Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Weekly Column

JR's Straight Shooter (Townsville Bulletin)

ON Friday night the Crocs will take on this year's surprise package, the West Sydney Razorbacks. The Pigs have come out of the blocks fast, boasting a 4-2 record to date, and are trying to erase the memories of their last two seasons as wooden-spooners. So what makes this year's Razorback team different?

A new coach, a few new players and a style that has not been seen in the NBL for quite some time, if ever.You can expect to see a full-court pressing defence for 48 minutes, which in turn evolves into a fast pace offence at the other end.The coach subs at a frenetic pace, making it difficult for opponents to find a rhythm in the stop-start pace.

The high-risk, high-return philosophy is one that seems to best suit their young, bold talent and appears to be working so far. Our test will be how we handle this trapping defence. If we are successful in being aggressive in our attack, it should lead to easy baskets. However, if we take a passive approach and allow them to dictate pace, it will lead to turnovers and easy baskets for them and we will have a long night on our hands.

We opened the season with a win against the Pigs and I do not see a different result this time round, provided we attack them with a purpose and look after the ball. This will allow us to score enough points to win the game, assuming our defence stays to form. So far it has been our defence that has kept us in games.

AS many of you readers and/or Croc fans know, last week a couple of us donned our new Mohawk hairstyles. Galen Young, Corey Williams and I are comfortable enough in our skin that the Mohawk was just another haircut.

Kelvin Robertson, on the other hand, is doing a little sweating after he casually threw down a challenge that he thought Croc CEO Ian Smythe would never take him up on. Smythe was commenting on the new dos in the locker room and inevitably asked Kelvin when he would be sporting his Mohawk. Kelvin innocently replied: "When you get yours."

The locker room went into a collective gasp when we heard Smythe reply: "You're on."
Among the laughter and the "what if" banter that was already going around, there was Kelvin -his face was panic-stricken. His lips could not get the words out quickly enough to take it all back.

I'm not sure where this bet currently stands but I would love to be a fly on the wall if Kelvin gets called into the `Big Dog's' office this week.

FORMER assistant coach Scott Ninnis cannot take a trick in the coaching circles.
Upon finishing with the Crocs in 2005, Ninnis headed to the South Dragons on a two-year deal in a similar position. Less than a year after this move, Ninnis found himself out of a job and in court over a dispute with the new franchise.

This was finally settled and Ninnis moved on to a position with the Adelaide WNBL team, again as an assistant, only to re-sign last week after the club underwent some tumultuous times.
I played with Scott in Adelaide, and have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at his coaching ability and his ability to pass on knowledge of the game to his players when he was a part of the coaching staff here.

After an absolutely disheartening run, here's hoping he can find a job that puts this ability to some good use.– JOHN RILLIE

In other news, it seems the Dragons are posed to replace Nick Horvath. Starting the season so slow it was only a matter of time before Shane Heal made some changes. They have former Gonzaga University player Bakari Hendrix (no relation to Jimmy) in for a try out. If all goes well he will be suiting up this weekend.

Tonight when you tune into the Fox Sports game, Kings vs 36ers, we may get our first look at import Isiah Victor. Time will tell, but this situation must be getting frustrating for Victor. He has been in the country for over a month and has not played a game. In between doing defensive slides for coach Goorjian and visiting Bondi Beach, I'm sure he would like to get a little playing time to make his trip Down Under worthwhile.


DJ ROD said...

So is the Mohawk look a different spin on MOvember?

I am giving the MOvember thing a go again this year - should be some nice handlebar action by the end!

Darren said...

You don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

If I wasn’t such a twelve year old girl I would attempt to grow a moe for movember, but alas it seems like another year of gluing pubes to my top lip to avoid embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Bakari Hendrix would have looked good alongside Big Ben?

JR said...

It will be interesting to see how Bakari goes. I have not seen him play in some years. If they get some wins, he will look like a hero though. Good luck to him.