Coach Aaron Fearne looks back on the season and ahead to 2012/13.
It was a pretty difficult start to 2011/12 wasnt it, with three of your starting five leaving?
Definitely. I wanted to keep a chunk of the team wed put together and gone to the finals with. A classic example is what Perth, Gold Coast and New Zealand have been able to do. We added six new players to our group from last year, so it was somewhat starting over because we do run the Shuffle and a lot of things we do defensively are somewhat complex.
Then the season is about to start, Alex Loughton, Ian Crosswhite and Jamar Wilson are injured and you have a rookie import in Andrew Warren, were you a little worried?
That was definitely a concern. Alex and Ian had no pre-season, Jamar popped his pec and was pretty much getting ready to get sent home before we got some news that he could play without it. Andrew was definitely pretty close to going home and then he found his form and was phenomenal from that point on.
When Alex and Ian came back Dusty (Rychart) went down and missed the next 15 games, so we only played something like five games with Alex, Ian and Dusty all playing together and the year before they were a huge part of our success.
You must have been happy to have kept around the .500 mark early?
I thought Jeff Dowdell, Dean Brebner and Aaron Grabau moving to the four-spot did a great job of holding things together so we could move on. We got to 7-7 and I thought if we got to that point wed get better at the back end of the season.
We won seven of our next 10 from that point. Then Alex wins player of the week and strains his Achilles that same week and was pretty much done for the year, and Ian unfortunately lands on someones foot at training and is effectively out for the rest of the year. So we kind of ended how we started.
There were some bad nights when teams locked out Jamar, did you need another ball-handler?
I think we were extremely similar to most teams except for Perth, Gold Coast and New Zealand. We definitely had some games where we were pretty poor offensively and a lot of pressure got put onto Jamar to make plays, and we definitely need another legit guy doing that.
You look at the top three, theyve got two guards who make plays off the bounce, that answers the question. We need another legit playmaking guard at the two-spot, but thats not an easy thing to do either when we dont spend to the cap.
What about the offensive inconsistency, can you explain it?
No (laughs).That patch where we won seven-of-10 we were shooting 46 or 47 per cent as a team, we couldnt have been playing much better or shooting much better. But then we had games where we just couldnt knock shots down. We were doing enough shooting during the week, maybe too much. We were definitely covering the bases that way.
Did that lack of continuity of guys knowing the Shuffle offence play its part - guys not getting rhythm shots?
Thats definitely a huge part of it. I look at it two ways, I either throw the Shuffle out and go with something simple if were going to have a high turnover of guys all the time, or weve got to keep our core group together. Once we get good at running it its very difficult to defend.
Youve recruited Cam Tragardh, Cam Gliddon and Clint Steindl, that seems like a very offensive focus
Weve been one of the top three defensive teams the past two or three years. Weve established ourselves as a pretty gritty defensive team, but weve struggled to put enough pressure on the scoreboard, so were just trying to get a better balance. Youve got to have people who can score and thats what were trying to add to the puzzle.
Will we see a different style from Cairns this year?
No, well definitely continue to run the Shuffle, and when the opportunity presents to push the ball well do that. The games just easier when youve got guys who can shoot the ball. Cam Gliddon and Clint can obviously shoot it, Tragardh runs that middle lane pretty well and Jamar can do what he does. Were trying pretty hard to get Alex done as well, because when hes on hes pretty good as well.
So does that change what you are looking for from your second import?
Yeah, we will probably be looking for more of a big banger, a wide body whos tough and physical. But Ive got plenty of time to get that done.
Sounds like Aron Baynes, a North Queensland boy
Yeah that type of player. Unfortunately we dont have the coin to get Aron just yet, he has aspirations of really establishing himself in Europe and we obviously support that. But hes a Cairns boy, so well see what happens down the track.
The South West Slammers yesterday announced the re-signing of exciting American import Tre Nichols (180-G-89, college: Boise St.) for the 2017 SBL season. The 5'11" point guard from Dallas, Texas will return to the Slammers for a third season in 2017 after dominating the competition in 2016. The 2016 season saw Nichols lead the SBL in scoring with 31.1 points per game, which led to him earning a spot in the All-Star Five for the second consecutive year. Despite Nichols' career-high sea... [read more]
The 5'11" point guard from Dallas, Texas will return to the Slammers for a third season in 2017 after dominating the competition in 2016.
The 2016 season saw Nichols lead the SBL in scoring with 31.1 points per game, which led to him earning a spot in the All-Star Five for the second consecutive year.
Despite Nichols' career-high season, the Slammers dropped from runners-up in 2015 to missing the playoffs in 2016 with an 8-18 record.
Meanwhile, the Basketball South West board is still going through the selection process for a coach for the 2017 season following the departure of Michael Van Lit, who held the position for just one season.
Hawks Power Past The Defending Champs 98-77 - 5 days ago
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The dynamic backcourt of Rotnei Clarke (183-PG-89, college: Butler) and Marvelle Harris (193-G-93) has already proved a winner as the Hawks ran rings around a physical Perth Wildcats side 98-77 on Sunday. The combined 36 points and four assists from the import backcourt does not jump off the page, but they completely dictated pace and found a way around the 'Cats physicality to give their side big buckets at crucial times. Harris (19 points, three assists) and Clarke (17 points) ran the s... [read more]
The dynamic backcourt of Rotnei Clarke (183-PG-89, college: Butler) and Marvelle Harris (193-G-93) has already proved a winner as the Hawks ran rings around a physical Perth Wildcats side 98-77 on Sunday. The combined 36 points and four assists from the import backcourt does not jump off the page, but they completely dictated pace and found a way around the 'Cats physicality to give their side big buckets at crucial times. Harris (19 points, three assists) and Clarke (17 points) ran the show and got good back-up from snipers Cody Ellis (203-F-90, college: St.Louis) (16) and Oscar Forman (205-F-82) (13). Tim Coenraad (201-F/G-85, college: Nova SE) fill the stat sheet with 7 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Perth were out of sync for large parts, getting most of their production from Jameel McKay effort plays around the rim. McKay was by far the 'Cats best with 15 points and 15 boards, backed up by fellow import Jaron Johnson (198-G-92, college: Louisiana Tech) (16 and seven). Harris, McKay and AJ Ogilvy all got the party started with jams in the first three minutes, but the first quarter was a completely one-sided affair. Illawarra ran rings around the defending champions. Two threes and a dunk kick-started things for a hungry Hawks side that did not take a single possession off on either end. The ball was singing through hands no matter who manned the Hawks backcourt and all too often they had the 'Cats a step slow in rotation. It was a treat of early offence, captured in a picture-perfect four-man hot-potato ball swing from corner to corner and finished with a triple. Casey Prather (198-F/G-91, college: Florida) continued to show off the upgraded skill set, but struggled making plays with the ball in his hand as Perth turned it over six times in the first quarter and nine in the half. He was outshone by new Hawk and NBA hopeful Harris, who has proved to be a man completely dedicated to his craft not afraid of the moment. Imports in the Hawks back-court have been quite hit-and-miss over the last few years but coach Rob Beveridge has found a gem in Harris. He has the optimal tools for a Beveridge-coached team: shooting, ball-handling, versatility, physical defence, unwavering work ethic and a fearless attitude. Five different Hawks connected on threes in the first quarter alone as they went into the second up 37-19. Perth's back-up centre Angus Brandt shouldered the burden down low as the 'Cats worked at chipping away at the margin. But the resistance was futile so long as the explosive Clarke-Harris duo was on the court. Perth dominated the entire third term and started to get scoreboard love when Greg Hire came alive for three third-quarter threes, and at one point got the margin back to a single possession. But for every question they asked, the Hawks answered with distance shooting. Ellis shot the Hawks out of immediate danger, while Tim Coenraad, Nick Kay and Rhys Martin kept the margin steady for a cruisy victory. The Hawks took six ABC points from the game, with Perth winning only the third quarter. Courtesy of: publicnow.com
NZ Maori to take on Australian Indigenous Team in Gisbourne, Te Awamutu and Tauranga - 8 days ago
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The National Maori basketball team will be taking on the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball team in a three game trans-Tasman series, starting tomorrow in Gisborne. Game two will be in Te Awamutu and the third in Tauranga. Head of Maori Basketball, Willy Taurima, says the Australians are the favourites due to the team being the defending champions and featuring some players, which will be led by ANBL veteran Tyson Demos(191-G-88). 'It certainly won't be a whitewash. They have a fe... [read more]
The National Maori basketball team will be taking on the Apunipima Australian Indigenous Basketball team in a three game trans-Tasman series, starting tomorrow in Gisborne. Game two will be in Te Awamutu and the third in Tauranga. Head of Maori Basketball, Willy Taurima, says the Australians are the favourites due to the team being the defending champions and featuring some players, which will be led by ANBL veteran Tyson Demos (191-G-88). 'It certainly won't be a whitewash. They have a few stars and we are missing a few guys due their obligations with the Breakers, but we've recruited enough experience to really have a crack at bringing the title back home to New Zealand.' The New Zealand Maori team that's been named boasts two recently retired Tall Blacks, nine NZ NBL current players, and eight former NZ Junior Tall Blacks. Taurima says there is a great rivalry building between the two teams. The last two events were highly competitive, with both nations holding a title each. 'This is the third year in the event's history. The first year was in 2014 when it was a two game series. It resulted in a draw at one win each, but New Zealand Maori won the title on point differential. The second year, in 2015, we lost two games to one. All three of those games went down to the wire, with about five points in it.' This year the event is being taken on the road to towns that Taurima says has a proud Maori representation in their communities. 'We wanted to widen the opportunity for people to see international basketball. And these will be great games with that good old Australian/New Zealand rivalry.' Courtesy of: basketball.org.nz
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