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Santa Cruz GSoM Night preview: Santa Cruz Warriors vs. Bakersfield Jam, Q&A with Kirk Lacob

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The Santa Cruz Warriors face the Bakersfield Jam - featuring Ike Diogu - for the first-ever Santa Cruz GSoM Night.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Santa Cruz Warriors (15-11) vs. Bakersfield Jam (10-16)

7:30 p.m. (Q&A with Kirk Lacob from 6-6:30)

Kaiser Permanente Arena - Santa Cruz, CA

Video: YouTube link | Radio: KION 1460AM/101.1FM

Tickets: Click here for discounted GSoM Night tickets ($20 package includes ticket, t-shirt, and Q&A opportunity)

We've been talking among ourselves about putting together a Santa Cruz GSoM Night for some time now and tonight's the night!

If you haven't already gotten a ticket, you can still get one using the link above or clicking the image below:


We'll have a pre-game Q&A with Golden State assistant general manager and Santa Cruz general manager Kirk Lacob prior to the game at 6 p.m. that you can get into with your GSoM Night ticket. If you have questions, drop them in the comments below.

But you already know about all of that - on to the game itself.

The game will begin at 7:30 and you'll see why we picked it for our first GSoM Night: Ike Diogu is in town!

For those who don't recall the days in which Feeding The Beast was seen as the path to glory, the Golden State Warriors drafted Ike Diogu ninth overall in the 2005 NBA Draft notably ahead of future Warriors Nate Robinson, Jarrett Jack, David Lee, Ronny Turiaf, and of course Monta Ellis. Seeing as how Jack and Lee ended up on one of the best teams in 30 years the organization eventually "corrected" their mistake, but suffice it to say that Diogu didn't exactly pan out.

In any event, Diogu is now in his first season in the D-League trying to find his way back to a NBA roster for the first time since playing a couple of games with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2011-12 season - he has been with both the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns during training camp for the past two seasons but didn't make the roster.

SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside has been tracking D-League prospects in its new Prospect Pyramid and currently has Diogu ranked second in the league among power forwards. Keith Schlosser wrote the following in a January 21 update:

Diogu has continued to prove to be an efficient player on the offensive end from all over the perimeter, and behind the arc too, despite his team's recent losing streak.

2013-14 Stats: 16.0 points (53% from the field, 42% from deep), 1.1 assists, 7.6 rebounds, 0.2 steals, and 0.7 blocks

Staying with those rankings, the Santa Cruz Warriors aren't lacking for stars either: Seth Curry, Cameron Jones, and Hilton Armstrong are all at or near the top of their respective positional rankings. And just last night, Joe Alexander (8th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft) made his Santa Cruz Warriors debut, recording 12 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes. And, of course, if you haven't seen Kiwi Gardner yet, you should see Kiwi Gardner.

So there will be plenty of interesting player storylines to watch and with Bakersfield currently sitting in last in the West Division and having lost 7 of their last 8 games it should be a win, which always makes Santa Cruz games more fun.

For more info on our Santa Cruz GSoM Night, check out Tony.psd's initial post with the details. If you have questions you want answered in the Q&A, drop 'em in the comments below.