Eric Devendorf (193-G-87, college: Syracuse) is rated as one of the best players to grace a Kiwi basketball court. Sam Worthington puts the tough (and not-so-tough) questions to the Saints' import ahead of tonight's NBL home game against Nelson.
Q. Who are the best players in the New Zealand league?
A. I've only been out here a short time but Lindsay [Saints point guard Lindsay Tait] is one of the better players I've played with. Thomas Abercrombie [Waikato forward] is a good player, those are two that stand out in my head. And Josh Pace [Hawke's Bay guard], I've been playing with and against him for a while so I know what he can do.
You are left-handed but shoot with your right. Why?
I write left-handed, eat left-handed but everything else is right-handed. I throw a baseball, throw a football, all right-handed. I don't know, that's just how it was growing up.
What's your favourite place to eat in Wellington?
It's got to be Public man, that's where I've been going. It's a good place. I get the chicken sandwich with egg on it, that's one of my favourites.
What's the most exciting thing you've done in New Zealand so far?
Just seeing different things with the family, we went to the museum [Te Papa] and seeing stuff we wouldn't see back home. Being right here on the water is real neat, to have my daughter come here and experience something like that.
No bungy jumping?
No, I'm not into all that.
Do you understand rugby?
I understand it a lot more since I've been out here. I still don't really know what's going on but I'm starting to get the hang of it.
Are you a ruck or a lineout man?
I couldn't tell you.
You've signed with the Melbourne Tigers. A good career move?
Yeah, it's a good competitive league and Melbourne's a good city to be in for family, and everything else will be taken care of. It's a good step forward and I'm looking forward to it.
There's whispers of an NBA scout coming to New Zealand to watch you. Care to divulge?
That's what I heard so hopefully it's true. I've just got to keep working hard, playing hard and getting wins and everything else will take care of itself.
I think it's the Phoenix Suns, that's as much as I know.
Steve Nash is getting old ...
He's all right, he's going to be fine.
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
Hopefully, playing back home. That's got to be the No1 goal. But just to be making money and taking care of my family. Wherever I am, that's the No1 thing.
Which NBA team do you support?
Whoever supports me, that's who I'm going to support. I always liked the Detroit Pistons coming from Michigan I'm a fan of the Pistons.
Who will win the NBA this season?
I feel the Lakers. You've always got to be the favourite when you've got the best player in the league [Kobe Bryant].
Who is LeBron James going to sign with?
I've heard Chicago, I've heard New York. Wherever he feels himself and his family are most comfortable being. Obviously money talks, but you want to be where you're most comfortable.
Who is the funniest player on the Saints and why?
We've got a couple of jokesters on the team, man. I'd probably have to say either George [Le'afa] or Nick [Horvath]. Nick's got a kind of dry, dour sense of humour but it's funny, if you know where he's coming from. He's a good man, very intelligent.
What have you made of the Saints setup?
It's great. The first thing was just making sure my family was good and everybody was comfortable. Right away, when I came here, that was the first thing that they looked after and made sure that my daughter was taken care of and had everything in terms of my family needs. Everything else is going to fall into place as far as basketball goes. I've been loving the experience in Wellington.
The team must be fired up to play Nelson?
Yeah, obviously Nelson's a good team, they've got a couple of veterans on their team in Phill Jones and Co. We've got to go out there and play how we've played in the last five games and everything else will take care of itself.
A win would be crucial to help finish second and get a home semi?
That would be big, knowing if we can beat Nelson there's definitely a good chance. If we can get that win that would be big. Every win is good but knowing we can beat the second-placed team and jump ahead in the standings, it would be all right.
Is winning the league's scoring title an aim?
That doesn't mean much to me. I just came out here and kinda set a goal, to get my name back out there as far as other leagues go, use this as a stepping stone. I think I've done that pretty well so I'm going to continue to play my game and everything else will take care of itself.
HOW THEY LINE UP
What: National Basketball League
Where: TSB Bank Arena, Wellington
When: 7pm tonight
Saints: Lindsay Tait, Eric Devendorf, Leon Henry, Casey Frank, Nick Horvath, Erron Maxey, Troy McLean, Damien Ekenasio, George Le'afa, Ross Taurima, Randall Bishop
Nelson: Mike Fitchett, Phill Jones, Mika Vukona, Michael Harrison, Tony Rampton, Darryl Jones, Josh Bloxham, Brad Maclachlan, Nico Ritschny, Samuel Dempster, Bronson Beri, Ben Wright
Canterbury Rams point guard Jeremy Kendle(186-G-88, college: Bellarmine) is Round Two player of the week after tallying 24 points (10/15 FG, 4/7 3pt), nine assists, five rebounds and two steals in the 114-80 win over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants. Kendle currently leads the league in scoring (26.0 ppg) and is fourth in assists (5.5 apg). Marcel Jones backed up his player of the week performance from last week with 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Giants. The Wellington Saints collect... [read more]
Canterbury Rams point guard Jeremy Kendle (186-G-88, college: Bellarmine) is Round Two player of the week after tallying 24 points (10/15 FG, 4/7 3pt), nine assists, five rebounds and two steals in the 114-80 win over the Mike Pero Nelson Giants. Kendle currently leads the league in scoring (26.0 ppg) and is fourth in assists (5.5 apg).
Marcel Jones backed up his player of the week performance from last week with 25 points and 11 rebounds against the Giants.
The Wellington Saints collected two wins on the road thanks to the play of forward Tai Wesley and guard Corey Webster. Wesley had 23 points and 14 rebounds against the Rams and 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks against the Sharks. Webster had 25 points and eight assists in the Rams game and 22 points and six assists versus the Sharks. Forward Leon Henry made a breakaway dunk to secure the two point win over the Sharks and also added 21 points and eight rebounds.
Reuben Te Rangi scored a round high 27 points for the SIT Zerofees Sharks in the loss and in the first two games of the season is averaging 22 points, shooting 58% from the field.
The James Blond Supercity Rangers have started the season 2-0 after winning on the road to the Taranaki Mountainairs. Australian Mitchell McCarron continued his impressive start to the season with 23 points and nine rebounds. McCarron's team mate Nnanna Egwu chipped in with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Taranaki bounced back from their loss to the Rangers with a 76-75 road win over the Taylor Hawks. Daniel Gomis grabbed 13 rebounds in the win and currently leads the league averaging nearly 14 in his first three games.
Mike Pero Nelson Giants (NBL) signed 24-year old Australian guard Kyle Adnam (186-93). He just played at United in Australian NBL league. In 20 games he had 3.6ppg and 1.2apg this season. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Adnam's team won Australian NBL Regular Season in 2016. He was also voted Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL Youth Player of the Year and Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL 1st Team in 2015. Adnam has played also professionally f... [read more]
Mike Pero Nelson Giants (NBL) signed 24-year old Australian guard Kyle Adnam (186-93). He just played at United in Australian NBL league. In 20 games he had 3.6ppg and 1.2apg this season. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Adnam's team won Australian NBL Regular Season in 2016. He was also voted Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL Youth Player of the Year and Australiabasket.com All-Australian SEABL 1st Team in 2015. Adnam has played also professionally for other Australian teams like Illawarra Hawks and Kilsyth Cobras.
Kendle's 24 points and 9 assists give him Player of the Week award - 2 days ago
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28-year old guard Jeremy Kendle (186-G-88) put on an amazing game in the last round for Canterbury and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. He had the game-high 24 points adding five rebounds and nine assists for Canterbury in his team's victory, helping them to outclass, the league's bottom-ranked team Nelson G. (#6, 0-3) with 34-point margin 114-80. Canterbury is placed at 4th position in New Zealand league. Canterbury is a typical solid league team place... [read more]
28-year old guard Jeremy Kendle (186-G-88) put on an amazing game in the last round for Canterbury and receives a Australiabasket.com Player of the Week award for round 2. He had the game-high 24 points adding five rebounds and nine assists for Canterbury in his team's victory, helping them to outclass, the league's bottom-ranked team Nelson G. (#6, 0-3) with 34-point margin 114-80. Canterbury is placed at 4th position in New Zealand league. Canterbury is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 2-2 record. In the team's last game Kendle had a remarkable 75.0% from 2-point range and got four three-pointers out of 7 attempts. He just recently signed at Canterbury, being already a very valuable addition to the team. Bellarmine University graduate has very impressive stats this year. Kendle is league's best scorer averaging so far 26.0ppg. Kendle is in league's top in assists (4th best: 5.5apg) and averages solid 59.6% FGP and 41.4% from behind 3-point line.
Second best performed player last round was Tai Wesley (201-F-86) of top-ranked Wellington S.. He is American-Fijian forward in his first season at Wellington S.. In the last game Wesley recorded impressive double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds. Of course Wellington S. cruised to a 94-85 relatively comfortable win over Canterbury (2-2). A very good start of the season for his team, which won so far all 3 games without any defeat. Wesley is one of the most experienced players at Wellington S. and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
Third place about best performers goes to guard Mitchell McCarron (191-G-92) of league's second-best SC Rangers. McCarron showcased his all-around game by recording 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists in the last round. He was a key player of SC Rangers, leading his team to a 85-81 win against #3 ranked Taranaki MA in a game of the week. SC Rangers has a very good start of the season. But there were just 2 games played, so it's too early to judge them at this stage. McCarron also has a very good start of the season with very strong stats. McCarron has a great season in New Zealand. After only 2 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 25.5ppg (2nd best), rebounds with 7.5rpg (8th best) and assists with 5.0apg (7th best).
Other top performing players last week: 4. Corey Webster (188-G-88) of Wellington S. - 25 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists 5. Reuben Te Rangi (198-F/G-94) of Southland S. - 27 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists 6. Marcel Jones (203-F-85) of Canterbury - 25 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists 7. Leon Henry (200-F-85) of Wellington S. - 21 points and 8 rebounds 8. Daniel Gomis (208-F-91) of Taranaki MA - 13 points, 13 rebounds and 2 assists 9. Nnanna Egwu (211-F/C-92) of SC Rangers - 19 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists 10. Everard Bartlett (193-G-86) of Taylor Hawks - 21 points, 6 rebounds and 5 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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