CHASING A DREAM: Stats attack – the players who topped the league’s charts


For 16 years Derby had a club in the top division of the basketball league in Britain. They struggled in the first three years and the last two years of the franchise, resulting in an overall winning percentage of 37.47%.

Basketball is a game of statistics, so here’s Derby’s record in all competitions since they were promoted to the top division in 1986 until their demise in 2002.

Season              Pos            P        W         L      Pts      Playoffs         Trophy          Cup

1986-87          13th        24         4         20        8              –                      Q/F            2ndR

1987-88         13th         28         4         24        8              –                      1stR           2ndR

1988-89         10th         20         3         17        6              –                       Q/F            Q/F

1989-90           5th          28       10        18      20             –                       1stR             S/F

1990-91           5th          24       12        12      24            Q/F                  1stR            1stR

1991-92           5th          30       18       12       36            Q/F                  1stR            Q/F

1992-93           6th          33       14       19       28            Q/F                    S/F             Q/F

1993-94           8th          36       17       19       34            S/F                    1stR          3rdR

1994-95           9th          36       10       26      20                –                      1stR          4thR

1995-96           6th          36       21       15       42            Q/F                    Q/F           4thR

1996-97           9th          36       14       22      28              –                        1stR           4thR

1997-98           7th          36       16       20      32            Q/F                    1stR           4thR

1998-99           6th          36       21       15      42            Q/F                     RU             Q/F

1999-00           5th          36       17       19      34              –                         Q/F            1stR

2000-01           6th          36         6        30      12              –                         Q/F           Q/F

2001-02           6th          32         3        29        6               –                         1stR          1stR

Totals                               507     190     317


Thanks to Roger Yapp, statistics are available for the two years when John Eld Derby Turbos competed in Division Two. They show how essential Ron Whitehead and Clarence Wiggins were to the team in 1984-85. Whitehead clocked up 792 points at an average of 36 a game. He weighed in with 7.9 rebounds a game too. Wiggins recorded a very respectable 19 points and nine rebounds every time he took to the court.

In 1985-86 Wiggins maintained his value to the team with 19.77 points and 8.59 rebounds per game. The other American, Tim Reiser, averaged 35.45 points and 4.72 assists a game while from three-point range he shot a staggering, club record 56.86%, although remember that was in Division Two.

Derby’s first season in Division One, 1986-87, proved to be a tough one. They got good contributions from two of the Americans they brought in that year. Ed Coe hit 602 points at an average of 26.17 a game while Sam Ellis scored 478 points (average 22.76 a game) and pulled down 170 rebounds, an average of 8.09 a game. He also shot 83.19% from the free-throw line.

While 1987-88 proved another difficult year, it marked the emergence of Tim Lascelles as a vital component of the team. The number of points he contributed rose to 16.03 per game while his success from three-point range jumped to 31.55%.

Carl Chrabascz proved he was as effective as he was popular with the supporters, his 647 points coming at an average of 23.96 a game. He also weighed in with 7.59 rebounds a game and converted 86.4% of his free throws.

The decision to release Ace Tanner appeared justified: the club and the fans expected more from him than 16.77 points and 5.69 rebounds a game.

Lascelles became even more invaluable in 1988-89, taking over the mantle of top scorer because of poor recruiting, particularly of Americans. Lascelles again improved his stats, recording 19.95 points a game, while his three-point success rate was astonishing at 53.96%.

Rich Kunselman contributed 14.36 points and 8.28 rebounds a game in his second spell with the club before he was injured while Mike Henderson who arrived in December had a good second half of the season, weighing in with 21.46 points and 10 rebounds a game.

Ron Whitehead returned as player-coach in 1989-90 and led by example, notching up 20.75 points and 7.66 rebounds a game.

He was eclipsed in the scoring chart by Ernest Lee who hit 20.96 points per game (average 58.64%) and also dished off 4.19 assists every time he took to the floor.

Kenny Scott also proved his worth with 19.66 points and 9.41 rebounds a game.

The following season Lee relinquished the role of point guard and reaped the benefit. He was the league’s top scorer, demolishing opponents’ defences with 32.83 points a game.

Player-coach Nick Nurse also had hot hands, recording 20.13 points and 5.67 assists a game. He also made 43.68% of his three-point attempts. It was a season when long-range shooting was an integral part of the Rams’ game, with seven players connecting from beyond the arc and Derby hitting no fewer than 215 threes at an average of just under nine per game.

Terry Manghum wasn’t to be outdone and showed what an astute signing he was with 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.17 assists each time he took to the floor.

When Manghum took over as player-coach in 1991-92 his output improved to 12.93 points and 3.97 assists per game, although his rebounding dropped slightly, to 6.66 a game. That was because the Bucks had a bigger team, with Terrance Hill pulling down 12 boards a game to go with his 350 points in 17 games at an average of 20.59.

Lascelles was again the team’s top points scorer, with a total of 400 at an average of 13.33 a game.

Although 1992-93 was a bit of a disappointment, recruitment seemed to be a lot better. Lester Hood had a strong season with 21.25 points and 7.19 rebounds a game while Carl Mitchell had 18.71 points and 11.31 boards each time he took to the floor.

Player of the year Kurt Samuels dropped in 16.28 points an outing while dishing off 3.12 assists.

Wembley beckoned in 1993-94, with the Bucks’ two Americans again showing well in the stats. Charlie Mandt was eighth on the list of top scorers, knocking down a total of 754 points in 35 games at an average of 21.54 per game.

In the floor shooting category, Jason Siemon was sixth, making 230 field goals from 385 attempts for an average of 59.74%. Siemon was second only to Sunderland’s Russ Saunders for steals, in 32 games recording 101 at an average of 3.16 per game.

Andy Gardiner was 10th on the list for total rebounds. In 35 games he pulled down 298 boards at an average of 8.51 per game.

In 1994-95 Siemon kept the statisticians busy again. He was second on the total rebounds list with 352 in 32 games at an average of 11 per game. He was again second in steals, with 107 at an average of 3.34 a game. And he came fifth in blocks, swatting 50 shots for a 1.56 a game average.

He was also 14th in floor shooting, making 233 shots out of 417 attempts for an average of 55.88%.

Joe Belka came 15th in rebounds, with 285 in 36 games for an average of 7.92 a game.

Two Derby players made the assists list. Mike Gonda was seventh in the league with 109 in 25 games at an average of 4.36 a game while Mike Landell was 18th, dishing out 115 in 36 outings at an average of 3.19 per game.

Derby had the top three-point shooter in the country in 1995-96, Gonda leading the way with 58 threes from 112 attempts, his average being 51.79%.

The Storm had three others on the long-range list, Kurt Samuels in eighth with 61 out of 142 attempts, averaging 42.96%; LaKeith Humphrey in 14th with 40 out of 102 shots (39.22%); and Tim Lascelles in 16th with 27 out of 70 (38.57%).

An indication of the team’s form that season was that no Derby player finished in the list of top rebounders or shot blockers.

Humphrey, though, had a stellar year. He was second for steals, with 118 in 36 games at an average of 3.28 a game; third in assists with 211 at an average of 5.86 a game; 16th on the points list with 707 for the season (average 19.64 a game); and 12th for free-throw shooting, making 129 of 158 attempts for an average of 81.65%.

Others who were hot from the free-throw line were John Leahy who was fourth on the league’s list with 108 out of 126 attempts (average 85.71%); Matt Meakin in eighth with 33 of 40 tries (82.5%); and Martin Ford in 15th, knocking down 57 of 71 attempts (80.28%).

Reece Horton crept into the floor shooting percentage category in 19th, making 74 of his 137 attempts at an average of 54.01%.

Gonda played only 11 games in 1996-97 before taking a job in the States. But he managed to secure second place in the three-point shooting stakes, his success rate dropping only slightly to 49.06%.

Sixth on the list was Cory McGee, with 17 of 39 threes (43.59%) while Jimmy Ratliff was 12th with 37 of 89 attempts (41.57%). McGee was 11th for assists with 64 in 18 games for an average of 3.56 per game.

While no player made the top points scorers’ list, Steve McGlothin was 11th for total rebounds with 226 in 32 games, an average of 7.06 a game. Of those rebounds, 97 were offensive. Ratliff was 19th with 159 boards in 24 games (6.63 a game).

Lorenzo Pearson crept into 20th place for offensive rebounds with 50 in 21 games at an average of 2.38 a game. He was fifth on the list of blocked shots with 25, an average of 1.19 per game. McGlothin came seventh with 30 blocks in 32 outings at an average of 0.94 a game.

McGlothin also made the floor shooting percentage chart in 15th place, making 184 of 329 shots at an average of 55.93%.

Although the Storm underachieved as a team in 1997-98, players featured prominently in the individual statistical categories.

Brendan Graves led the league in blocked shots, his 61 in 22 outings coming at an average of 2.77 per game. David Attewell was eighth in the league for blocks, swatting 33 shots in 34 games for an average of 0.97.

Graves was 11th in total rebounds, pulling down 173 at an average of 7.86 per game. He was third in offensive boards with 83, an average of 3.77 a game. He was also 14th for free throw shooting, converting 58 out of 71 from the line at an average of 81.69%.

On the total rebounds list, Tony Windless was 14th (150, average 7.5rpg) while DeRon Rutledge was 15th (187 boards in 25 games, average 7.48rpg).

Ted Berry led the Storm in points and came 12th on the league list, knocking down 771 points in 36 games at an average of 21.42 a game. He was sixth on the list for assists, his 170 coming at an average of 4.72 per game. He was also hot from beyond the arc, making 55 of the 128 threes he attempted at an average of 42.97%. That put him in 11th spot.

Two other notable stats: Rutledge was 19th for floor shooting, making 157 of 296 (average 53.04%); and Windless was 20th for steals, his 32 in 20 appearances coming at an average of 1.6 per game.

For the third time in their history, the Storm had a league leader in 1998-99 – and he showed up in no fewer than four categories. Rico Alderson pulled down more rebounds than anyone else that season, his 296 in 25 games coming at an average of 11.84 a game.

He was 17th in the league for points, with a total of 437 at an average of 17.48 a game; seventh for floor shooting, making 173 of 300 attempts on the basket (average 57.67%); and fifth for blocks, swatting 41 opponents’ shots (1.64 a game).

Also in the points chart, in 17th place, was Nate Reinking, scorer of 610 points in 35 games at an average of 17.43 a game. The Ohio native was 18th in the assists ranking, with 123 at an average of 3.51 a game, and eighth in three-point shooting, making 67 of 157 attempts at an average of 42.68%.

Yorick Williams appeared in three categories, finishing 19th in each one. He made 40 steals in 24 appearances at an average of 1.67 a game; hit 92 of 121 attempts from the free throw line for an average of 76.03%; and blocked 15 shots at an average of 0.63 a game.

Joel Burns was third in the country for free throw shooting, knocking down 129 of 146 attempts at an average of 88.36%. He was also third for three-point shooting, connecting with 71 of 154 shots from beyond the arc for an average of 46.1%. And he came 11th in the country for assists, dishing off 139 in 36 outings, averaging 3.86 a game.

Maurice Robinson trailed behind Alderson in the rebounding stakes, although his 246 in 29 games at an average of 8.48 a game put him in 13th place in the league. The Arkansas forward was 19th for floor shooting, knocking down 169 of 329 attempts at an average of 51.37%.

Another Storm player who made the steals list was John Tresvant. His 80 steals in 36 games at an average of 2.22 a game put him as high as sixth on the league list.

The expensively assembled team of 1999-2000 was accused of having individuals rather than team players, so it’s no surprise to see several Storm names in the leading averages for that season. But none made the list for floor shooting percentage nor free-throw shooting.

Darrian Evans led the league in steals, with 127 in 36 games at an average of 3.53 a game. Cypheus Bunton was fourth, with 91 steals in 35 appearances (average 2.6 a game) and Kip Stone was 14th with 67 in his 35 outings at an average of 1.91 a game.

Cypheus Bunton was top shot blocker in the league with 118, an average of 3.37 a game.

In the points stakes, Evans was fifth, with 791 points at an average of 21.97 a game. Stone came in 12th with 717 points (average 20.49 a game) and 20th was B J Bunton, his 296 points coming in 17 games at an average of 17.41 a game.

B J Bunton was the top Storm player in total rebounds, finishing 10th in the league with 140 at an average of 8.24 a game. Evans was 14th with 282 (average 7.73 a game).

While Stone didn’t always live up to expectations, he was seventh on the league list for assists, his 161 coming at an average of 4.6 a game. In 17th was Cypheus Bunton with 123 – 3.51 a game.

Stone was seventh in the league for three-point shooting, hitting 72 from 162 attempts at an average of 44.44%. Tim Lascelles was just behind him in eight, his 25 threes coming from 59 attempts at an average of 42.37%.

Two players dominated the stats list in 2000-2001, Jermaine Brown appearing in six categories and Barry Bowman four.

Brown was second in the league for points, clocking up 547 in 22 appearances at an average of 24.86 a game. He was third in steals, his 59 coming at an average of 2.68 an outing. He was 15th in the league for three-point shooting, converting 49 of 122 attempts (40.16%). He was 17th for floor shooting percentage, making 220 of 416 attempts (52.88%) His 72 assists (average 3.27 a game) also put him in 17th position. He sneaked into the offensive rebounds chart, his 66 at an average of three a game putting him in 19th spot.

Bowman came fifth in three sections: points (681 in 31 games, average 21.97); steals (70, average 2.26 a game); and assists (140, average 4.52 a game). He came 10th for free-throw shooting, scoring 127 from 162 attempts from the line (78.4%).

After a year away, Joel Burns returned and had another good season from three-point range. This time he moved up a place to second in the league, hitting 79 of 175 long-range efforts (45.14%) although his average was slightly down on his figure for 1998-99.

Carl Miller came 18th on the steals list with 63, an average of 1.75 a game. Michael New made only 13 appearances before leaving for France, pulling down 67 defensive rebounds at an average of 5.15 a game to secure 17th spot in the league.

Derby’s final season in the top division, 2001-02, was the worst in the club’s history, so understandably few players made it onto the league’s list of top performers.

One exception was Kevin Griffin who was seventh in scoring with 617 points in 30 games at an average of 20.57 a game. He was also 14th for steals, recording 55 at an average of 1.83 a game. Above him in 10th spot for steals was Jemar Miller with 53, an average of 1.89 a game.

Tyler Peterson was seventh for total rebounds, his 289 coming in 32 games at an average of 9.03 a game. Shawn Kennedy was 14th for offensive boards, with 85 in 30 appearances (2.83 a game).

Danny Hildreth took 11th spot for assists, dishing off 129 in 32 games at an average of 4.03 a game.

Durrell Robinson came seventh in the three-point shooting category, knocking down 46 of 115 attempts from beyond the arc (40%).

So who can claim to be the top Derby players of all time, taking into account their statistics? For points scoring, it has to be Ernest Lee. He hit a staggering 755 points playing only 23 games in 1990-91 at an average of 32.83 a game.

As for rebounds, Antonio Garcia has a claim to be the best although his average of 15.13 a game was recorded in only eight games in 2000-01. Rico Alderson would seem to be in a better position as in 1998-99 he pulled down 296 boards in 25 games at an average of 11.84 a game.

The top long-range shooter is undoubtedly Mike Gonda who in 1995-96 made 58 shots from beyond the arc at an average of 51.79%. However, Tim Lascelles is the most consistent from distance, regularly knocking down more than one in three of his attempts. He is undoubtedly the player with the most appearances for Derby, pulling on the uniform 428 times in 15 years.

As for the most lethal free-throw shooter, there was a great battle in 1998-99, with Joel Burns finishing with a success rate of 88.36%, just above Nate Reinking who had a very credible 86.43%.

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