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The Journal Gazette

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Edmond Sumner eyes the basket during the fourth quarter against Grand Rapids Drive at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants’ Alize Johnson dunks in front of the Drive’s Johnny Hamilton on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Davon Reed goes to shoot and gets fouled by Grand Rapids Drive's isaiah Whitehead during the second quarter at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Stephan Hicks dunks the ball during the third quarter against Grand Rapids Drive at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Rob Gray takes a shot during the fourth quarter against Grand Rapids Drive at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

  • Katie Fyfe | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Stephan Hicks goes up for a shot during the third quarter against Grand Rapids Drive at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday.

Saturday, March 23, 2019 11:00 pm

Alize Johnson: A Mad Ants great?

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

After Alize Johnson had yet another stellar game in the finale of the Mad Ants season, totaling 34 points (a career high for the rookie) and 11 rebounds, I think it’s fair to say he’s one of the franchise’s all-time greats.

Granted, the sample size is small since he’s only played 31 games, but this statistic really stands out: 23 double-doubles, including the one tonight in a 121-118 loss to the Grand Rapids Drive, which clinched the Central Division title.

Of course, it’s very difficult to judge what constitutes a franchise great in the G League, since there’s so much turnover every season and long-time players in a franchise are rarities.

But off the top of my head, if you were to ask me the best players the Mad Ants have had, in terms of what they showed on the court and having at least a modicum of longevity here, I probably would go: Ron Howard, Tony Mitchell, Walt Lemon Jr. and Johnson, who was a second-round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers last year.

It’s an interesting discussion, anyway, and long-time fans could throw out a lot of other names, too, such as Trey McKinney Jones, Sadiel Rojas, maybe even someone such as Alex Poythress or Stephan Hicks or Andre Emmett.

jcohn@jg.net