BeerCityHoops GR Drive

Grand Rapids Drive move to 3-0 after trade for Bronson Koenig

How good does it feel to be at the top? We’ll have to ask the NBA G League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons.

The Grand Rapids Drive are off to their first 3-0 start in franchise history after winning all three games during their opening homestand of the 2017-18 season.

After their one-point opening night win over the new Erie Bayhawks, the Drive showed promise by defeating the reigning G League champs Raptors 905 in a Sunday afternoon matinee at the DeltaPlex, 112-106.

Pistons assignees Henry Ellenson, who played spectacularly for Grand Rapids last season, and Luke Kennard, the Pistons’ top draft pick, were both assigned to the Drive for the game. Ellenson scored 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Kennard tossed in 26 points and ripped four steals. The duo made 18 of the 23 free throws attempted combined. Luis Montero added 20 points.

Former Drive guard Lorenzo Brown scored 27 points and dished out eight assists for the 905.

On Monday, the Drive made big news by acquiring former Wisconsin Badgers star Bronson Koenig from the Windy City Bulls, the G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls. Grand Rapids sent the returning player rights of Gary Talton back to Windy City.

Bronson Koenig fires a shot in his Grand Rapids Drive debut. (11-7-2017)

Koenig, who will wear the #3 jersey with GR, is a 6-foot-4 guard who holds the Badgers school record with 270 made three-pointers. He averaged 9.9 points and 2.0 rebounds and earned Big-Ten All-Tournament team honors in 2017. After going undrafted in the NBA Draft, Koenig attended training camp with in Chicago before being signed to play for their affiliate.

Local favorite Bruce Massey was waived to make room on the Drive roster.

Koenig arrived in time for Tuesday’s matchup against his former team as the Bulls made their way to Grand Rapids. He played 17 minutes, scoring five points on 1-of-2 shooting and grabbed three rebounds.

Dwight Buycks lit up the scoreboard with 29 points in Tuesday’s 100-94 win over the Bulls. The Drive trailed by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter but scored 37 in the final stanza to move to 3-0 on the season.

Derek Willis added 20 points but played only 23 minutes due to foul trouble. Zeke Upshaw helped out with 13 points off the bench.

Both teams struggled to score early with each team only scoring only 16 points in the first quarter. The Drive shot under 30% from the field over the first three quarters. The teams combined for 71 free throws and both big men for the Drive fouled out of the game.

Grand Rapids will play Westchester (NY) on Friday night to open their four-game East coast road trip which includes stops at Long Island, Lakeland (FL) and Maine. 

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