Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's All In The Jockstrap

Gone like the art of knocking down the mid-range jumpshot, there is an icon of the game that has slowly but surely dissolved from the sport of basketball. I speak of none other than the jockstrap.


However, just as surely as JT brought "SexyBack", I have taken it upon myself to revive this humble accessory by donning jock for both our games this past week,...and hasn't it been a revelation for my game.

Now the first twelve games of the season, I tried to run with the pack and wear these compression shorts that are all the rage in "support" with athletes round the globe nowadays. It took me awhile to come around, but I finally came to realise that sometimes you have to stop pretending and go back to who you really are.

I am "old school". I am stuck in my ways and now that I can say it out loud, life is beginning to pick up again. And just quietly I think the chics will be digging me now that they know I'm strapped.

You may ask yourself how an Aussie comes to have this type of relationship with the humble jockstrap, as it never came into fashion in AUS.

It all started back in the day, the very first time I set foot into the locker room at Gonzaga University. There in my locker sat six pair of gleaming, lily white jockstraps calling out to me, "Are you ready for the best support of your life?".

I had a tough decision to make. Did I ditch my "Seven Days in Rio" briefs that had taken me this far in life or was it time to embrace a new culture and try out what felt to me like the male version of a G-String for the rest of my days on the court?

After a few moments of soul searching and a few more deep breaths I took the plunge. What a liberating experience it was. I can distinctly remember the day, October 15, 1992.

So from that day forward, I had never swayed from my devotion. That was until this season.

What, you may ask yourself, caused this sudden change of heart after rocking the jock for 16 years? It all boiled down to the intersection of two of my life mantras, the second being, "If it's free, it's me,".

You see, I get free stuff given to me here and there and, for the most part, I'll give it a crack. Thus when a pair of these new fangled compression undergarments made their way to my locker, I though it may just be time for this ol' dog to learn some new tricks. And you know how that saying goes,...

Yes, over the years many a teammate has done a double take at my friend the jockstrap as he comes out for another game. I'm not going to lie, one even had to ask what it was I was putting on.

So relax fans, readers, and hoop dreamers, all is right in JR's world (and game) again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What's Making Headlines


Aussie Luke Nevill is in his final year at Utah. Could he follow in Andrew Bogut's footsteps to the NBA. His coach believes so. Read more below.
- "I think if he continues to grow physically and emotionally, he should be a 10-year pro (NBA)," Utah coach Jim Boylen said about Aussie centre Luke Nevill. For the rest of the article, read it here at the News-Leader.com.

- Here is an update on young Aussie big man Angus Brandt. A Springwood, NSW junior who is attending Prep school in Illinois and will go D1 for sure.

- The other remaining 9 NBL clubs have come together to throw the Sydney Spirit franchise a lifeline. Hopefully the package will see them through the remainder of the season.

- Jason Smith and his family are becoming all too familiar with the current Spirit situation.

- South Dragons have been told to make the trip to Sydney.

- The Wollongong Hawks may struggle to find a lazy $1.5mil lying around so they can play next season.

- The Australian Boomers job is Goorjian's if he still wants it.

- Milwaukee Buck Andrew Bogut ready to go but injury says no.

- Brian Goorjian likes Taipans Kerry Williams. Is he starting to recruit this kid for next season already?

- Injured Crocs point guard Kelvin Robertson ready to tackle Taipans.

- Pat Mills and his St Mary's teammates taste their first defeat of college season.

Crocs/Tigers Press Conference

Do I Have The Job For You

Position Title: Australian Men's Basketball Team Head Coach
Employer: Basketball Australia
Work Type: Part Time
Salary: Negotiable
Salary Currency: Australian Dollar
Location: Australia


Information: Basketball Australia is seeking an innovative, energetic and experienced coach to lead the Boomers program for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 London Olympics. The Boomers Head Coach would be responsible for the development and preparation of a four year program. Interested applicants should document their vision for the Boomers program for the next 4 years.


The Boomers Head Coach would require the following key skills:

- Experienced in international coaching
- Proven leadership, vision and expertise in the planning and implementation of a high performance program
- Excellent organisational skills
- Ability to manage elite athletes
- Knowledge of the High Performance system in Australia
- Experience in the use of Technical Performance Analysis
- Management of support staff
- Expertise in dealing with the media

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Boomers 2010

Although it seems an eternity away, the team representing Australia in the World Championships of Basketball in 2010 will begin their preparation just after the close of the NBL competition this year. Those involved will begin by playing a qualifying series that, if won, will see them advance to play in the World Championships in Turkey.

Let’s take a look at who I feel will be pulling on the green and gold this off season. I have taken into account current form, as all competitions around the world are in full swing.

As with most teams, there are going to be those players who should be ‘sure things’. In my mind, this group consists of Andrew Bogut, Brad Newley, Matt Neilsen, David Andersen, CJ Bruton and Pat Mills. All of these guys had spots on the last Olympic team and their current form shows nothing that should revoke that position they have held.

Mark Worthington, Joe Ingles and David Barlow should also make the cut fairly easily, as they are continuing to improve their games on a yearly basis.

The remaining four spots will become a dog fight. I cannot recall that last time that so many roster spots have been so open on a national level.

I’m sure many people would assume that Nathan Jawai would be a lock. However, the former NBL Rookie of the Year he is currently waiting on the results of some medical tests over in the States. I feel like he will have to prove his worth after seeing very little court time overseas this year.

There are a handful of college kids that will come back and try their luck but I think Andrew Ogilvy has the only legitimate chance of securing a roster spot.

Returning from Europe, Aleks Maric and Steve Markovic will come into contention. Both players are involved with top Europeans clubs and clearly have international experience. They will be ready to show national team selectors what they have learned in their time away from home.

And speaking of our home soil, Alex Loughton of Perth is a player I feel could have the goods to become a contributor on the national team. He has a deceptively physical interior presence that would be an advantage for the Australians at the Worlds.

Others that should get invitations to vie for positions are Adam Gibson, Matt Burston, Julian Khazzouh, Luke Schenscher and Crocs own Kelvin Robertson.

Our local pharmacist, Robertson, has been hard done by when selection time rolled around the past few years, especially when you have a look at the names of the 30 odd players that were included in the camps.

There should be no excuses this time around if Kel can maintain his current form.
With so many guys going at each other for those last spots, it is imperative that each and every one of them maintain their current form, if not kick it up a notch or two, for the remainder of the NBL season.


After given the chance, the ball will be in their court and they will need to grab it with both hands and run with it. You just never know,…when they stop running they could find themselves in Turkey.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Episode 12 of "The OT"

For your listening pleasure episode 12 of "The OT" is ready.

This week we have a round table discussion about all things basketball. Joining DJ Rod and myself is NBL comedian Russell Hinder and front office journeyman Mili Simic.

I'm interested to hear what you think of this format.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No More Sydney Spirit?

Could all the Spirit's answers come down to what Dexter's compatibility score is?

TIM MORRISSEY (http://www.news.com.au/)
November 26, 2008 12:30am


SYDNEY'S last remaining NBL team has been heartlessly killed off by email.

Sydney Spirit owner Greg Evans informed Basketball Australia boss Scott Derwin via email late on Saturday afternoon that he was placing the team into administration this week just 10 rounds into the season.

Evans' bombshell, just five months after the death of the Sydney Kings, has thrown the NBL into chaos and put basketball's future as a professional sport in Sydney in jeopardy.

None of the Spirit players or coaching staff, who have been preparing for Saturday night's crucial clash against the South Dragons at home, had any idea Evans had pulled the pin on the team until late Monday when NBL chief executive Chuck Harmison alerted head coach Rob Beveridge.

Evans is refusing to meet Derwin or even speak to him over the telephone, instead relying on email as his only form of communication.

Derwin believes the sudden demise of the Spirit – so soon after the NBL terminated renegade Kings owner and Firepower boss Tim Johnston's licence back on June 11 after he failed to pay his players – could hurt basketball just weeks after a reform package, designed to unify the sport, was passed unanimously.

"It is Tim Johnston all over again – it's very damaging to the whole of the sport," Derwin said.
"And it's about the last thing we need right at the moment."

Derwin met yesterday with several parties who are interested in resurrecting the Kings.
But Mike Wrublewski, who helped build the Kings into an Australian sporting icon during basketball's halcyon days in the 1990s before selling out, didn't hold out much hope for the Spirit after attending the meeting.

"We can't rule out anything but we are waiting to hear from Greg Evans in order to know what's going on," Wrublewski said. "Right now it doesn't look good . . . it's way beyond just trying to buy the team."

Incredibly, Evans still hasn't contacted either Beveridge or any of the players.

"I knew nothing about this," Beveridge said. "I have to say Greg Evans is a mysterious person."

I thought it would be just easiest for me to publish the whole article so you people can get a feel for the situation.

I, on the other hand have become very worried after being alerted of this news today.

People's lives are being played with here. Mortgages, school fees and grocery bills have to be paid for and there are 15 guys (players and coaches) involved with this franchise that have no idea what their world is going to be like when they awake in the morning. That is if they even sleep at all.

Why am I worried? This is my place of employment and when something like this happens it is affects my workplace.

I'll actually leave it at this because I'm currently very emotionally charged about this whole thing. I don't want to say something now that I may regret saying when more light is shone upon the situation.

But, the NBL cannot keep allowing teams to operating like this.

News

- Julius Hodge wins the NBL POW award. Tune into the upcoming episode of "The OT" to hear my thoughts on this decision.



- Boti Nagy reviews the round just played.

- More on the Spirit crisis. And a little more.

- 36ers to mix it up with oppositions in the future.

- Taipans trying to stop the fade.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What Others Are Writing About

Kavossy wanting to know when he can get a spot on "The OT".

It's late and my knee caps are sweating in the "Villes heat so I'm taking the easy way out. Let's take a look and see what the experts are saying about the game we love.

- My man Asaspace has his weekly wrap on the NBL. Humorous write up, nice pixs but way too much ink wasted (like his talent) on Greame Dann.

- ZagsWorldWide is fantastic at updating everything Gonzaga. Want to know what your favourite Zag has done today, this is the place to go.

- Carolyn in Cleveland always let's us know how her LeBron Cavilers are going. If anyone has a spare copy of the latest Handle mag, Ms Cav wants a copy and would probably do anything for it?

- Basketball and Everything in Between catches up with Perth development player Chris Golding. Cannot wait till the next episode of the "TO" boys.

- It's always worth checking out what the good Dr, Darren Ng is up to in Singapore.

- Mookie, not Blaylock, is loving his Portland Trailblazers with Greg Oden finally back. But for how many games this time?

News

- Groves of the Cortez variety, not Eddie, got knocked out by a "Bear" in New Zealand. What was he doing out sightseeing?

- Perth gearing up for the road.

- Tapians looking for answers from everybody.

- Adelaide drinking to their losses. Thanks to Boti.

- AAP drop regular NBL coverage.

- Blaze are looking for R-E-S-P-E-C-T the rest of the way. Could an appearance by Aretha Franklin help here?

Bakari Hendrix and Casey Frank Shadow Box

Remember This Streaker

Good viewing for your Monday morning breakfast!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bandwidth is Coming

The issue has been resolved. Please enjoy listening "The OT".

I have to say sorry to all our avid listeners of "The OT". More bandwidth is coming. Funny thing is I have paid for it but I'm waiting to receive the goods.

DJ Rod and I have to thanks our many listeners for tuning in, otherwise this problem would never have occurred.

Who would have thought we would have become this popular?

The problem should be resolved very shortly.

In the meantime, "The OT" has inspired others into the world of podcasting.

While I hunt for my bandwidth, take a listen to these jokers and their "The TO" podcast, then come back and listen to the pros.

In other news Corey Williams dropped by my house this week for his Ch7 segment. My blog and "The OT" get a good run, so here it is below.






"The OT" Is Here

JR, Kirk Penney and DJ Rod. Penney received his CD for being player of the week.

Episode 11 of "The OT" has finally been completed. This episode sees us catch up with former NBA and current NBL player of the month Kirk Penney. The NBL's leading scorer talks about his time at Wisconsin, the Miami Heat and caddying at The Masters.

As always we discuss the issues in basketball and review and preview the games from the NBL.

Hope you enjoy Mr Penney.

On another note DJ Rod is all about Movember. He has currently raised $115 for the cause. If he gets to $187 he has guaranteed he will sport a Corey "Homicide" Williams mohawk, spider web and all. If you wish to donate and see DJ Rod sport a hawk, click here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

News and Links

Just passing on some of my skills to the youth of Townsville.

- 36ers rookie Arron Bruce has challenged me to a game of H-O-R-S-E via the Internet. One to always be up for a challenge I agreed. Bruce made a half court shot as his first make. Scroll to the bottom and watch the You Tube clip, as it has my reply. I'm always giving the kids what they want.

As you will see, mine is not staged!!!!

- The New Zealand Breakers have taken top spot on the NBL ladder after defeating the South Dragons 112-98. Kirk Penney led all scorers with 27.

- If you missed it, the Melbourne Tigers squeaked by the Cairns Taipans last night, 99-98. Larry Abney missed an open 15 footer to win it for the Snakes. Snakes coach Alan Black was a little "frustrated" with the loss.

- Former MVP Sam Mackinnon wants more from the Melbourne Tigers.

- The NBL's official website catches up with Breakers CJ Bruton for a chat.

- Boti Nagy's research is telling him no team in Brisbane next year.

- The people of Adelaide love Julius Hodge.

- The Townsville Crocs and Fire held a mega-clinic yesterday for primary school kids. It was a blast and I'm sure all 600 kids had a great time.

- Earlier on in the week I wrote a piece about five guys in the NBL that would like to pick up their productivity. Here is Cameron Tragardh reply.

- Don't forget to drop by Andrew Bogut's website. He blogs quite often about what he is up to while on his NBA travels. He even gives me a run. Thanks, young Buck.

You Tube Clip - My reply to Aaron Bruce

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

World Wide Web And My Teammates

Which Crocs players has a thing for fire hydrants? Read below to find out.

I can see no benefit in rehashing the Croc’s on-court performances of late. I think it is safe to say that it speaks for itself. I guess this week I am going to have to search a little deeper for some subject material.

I, like anyone, spend a little time on the computer and I consider myself somewhat of a master of ‘Google’. So I thought why not use this fabulous tool to dig up a little goss on my teammates. The following is what I found.

For a New York minute I believed Kelvin Robertson was making a little noise as a budding artist in the extra time he has between hoops and being a registered pharmacist. Now that would be impressive! However, upon further investigation into the website that bares his name, it turns out that there is another Kelvin Robertson with talent in the world. Maybe between the two of them, they can come up with one good joke.

Next I thought I would dig a little into Cameron Tovey’s life since he is new and I need to know a little about who I am surrounded by. Cameron Heath Tovey began his colourful life in Penang, Malaysia where he was born. Cam spent a year over in the US college system where I was fortunate enough to run across a bio in which he named counting fire hydrants as one of his hobbies. Now my first thought was that this kid may have an issue or two, but I have since developed a little theory on this behavior. I reckon this fire hydrant counting is just a guise for hitting the pavement in search of a new hairdresser. It would explain everything in my eyes!

I discovered that another new kid on the block, Anthony Susnjara, has spent time playing basketball in Iceland. Unfortunately as I was trying to find out more about his experience there, the best I could come up with was a You Tube interview which only showed me that most males in Icelend rocked beards. My guess is that in the frozen north, this beard may serve more for function than fashion. What I need to ask Sus is whether he saw the occasional women go with the same look.

Next Wikepedia tried to tell me that Daniel Egan was the Mayor of Sydney in the 1850’s. Now I knew Eges has been around the NBL for awhile, but I couldn’t fall for that one. Who would want to be Mayor anyway, when you are already the one and only “The Fan Man”.

Rosell Ellis has an entire page of quotes for all of us to live by and learn from. Sorry ladies, the Love Doctor’s quotes have been dedicated to his first love, basketball.

Sharp shooter Brad Williamson has mentioned to me in passing that he is qualified welder. Brad failed to mention that he was also selling real estate in Canada. Either way someone could get burned if they get too close to this guy.

Alright, now is the big test. It is time to enter the name Corey “Homicide” Williams into the computer and I enter each letter with a hint of trepidation. If I was to believe everything this guy tells me about himself, I’m just not sure if my outdated little laptop is ready for the workload that is about to be thrust upon it. Here goes,…

Just as I expected, there is trouble. All I get is a message across my screen stating that entering this name has tipped the World Wide Web over the edge. It can take it no more, all systems have shut down. It appears that Corey “Homicide” Williams has claimed yet another victim.


RIP www.

Alright, that’s enough scoop from me for this week. Happy surfing and I hope to see you at the Swamp on Saturday as we take on the Wollongong Hawks.

You can read my weekly article in the Townsville Bulletin every Wednesday.


This week's episode of "The OT" is coming. It will be up and running sometime tomorrow. This week's guest is the NBL's player of the month, New Zealand's Kirk Penney.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Complete Interview

Asa Schuster of NBL.com caught up with my teammate Corey "Homicide" Williams for a Q&A. Since some of the questions include my name, I decided I should add in my two cents to the interview. (My answers are in red.)

Street ball legend and Townsville Crocodile Corey 'Homicide' Williams had some time to kill and shared his thoughts about hypothetical movies, John Rillie and shoes.

Q: I was listening to you and John Rillie on his podcast show, you two are like the 2008 version of 'White Men Can't Jump' the way you guys carry on.

Corey Williams: Haha oh yeah Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson that's us, we're like Michael Jackson, ebony and ivory right there haha. (Corey, the white guy's name is Paul McCartney and he performed this 1982 classic with Steve Wonder. I'm not sure where Wacko Jacko comes into the ebony and ivory conversation.)

Q: I think they should make a White Men Can't Jump sequel about you and Rillie. Would you ever take Rillie with you to Venice Beach and enter a two-on-two tournament?

CW: Oh yeah for sure, he's my team-mate and plus he can shoot from the outside, but the thing is I don't know if he can shoot outdoors? You know sometimes you have to adjust for the wind and stuff like that, some players are just straight gym shooters, they can't do it outdoors. But for me it's not a problem I get it done on the street. (I'd have no problem knocking them down from outside on the black top. Corey, are you saying you can shot from the outside, outside? Tell him he's dreamin.)

Q: Have you ever played at Venice?

CW: No I've never played in Venice, I don't know if LA really has the same kind of street ball as New York though. (I have played at Venice and did give it my best Woody Harrelson impersonation. In LA the courts are regulation and the hoops are 10 foot high. I found the same when visiting NY. The only difference I noticed between the two cities was the trash talk was with a different accent.)

Q: When you first got to Townsville when did you realise Rillie was a baller, because he's kind of unassuming in that way?

CW: Yeah, he doesn't look in any shape or form like a baller. I remember the first game I played for Townsville and I thought he was just a really good shooter but I soon realised he's the real deal. The other thing about JR is for what he does at his age is amazing, his dedication, I would be glad if I can do what he does when I'm his age. He's a character and between him, Russell Hinder and Kelvin Robertson those are the funniest guys on the team. (Corey still doesn't think I'm a baller, although he has no answer for the step-back. I can only imagine what "Homicide" will be doing when he is 37.)

Q: What's the best nickname you've got for one of your team-mates?

CW: 'The Pharmacist' Kelvin Robertson, he's a professional basketball player and a pharmacist that's unbelievable, I've never heard of anything like that before. You could have the backcourt of' 'The Pharmacist' and 'The Doctor' if he played with Darren Ng from last season, you know because he's a doctor. (Corey has no nicknames for his teammates. He is too busy discovering new ones for himself.)

Q: You've played all around the world in Europe, America and Australia, but when you're playing at Rucker Park is that the purest form of basketball you've played?

CW: When you play professional ball some players aren't always able to fit into a program or play to their fullest using all their skills. Playing pro ball can sometimes limit the things you can do, but on the street you can express yourself. Street ball is like an abstract art form, on the street I am myself, I can do whatever I want, when I want. When I'm playing on the street that's me, it is basketball at its purest form.

Q: Is Australia the nicest place to play basketball?

CW: Oh yeah. I love Townsville, I love Australia it's a wonderful place to play I would like to finish my career here if possible. (I will translate, "I love Townsville". People around here really hook me up. Whether it is food, drinks or movie tickets to the Bond premiere, people love to give me free stuff.)

Q: How does it feel to have your own shoe?

CW: It's a dream come true for me. To come as far as I come and for all the hard work I've put in all my life it's amazing, especially for someone that hasn't played in the NBA. I'm the first guy not in the NBA to have his own shoe. I still go into shoe stores and see my own shoes and think it's unbelievable. For a brand like K1X to be able to do that is great, no other company would do that and we're making history, kind of revolutionising the shoe game in that way. (And let me tell you, Corey will drag us into the store to show us his shoes. There are always plenty in stock.)

Q: I think Andrew Gaze and Dwayne McClain are the only other NBL players to have their own shoe, how does it feel to be in the company of two greats?

CW: Well I can't compare to those guys, I've only been in the league for a year-and-a-half and they're two of the greatest to play in this league. You can't compare a guy like me to them who's just arrived in the league. I would like to accomplish similar feats to Andrew Gaze and Dwayne McClain and then maybe I could be considered as being in their company but I do appreciate it. (That's not what he tells us at practice. He is trying to be politically correct here.)

Q: The Fresh Prince has his own imaginary pair of shoes, the 'Air Fresh' and he whooped Isiah Thomas in the commercial, who has the better shoes you or him?

CW: Me. That was make believe. My shoe is real and plus Will Smith never really played basketball. (Why the hating on Will Smith. Corey, you get around the weightroom thing your the next Jay-Z.)

Q: I've seen Dan Jackson and Tyson Demos wearing your shoes is it important to have young players of the next generation wearing your shoes?

CW: Oh yeah I think it's great it's good to have those younger guys out there, yeah we have those Blaze colours on one of them. (Why are you hooking up opposition players and not your own teammates with this fantastic shoe? In saying that, I would play in my trusty double pluggas before those things.)

Q: Do you show any leniency to an opponent wearing your shoes or do you still have to kill them 187 style?

CW: You going up against me and you're wearing my shoes? Come on you know I'm gonna bust you, you can't do anything but respect that.

Q: There's inevitably going to be a movie about your life or at least that White Men Can't Jump sequel I was talking about, who is going to play you when that happens?

CW: That's good question, I don't know, I got to think about that… Who's a good young black actor? (I'm thinking Brad Pitt for my role!)

Q: What about Omar Epps? (I'd say Mike Bivins. He is from that once great group Bell Biv Devoe, BBD (see below). Second thoughts, Bivins' "J" is too nice.

CW: That's funny a few people say I look like Omar Epps (A few people....what,who Mrs Williams and that favourite Aunt you see once a year.), I think somebody younger though. You know what, I would want an unknown actor, a hungry up-and-coming actor who could understand the journey I've taken and what it means to come from where I've come from, someone that could really understand my story.

For your pleasure - BBD

Monday, November 17, 2008

All Turn It Around Team

Boti Nagy wants less of this and more production on the hardwood. I agree, read more below on this.

We are currently a third of the way through the season and some of us are very guilty of getting off to a slow start. So, instead of giving you my team of the week, I'm changing up and naming five guys to watch out for the rest of the way.

John Rillie - I'm not going to shy away from this. I need to lift my game if the Townsville Crocodiles are going to make some noise this season. I have been nothing short of disappointing to date so I can only hope the remaining nineteen games are much improved.

Without putting my numbers under a microscope (I really do not want to know the truth) I will guess all major categories are all close to career lows. That is just plain unacceptable.

I look forward to kick starting my season this week and not looking back from there.

Darnell Mee - If the Cairns Taipans are going to make a run at the Final Four this year, Darnell Mee will play a key role in the Snakes achieving this.

Having been a former teammate of Mee's, numbers do not tell the whole story when talking about Mee's influence on a game. He makes plays when it counts. Just the other week he scored 2 points in a game against the Adelaide 36ers, but those points were the game winning points.

Currently averaging 8ppg and 3.5apg, look for these numbers to improve the rest of the way. Darnell is the master of coming on strong as the season progresses.

David Gruber - Import Gruber is in his rookie season in the NBL after making the jump from the SEABL league. He is putting up some solid numbers for the minutes he is getting (8ppg, 6rpg in 21mins) but if he is to carve out a career in the NBL he needs to get in the Spirit rotation for a little more playing time.

Gruber is trying to get Aussie citizenship so that will help his NBL cause out.

Tremmel Darden - Despite Darden playing a great role on the first place Dragons, he needs to increase his output. We all know his coach Brian Goorjian has both eyes firmly on the big prize at season's end.

If the Dragons lose a few in the near future (they play the Breakers in NZ next), look for Goorjian to get itchy fingers and pull the trigger.

Cameron Tragardh - Last year's Most Improved Player numbers have slipped but in his defense the Hawks are a much improved team.

Tragargamel averaged 17.5ppg last year but has dipped to 12 so far this year. I don't have a problem with this because the addition of Glen Saville and Dusty Rychart will eat into his offensive opportunities.

But his rebounding has dropped by four a game. Sure, both the guys mentioned above will effect this stat as well, but the big man is pulling down an anorexic 3.5rpg. Crocs back up point guard Kelvin Robertson is averaging 3!

There you have it. Look for these guys to pick up their performance the rest of the way otherwise it will be deemed a poor year for all mentioned.

Let me know what you think of my list as I'm sure I have missed someone.

News

- "By the way, the Townsville Missing Persons Bureau is looking for John Rillie if anyone knows his whereabouts this season. Love the website JR and your love for the game is a joy to behold. But you have the rest of your life for that.
Basketball careers at elite level don't last forever." These are the words of South Aussie journo Boti Nagy from his weekly wrap column.


I hear you Boti and it took you way too long to comment on my form. I can assure you my practice habits/time on court has not slipped. I just happen to spend my time off the court a little differently.

Next time you mention my blog can you just add in the blog address please (http://www.johnrillie.com/). When people see the way I write it will only make your creativity seem that much better.

- Gold Coast Blaze get some time to rest and reflect.

- Cairns need to stop the bleeding, but they have the Tigers next.

- Jeromie Hill a product of Cairns is off to the AIS to hone his skills.

- Nathan Jawai still none the wiser on his health, but he is getting to travel with the Toronto Raptors.

- Sheep Shaggers and Dragons get ready for top of the table clash.

- Darwin looking at joining the SEABL in 2010.

- Brad Newley goes perfect for the game and has a huge win over Panathinaikos.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mixed Bag...Something For Everyone

After another tough loss for the Crocs over the weekend, my creative juices are not flowing at this minute so I have provided a little of everything. Hope you can find something that tickles your fancy.

Caption time again. Most creative caption will win a CD. A firey Brendon Joyce (Blaze coach) has a quiet word to his former assistant coach and now Hawks head coach Eric Cooks after an emotional win on Friday night. See what you can come up with.


Gold Coast Blaze import Luke Whitehead has his fair share of You Tube clips. I have dug up two that show two completely different sides to Whitehead's World.

First up is a very scary fall for Whitehead.


And now for this. I cannot wait for Whitehead to do a video on the Gold Coast and have some of his teammates as extras.


News

- For Sale - One Sydney basketball team. For a cool $200k, you can own 10% of the Sydney Spirit.

- For all of the NBL's Round 9 results click here. (boxscores and recaps)

- All today's boxscores from the NBA. This includes Andrew Bogut getting ejected against the Boston Celtics.

- NCAA boxscores. Check out Aussie Luke Nevill at Utah. He had a monster game today, 28pts and 14rebs. My #10 Zags get an easy win over MSU-Billings.

- ASASpace has a good write up on the Joyces return to the Gong.

- Adelaide 36ers have good win over the Gold Coast Blaze. Now they wait for the return of Julius Hodge.

- South Dragons hard work is paying off.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Joyces Revenge & 1st Import Goooone

Daniel Joyce hit the game winner in the Gong tonight.


- It has been reported that Daniel Joyce has landed the knock out three as the Gold Coast Blaze (2-12) snuck by the Wollongong Hawks (6-6), 111-110.

The Blaze trailed for the majority of the game before Shane Heal, Pero Cameron and finally Joyce hit from long range to get the Blaze their first road win for the season.

Once the game was over Joyce senior gave everyone any earful who cared to get involved. Beside sections of the crowd, Glen Saville and Eric Cooks were a few victims of the rather excited Joyces.

The Gold Coast now travels back home and play the road troubled Adelaide 36ers on Sunday afternoon.

- The NBL has seen its first import sacked this year. Adelaide 36ers have released rookie import Mark Tyndale.

Tyndale was brought in to be a solid contributor for the team but due to injuries to key members (Brett Maher and Brad Davidson) the 36ers feel they need a little more from their import position.

Only having seen Tyndale play a few times I felt he was going to be a good fit for this team. A slasher who seemed to be unselfish and who could be the guy to fill the holes on any given night. He would also be the guy given the tough perimeter defensive assignment.

It was obvious he was not the guy who was going to take over a game, but he was never recruited for this.

Tyndale leaves our shores averaging 13ppg, 6.5rpg and 4apg. Not exactly chopped liver.

- "NBL imports should improve the NBL and the teams. Cal Bruton, James Crawford, Ricky Grace, Lanard Copeland, Darryl McDonald, Rob Rose, Al Green, Scott Fisher and Leroy Loggins got people to games."

"Now we've got Mark Tyndale, Dusty Rychart, David Gruber, Isiah Victor and Rick Rickert. Say no more." If you want to read the rest of The Herald Sun's Grantley Bernard, click here.


Interesting to see that Grantley did not mention any of the current imports playing in Melbourne.

- South Dragon often injured centre Matt Burston praises surgeon and Brian Goorjian for his fast start to the season.

- Steve Carfino all over Eric Cooks like a cheap suit.

- Conner Henry looking for playoff type atmosphere against the Taipans.

- National Team coach Brian Goorjian tells a Melbourne audience that Pat Mills was the best player at the Olympics for the Boomers and Andrew Bogut cannot be expected to shoulder the load internationally.

- "Chairman of the Boards" Mark Davis is conducting a holiday camp over the Christmas break in Adelaide.

You Tube Clip of The Day

MJ loses at his own camp!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aussie Ballers Overseas & News

Could Brad Newley be swapping this jersey for a Houston Rocket's one in the near future?

Let's take a look at what Aussie ballers are doing elsewhere in the world.

Andrew Bogut - It has been a huge week for the Milwaukee Bucks bigman. First, he faced Shaq early in the week where Shaq-Fu made a SportsCentre highlight out of him.

After dealing with the "Diesel", the next day Bogut had to deal with two fools while conducting his interview for "The OT". His time was much appreciated.

After getting over his career highlight (The OT), Bogut launches his own website. I cannot wait to see some of the video highlights coming, but fans will love the Q & A feature. Send in your question and the two time Olympian will personally answer it.

And to round the week off, Bogut had a lazy 10pts and 17rebs against former NBA MVP Tim Duncan.

Oh, to be in the NBA.

Brad Newley - Newley and his Greek team Panellinios have advanced to the next round of the ULEB Cup. Although Newley's team lost this contest, they defeated the Russian team by 27 on their home court. Having a +3 points differential in the series sees them advance.

Newley has been under the watchful eye of the Houston Rockets. Just a few weekends ago the Rockets had their people in the stands at one of Newley's Greek League games. He made their trip worthwhile as he went to work. He ended the game with 20pts and 10rebs. Here is the boxscore from his last Greek League game, another double double.

Could be interesting times ahead for Newley. If he continues with the form he is showing currently the NBA might just come knocking, otherwise a strong Euroleague team may just become interested in the Aussies services.

David Andersen - Barcelona lose a close one in the Spanish league. He tackles his Euroleague game later today.

Aleks Maric - Quiet week for the former Nebraska Cornhusker. He only hit the court for seven minutes, but managed to foul out.

Daniel Kickett - The former St Mary Gael continues to have a solid season in Spain. Could he be a smokey for the World Champ team in 2010? Latest boxscore.

Wade Helliwell - The big man thrashed around for nine minutes this week. He plays in the Italian league.

Steve Markovic - 'Wombat" got to work on his posterior size this week. He was in the game for a minute.

Other Hoops News

- Brian Goorjian and Kirk Penney take out monthly awards.

- New Bullets in a race against time.

- Cameron Tragardh likes the feeling of winning.

- Boti Nagy with his pearls of wisdom.

- What the New Zealand Breakers will get up to in Townsville?

- Blaze have a danger man when they play the Hawks.

- Brian Goorjian believes his Dragon team has as much talent as his last Kings team.

- Adelaide coach asks for consistency from import Mark Tyndale.

People, you need to fast forward to Corey Williams player segment at the end of this clip. He is wearing black hot pants.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Andrew Bogut Drops By "The OT"

Andrew Bogut hangs with "The OT" boys.


Episode 10 of "The OT" is ready for listening. This week's guest is Australian dual Olympian and Milwaukee Bucks center, Andrew Bogut. As well we discuss all things basketball. It has been a huge week for the sport.

H.O.R.S.E & Crocs Ready To Go

Later today Episode 10 of "The OT" will be released. This week's guest is former NBA #1 draft pick, Andrew Bogut. We ask him questions about the NBA, NBL and his Croatian background. Keep an eye out for it later today.

Just as Corey "Homicide" Williams referred to himself as the "50 Cent" of streetball, I'm the Kanye West of basketball's game called HORSE.

Why is this relevant you ask? Upstart 36ers rookie Aaron Bruce has challenged me to a game of HORSE and he stands no chance in this contest.

This game is all going to be done via YouTube so I'm sure we will both become creative by the end of it all.

Bruce has kicked off the competition with a regulation half court shot. He is obviously just warming up! I will match this shot in my sleep, then I will reply with a gem of my own.

It should be a bit of fun but if there are any punters out there that feel like they have some HORSE game, join the party.



If you are at all tuned in to the Crocs this season you will seen or heard that we have now lost our last four games. This is certainly not a streak to be proud of I also don’t think it is quite time to panic either,…not just yet anyway.

When you take a look at the first two losses in this group, for example, you will see that they came at the hands of Melbourne and New Zealand who are two teams favoured to play for the championship at season’s end. In these two games, we played them tight and it came down to the wire on both occasions.

Our chance for revenge is right around the corner, as we will face both of these teams over the course of the next few weeks. This time it will be on the Crocs home court.

Now our last road trip against the Gold Coast and Perth was definitely not champagne basketball from the Crocs. Any team that goes into the change rooms at the half down twenty plus points is looking at an uphill battle and we came out losers on both occasions. There is no way of sugar coating our performance and there are no bright sides that I can think of.

So now is the time to pull up our bootstraps and find a way out of this mini slump.

We can start this week with training hard and getting off to a good start in Saturday’s game against New Zealand.

Our focus this week has been on getting back to playing good team defense which then should transition us into an open court style on offense. It was this style of play that led us to a solid 4-2 start to the season.

By picking up our defense theoretically should allow our offense room to breathe and gain some momentum. This is in marked contrast to our last two games in which we have allowed the opposition to notch 60 points in the first half.

If we are able to accomplish our defensive goals early in the game against the Breakers and get out to a fast start, it will not take long for the memory of our last four games to move to the back of our minds. The Crocs are notorious for picking it up at home and playing some great basketball and we are hoping that our focused efforts to turn the tables will result in another about face for the club.

Results from around the NBL this season have already indicated it is going to be a close race for one of the coveted playoff positions. Persistence and perseverance may just be the key to getting us there right now.

The majority of our games lie ahead of us. We cannot afford to let our last few weeks’ performances influence the rest of our season.


You can read my Townsville Bulletin article in Wednesday's paper.

Monday, November 10, 2008

News and Results

Michael is a massive fan of "The OT" and the Wildcats. Congrats to Michael, a CD is coming your way. How scared do I look?

I was hoping to blog about something worthwhile tonight but so much is happening in the NBL at the moment I do not want to open my mouth until I have a better take on some situations.

In the meantime I will provide all the results and news from around the league. Enjoy!

Results

Blaze 115-106 Crocs recap
Breakers 86-96 36ers recap
Spirit 80-98 Tigers recap
36ers 70-71 Taipans recap
Perth 115-78 Crocs recap
Tigers 84-86 Breakers recap
Dragons 95-83 Spirit recap

Ladder


News

- According to my coach Trevor Gleeson it will be back to the basics at practice tomorrow.

- Perth import Darnell Hinson is finding his feet out west.

- Import Rod Grizzard believes his Tigers are a little complacent.

- Shane Heal booed as he left the court after being ejected against his old team.

- Wollongong Hawks need cash if they are to remain in the new NBL.

- Adelaide journo Boti Nagy gives us his thoughts on the vote. And don't forget his colourful weekly wrap.

- Cairns feel like their hard fought one point win over Adelaide might just be what the doctor ordered.

- Cats feast on Crocs.

- Cairns CEO makes public appeal.

- Chuck Harmison's Q & A with the Newcastle Herald.

- "The OT's" interview with Corey Williams gets a run at Bounce Mag.

- A blog article on Aussie NBL players who have gone the college route.

- All today's NBA scores.

- Spurs Tony Parker to miss four weeks due to injury.

- AI's first game in a Detroit jersey.

Reminds me of my dunking days!


Back From Perth

It was a rather disastrous week for the Townsville Crocs so once I get back to the land of the living later today, I will fill you in on all things basketball.

Until then, I hope your Monday gets off to a good start.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Good Response To Fox Deal Blog

After the news that Fox Sports is wanting to inject $35 million into the sport of basketball the masses have spoken and this is what they are saying.

- Mookie said, "If I was with one of those associations I'd want to be seeing some pretty detailed plans in place on how the new umbrella organisation intended to spend the $35m to keep basketball up and running AND GROWING. This is almost a "one shot" opportunity to get this right. So let's hope that there is no rush, plenty of debate and some smart business and basketball heads involved to get the right conclusion and the result that we have been waiting on as loyal Australian basketball fans for some time."

I have to agree with a lot of what Mookie has to say. I believe it is a "one shot" opportunity for the sport to get it right. The sport needs a shot in the arm and Fox seems to trying to provide what we need for our sport to recapture the imagination of this nation, but everyone involved needs to benefit.

To read more on what Mookie has to say, click here.

- Glockers had to say this. "But we need this to work and we need this voted in. I understand the apprehension, but what options are there? Just let the sport flounder more till it slowly dies and our kids are taken by others?"

To read more of Glockers opinions go to his blogspot for the real deal.

- Kelthoctor is all over it with these words. "Everyone is talking about the $35mil and how it will help the NBL.How much of this is actual CASH.What do associations get out of it?What do teams get?How much revenue will each team lose with only 10 or 11 home games.Will less games = lower player salaries? If so will players stick around or bolt to Europe or get a real job.2-3 games a week on FTA would be better than 6 on Fox. Sure all games on FOX would be great for bball diehards that have it... but those people are already basketball fans, this does nothing to attract new fans.NBL needs new & more fans, having a FTA presence is a huge part of that. Only something like 30% of Australia has FOX."

He brings up a lot of points that I think many fans would question and want to know the answers to before they had to vote.

FTA would have to be a preference as the accessible audience is so much greater than Fox. We need FTA for the sport to come to prominence again.

- Mike has a in depth look at how this could pan out. "Going down the Fox path would be the worst thing for basketball. This is a football piece I wrote about their deal. There are lessons to be learned here. Being parked away on Fox is not conducive to consistent, nation-wide growth.I support a lot of the elements of football's reform being replicated by hoops. But we need to look at why certain measures were adopted and whether they can be considered a success.One-city, one-team was aimed at removing ethnic ties (something which does not exist in basketball). The FFA have also announced a second Melbourne team will be introduced (meaning for the long-term rivalry is important).So why on earth did this come up in all the reform talk?As for the Fox deal, well, the jury is still out on whether that benefits the game.Although the other night, Adelaide United played in an Asian Champions League final with very little coverage in the mainstream media.What more does a club have to do to get attention than prove itself on the WORLD stage?This frustration will only be echoed by basketball fans should we sign ourselves away to Fox."

If you like the cut of Mike's jib, you can find a great read here.

- Snoop Wogg had this to say, "I think this cash is a firm commitment and a lifesaver. Unless the new Ch10 HD sports channel signs up, this is surely the next best thing. My only concern would be Basketball Australia f**king up the money by not promoting the sport properly. Lets face it, why would anyone want to sponsor one of our teams at the moment? At least this Fox deal gives sponsors the chance to see their logos on a TV screen."

Snoop, I hear what you are saying about sponsors seeing their logos on the tube, but what if Fox is asking for exclusive TV rights? (Which I would do if I'm them.) This will take away any possibility of FTA and even more exposure for basketball. The sport needs to exhaust all options before inking any type of deal with anyone.

Thanks for all the comments and it's great to see how passionate the fans are about the sport.

Hopefully we all will have a clearer picture of what the future holds for the sport of basketball.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fox To Pony Up $35M

Will Fox Sports become basketball's saviour? We will find out this weekend.

It has been reported that Fox Sports is prepared to throw $35 million into basketball if the national basketball fraternity is prepared to change its current way of operating.

At first glance this seems like a no brainer, especially when the TV network is talking about televising all national competition games. I'm hearing it would be an eight team competition, with one game per week for each team. A much better situation then what we currently have.

Will this change happen? We will know more after this weekend when it has gone to a vote. Voting includes local associations as well as NBL franchises, with 75% of the vote required for the recommended reform to take place.

If the reform is voted in, this means that basketball in this country will come under one banner, finally and Fox Sport will jump on board.

As I have said, it seems like a no brainer when 35 million is on the table. I do wonder though how associations will vote if they feel that none of the money will come their way.

I have no idea what the majority of the associations are thinking before they head to this polling booth, but it is human nature not to relinquish power. These local associations will want to feel the love before they agree to any change.

I cannot disagree with this way of thinking as it is the grass roots of basketball in this country that holds the key to the future of this sport. We need children playing this game if there is to be any future for a professional national competition.

If we are truly going to come under one banner for the first time, let's do it right this time round so this great sport can climb the food chain in the sporting jungle this country of ours has created.

News

- Adelaide 36ers defeat an undermanned New Zealand Breakers 96-86. Phill Jones missed due to suspension while CJ Bruton sat out because he suffered a back spasm during warm-up.

- Jason Smith to play his first game for the Sydney Spirit.

- Wollongong staying on track during mini-break.

- Kiwis to censor colourful language.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bad Day On The Gold Coast For Crocs

Read below how Pat Mills successful Olympic campaign has impacted St Mary's College.

When people head to the Gold Coast they go there thinking of sun, surf and women in bikinis.

When the Crocs got to town it was all about rain, clouds and allowing their NBL team their first win of the season. That's right the Blaze have finally joined the winners list eleven games into the season.

They absolutely dominated us in the first half. We limped into the lockerroom down by 27 at the half. The second half was much better from our point of view but the mountain was too great for us to climb. I think the closest we got to them was 7 in the second half.

The final score was 115-106.

This was Greg Vanderjagt's last game for the Blaze tonight. He will be dropped from the roster to make room for their new import signing, Justin Bowen.

This comes as a little surprising because Vanderjagt has been one of the best for the Blaze so far this season.

The question I have for you the readers, will some other team sign Vaderjagt for the rest of the season? He has season's averages of 10ppg and a team leading 6.5 rebounds/game.

This is just another example of how the rules the NBL has in place can really hurt a players livelihood.

News

- South Australian Bruce Spangler has been added to Interim Board of Basketball in Australia.

- Cairns Taipan Dwayne Vale is getting into a groove.

- 'The Bear' will celebrate at home against the 36ers.

- Singapore Slingers to play Malaysia All-Stars.

- Breakers bench as spark, especially Dillon Boucher.

- ESPN's Andy Katz catches up with Aussie Pat Mills. Katz also ranks his Top 25 college teams. Good to see he has my Zags at #7. I'm sensing a huge year for the Zags.

- NBA scores from today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Episode 9 of "The OT"

Episode 9 of the "The OT" is ready for downloading. It is a quick one as I'm on the road at the moment. DJ Rod and myself review and preview the games, talk about some of the NBL's weekly issues and we name our Player of the Week.

We do not have a guest for this week's episode but due to popular demand we have downloaded the entire interview with Corey "Homicide" Williams.

In other news New Zealand Breaker Phill Jones pleads guilty to striking Perth Wildcat Shawn Redhage. He receives a one game suspension.

Here is the incident that led to the suspension.

Phill Jones and Shawn Redhage in the Nutcracker!