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Tag Archives: Shang Ping

The definitive CBA preview

November 22, 2012


Stephon Marbury and the Beijing Ducks won the title last year… But will they have enough to repeat in 2012-13? (Photo: Osports)

Moreso than ever, the Chinese Basketball Association has become quite difficult to predict pre-season.

It’s hard to predict first of all because we generally stink at predictions, but more importantly that the league is as deep as its ever been top-to-bottom. There’s a more than a few reasons for that — more off-season player movement, more players going abroad to train in the summer, better coaching in-country, a commitment to strength and conditioning programs and better foreign players all round out the top of our list. But the end result of all that should be a very watchable and exciting league this season. Which is a good thing for us fans, of course.

Bad thing for NiuBBall’s annual predictions, however.

By our count, there’s 11 and possibly 12 teams (depending on how well you think Tracy McGrady is going to do in Qingdao) who have a shot at the playoffs. That’s well over half the league. If you think DongGuan is ready to make a jump (we do), then there are now four teams who could sport legitimate Finals cases. Building on Beijing’s buck-the-trend run to a championship last year, there appears to be a level of parody in the league. Pencilling in the top two, top four and top eight is no longer easy.

So as always, take what is about to come with a grain of salt and know that most likely this will all be very wrong.


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University of San Francisco signs former China Junior NT center, Xu Tao

June 8, 2012


Former Chinese Junior National Team center, Xu Tao, will attend the University of San Francisco next season. (Photo: Delco Times staff / JULIA WILKINSON)

“On to victory, we’re out to win today here’s why.. For the Green and Gold, the Dons are going in to do or die — ”

I’ll spare everybody from singing the rest of’s beloved University of San Francisco fight song, but please understand: Since my freshman year at USF in 2004, there’s been little reason to sing it as the Dons have teetered between varying levels between really bad and mediocre. So excuse my unabashed giddiness over the latest, and possibly greatest, news to hit the Hilltop in the last few seasons:

The Dons have a Chinese basketball player on their roster. Green and Gold Nation, meet Xu Tao.

San Francisco made the news official yesterday, announcing the 6-11 260 center as part of their incoming 2012 class. Xu, who played prep school ball in the States last season for The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania, will become the first Chinese player to suit up for the Dons since Hong Kong-born Sung Fong in 1995.

Xu has had an interesting and unique road that has ultimately lead him to the Bay Area. Born in Qingdao, Shandong province, Xu was originally a promising piece of of the Shandong youth team and went on to play for China internationally as part of the National Team youth setup. At the first ever FIBA Asia U16 Championship in 2009, he averaged 6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1 block per game as China went on to win the gold easily. He continued to represent China at the inagural FIBA U17 World Championship (5.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and the FIBA Asia U18 Championship (2.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg), both of which were in 2010, and finally and the U19 World Championship in 2011 (1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg).

Out of his youth contract with Shandong, Xu decided to go to school in the States. But shortly after the U19s, Xu broke three vertebrae in his lower back, which delayed his arrival at Haverford due to doctors’ concerns over the 13-hour plane ride. Xu arrived in October and played in the Fords’ opener on November 21.

He went on to average seven points, five rebounds and a block for the school, who went 15-11 on the season. An academic standout, Xu earned 2011-12 All-Inter-Academic Honorable Mention accolades in addition to a mention on the ESPNHS Pennsylvania All-State team.

Beyond his obvious size, Xu fills an immediate need on the roster as six players, including two starters, have transferred out of the Dons program this off-season. Though he’s still adjusting to the American game, Xu’s “footwork and ability to shoot the basketball make him very difficult to defend,” according to his coach at Haverford, Henry Fairfax.

The Dons went 20-14 overall last year and 8-8 in the West Coast Conference.

Xu joins “Max” Zhang Zhaoxu, Ji Xiang and Shang Ping on the list of Chinese hoopsters who have signed to play NCAA Division I basketball in the last few years. Zhang played two years at Cal Berkeley before signing a professional contract in the Chinese Basketball Association in 2010 with Shanghai, while Shang played one year at Nebraska in 2007-08. He signed back in the CBA with Beijing in 2009. Ji played two years at Hawaii from 2008-10 and signed with Shanghai for the 2010-11 season.

So many things are going through my mind now: The surge in USF attention from the Chinese/Chinese-American community in the Bay Area, a potential China-to-San Francisco pipeline, a center with high-major size protecting the basket in a mid-major conference, a valid excuse to write about my Dons next year…

But before all of that, we have to get one thing straight: This kid’s name. Contrary to what almost everything has been written about him in America, his name is not Tao Xu. Just like Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian and every other person with a Chinese name on the planet, his family name — the Western equivalent of a last name — is Xu, and it goes before his given name, which is Tao. So it’s Xu Tao, not Tao Xu. And while we’re on his name, Xu is pronounced shoo, not zoo. So if the student section has ideas of starting up Tao’s Zoo, just know while its potentially funny and creative, the play on his name is wrong.

But a Chinese basketball player suiting up for NiuBBall’s alma matter? Now that’s just right.

More on Xu Tao:


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Shang Ping signs with Qingdao, Li Gen to Guangsha?

April 26, 2012


The good news for Qingdao: They’ve just signed a serviceable big man who actually wants to play inside.

And the bad news: They’re about to lose the this season’s leading Chinese scorer.

Shang Ping, who played the last two seasons for Shanxi Zhongyu, has become the first player to officially change laundry this off-season. One of the few players to be a free-agent, the 6-8 power forward has signed a three-year deal with the Eagles.

Big 12 fans may know Shang from his days at Nebraska — after transferring from Illinois Central College in 2006, he played one season for the Cornhuskers in 2007-08 and averaged 9.9 minutes, 3.0 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in 21 appearances. At the conclusion of the season, Shang then transferred to Division II Emporia State where he averaged 14.9 minutes, 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 25 games.

When his four years of college eligibility were up, Shang opted to play professionally in China and signed a one-year deal with Beijing Shougang. In his rookie season, he piled up 21 starts out of 30 games, averaging 15.6 minutes 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds. Apparently content with his basketball nomad lifestyle, Shang packed his bags once again in the summer of 2010 to sign with Shanxi. He showed improvement over in 2010-11, boosting his averages to 9.8 points and 5.3 rebounds, but with Ren Junhui in on loan from Guangdong this year, Shang’s playing playing time declined considerably this year, especially towards the end of the season.

Qingdao lacks size on the interior and at a burly 6-8, Shang will at least give them some toughness down on the block. Their only other true four, Xue Yuyang,  prefers to hang out on the three-point line and possesses arms only slightly longer than spatulas, making things like rebounding a tough proposition. Shang may not be super skilled, but he is physical and he will give something Qingdao didn’t have last year.

But that bit of good news will soon be cast over by the ominous dark cloud that is Li Gen’s imminent departure. According to Sohu, Li, who like Shang is a free-agent, is close to signing with Zhejiang Guangsha; so much so that Sohu’s sources are declaring it “90% done.” Li’s old team, Shanghai, who he left in 2010, is also in the mix but according to the report, Guangsha’s offer is apparently too good to pass up.

Listed at 23 years-old, Li averaged a career high 17.5 points per game last year en route to becoming the leading Chinese scorer in the league. He also won CBA All-Star MVP.

If Li indeed joins Guangsha, it’ll be quite a coup for the Lions who will have made a big local addition only weeks after bringing back head coach, Wang Fei. They will, however, need to figure out who’s going to set up the offense — with the content-to-shoot-it-from-anywhere Li potentially joining forces with notorious chucker, Lin Chih-chieh, team management would be wise to ensure that their point guard going forward knows how to pass the ball. How they’ll go about doing that remains to be seen because Jin Lipeng definitely isn’t that guy and Wang Zirui likely isn’t seasoned enough to step into huge minutes at the point quite yet.

Being as tough as it is to add talent in the off-season, if Guangsha ends up with Li, the point guard situation will be one of those good problems and Hangzhou might become the host city of a top-five team.

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Shanxi: A four-year history of throwing things

March 15, 2012

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Shanxi has been fined nine times in the last four years for incidents similar to the one that went down on Sunday. (Photo: Osports)

Yesterday, to provide some context for Sunday night’s craziness, we wrote a post listing all of the times fans league-wide have thrown stuff onto the court this season. Which then got us to wondering: Exactly how many times has Shanxi chucked stuff onto the court over the last few seasons?

Today, thanks to a NetEase report published late Tuesday night, we now know that answer. Since 2008-09, Shanxi has been fined nine separate times for their fans’ behavior, eight of which are listed below.

December 3, 2008 – Round 8 vs. Beijing: Fans throw lighters onto the court in two separate incidents, causing the game to stopped. The league gives the club a strong warning, fines them 100,000 RMB.

February 11, 2009 – Round 34 vs. Guangsha: With 3:41 to go in the game, fans pelt the court with lighters and other objects and shout obscenities at the referees. Afterwards, the league publicly criticizes the team, fines the club 10,000 RMB and fines the arena 50,000 RMB.

March 15, 2009 – vs. Round 48 vs. Shandong: With 27.3 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, fans throw bottes, lighters, fruit and other objects which causes the game to be interrupted for five minutes. During that interruption, Shanxi’s owner “Boss Wang” Wang Xingjiang, gets into the referees’ face and violently kicks a courtside advertisement. The team is given a strong warning, a public criticism and is fined 100,000 RMB. The arena is fined 50,000 RMB for their failure to control the crowd.

February 5, 2010 – Round 20 vs. Guangdong: Fans throw objects onto the court during the game. The club is strongly warned and is fined 80,000 RMB, the arena is fined 30,000 RMB. On February 2nd, Shanxi was fined for a similar offense, making this the second time in the last three days that Shanxi has been penalized by the CBA.

December 22, 2010: Round 5 vs. Guangsha

Shanxi’s Shang Ping hammers Guangsha’s Javaris Crittenton and and gives out an additional elbow after the while. Guangsha’s P.J. Ramos, who is trailing the play, runs over and pushes Shang Ping down to the ground. Fans lob anything they can get their hands on, causing the game to be stopped for several minutes. Shang Ping and Ramos are suspended a game each. Both teams receive a public criticism. Shanxi is fined 10,000 RMB and Guangsha is fined 20,000 RMB.

December 23, 2011 – Round 15 vs. Liaoning: A water bottle is thrown at Liaoning’s players from behind their bench and lands on the nearside foul-line. The CBA dishes out a strong warning to both the team and the arena, and fines the team 10,000 RMB.

February 12, 2012 – Round 33 vs. Guangdong – 2012

Shanxi’s Zhang Xuewen is called for a foul on Guangdong’s Wang Zheng. Not happy with the call, Zhang punches the basket support and is called for a technical. Seconds later, fans begin to throw lighters onto the court. As Guangdong normally does in these situations, the coaching staff orders the team into the locker room. Despite orders from the game’s technical director to come back, Guangdong insists that they will do no such thin until order has been restored. Shanxi an the arena are both levied a strong warning and the team is fined 20,000 RMB.

March 13, 2012 – Semi-Finals Game 4 vs. Beijing: Fans throw water bottles and lighters towards the end of the fourth quarter after a no-call on Marcus Williams’ drive to the basket. After the game, fans block the Beijing bus while throwing things at it, and prevent it from leaving for one hour and 20 minutes. Shanxi and the arena are fined 30,000 RMB each.

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CBA Power Rankings: Week 2 (11/30-12/6)

December 8, 2011


*Note that the highly complicated methods that comprise these rankings do not factor in the results of Round 8, which was played on Tuesday and Wednesday night. These are as of Round 7, December 4th.

1. Beijing Shougang Ducks (7-0)

Last week — 1: Last week, perhaps the argument could have been made we were hopping on the Ducks bandwagon a little too soon. And we really stress the word “could,” since they won on the road at four-time defending champion Guangdong. After following that up with home win against three-time runner-up, Xinjiang, their spot at the top is now indisputable. But it’s not by any means permanent — Beijing’s next four games are on the road, including a Friday match-up against J.R. Smith and the 4-1 Golden Bulls.

2. Guangdong Hongyuan Southern Tigers (5-2)

LW – 2: Guangdong, who like Xinjiang, hardly ever loses in the regular season, already has two more ticks in that column than most people thought they would this early in the year. And yet, we are still taking the champs’ word for it, despite issues surrounding Aaron Brooks so far unsuccessful integration into the lineup. Given the Southern Tigers’ winning ways over the years, we think he’ll come around eventually. Until he does though, and until the team stops losing games to Qingdao, Guangdong is riding shotgun to Beijing.

3. Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers (3-2)

LW – 3: The two losses don’t concern us as much as the lack of production Xinjiang has been getting from two of the three expensive Chinese players who transfered in this summer, Tang Zhengdong and Chao Yonggang. Tang, who’s knee is obviously not healthy, is now out with an ankle injury. Chao is averaging three points a game. K-Mart’s near 20-20s and Patty Mills’ offensive explosions are all fine and well, but if Xinjiang is to win a title this year, they need more from their local guys.

4. Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls (4-1)

LW – 9: Winners of four straight, the Golden Bulls find themselves back in the position we originally marked them down in before the season started. A lot of that has to do with J.R. Smith. 52 points (11-15 from three), 22 rebounds and 7 steals against Bayi and 32 the game before against Shanxi has his scoring average up to over 27 a game, good for fourth in the league. That number is bound to go up when J.R. figures out how to get some easier shots for himself (only 40% from two-point range).

5. Zhejiang Guangsha Lions  (4-2)

LW – 4: Peter John Ramos is back and up to his old tricks (20 points and 15.5 rebounds in two games), great news for Guangsha who were getting absolutely zilch from the guy he replaced, Dwyane Jones. A huge game on the road against Guangdong will tell us if Ramos’ return to his old home of Hangzhou makes the newly Wilson Chandler-lead Lions legitimate contenders this year.

6. Bayi Fubang Rockets (3-2)

LW – 10: In our eyes, there’s a big drop off after number five — not necessarily a bad thing when you consider that the CBA has enjoyed Grand Canyon-esque rifts between the have and have-nots since its inception in 1995. And speaking of have and have-nots, the Rockets have won every game at home (3-0). They have not won one game away (0-2). That trend won’t continue along that extreme line, but the Army’s home/away discrepancy, much like last year, will be something to keep an eye on.

7. Liaoning Hengye Jaguars (3-4)

LW – 11: Yeah, you’re in the playoffs, Liaoning, but it’s tough for us to excited about a team that can’t put together back-to-back wins. Since opening up his Sina Weibo account last week, Zhang Qingpeng is averaging 12 points a game. The lesson: opening up a Sina Weibo has only a minimal effect on struggling players. Bummer. The bigger bummer here though is Guo Ailun’s scanty 16 minutes per game average so far.

8. Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons (2-3)

LW – 6: Another team with loads of talent that hasn’t been able to win two games in a row. Despite having three studs, Marcus Williams, Charles Gaines and Duan Jiangpeng, the Brave Dragons are always going to be at somewhat of a loss because supporting players Zhang Xuewen, Shang Ping and Liu Shaoming are inconsistent. The roller coaster ride is going to continue, but we still think their Big Three is good enough to get into the post-season.

9. DongGuan New Century Leopards (3-4)

LW – 17: Shame on us for ever doubting Brian Goorjian. The Leopards’ three-game (and nearly four if they didn’t give one away to Beijing in Round 4) win streak is due in big part to Shavlik Randolph’s 25.5 points and 14.3 rebounds over that stretch, but who are we kidding. It’s obviously due to the fact that the entire team posted up last week’s power rankings, which had them last, on their locker-room bulletin board.

10. Fujian SBS Sturgeons (3-4)

LW – 13: Fujian’s on a two game win streak. They have five guys averaging double figures. Will McDonald is having the most underrated season of any foreigner out here (roughly 26 and 10 a night). They have Zaid Abbas. They have, what we think, is a playoff contending team. Trust us, they’ll be right there.

11. Jilin SBT Northeast Tigers (3-4)

LW – 7: Do Chinese coaches have it in for promising Chinese point-guards? Like his young 2010 FIBA World Championship teammate, Guo Ailun, Yu Shulong is collecting splinters. Since the DongBei Tigers have turned the ball over more than 20 times in their last two games, maybe more Yu would be a good thing.

12. Shanghai Dongfang Sharks (2-4)

LW – 15: Just when it looked like our man Andrew Crawford had an article about a three-game win streak in the books, the Sharks went out and got blown out by Liaoning on Sunday. Anyways, we think the Sharks are onto something. Either that our we’re just super biased. But it’s all starting on the defensive end. Mike Harris is leading the league in rebounds, and the team is holding opponents to a stingy 91 points per game so far.

13. Shandong Kingston Gold Lions (3-4)

LW – 5: In his last 79 minutes, Sun Jie has five points. Yeah, five. Definitely not the norm for a guy who is usually on fire from deep. Sun’s alarming recent lack of offense is directly related to the Gold Lions’ even more alarming 89.7 ppg, last in the league. In seven games, they have yet to crack the 100 point mark once, an unsettling statistic in a league that plays with a high pace.

14. Qingdao Double Star Eagles (2-5)

LW – 14: Congrats on beating Guangdong, but it still doesn’t mean Qingdao is a playoff team. It does mean, however, that Lester Hudson can go the heck off from at any given game. And for that reason alone, Qingdao will win some games. But their Chinese talent remains as one of the league’s worst and until they get their import big-man situation settled (Ivan Johnson was the second American sent home this year for the Eagles), they’re going to remain in tough shape.

15. Jiangsu Nangang Dragons (2-5)

LW – 11: By far the most disappointing team of the season, Jiangsu started at four pre-season, dropped to 11 at the first week and is now at lowly 15. As is always the case, the foreigner was blamed first after Dragons management finally got Mardy Collins on a plane back to the States. Jiangsu started slow last year with Ricky Davis before they brought in Antoine Wright as his replacement; is Marcus Williams (the UCONN one) this year’s savior?


16. Tianjin Ronggang Golden Lions (2-5)

LW – 8: Yeah, remember when we had them at number eight last week? Yeah, well we were really, really off on that.

17. Guangdong Foshan Dralions (2-5)

LW – 15: Gerald Green is out and Marcus Haislip is in. It’s not a bad idea at all — Haislip can definitely play — but we wonder if it’s going to be their last. Marcus Douthit has been putting up decent numbers, yet is he the right fit alongside Haislip? This team needs a guard and fast.

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