Antwain Barbour, 6-5, 205, G, Kentucky '04. Etdrick Bohannon, 6-10, 245, C, Auburn-Montgomery '98. Geno Carlisle, 6-4, 205, G, California '99. Richard Dionne, 6-5, 210, F, Nebraska-Kearney '04. Cheyne Gadson, 6-4, 205, G, Oklahoma State '03. Ralph Holmes, 6-4, 190, G, Cal State Fullerton '05. Jeremee McGuire, 6-11, 223, C, Houston '03. Elvin Mims, 6-5, 210, G, Southern Mississippi '02. Leonard White, 6-7, 225, F, Southern '93. Eric Williams, 6-9, 255, F, Massachusetts '02.
Notes: The Yakima franchise was purchased by the Yakama Nation, and the team name was changed to the Yakama Sun Kings. … Carlisle played six games with the Portland Trail Blazers last year, averaging 3.3 ppg. He averaged 12.9 ppg with Rockford in 1999-2000 and has since played in the USBL, ABA and overseas. - White is in his 10th CBA season and with his seventh team. His most recent CBA stint was in 2003-04 in Sioux Falls, where he averaged 20.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg and was named first-team all-league. - Bohannon has played 20 NBA games over four seasons with five teams, most recently in 2000-01 with Cleveland. - Gadson averaged double-figures in scoring with Westchester and New Jersey of the USBL in the past two seasons. - The Sun Kings took Holmes in the fourth round of the CBA draft. … Woolpert led the Sun Kings to the CBA itle in 2000.
Coach Woolpert's comments:"We've had a much better training camp this year. Last year was very difficult. … There were a number of cost-cutting situations and it apparently trickled down to the players. In the player and agent network, news travels very fast. … They've resolved the differences in the tribe (over ownership) and they're supporting us. … Leonard White is a perennial all-star in the CBA. … We call Jeremee McGuire KG because his game's a little bit like Kevin Garnett's."
- Lou Babiarz