Saturday, May 3, 2008


Rosell Ellis and his "guns" will be back to Townsville

In case you missed it, the recruiting race for the Crocodiles kicked into full speed this week the signing of entertaining guard, Corey Williams and workman, Rosell Ellis for the coming season.

Re-signing two imports that are familiar with Townsville and the Croc organisation is a pretty smart move by the club. Whenever a team with new players gets together at the start of preseason training, it takes time to develop that thing called ‘team chemistry’. In fact, sometimes it just never comes. We all know what the go is with these two guys and it makes it that much easier to concentrate on moving forward.

We can bypass the usual feeling out period that comes with having an entire group that is all new to each other. We have managed to retain eight players from last season’s roster.

So,…now what about those last two spots? Well, since I’ve been on holidays, I’m not up on all the recruiting gossip. What I do know is that one of those spots has to be filled by a youngster that meets a certain criteria in accordance with a new NBL regulation.

According to this new rule, every team has to have a player that meets the Young Australian Player (YAP) criteria. This player 1) must be under 22 years old, 2) must have played on a junior national team or have attended college in the USA and 3) can qualify for this position for two years only. Every team has to have a player on their roster that fits this bill.

Other than that, I have to be just as patient as you while the Crocs look for the last few pieces for the jigsaw puzzle.

Filling the last few spots can be the trickiest part of building a team. You needs to find two guys that have what you need talent-wise, and that also compliment the team you already have assembled.

For example, there may be a very talented young Aussie guard available and keen to play for the Crocs. If you look at our roster, we have good young talent at this position already in Michael Cedar and Kelvin Robertson.. There is no point in rushing out and signing this guy if we already have his position well covered.

I might try to fill that spot with a young “big” so he has two years to grow and hopefully develop under experienced players such as Ellis, Ben Pepper and Daniel Egan.

Time is on the side of the Crocs right now, with the season still four and a half months away, so there is no need to gamble on any rash decisions.

The signatures of Ellis and Williams have stirred up some early excitement from fans, and rightly so. The positive energy I’ve seen and heard from the fans around town this week has me excited for next season. Too bad we have to wait another 140 sleeps for tip-off.

Here’s an update for those Brad Newley fans around town: Newley has been playing in the tough Greek league this year. His solid season was rewarded with a place on the World All Star team a couple of weeks ago. His team defeated the Greek All Stars 111-101. Newley troubled the scorers for only two points via a dunk, which he claims “was massive”. Playoffs begin for him and his team, Panionios, this weekend after a fourth place finish in regular season play.

You can find my article in the Townsville Bulletin every Saturday.

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