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Authors:


 
Hugh McAuliffe

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New Zealand Basketball (Men)


NBL Standings
 1. Canterbury 13-5 
 2. Wellington S. 13-5 
 3. Southland S. 11-7 
 4. Waitakere SCR 9-9 
 5. Nelson G. 9-9 
 6. Taranaki MA 8-10 
 7. IMS Hawks 0-18 
Points Per Game
 Raymond COWELS III
  Nelson G.
  (193-F/G-90)
  Avg: 25.7
 1. Cowels III, Nelson25.7 
 2. Devendorf, Waitake.25.3 
 3. Jones, Canterbury23.1 
 4. Jett, Southland S.22.8 
 5. Webster, Waitaker.22.5 
 6. Moore, Canterbury22.4 
 7. Craig, Wellington20.9 
 8. Porter, IMS Hawks18.3 
 9. Kay, Southland S.17.9 
 10. Tait, Waitaker.17.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Alex PLEDGER
  Southlan.
  (215-C-87)
  Avg: 11.4
 1. Pledger, Southlan.11.4 
 2. Miller, Taranaki.10.6 
 3. Craig, Wellington9.8 
 4. Jones, Canterbury9.5 
 5. Kay, Southland S.8.7 
 6. Porter, IMS Hawks8.0 
 7. Henry, Wellington7.8 
 8. Johnson, Taranaki.7.6 
 9. Dempster, Nelson G.7.6 
 10. Johnson, IMS Haw.7.5 
Assists Per Game
 McKenzie MOORE
  Canterbury
  (198-G-92)
  Avg: 8
 1. Moore, Canterbury8.0 
 2. Ili, Wellington S.5.5 
 3. Tait, Waitaker.5.4 
 4. Jett, Southland S.5.3 
 5. Norton, Southlan.4.8 
 6. Kenny, Nelson G.4.4 
 7. O'Riley, Ta.3.6 
 8. Boucher, Waitaker.3.3 
 9. Bartlett, Southlan.3.3 
 10. Wesley, Wellingto.3.0 
Steals Per Game
 McKenzie MOORE
  Canterbury
  (198-G-92)
  Avg: 3.4
 1. Moore, Canterbury3.4 
 2. Jett, Southland S.2.5 
 3. Boucher, Waitaker.2.1 
 4. Webster, Waitaker.2.1 
 5. Wesley, Wellington1.9 
 6. Whippy, Canterbury1.9 
 7. Cowels III, Nelson1.8 
 8. Bailey-N., Taranak.1.5 
 9. Porter, IMS Hawks1.5 
 10. Jones, Canterbury1.4 
Blocks Per Game
 Daniel MILLER
  Taranaki.
  (211-C-91)
  Avg: 1.9
 1. Miller, Taranaki.1.9 
 2. Wesley, Wellington1.5 
 3. Pledger, Southlan.1.4 
 4. Roberts, Waitaker.1.3 
 5. Jones, Canterbury1.1 
 6. Jett, Southland S.1.0 
 7. Boucher, Waitaker.0.9 
 8. Henry, Wellington0.8 
 9. Strong, Nelson G.0.8 
 10. Watkins, Wellingt.0.7 

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Saints show Gurley exit after standout game - Apr 6, 2012


POSTED BY:
HUGH MCAULIFFE
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Anthony
Gurley
Rookie Saints American guard Anthony Gurley (190-G-88, agency: Pro Partner Sports Management, college: Massachusetts) must have thought he'd helped his new club turn the corner as he poured in a season's best performance in a vital National Basketball League (NBL) victory last Thursday.

Instead the former University of Massachusetts stand-out was rewarded with a plane ticket home and 'thanks for coming' as the defending NBL champions decided to replace him for the remainder of the season. In comes former Saint Ernest Scott (201-F-82, agency: VVG Sports, college: Valdosta St.), out goes the NBL's reigning Player of the Week.

Welcome to the world of professional basketball - where the highs and lows often follow each other in close succession.

In Gurley's case it was a mere matter of minutes. He was still soaking in a 33-point, six-rebound effort in the Saints' 121-84 victory over the Harbour Heat last Thursday night when coach Pero Cameron tapped him on the shoulder.

The 23-year-old who'd just knocked in 10 of his 15 shots, and five of his seven three-pointers, was told that the Saints needed to upsize in the import spot, and that as happy as they were with his play, he was the one to make way.

It was like a slap in the face for a young man who was feeling rather good about himself.

Saints General Manager Nick Mills Jnr said it was the toughest thing he's had to do in the job. He described Gurley as a 'good kid' and 'model professional' but coach Pero Cameron had simply come to the realisation that he had to beef up his front line which had hitherto consisted of Casey Frank, Arthur Trousdell and not much else.

'Over the past month or so we've been out-rebounded by everyone. We'd been monstered on the boards and we needed some more big guys,' said Mills.

When Scott became available, Cameron pondered the situation long and hard. The 6'7' forward had been a standout for the Saints in 2008 when they lost to Cameron's Waikato Pistons in the final series. Scott averaged 21.3 points and 6.7 rebounds and shot 53.8 percent from the field and 47.1 from deep. Good numbers in anyone's book.

'We decided if we were going to compete with the Auckland Pirates and the Hawks and so forth we needed size to match up,' added Mills.

'Pero made the decision we needed a small forward who could play the four spot and could shoot. Ernest fitted that bill and he was available.

'But [letting Gurley go] has been one of the toughest weeks I've had. He's a great kid, he had a great attitude, it was his first pro gig and he stepped up to the plate.'

Circumstances also didn't play out in Gurley's favour. The Saints had been hoping to add a Kiwi small forward from the US collegiate system - understood to be former Junior Tall Black Richie Edwards - but had not been able to get that over the line.

Mills said Gurley took the news well and understood the Saints' predicament.

'He knows it's business and even said he would be willing to come back if an injury happened to one of our imports. That's a mark of the young man.'

Mills said it was hoped Scott, who has been playing most recently in the NBA's D-League and in Greece, would provide a better balance in the squad.

'He made the All-Star Five in 2008 and we think he's going to help us out a lot.'

Also joining the Saints this week is 2.13m big man Martin Iti (213-C-83, college: N.Mexico St.) from the Sydney Kings to further beef up the front line.

Suddenly the Wellington club's height problems have vanished in a flash. Mills just hopes the pain of letting a good young player go will prove worth it.
  




Thomas
Abercrombie
Tall Blacks finish third in Atlas Challenge after beating hosts China - 4 days ago

The Tall Blacks have finished third at the Atlas Challenge in China, after a fiercely fought and often controversial playoff match against the host nation on Sunday night, winning 90-84. Rebounding after what was by their own admission a disappointing semifinal performance, the Tall Blacks responded to the urging of their coach to "overcome adversity" and ground out a win, despite losing three players to five fouls and ending the game with a further three on the brink of fouling out. Thom...   [read more]

Edgaras
Zelionis
Tall Blacks run ends in semifinals - 5 days ago

The Tall Blacks run at the Atlas Challenge in China has come to an end in the semifinals, beaten 80-65 by a fired up Lithuania team, leaving the New Zealanders to play in the third place playoff on the final day against either China or Iran. After marching through group play unbeaten and showing great hustle on defence and sharing the load offensively, tonight was a flat performance in which the Tall Blacks were always behind. The New Zealanders lost the rebound count (31-35) and shot poo...   [read more]

Michael
Karena
Tall Blacks crush China - 7 days ago

The Tall Blacks have made it three from three on their overseas tour, crushing hosts China 98-74 overnight. The visitors were in command the whole encounter in a promising all-around display, booking a semifinal spot at the Atlas International Basketball Challenge. Following victories over Belarus and Japan, the romp against the more favoured China was the most commanding of the lot, and will continue to boost the confidence within the camp. Aside from an early 7-5 lead, China barely thre...   [read more]


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