Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Silly Season Begins For Crocs

Another chapter in the Crocs’ history has come to an end, so let’s take a look back at this year’s NBL season and also take a peak at the possibilities that lie before us.

Our season got off to a rocky start thanks to a handful of injuries to key players such as Rosell Ellis, Ben Pepper, and Brad Sheridan. However, one of the true tests of professionalism is how an individual or team is able to respond to adversarial conditions.

I believe that our team came out the other side of this situation stronger. We did not hang our heads and many of our young players relished in the opportunity to grab more court time.

The experience that guys like Michael Cedar, Drew Williamson and Greg Vanderjagt got showed late in the season when they made some fantastic contributions in key games. I think this season, these guys solidified their positions as quality NBL players.

In fact, we were able to go to any of our ten players with confidence and not many teams can say that.

I will credit Trevor Gleeson for not allowing us to dwell on our battered and bruised personnel. Trevor’s philosophy on basketball is not tricky: if you do not play hard, you will not play. The reverse also holds true and if our bench showed they were up to the challenge, they got the nod. A 3-7 record turning around to become a 17-13 finish demonstrates that he did motivate us to get on with business instead of making excuses.

The next stage of the game will be an interesting one. Who makes up the roster for next year?

Only five of us are signed on for next season: Brad Sheridan, Daniel Egan, Kelvin Robertson, Ben Pepper and me. We are all are Australian born players with experience, which makes a good base to build from.

Our two imports, Corey Williams and Galen Young, have expressed their interest in coming back. So, too, has injured import Rosell Ellis. I am no math wiz, but I know that three into two does not work. It will be interesting to see the solution to this equation.

Cedar, Williamson and Vanderjagt are all free agents. As I mentioned earlier, their stock has risen considerably since the beginning of the season. As much as we would all like to see them back in the Crocs’ green, that may not be the way the script was written.

I am in no position to speculate what will happen with this trio, but this is a business and like any other business deal, you have to strike while the iron is hot.

If you take a look at the solid group of players already signed for next season and remember our strong finish in the second half of this NBL season, I don’t think we are too far off being legitimate championship contenders.

There is a lot of water yet to go under the bridge between now and when the first ball is thrown up to start the 2008/09 NBL season. But with a little tinkering and a bit of luck, the Croc faithful may be in for some real excitement at this time next year.

You can find my article in the Townsville Bulletin weekly.


Anonymous said...

Hey JR,
while you would normally be in preperation for another game this week during the season, what will we see you doing in your holidays? and what did you think of the crocs version of FANatics the "green machine"

John Rillie said...


It was great to see those Puntas form the Green Machine. I loved it, that is why I put up the photo. If it is right in what I'm hearing, they wish to continue doing it next season and have it grow. I'm trying to find out a little more about it and give it a run on my blog.

Stay tuned!

As for what I'm doing, chasing my kids around. It is my turn to follow them around for a little while!

Anonymous said...

The "GREEN MACHINE" will be back next season.....Bigger and drunker then ever!!