The Perth Wildcats have smashed the Cairns Taipans 85-66 to make it 10 wins and four losses at the half-way point of the iiNet NBL Championship season.
The game marked big man Matthew Knight's (204-F/C-85, college: Loyola Mary) return to the Wildcats line-up after spending five games on the sideline with a calf tear, and he didn't disappoint on return, scoring 13 points and pulling down seven rebounds.
The Wildcats start to the game went a long way to them securing the W', opening proceedings with a 10-0 run, and preventing the Taipans from scoring until half-way through the opening term.
Kevin Lisch was unstoppable for the Wildcats, playing one of his best games of the 2012/13 campaign, scoring a season high 26 points, as well as pulling down four rebounds, giving off two assists and picking up two steals. Jesse Wagstaff once again made a solid contribution with 15 points.
Despite the Wildcats fast start to the game, a few missed open looks allowed the Taipans to keep in touch and by the time the quarter came to an end the Wildcats only held a 16-9 advantage.
The tempo picked up in the second quarter as the game looked like it would turn into a three-point shoot-out with Kevin Lisch and Jesse Wagstaff knocking shots down from long range for the Wildcats.
The Taipans appeared to have enough answers to keep in touch with the Wildcats but the away team managed to get a small break on their opponents when Matt Knight reminded Cairns he was back with six straight points in the paint.
Kevin Lisch also showed why he is the league's reigning MVP in the first half, running rings around the Taipans and scoring 15 early points.
The Wildcats scored 33 points in second term, making it their highest scoring quarter so far this season, beating last week's 29-point first quarter effort against Sydney, and at the main break had a 49-37 lead.
The third quarter saw an even contest between the two-sides but the Wildcats did enough to keep their opponents at bay.
Scoring was coming from Redhage, Hire and Lisch, while Cam Tovey knocked down a three to reach the individual milestone of scoring 500 career points as a Perth Wildcat. The Cats 23-point quarter their equal highest third term for the season.
As the clock counted down, the game was well and truly in the Wildcats' grasp and the lead only continued to grow. The final margin a big 19-point win for Perth.
Wildcats star Kevin Lisch put on a clinic and was thrilled to see his team play so well.
'Cairns is always tough, at their place, I don't care what the record says, so it's a good win for us,' said Lisch.
'I think we are doing a better job at spacing and moving the ball, but at the same time in the second quarter we let them get too many baskets, but it was a good one.'
The MVP enjoyed having Knight back in the paint.
'He makes a big difference, it was good to see him back, I think he had jelly legs missing the one dunk, but it's great to have him back!'
Important for the Wildcats was once again their statistics on the glass, with 18 of their 39 rebounds pulled down on the offensive end.
Their defensive pressure was too much for the Taipans, causing 24 turnovers which led to 26 points, while only allowing Cairns to score seven from their own turnovers.
The Perth Wildcats have signed West Australian guard Jackson Hussey (190-G-92, college: Pikeville) as an injury replacement for Jarrod Kenny(188-G-85) Hussey recently completed the 2016 State Basketball League season with the Geraldton Buccaneers. In 13 games, he averaged 20.3 points at over 45 per cent from the field, while accumulating 8.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. In a pre-season game against the Wildcats in September, Hussey impressed Wildcats coaches with a strong perform... [read more]
Brandon McGill (185-G-89, college: St.Vincent) former player of Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) gave an interview: Why you decided to be a pro player. I decided to become a professional basketball player because it is my first love and I believe doing what you love is the only thing that makes sense. There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not... [read more]
Brandon McGill (185-G-89, college: St.Vincent) former player of Kalamunda Eastern Suns (Australia-SBL) gave an interview:
Why you decided to be a pro player.
I decided to become a professional basketball player because it is my first love and I believe doing what you love is the only thing that makes sense.
There are many players without a job fighting for the same spots, how hard is to wait for your ideal offer and not take the first that comes up considering that the next one may not come soon.
It is a VERY complicated decision to make, but one I was just forced to make last week actually. At the end of the day I know I have the patience to wait for the next deal, so I cannot compromise my self worth just to take the first offer on the table. Which was the best game you had in your career so far?
The best game I've had so far came while I was playing for Surrey in the BBL (UK). It was the only game of our season that would be televised on Eurosport, so I knew this was an opportunity I had to seize. I finished with a career-high of 37 points on 12/16 shooting. Tell us your strong point and your weakness in your game.
My strong point is my basketball IQ and my weakness is not dunking at every opportunity.
Which player was the hardest opponent to play against?
Randle's 23 points and 8 assists give him Player of the Week award - 1 day ago
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29-year old point guard Jerome Randle (175-PG-87) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for 36ers and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had the game-high 23 points adding two rebounds and eight assists for 36ers in his team's victory, helping them to crush, the league's bottom-ranked team Taipans (#8, 0-3) with 16-point margin 83-67. 36ers is placed at 3rd position in Australia league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lo... [read more]
29-year old point guard Jerome Randle (175-PG-87) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for 36ers and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 3. He had the game-high 23 points adding two rebounds and eight assists for 36ers in his team's victory, helping them to crush, the league's bottom-ranked team Taipans (#8, 0-3) with 16-point margin 83-67. 36ers is placed at 3rd position in Australia league. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost two games earlier this season. 36ers will need more victories to improve their 3-2 record. In the team's last game Randle had a remarkable 55.6% from 2-point range. He turned to be 36ers' top player in his first season with the team. University of California graduate has very impressive stats this year. Randle is league's best scorer averaging so far 24.0ppg. Randle is in league's top in assists (4th best: 4.4apg) and averages solid 66.7% FGP.
Second best performed player last round was Casey Prather (198-F/G-91) of league's second-best Wildcats. He is American swingman in his 2nd season at Wildcats. In the last game Prather recorded impressive 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course Wildcats cruised to a 80-73 relatively comfortable win over Hawks (1-4). The season is still at the very beginning and this victory may help a lot. Let's wait for the next round. Prather is well-known at Wildcats and he already established his position as one of the team's leaders. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 20.2ppg (#2). His other stats are also decent: 4.8rpg and 3.8apg.
Third place about best performers goes to forward Greg Whittington (203-F-93) of league's leader Kings. Whittington scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He was a key player of Kings, leading his team to a 92-78 easy win against Breakers (#6, 1-3). Kings confirms their top position in the standings. Whittington has a great season in Australia. After only 5 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 7.6rpg (3rd best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Andrew James Ogilvy (211-C-88) of Hawks - 15 points and 12 rebounds 5. Daniel Kickert (208-C/F-83) of Bullets - 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Andrew James Ogilvy (211-C-88) of Hawks - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Akil Mitchell (206-F-92) of Breakers - 20 points and 4 rebounds 8. Brad Newley (199-F/G-85) of Kings - 20 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists 9. Kevin Lisch (188-C-86) of Kings - 19 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists 10. Matthew Knight (204-C/F-85) of Wildcats - 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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