Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Week of Missed Opportunity

The race for playoff positions are really hotting up, but the last week only tightened it more. All teams trying to snag the fourth seed failed to establish or claw their way towards securing that spot.

Ourselves, we only have to look in the mirror to see who to blame. The game against the Hawks was probably our worst of the season. I will be able to confirm this after practice as we will be watching the game in its entirety.

Perth seemed to lead for most of the game against the Tigers, but came up short by a point. A win here would have helped the Wildcats big time in moving up. This is a team we cannot afford to be tied with at the end of the season. They have the split on us.

Cairns could not get a rare road win in Melbourne so they remained idle on the ladder for another week. They play Brisbane New Year's Eve night, so once again like us, they have a chance to move up with a win.

New Zealand took Sydney to overtime but came up short at the end. Once again, they led most of the way, but the Kings made more plays when required.

Gold Coast had the best chance to put their hand up, but ran into a Bullets team seeking revenge from a loss the night before. The Blaze play us New Year's Eve which is the first of three remaining games between these two Queensland franchises. This series is going to have a large bearing on how the playoff position end up.

For now the ladder remains the same as it did before these last games started. Only difference is some teams may be looking over their shoulder as Adelaide is making a late run for the playoffs.

With the season beginning to wind down, teams need to start mounting their charge for a top four position, otherwise time will beat all to the finish line. This last month of games are going to be rippers, I can only hope we (the Crocs) make the most of the opportunity presented.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Homicide Gets Up To Off Court

Quite often we as players get asked what will you do once your career has ended? This is a question that some players can answer and have a plan in place, while others are more incline to wait and see.

The fortunate thing up here in Townsville players get to experiment a little and find out what hidden talents we have or lack.

Corey Williams is one of those players that has been given the green light to experiment in front off the TV camera. I have linked a few episodes of his work. I would love to hear what you have to say, so I can pass on your feedback!

Even one week Daniel Egan took over for the absent "Homicide".

In the upcoming week I will have some footage to show you guys of what I get up to in my spare time.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Who Will Be MVP?

My criteria for the MVP will differ a little from the way the NBL judges it. First the player who wins needs to be from one of the top 4 teams. (We do not need a Brian Whethers situation on our hands.) Also, you have to picture how this team would perform without this guy in your lineup.

#1. Chris Anstey. Very much like last years winner Sam MacKinnon, if this guy wants it, it is his for the taking. And the way he has been playing of late, he wants the new Hummer on offer. Whether it is putting the nail in the coffin via a three or an offensive tip, he can impact the game at the defensive end. Through a block or a rebound how many times does it seem Darryl Corletto finishes the play with a spot up three.

If the Tigers do not fall into a coma, they will finish in the Top 4 somewhere and Anstey will win his second MVP trophy in three years.

#2. Ebi Ere. This guy could not wait for MacKinnon to go under the knife so he could show off his skills and get out from behind Slammin Sam's and CJ's shadow.

Offensively he has been consistently carrying the Bullets load. Settle CJ, yes you come through too, but your wing man has been doing it in style. He has even been grabbing a few boards as well.

If the Bullets mount a run for a top 2 spot, Ebi will have an influence on that and the MVP voting.

#3. Mark Worthington. He has been the best/consistent player on the best team. You have to reward this. He has shown he can bring his offense every night when needed and win games through his determination.

What may hurt him is if he was to miss games the Kings have players that can step up their productivity. Saville comes to mind here.

If the gap between the Kings and Bullets/Tigers narrows this will hurt Worthington and his cause for an MVP season.

Other that may get votes, but their team needs to string some wins.

Kirk Penney: No doubt this guy has helped bring some respectability to the Breakers, but they also brought in Ronaldson, Jones and two imports to help their cause.

Shaun Redage: He got out of the blocks fast and created some hype, but with the Wildcats falling back in the pack, both he and his team need a strong finish to the season to get him over the line.

Corey Williams: "Homicide" exploded on the scene and has caught the attention of many and even some not involved in the basketball circles. He has been good for the NBL and opposition crowds.

To help his cause the Crocs need to finish in the top 4 and he needs to leave those 2/17 shooting nights on the streets of New York for the remainder of the season.

We finish in the top 4 and some of the names mentioned above slow, Townsville citizens better watch out for Corey cruising the streets in his new rig.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Should The League Do

This week the Wollongong Hawks have come out and said they need a financial lifeline, otherwise they will be on the scrap heap. It is always disappointing for a league not to be able to sustain all teams, but is it time for the league to get serious and trim the league?

Every off season for the last few that I can remember, there is always anticipation as to whether a team or two will survive. Just look at last off season, the Razorbacks made it within minutes of their deadline, while Ben Knight had too wait all off season to see if he had a team and who his teammates would be in Singapore.

I believe the time is right for the NBL to trim the league and point the ship in the right direction so its future can brighten. Now is the right time because we have just completed the "Revue" so the power end of this show should know exactly the shape of basketball in this country. (I just hope they have some new ideas as to how to improve this great sport.)

People will say it is harsh to eliminate teams, but we need a strong product out in the market place. Sure there are not as many opportunities for players, but a strong product will attract the things (free to air TV, merchandise, ticket sales, sponsors dollars) the league is missing to generate good revenue.

It would be great for a white knight to present themself and solve all the issues at hand, but the reality of this is, you are a better chance of seeing me throw one down on Simon Dwight.

I know many a fan and person involved with this great sport have talked and debated the right way to help resurrect the sport, but if anything, now is the time to act and try and rectify the situation. Trimming the league into a stronger product may just be the place to start.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Disappointing..What Else Can I Say

Yes, I choked. What a great opportunity shooting last in the qualifier last night. Knowing the score to beat to get to the final, I could not have asked for a better situation. I was very confident that a score of around 20 was coming when I stepped up.

When I look back on what happened, it was very similar to Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly, but you move on. You cannot let one incident/indiscretion fog what reality is. I'm a great shooter and I get to prove that for the rest of the season.

I cannot wait to get to practice later today because I know my teammates will give it to me, but they better be ready as I have a little built up frustration to get rid of.

Congrats to Troy DeVries for winning the Shoot Out. I look forward to crossing paths with him in another event such as this.

As for the game itself. You could sense that the Aussie team had a little better cohesion on the court which allowed them to build a comfortable lead and coast for most of the game.

My observations from the game:

- Stephen Black lite Corey "Homicide" Williams up like a Christmas tree. Sitting courtside I could hear Williams calling out to Galen Young for help on several occassions.

- Larry "Birdman" Abney had a solid game, but his most important stat had a donut last night. Zero "Birdman's". If you are a Abney fan though, look for his "Sky's the Limit" DVD. Travel with Larry through his tours of the world with hoops.

- Corey Williams was involved in 131 post game interviews last night. Yes there was a lot of media at the game but Williams conducted 125 interviews on his own handycam. Look for all those one on one interviews to hit YouTube soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why I Will Win!

It is almost 24 hours until the Three Point Shoot Out makes a return to the All Star Game. And I'm in it to win it. Here are five reasons that will see me become victorious at this event.

1. Chris Anstey will be falling over looking for a call on every third shot. I have never seen a foul called in this contest, EVER. I don't think it will start tomorrow either. This rules him out.

2. Troy DeVries. A real unknown to me, but he loves a pump fake when he comes off those screens. Too many pump fakes will not allow him to get enough shots off.

3. James Harvey. Would be very dangerous if you only had to shoot fade aways from the corner. Unlucky for James, there will be three other spots to shoot from.

4. Kirk Penney. I am not doubting this guys sweet stroke and scoring ability, but I cannot see him getting through all 25 shots. This will cost him unless he shoots an unbelievable percentage.

5. CJ Bruton. The real unknown in the field for a contest like this. Does CJ really want to shoot in this competition? I'm not sure, plus he will want to redo his hair at half time of the main game.

As Charles Barkley said, " I may be wrong, but I doubt it!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is The Top Eight Already Decided

Let's just say the All Star game this week marks the half way point of the season, can we safely say the top 8 teams for the playoffs has been decided? I think so.

All teams in the top 8 are at .500 or better win/lose percentage, (tell me when that has last happened), so I cannot see any movement inside or out of that. I'm sure West Sydeney (7-10) will argue they still have a chance to make it and the door is not completely shut for Adelaide (6-9).

The way I see it is the top 8 have been playing solid basketball up to this point, and I don't see any of those teams falling in a big enough hole to see them drop out of the eight.

Moving onto the top 8 teams though, anything can happen with the final positions. I will hand the Kings the minor premiership now, and the rest of us can squabble over the remaining seven spots. The Kings are humming along to well to cough up top spot.

As for the rest, it becomes a chook raffle. The Breakers are beginning to see how life is with injury, and they have a plethora of road games remaining against top eight teams. The new boys on the block, Gold Coast Blaze, are travelling along nicely at the moment, but I think their schedule is heavily loaded against fellow top 8 teams.

As for us we control our own destiny because we play enough games against teams in a similar situation. 3 against the Blaze, 2 against the Taipans, 1 in Wildcat territory, Bullets at home etc. So if we are to propel ourselves into the top 4, we have to beat the teams that have the same goal in mind.

It is hard to believe we are already over half way through the season. For my knowledge the top 8 is set, but a mad scramble for playoff positions is well and truly alive. Over the next two months there will be a lot of jostling for positions to see who can challenge Sydney for a championship.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Big Day for Aussies-NCAA

Aussie Aaron Baynes gets dirty for WSU

Today saw many of our Aussies in the USA have big games in college. We will start with Aaron Baynes. The north Queensland kid is playing on one of the best teams in America right now. Washington State is ranked 8th in the nation and Baynes is a key for this squad. They defeated my team, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, 18th in the nation, in a low scoring affair, 51-47. Washington St are a "D" team, so a scoreline like this usually sees them win. Baynes contributed 13 points and seven rebounds, but nine of his points came in the deciding second half.

Andrew Ogilvy who plays for the 23rd ranked Vanderbilt Commodores had another productive game for his squad. 23 points to go along with five rebounds will see his NBA stock keep rising.

Alec Maric filled the statline with another double double. 17pts and 13rebs. As I said earlier on in the year, this guy is a smokey for the Beijing team.

Utah Utes Aussie, Luke Nevill dropped 20 and 14 on Utah St today. I have never really seen this kid play so I cannot comment too much, but he has been putting up good numbers in his time over there. Another Aussie on this squad, Stephen Weigh, was back in the line up.

There were other Aussies in play, but these guys could my eye with their stats. To find out how all went, find the boxscores here.

Here is a copy of my weekly article that appears in the Townsville Bulletin.

Homicide deflated

THERE is no question Corey Williams has been a great addition to this year's team for a variety of reasons.
Williams has been tearing it up around the NBL since his arrival in the Sunshine State and has kept our beloved fans entertained on and off the court with his skill and wit.
However, even Superman has his kryptonite and last week Corey's nemesis was uncovered.
Poor `Homicide' found himself high and dry on the streets of Townsville after our team shoot-around on Saturday when he came face to face with the dreaded flat tyre.
No, that is not the name of the next big bad guy in a Disney flick, he really just had a flat tyre.
Who would have anticipated that this street-savvy guy from the mean streets of New York would be afraid to get his hands dirty by changing a little tyre?
Never fear fans, after several phone calls, our hero finally found someone to rescue him.
The best part of this story is that `Homicide' was just around the corner from my house when he was `struck down' and I never received one of those calls for help.
Hmmm, do you think it was because he didn't want the incident to be in print the following week?
Note to Corey: Something that good will always find its way to the column.
It is just the level of embellishment required that varies if I am not allowed on the scene.
While I am picking on players this week, I might as well give Daniel Egan some time.
You may have seen a van around town with an advertisement on the side for what looks like a mobile dating service, featuring Daniel and his partner Kirby Dalgleish (who you may recognise as a member of our WNBL team, the Fire).
Do not be alarmed, Daniel has not quit his day job with the Crocs in the hope of helping the lovelorn of the twin cities.
These vans are just promotional tools for his individual sponsor and friend, Mike Buck and his fan business – although `Ask Dan the Fan Man how he keeps his relationship cool!' does have a certain ring to it.
Something to think about for life after basketball, Eages.
Last, but certainly not least, don't forget we play the Singapore Slingers on Saturday night.
If anyone sees Corey pulled over by the side of the road on their way to the game, please pull over and help him out.
We need our point guard at The Swamp by tip-off.

NBA Top Ten Plays: Sorry to say, Bogut gets dunked on.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Elton John Concert

Just some locals enjoying the night .........................Best radio duo...Smithy and JR????

Sir Elton

Last night Sir Elton John hit Townsville for a one time only performance. Held out at Dairy Farmers Stadium, the 22000 strong crowd was treated to a great performance.

Not the biggest fan in the world, but after seeing this act, I may be enticed into buying one of his CD's if they are in the cheap bins. It was a performance that I will remember for a long time. You have to appreciate how he can tickle the ivory.

I happen to have some exclusive footage of some of the songs. Hopefully later today or early tomorrow this should be available for viewing. IT IS NOW UP. LOOK BELOW FOR LINKS!

Well, before I get back to basketball practice, it is National Volunteer Day, so myself and Homicide Williams are off to the hospital to lend a hand.

Quick tip for punters today, look for the Dragons to upset the Blaze tonight. You can catch the action on Fox Sports Live. (Not the best tip I have given!)

Back to the concert. I have done downloaded some small footage of certain performances. First one goes out to Brad Newley. (If you do not get it..think draft day..this was his theme song.) Second piece goes out to all Crocs fans, especially our dedicated Mascot. He waited all night for this one.

Tonight's Boxscores: blaze v dragons hawks v slingers

NBA Top Ten Plays: not sure about No 1?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Movember is Done...New Month for Crocs

As of last Friday Movember came to an end. I must say all Crocs that took part in the charity did a great job of sticking to the task. I parted with the "Hawk" while Ben Pepper had a full clean shave for the first time in years. He looks an old 32 now.

The Crocs soldiered through November with a 5-3 record. Not the greatest in the world, but considering that we only played two home games and had two weekends where we had back to back games, it was good to get back to .500 basketball.

Our schedule for the remainder of the season becomes very user friendly for the Crocs. Of our 13 games left in the regular season, 9 are at home. With the way games are going (see Singapore vs Bullets) nothing is a sure thing in this league, so if we can continue to build on our last month's work, who knows where we might just finish.

Yeah, yeah...there is a lot of season to go and it can always go the other way as well, but right now we have good momentum (last five of six have been wins) and the reassurance that we have all those home games.

The regular season is already half over for the Crocs, but I like the fact we are still very much building momentum.


NBA Top Ten Plays:

Articles:,21985,22857837-11088,00.html goorj/tomlinson teamwork,22606,22860962-5006371,00.html boti's weekend wrap breakers new import talks,21985,22859464-11088,00.html dragons on death bed? joyce on blaze rillie shines...great read! lakers scout at taipans/dragons game

Sunday, December 2, 2007

When Will Athletes Learn?

I am one athlete who believes that today's sportsman lives under a very large and sometimes unfair microscope. We can all debate this topic till we are blue in the face, but there are some incidents that cannot be favourable however you look at them for the athlete.

The incident I'm talking about is the Western Force Rugby Team that had a preseason gathering over on Rottnest Island, just off of the Perth coastline. Read here to get updated on incident:

Today I watched the press conference of the sentences to these players being handed down. As usual the players involved talked about alcohol being the cause of the problem. Sure, alcohol is going to be consumed at these preseason get togethers, but you still have to know right from wrong.

Now I have not been to Rottnest Is before ( I hope to one day) but I have seen enough advertising on this destination to know that these gritters are out of bounds. Happy snaps are the closest you can get to them.

I will go out on a limb and say the Western Force as a group would have been addressed about the rules and regulations of the Island. One of them would have been, DO NOT HANDLE QUOKKAS!

Boys being boys, or is that men being men, decided to turn this into a bi-athlon of sorts. Trapping an animal in a milk crate is a cool event when you are eight, especially here in the north with he cane toad. After trapping, lets move onto the hammer throw.

It was good to see the club deal with it internally, so the players should know exactly where they stand if another offense occurs.

The problem I have with this incident is, no matter what kind of state you are in, you should know that what you are about to do is wrong. Throw in the idea that a tourist or two visit this place and you may just get caught out by one.

Until the number of these types of mishaps become extinct, it is going to be hard for the microscope to be lifted.

NBA Top Ten Plays:

NBL Boxscores: hawks v blaze taipans v dragons kings v tigers 36ers v pigs crocs v wildcats

NCAA Boxscore: WSU vs Baylor
This game was played on ESPN today. It featured two of Australia's best over there. Aaron Baynes for the sixth ranked Washington State Cougars against Aaron Bruce's Baylor Bears.

Articles:,22049,22855941-5001023,00.html crocs beat wilcats,22606,22855868-12428,00.html adelaide win USA update from