By John Torenli
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
With backup center Andray Blatche and reserve forward Josh Childress taking the last of the Nets' 15 roster spots for their much-anticipated season opener Nov. 1 against the East River Rival New York Knicks at the Barclays Center, Stephen Dennis, James Mays and Carleton Scott are more than likely here to help Brooklyn's first major pro sports franchise in 55 years prepare for the coming campaign.
Nets general manager Billy King announced the signing of the three free agents Monday, giving the team 18 players for their upcoming training camp, though none is likely to make the final roster, unless, of course, there are any significant injuries between now and Opening Night.
Dennis, a 6-foot-6 guard, played at Kutztown University, averaging 26.6 points per game while earning Division II All-American honors during his senior year. After college, the undrafted Pennsylvania native played for the Bakersfield Jam in the NBA's Developmental League, accumulating 18.5 points, 6.9 assists and 5.6 rebounds per contest in 51 games. Dennis spent last season in Germany playing for the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig, where he put up 8.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 18 games, playing just over 22 minutes per night. He was also a member of the Nets 2012 summer league team.
Mays, a 6-9 forward out of Clemson University, was the second overall pick by the Colorado 14ers in the 2008 NBA D-League Draft. In 12 games with Colorado, Mays averaged 18.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists. During the 2009-10 season, Mays played for the Shougang Beijing Ducks in China, where he averaged 26.0 points and 13.2 rebounds per game. During the 2010-11 campaign he played in the NBA Summer League for both the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors. The Garner, N.C., native went back overseas and played for Oyak Renault Bursa (Turkey), where he averaged 17.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Mays spent the 2011-12 season with Mersin Buyuksehir Beldiyesi (Turkey), averaging 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds, as well as Captanes de Arecibo (Puerto Rico), where he averaged 2.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in eight minutes per game.
Scott, a 6-8 forward, played three years at Notre Dame. After his senior season, he was named Co-Most Improved Player. After graduating in 2011, Scott went to Austria and played for the UBC Carefuel Gussing Knights. In 27 contests with the Knights, he averaged 13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game. He shot .494 from the field, including .294 from three-point range and .730 from the free-throw line. Scott, like Dennis, was a member of the Nets 2012 summer league team.
After re-signing All-Star point guard Deron Williams, power forward Kris Humphries, center Brook Lopez, small forward Gerald Wallace, and acquiring All-Star shooting guard Joe Johnson from Atlanta this summer, the Nets are poised to end a five-year playoff drought during their inaugural season in Downtown Brooklyn. King, an early candidate for NBA Executive of the Year, also peppered the roster with key reserves like point guard C.J. Watson, forward Reggie Evans and shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse.
The Nets also bring back second-year guard MarShon Brooks, and added rookie point man Tyshawn Taylor from the University of Kansas during the June draft.
With an official ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Friday morning at the corners of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, the Nets will also put individual game tickets on sale beginning Monday morning at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by visiting www.brooklynnets.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-4NBA-TIX.
In other Barclays Center-related news, the Brooklyn Public Library's Grand Army Plaza branch will host the Harlem Globetrotters Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. for "a master basketball demonstration, story time and autographs." Attendees will also have the opportunity to save $7 on tickets to the upcoming Globetrotters game at the Barclays Center on Oct. 7, marking the team's first-ever game in our fair borough.