Thursday, October 23, 2008

Five Of The Best

It's all about the retro look and Cam Tovey (middle) loved it!

Wednesday night marked an important milestone in club history for the Townsville Crocodiles. It will be the 250th home game beginning with their introduction into the NBL in 1993.

So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to look back at a little Suns/Crocs history and name my top five players. Since it is my team, I am initiating one rule: a player had to play for the club for more than one season.

Let’s kick the team off with a no brainer, Robert Rose. There was nothing on the basketball court this guy could not do. Whether it was hitting a clutch three to get the team to its only Grand Final appearance in 2001 or putting his hand out to nab that crucial steal late in the game, Rose had the complete game.

He has also been the only league MVP named in the club’s history.

My second member is Pat Reidy, a guy whose stat line would often not accurately reflect his value to a team. My personal experience with this came my first year in Townsville. Our team was hovering around mid-pack until Reidy returned to the lineup, when we promptly peeled of 10 straight wins. I can tell you it was not coincidence.

I have always rated Reidy as one of the best Aussie born players to play in our league and would be surprised if he was not an NBL Hall of Famer in the near future. It was unfortunate that injury cut his career short.

Next I’ll go with Clarence Tyson. Everyone knew Tyson was a rebounding machine night after night, but it was his consistency on offense that caught people by surprise. Despite every scouting report ever written about him stating that ‘to stop him, keep him on his right hand,’ he still found his way to the hoop,…with his left hand.

“The Elevator” and his workman like play was embraced by the Townsville basketball community and it was a shame that injury, again, took it’s toll on this fine player.

Sam MacKinnon was the first truly high profile Australian player to come to Townsville and played a huge part in helping lead the franchise down the playoff trail.

His all-round game was allowed to flourish under Coach Ian Stacker without the pressure of needing to carrying the team. Rose was the on-court leader that MacKinnon was not mature enough to be which worked to his benefit.

Mackinnon has gone on to win championships and has been league MVP so his credentials speak for themselves. He was one of the best to put on a Croc singlet.

Love him or hate him, you had to admit that Derek Rucker was at the very least entertaining when he set foot on the court at “The Furnace”. The Pocket Rocket could rack up points and assists like very few in the league in his time with the Suns.

Although he never did lead the Suns to the playoffs, you have to respect his individual brilliance. I’m sure more than one Suns fan with a good memory can recall at least one game where his talent alone got the Suns a win.

That’s my team for better or worse. I am confident that I will hear a few notes of dissension from loyal basketball followers in Townsville. I would love the opportunity to come back and review my team when 500 rolls around. Here’s hoping the best is still to come for basketball in Townsville.

Other News

- Adelaide great Brett Maher declares it will be his last season.

- Dragons fire up over both Melbourne teams playing on the same night.

- Boti Nagy's weekly look around the league.

- Aussie NBA ballers Andrew Bogut and Nathan Jawai are both in danger of missing the season opener.

- Brad Newley has a slow round 2 game in Greece, but his team gets the "W". Check out his strong round 1 game.

- Daniel Kickert beats David Andersen in Spanish league.

- Wade Helliwell still banging bodies in Italian league.

- Aleks Maric puts in a solid performance.

1 comment:

Dodge Taylor said...

Hi JR,

I think you're spot on with your top 5 Crocs of all-time (although you could've found room for yourself on there).

Your comment about Cam Tovey tho ... yes, he got the start but kid needs to hit his free-throws. 2 of 8 did I see?

Kid needs to sign-up to my website and learn how its done!