Friday, January 30, 2009

Mills Injured & "Homicide" Talks It Up

- Today saw two heavy weights of the West Coast Conference go at it in college basketball. The Aussie sprinkled St Mary's College (featuring Pat Mills) ranked 22 headed up to Spokane, Washington to take on the #20 Gonzaga Bulldogs.

The first half lived up to the game's billing with the Gaels leading at the main break 39-33. However, the turning point of this game may just have been when Mills went down with a wrist injury three minutes before the half.

The Aussie was on fire from long range dropping 6-8 threes. Mills, who ended with 18pts, did not return in the second half as it is believed he has a sprained wrist.

In the second half the Gaels could not keep pace with the Zags scoring as the final scoreline read 69-62 Gonzaga.

Other Aussies involved in the game were point guard Carlin Hughes who was down on his season averages, had 2pts, 3rebs and 3asts.

Little used Ben Allen saw nine minutes of court time.

Mackay born freshman Clint Steindl, was not shy. He got up seven shots in his sixteen minutes but could not connected on any.

Tassie boy Lucas Walker had his best game of the season to date. His nine points and three rebounds were season highs.

I wish Pat a speedy recovery.

You can catch the replay of this game on ESPN Saturday night.

- Mills loves the idea of playing in Spokane. It is an experience.
- St Mary's and it's pipeline of Aussie talent.

- Tomorrow night will probably pull down the curtain on the North Queensland Derby. (Townsville/Cairns for those of you geographically challenged.)

It seems that the Cairns Taipans franchise are pretty much running on fumes at the moment and unless a White Knight answers the call and buys the team, the Snakes become extinct in a few weeks. Quite a shame for a franchise that has been around for 10 years in the national competition and showed promise.

On with the game though. My teammate Corey "Homicide" Williams has questioned Taipans Aaron Grabau's philosophies of the game.

I will let you read the article and draw your own conclusions.

Here's Cairns Taipans coach Mark Beecroft's response.

- Sydney Sausages, anyone?

- Melbourne Tigers make it eight in a row with a workmanlike 113-104 win over the Wollongong Hawks tonight.

- An article on Nathan Jawai's NBA start.

- Is this the best Newley in the game?

1993 NBL Dunk Competition

Some Friday Morning TV

It's Friday and it's raining up here in the 'Ville so I thought a few YouTube highlights would fill in the day.

This first one comes courtesy of Mili and his nerd searching. Does Time Duncan get a bad Gaterade?

This one was a number one play in the States a few days ago. Can this guy fly or was it the boost? (D2 Dunk of the Year!)

The BasketballProfessor has come up with this gem. I like how you are trying to give Aaron Bruce a tip or two. I am waiting Bruce!

Enjoy your Friday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jake the Snake will have plenty of time for reading in the very near future.

For the past 18 months, the powers that be within Australian basketball have spent a lot of time and money looking for ways to reinvent and reintroduce a product to the sporting public that will attempt to compete with the upper echelon of sports in Australia.

Late last week these same people released an explanatory memorandum outlining expectations and guidelines for the new National Basketball League which is expected to kick off in October of this year.

Obviously this is not the forum for a point by point analysis. However I can assure you that I have read every word in the official document and I have a few concerns about what lies ahead for our sport.

My primary concern would have to be that we simply have not made enough changes to our current product to justify calling labeling the future league ‘new and improved’.

For instance, the ‘new’ season will start in October and run for 18 weeks which is pretty much what we do now, give or take a week or two each side.

There will be a minimum of eight teams in the ‘new’ competition, each having to demonstrate financial viability as to avoid the mid-season collapses experienced this year by the Cairns Taipans and Sydney Spirit.

Although guaranteed pay is music to a player’s ears, how many of our current franchises will honestly be able to demonstrate the qualifying amount of $1.5 million set out under the guidelines? Will there even be eight teams able to take the first step in the application process financially?

We currently have a ten team competition with the above mentioned Taipans and Spirit under voluntary administration. They are gone. That would seem to leave a very tidy eight teams to make up that minimum figure for next year’s comp.

Not so fast,…rumour has it that the Wollongong Hawks will be shutting up shop at the end of this season. The new bar has been set too high for the Steel City’s ownership group to remain in a national competition and it would appear that our only remaining original NBL member close that chapter of history.

That leaves seven teams. Anyone wanting to fork out the money to make up that eighth spot will, according to the new rules, be made to pay an extra $1 million for a license. (Current teams will have this fee waived.)

Considering the current world economic trends, good luck finding new owners.

The salary cap will be increased to $1.2 million (from about $840K). This sounds great on paper, but I’ve been around long enough to realize that most teams would be spending right around this already. It is just a matter of creative accounting.

Personally, I was amazed to read that both the salary cap and points system will remain in place. I have never been and never will be a believer in the point system. In my opinion, the only thing a point system does is leave some medium to top range players without jobs simply because of an arbitrary number. A properly enforced salary cap should do the job of this point system while keeping the best players employed.

The one thing that I think is fantastic news is that it appears that Fox Sports will show every game every week. If this, in fact, does happen, it will be fantastic exposure for our sport. This type of exposure often leads to increased corporate sponsorship and let’s just hope we see that money trickle down over the course of the next few years.

It is difficult to see something you have invested your working lifetime into struggle. I want nothing more than for the ship to turn around and for Australian Basketball to be reliving its glory days in another five or more years. Will this ‘new league’ be the start of something big? Stay tuned.

You can find my article in Wednesday's edition of the Townsville Bulletin.

For more on this topic, check out the latest edition of "The OT" as we interview Basketball Australia board member Andrew Gaze.

"The OT" Is Here

The latest edition has just dropped. Andrew Gaze is this week's guest. We get to the bottom of why our banners are not allowed in the Adelaide gym, and a special guest drops by late in the show.


NBL & Overseas News

Is Shaq's recent good form hurting the Suns? Find out below.

Just finished recording the latest (and maybe best) installment of "The OT". So, while DJ Rod has it in the chop shop, catch up on the day's news.

- "I don't think there's certainly anyone we fear coming in here," Adelaide 36ers coach Scott Ninnis told the ABC. Adelaide have the Perth Wildcats coming to town this week.

- "If we played that game a month ago, we lose," Melbourne Tigers Chris Anstey said. "We made a couple of errors down the stretch, but we stuck with it."

You can read the rest of this article courtesy of the Herald Sun, right here.

- "Teams have probably figured us out a little bit, so it's up to us to make the adjustments," says New Zealand Breakers forward Tony Ronaldson. "We've got some counters and things to counter the way they play us now, but we just haven't been executing those too well."

Thanks to News 3 in New Zealand you can read the rest of this article or check out the video footage and see what the Breakers practice facility looks like.

- "Teams of the past that we have had probably would have failed at that and used some excuses, but the guys played outstanding in that last quarter."

Townsville Crocodiles coach Trevor Gleeson talking to the Townsville Bulletin about the Crocs recent win over Wollongong.

- "A lot of mouths to feed,” Steve Nash said. “I’m willing to just feed and feed. But then they get mad at me because they want me to be aggressive. They want me to make big shots down the stretch, so they need me to shoot periodically during the game." Courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

Is the resurgence of Shaquille O'Neal to blame for the Phoenix Suns poor form?

- Former NBA player Jannero Pargo has changed address in Europe, while Stephon Marbury will not budge on his buyout with the Knicks.

- If you been following the progress on Brandon Jenning's experience in Europe you may want to read this. A great read about what really happened.

For those who do not know Jennings, he will be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft his season. He decided not to go to college, but take his game to Europe as this experience would prepare him better for the NBA.

The jury is out on this philosophy.

Josh Smith right over Steve Nash.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Facebook and Basketball News

FACEBOOK. I have finally taken the leap into this world that generates so much talk during our stretching time at practice. I was putting off joining for as long as possible, but I have given in and joined the masses.

Am I sold on it? I'm not sure yet but it has been great to get in contact with people I have not seen or heard from in years.

One thing I have worked out about Facebook though is, once you become "friends" you get caught up in a whole new web of people. This can become interesting stuff in itself.

But I'd just like to share my best experience to date with this cyber tool.

I happen to have a young teammate (let's just call him #6) who has changed his relationship status (one of the 1st questions you get asked when you sign up), quite recently. He has changed his status very recently to "being in a relationship".

This is a big move (and show of affection for the young lady) for any young bloke.

Just casting my mind my back to my youthful days it was quite a step just to tell your "boys" that a particular female had gained girlfriend status, let alone tell the cyber world. Wow, how times have changed.

Since the status change of my Western Australian born teammate, there is a rumour circulating that he met his lovely partner under similar circumstances. (I will seek confirmation of this tomorrow at practice.)

Now to the News

- The Melbourne Tigers extend their winning streak to seven. They defeated the league leading South Dragons in their Australia day clash.

Click here to listen to what Dragons coach Brian Goorjian had to say about his import Danta Smith. D-Day were the words used I believe.

All boxscores from Round 19. LADDER

- The New Year blues continue for the New Zealand Breakers. Having led the competition until the calender ticked over to 2009, the Breakers will be hoping to snap out of their losing (1-5 over past six games) before the playoffs.

The Melbourne Tigers recent surge seems to have put an end to the Breakers hope of finishing in the top 2.

- "Unless you've got a millionaire backer somewhere, you're just not going to have a team, and that's disappointing from a basketball point of view. It's turning into a rich person's only game." Wollongong Hawks Mat Campbell talking to the Illawarra Mercury.

- Cairns Taipans show they have plenty of spirit left.

This week will see the Taipans and their northern rivals the Townsville Crocodiles play for the last time. Should be quite an emotional game here in the "Ville.

- Former four time Olympian and NBL MVP Ray Borner has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.

- Melbourne Tigers import Dave Thomas has his "new" team back ticking on all cylinders.

- The Perth Wildcats have discovered a loophole (there's a surprise) in the NBL rules so Paul Rogers will be right to suit up in the playoffs.

- Canberra Cannons celebrate 30 years of history.

- Former Sydney Spirit owner Greg Evans has sunk more than a basketball team.

- Fellow bloggers, The Sport Count, have come up with a basketball tribute on Australia Day, The NBA's Top 10 Aussie Ballers.

Australia Day

Hope everyone has a great Australia Day. Throw a snag on the barbie and enjoy the company of your friends.

I will be back later today with some basketball related news.

Also, don't forget the top of the table clash between the South Dragons and the Melbourne Tigers can be seen of Fox Sports tonight.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Great Aussie Sporting Moments Over The Weekend

First up, the Williams sisters get an eye full at the Aussie Open tennis.

And if you have happened to have missed Andrew Symonds latest interview on Roy and HG's Triple M radio program, check it out here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Playoff Prediction

Despite the fact that there are four rounds remaining in the NBL regular season, I feel pretty certain that the teams sitting in the top six positions right now will remain unchanged.

Now there may be some changes to the order in which these teams end the season, but I am guessing that South Dragons, New Zealand, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and your Crocs will be finding our way into the playoffs.

I feel that these six teams have shown superior consistency over the other NBL teams throughout the course of the entire season and it is this factor that will get them their playoff birth.

The Sydney Spirit (11-13) probably feel that they have every right to snag that sixth spot away from Adelaide (12-13) and they may indeed prove me wrong and do just that. However, I cannot see either of these teams going finding the momentum to promote themselves any higher than sixth.

This week will be a massive one for the third placed Melbourne Tigers (15-8). If they harbour any aspirations of a top 2 finish, this round will be where it needs to happen. First they face a tough Kiwi’s (16-7) team on their home ground mid-week. They then return home for a rematch. And finally they will have to get themselves fired up for an all Melbourne battle against the league leading South Dragons (18-6) on Australia Day.

Win two of these three games and they will stay in the hunt for a top two finish. Anything less and third position will be where the defending champs will stay moving into the playoffs.

I do think the top three teams will do some minor shuffling back and forth for those top three spots, but will have very little challenge from the teams currently occupying fourth through sixth. These final three teams vying for playoff positions is where all the action is going to happen in the coming weeks.

For the Crocs (14-12), the equation is simple - win our next four games and hope Perth (13-12) drops one and we will hold onto fourth.

If we are going to be a legitimate playoff team, we need to win three of our next four at the very least. It won’t be easy, as both Melbourne teams are obstacles facing us on the home stretch, but what better boost going into the playoffs than some big wins over the “big dogs”.

Whatever the results for either ourselves or Perth, a tie with the Wildcats will see us on the worse end of the head to head match-up. They will receive the higher seed as they dusted us 3-1 during the regular season.

So I am going to put my neck on the line and make my prediction now on how the ladder will look at the completion of the NBL season:

South will hold one to top spot and what a turn around from last season’s disaster, just quietly. Tigers will sneak into second just ahead of New Zealand. The Crocs will hold onto fourth, while the Wildcats will be a tough fifth seed. The 36ers will hold onto sixth, but their battle with the Spirit will go down to the last round.

You can read my column every Wednesday in the Townsville Bulletin.

Time Lapse Photography

Thanks to the photographical genius of Cameron Laird I happened to find this footage of Gold Coast Blaze's Pero Cameron sprinting.


Basketball time lapse photography from Cameron Laird - Photographer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chris Anstey joins "The OT"

Another superb edition of "The OT" has arrived.

This week former NBA but current Melbourne Tiger player Chris Anstey joins us and discusses all facets of his career. He also feels as though the recent tinkering the Tigers did with their roster has them ready for another shot at the title.

Also in this edition Rod and I take a look at this rounds games. What an import round for most playoff bound teams?

And don't forget get we have a few competitions you can enter.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just Surfing The Net

2009 NBA All Star jersey

While I wait for DJ Rod to edit our latest installment of "The OT", I just surfed the net and this is what I came up with for my fellow hoop junkies.

- Portland Trailblazers rookie guard Rudy Fernandez won the vote to be the fourth dunker in this year's All Star Dunk Comp. The Spaniad will be joined by defending champ Dwight Howard, Knick Nate Robinson and Gudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.

- Grade 7 kids are now being recruited by colleges in the USA.

- Is Colorado University becoming a hot bed for young Aussies? My tip, Cody Ellis to St Louis University.

- Nathan Jawai put on his Toronto Raptors uniform on for the first time today. He did not play.

- Shane Heal's last game in Adelaide? That's a must see.

- The boys from The Sport Count have been very creative over the festive season. Well done boys.

You need to watch this Nathan Jawai video. Classic Aussie humour.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Karate Kid & A Happy Ending

Caption time again. I'm sure you will agree that these two photos are worthy of such a competition. (photos courtesy of
There is a CD up for grabs.
- Melbourne Tigers will tackle the top two teams (New Zealand twice, South once) three times this round. Will this weekend determine where they finish on the ladder?
- No killer instinct for the Wollongong Hawks.
- Cairns Taipans are still in the playoff hunt, mathematically.
- Perth Wildcats have made the playoffs for the past 22 years. Will this continue?
- Matt Knight is looking at going overseas.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Daily Dose Of News

Perth's Paul Rogers could be out for the year.

- James Dampney of the AAP reports, "Tigers on prowl for second NBL title".

- "Spirit confident of finals", says Chris Pike of Sportal.

- Perth Wildcats Paul Rogers could be out for the rest of the season, due to a knee injury.

- Crocs nail the Adelaide 36ers, again.

"Rillie's three on the buzzer broke the Sixers' back and the last quarter was just embarrassing as the Crocs pushed their lead out to 30 and cleared their bench", wrote Boti Nagy of the Adelaide Advertiser. Cheers Boti!

- New Zealand Breakers Kirk Penney to be NBL's MVP?

- For all the boxscores from Round 18 of the NBL, click here. Ladder, here.

- Former Adelaide 36ers import Julius Hodge makes refund.

- Brad Newley continues his solid form in Greece. boxscore

- Aron Baynes records a double-double as his WSU Cougars get past the Ducks of Oregon.

- Nate Tomlinson (Colorado) gets a lesson from Kansas.

- Utah's Luke Nevill continues to be rock solid, and he has Andrew Bogut's record in his sights.

- Mills and Co cruise by 50.

- AJ Ogilvy and Vandy struggle on the road.

Tassie Devils at their best.

Brace Yourself - LBJ

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Christmas & Teammates

I think I have been taking it a little easy on my team mates so far this year. I had a pretty good response from the fans on our my New Year’s Resolution piece, so I better work at digging up a little more dirt to keep the fans happy.

First we’ll go with assistant coach Rohan Short. For those of you who don’t know him, Shortie is a very even keeled person in nearly every situation I have ever witnessed him be a part of. Not so last week when the team was returning from the Gold Coast.

While the team was checking in at the airport, the flight attendant checking us in innocently asked for the basketballs we carry to be deflated before boarding. Witnesses to the incident say that they could actually see the exact moment Shorties’ boiling point was reached. After his explanation that on several hundred flights he had never been asked to deflate the balls fell on deaf ears, the poor guy was left to do as she had instructed before the balls were to be put on the flight.

After hearing of the incident, many of the team commented on the uncharacteristeric blow up from our team peace maker. In the end we all had agreed that we were all allowed our bad days and this was his.

It wasn’t until the next day we discovered that our Shortie had a little more on his mind that day than he let on.

You see, it was the next day that he had finally chosen to propose to his longtime girlfriend. The best part is she said yes. Congrats Shortie and Annie.

In the limited time I have spent with first year Crocodile Brad Williamson, he seems to be another pretty easy going guy.

That is, apparently, until he does not get what he wants for Christmas.

He was holding out for Xbox’s latest craze, World Tour, Guitar Hero and he thought he had it in the bag.

Unbeknownst to Brad, his girlfriend had wrapped up his present (wait for it,… an ergonomic chair) to look exactly like the game.

Well, at least when Brad finally saves up enough pocket money to buy what the game, we will have good posture while logging in the hours playing it.

But Brad wasn’t alone in his disappointment over not receiving the World Tour Guitar Hero. Cam Tovey also believed his family would come through with the goods and was sadly mistaken when he opened up his state of the art massager.

Last but not least, Keegan Tudehope received a late Christmas gift on Sunday afternoon, when the member of the local Bouncers Basketball Club saw his first action in an NBL contest against the Gold Coast Blaze.

Keegan knocked down a three pointer on the full time buzzer and it will be forever in the record books.

As a personal aside to Keegan’s story, I believe there is another important part of the story that the everyday fan may not be aware of. Keegan’s reward is testament to his persistence. Here is a guy that has reliably turned up many a day to practice this season only to have to patiently watch from the sideline and wait for one of the ten contracted players to call for a break.
His three point basket was what you call taking advantage of an opportunity and here’s hoping more of your opportunities end the same way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"The OT" & News

The latest installment of "The OT" is waiting for you to download.

Besides our banner and trivia competitions, we look at news and issues that have been happening around the NBL.

We also chat about Pat Mills and his St Mary's Gaels and is Nathan Jawai close to seeing some playing time in the NBA?



- Tigers Tommy Greer ready to step up?

- In Shane Heal's weekly newspaper column he disagrees with Coach Trevor Gleeson's comments about some of the Blaze players "not giving their all".

- New Zealand Breakers face a crucial run home.

- Big Luke wins POW, again.

- Cairns are ready for 36ers clash.

- Captain Courageous! Who is this guy kidding?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Michael Cedar Knows What He's Talking About

TOWNSVILLE-born Crocodile Michael Cedar has credited his skipper John Rillie for a breakthrough year which rose to a new height in his MVP display against the Gold Coast yesterday, writes Josh Alston of the Townsville Bulletin.

And with retirement looming in the coming years for the 451 game veteran, Cedar hopes he can use what he has learned from Rillie to emulate his career.

Cedar was dominant from the first whistle against the Blaze, draining three triples in the opening two minutes on his way to 22 points for the game.
In the 2008/09 season he has lifted his average points-per-game to 9.83, compared to a career average of 5.76.

And once a bench specialist, he has gained favour in coach Trevor Gleeson's eyes and has emerged as a starter over the past month.

"I enjoy it, one of my goals at the start of the year when I sat down and spoke to Trev was that position I wanted to make mine," he said.

"He's given me the opportunity to do it and I don't want to let him down and I don't want to let myself down either."

Cedar has scored 27-points twice in 2008/09, his highest score in his four-year career.

As well as that his efforts on the defensive end have improved dramatically, feats he said came from training against former Boomer Rillie in every session.

"Practising against him everyday is great for me, I get better every day," Cedar said.

"Just some of the stuff that he can still do just amazes you at his age (37).

"I really look up to Johnnie ... he's had a great career."

And Cedar hopes that when Rillie eventually calls it a day, he can step into the breach to become the Crocs No.1 shooting guard option.

"I hope so, if I can do what John's done over his career I will be a very happy man at the end of the day," he said.

"I've just got to keep working every day, doing the little stuff.

"John works as hard as anyone I've seen so if I want to get to that level I've got to work just as hard as him."

Gleeson praised Cedar's efforts after the game against the Blaze and said he hoped he could produce those figures on a more consistent basis.

"We've seen what Mick can do, he's a talent," he said.

"It's just a consistency level that's the key for Mick at the moment, he's got to produce it everytime he steps over that white line and that's something he's growing into."

2007/08 championship winning coach Al Westover has long believed that Cedar is an Australian player of the future.

But while Blaze Mentor and Boomers assistant coach Brendan Joyce was impressed with Cedar's efforts yesterday, he said he would need to improve his all-round game to crack the squad.

"You never know, it's a matter of kids just working on their game," he said.

"He's a very good catch and shooter and obviously there's other facets of his game ... he's got to become a better defender.

"(He's) got to learn to dribble and pass as well."

"Shooting isn't the only thing that gets you into the Boomers, you've got to be multi-skilled."

You can read more about Cedar and the Crocs in the Townsville Bulletin.

Also, don't forget about our banner competition. It's your turn Melbourne!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Banner Comp & News

(no viagra needed...just click to enlarge)

Last week "The OT" launched a new and exciting competition.

All you have to do is make a banner that includes and our sponsor , take it to the game, get it on Fox Sports and you will go into the draw for a 22" computer monitor worth $300.

If you do not quite understand the steps, either listen to the podcast or email me at for more details.

Good luck with your creativity!

This week's TV games are: Melbourne Tigers vs Sydney Spirit (Wednesday)
New Zealand Breakers vs Townsville Crocs (Thursday)


- South Dragons Rhys Carter is Mr Clutch?

- Canberra to look at being part of the NewNBL.

- Melbourne Tigers help out my team (Townsville Crocodiles) by defeating the Perth Wildcats.

- New Dragons import Donta Smith will be spending a little more time with his coach.

- Former King, BJ Carter heads to Victoria.

- For all Round 17 boxscores from the NBL, click here. And here for the ladder.

This afternoon we (Crocs) had one of our development players see his first action in the NBL. Take a look at how Townsville local Keegan Tudehope scores his first points in the big league. Congrats Keeg's.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

All Aspiring Young Hoopers Should Watch This

Stephon Curry may become this year's college Player of the Year but all kids should realize you do not need to go to a "name" program to become a big time baller.

Sure he has it in his genes (his father (War)Dell had a 15yr career in the NBA) but Curry was bypassed by the Duke's, Carolina's and UCLA's but is still managing to create as much hype as any former high school McDonald's All-American.

Curry is attending little known hotbed of basketball Davidson College. Can you name any other Wildcat hoopers? (Derek Rucker- NBL and Ben Ebong - SEABL)

Enough of the rambling. Just check out this YouTube clip of Curry and rock band Queen. The only disappointing thing is a few of the highlights are against the Zags.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Julius Hodge Tells His Side

PART 1 - Julius Hodge speaks about his walk-out on the Adelaide 36ers.

PART 2 - The interview continues

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year's Resolutions & Hodge Takes One To Nutz

The Crocs brought in the New Year with a bang,..a solid win over the league leading South Dragons. While my teammates were out on the town ringing in the New Year, I was at home taking notes on some of their New Year resolutions.

Russell Hinder is known for his hustle play and those “one percenters” that help get his team over the line for a victory. And sharing team colours with him for the second time has reacquainted me with the fact that the guy spends A LOT of time on the floor.

Rusty’s resolution: To take the shoe size down by one size in an attempt to avoid tripping over those pesky painted lines on the court.

The “Love Doctor” Rosell Ellis has created a buzz around town on air when he doles out relationship advice every Thursday morning. From what I understand, many of his ‘patients’ are impressed and willing to take on board Rosell’s advice.

Ro’s resolution: To organise “The Love Doctor”World Tour. Stay tuned to find out when the Love Doctor’s tour bus will be rolling into a city near you.

My longtime teammate Kelvin Robertson has provided the team with many a laugh over the past few months (who am I kidding,…years), most recently it has been as a result of his joke telling. And let me tell you, it isn’t the punch line that is getting a laugh.

Kel’s resolution: To tell a joke that I haven’t already heard from my seven year old son.

Anthony Susnjara has been a great addition to this year’s team. His sense of humour and candor can never been misinterpreted. And if there is a random, short lived injury to be had, you can bet it will find a home with him. In his short time with the Crocs, he has already managed to suffer from random leg spasms and neck stiffness that lasted for days. He has been so light-headed that he has nearly fainted in practice and has vomited after an ill placed knee from a member of the opposition.

Sus’s resolution: That his next injury suffered be one that he may actually be able to receive some type of treatment for.

You may wonder just how Corey “Homicide” Williams could possibly be left off such a list as this? Two words: Too easy.

And last but not least, I am betting that all Croc fans would love to see their team can go undefeated for the rest of the season.

Well, I will see you Sunday afternoon when we face the Blaze and we will see if we can carry out this particular New Year’s resolution together.

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

Something To Make Adelaide Fans Feel Better

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"The OT" featuring Julius Hodge & A New Ripper Comp

Fresh off the production line is a new installment of "The OT".

This week we are joined by Adelaide 36ers import Julius Hodge. The flamboyant New Yorker talks up his and Corey "Homicide" Williams rivalry. Julius also tells us all about the night in Denver when he was shot while in his vehicle.

Plus, today marks the release of the biggest competition this side of the NewNBL. Adelaide fans need to listen ASAP as you have the first chance to show off your banner skills.

There is a 22" computer monitor up for grabs here. This competition was all made possible by Tell them that "The OT" sent you and the price will be right.

Hope you enjoy the episode and don't forget the trivia question at the end.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Shoes I Have Sported Over The Years

This blog has been inspired by a recent e-mail I received from a basketball junkie. He was asking me about some shoes I had worn so I thought why not write about the shoes that have influenced me over the years.

I have to start with the Dunlop Volley. Every Aussie kid needs to experience this shoe. They have such a range to choose from these days, but I rocked the traditional green/gold volley for all of my teenage years.

This shoe is a classic. And the versatility it provides is unmatched.

You can drop fifty in your local comp and go straight home and fix the tiling on your roof without changing footwear. You are not slipping off of any surface with the Volleys. To this day, tradies rock them (and Winny Blues) religiously.

I can remember kids at State championships discussing the price of their new kicks (mainly Jordans) and getting mad if they got scuffed.

The dirtier the Volleys, the better they were.

This shoe will always hold a special place in my heart and wardrobe.

When my feet decided an upgrade was required I dreamt of putting on the Converse Weapon and joining Magic and Larry in their commercial.

But those suckers were heavy, so if I was ever going to dunk in my teenage years I had to choose something that would enhance my athleticism, not hinder it.

Luckily for a me an American in Toowoomba had some influence on me at the time and he talked up the Adidas Top Ten. I had never heard of these shoes in my life before.

A little research (thanks Hoop magazine) and I was sold on these sweet looking low cuts.

I had to convince a sports store in my hometown to order me in a pair from overseas (pre Internet era). Months later they arrived and I was that kid trying not to get my shoes scuffed up.

After the Top Ten's had seen better days I got spoiled and have never had to purchase too many more pairs of playing shoes.

The best I have worn from then till now are the AND1 (my current sponsor) 24 Karat's.

Why? They are low cut (I only rock lows), light and just felt dawn good on my feet. I have tried to get And1 to get some more in from anywhere but it seems that dream is lost.

To be honest, they helped my game that much I have not dunked in a game since I've removed them from my feet.

Please bring them back so my children will stop asking me, "when will you dunk in a game Dad?"

Like most athletes, I have a "thing" for shoes but there are only a few that have a true impact on you, and these where mine.

Let me know what kicks you had/have a ball wearing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Shooting The Breeze With Asa

Old school interview, old school photo. (Photo courtsey of Geordie, not McLeod)

Asa Schuster caught up with me recently after a tough lose to the Sydney Spirit. This was the end product of our 40 minutes of jibbering. It was made possible, all thanks to the NBL.

Question: We'll start with some important business. About 10 years ago in Wollongong two young idiots approached you after a game and were very concerned about what John Stockton was getting away with in the NBA Finals. Mostly the push-offs, they appealed to you as his Gonzaga alum that if you ever had a chance to talk to him could you instruct him on what a push-off is. Did you ever get around to doing that?

John Rillie: I did. I actually remember that very clearly because Stockton was the master of that. I passed on the message, but as I passed on the message I got him to teach me that move.

Q: Did he go to your practices when you were at Gonzaga?

JR: Yeah, he was born and raised in Spokane, Washington where Gonzaga is. Every off-season he's back there, he lives there right now. He's very much entrenched in the community and he was always there playing. He was a very approachable guy and he had an unbelievable work ethic. Just to watch him and then join in on some of those workouts was a priceless experience.

Q: Another Gonzaga guy Adam Morrison, how did he go as a ball boy?

JR: Yeah he was very good, let me tell you he did more passing as a ball boy than he does as a player.

Q: Did he have that seedy moustache back then?

JR: He was only 12, so I think it was just about to kick in, maybe some blonde fur was fastly approaching his top lip.

Q: Did you ever think he was going to become an elite player?

JR: Adam Morrison was very under-recruited in high school, I guess on Gonzaga's sake it was fortunate that he played his high school basketball there, playing in your backyard is always a good opportunity.

Q: In college when you went up against Steve Nash could you ever imagine you'd be still competing against him over the internet and challenging each other?

JR: When we were in college the internet really didn't exist so who would have thought. We had some good fun in college, Gonzaga and Santa Clara we always had a good rivalry on the court but we had a good comradeship off the court. They were two colleges that approached basketball very similarly it was always fun. I guess the question is; who would have ever thought Steve Nash would have went on to what he achieved? Everyone knew he was going to be a good player but to be a two-time MVP goes to show putting in the hard work can pay off.

Q: You've mentioned that the quality of trash talk in the NBL has lessoned over the years. Who are some of the best current trash talkers and who are some of the greats you played against?

JR: Absolutely no trash talkers these days. You know Shane Heal likes to get into it a little bit. I think over the course of time people realised if you fire those guys up in that type of forum it ends up in disaster. Coaches these days say don't get into it. Copes (Lanard Copeland) was always a good one, probably the most notable, and Al Green way back in the day, he was probably the one that made it fashionable out here in Australia. Look if you bump into Al today he'll still talk trash to you.

Q: A lot has been said about your stroke this season, what I want to know is how many keystrokes per minute are you actually typing at?

JR: I am s**t at that, dead-set worst typer. I could punch out a good blog in 10 minutes if I could type. It's like two knitting needles going at the keyboard.

Q: Just with the blogging, you've always been one of the more approachable players in the NBL and the blog seems to enhance that. How are you enjoying the whole blogging experience?

JR: You know, you get different questions and people have different opinions about it and I guess this year it's just gained momentum because it was actually up and going last year but I got off to a very slow and auspicious start. I think people are getting used to it now and I guess I've become better at it in my writing or the way I've gone about setting up the blog and now with the podcast. I'm just doing something that I love to do and it's fun and I learn a lot. I'm no way a computer nerd just yet but I've seen plenty of them tonight, it was like a blogging reunion here tonight. You can find it at

Q: And on your other stroke, how did you develop your fade-away jump shot?

JR: Ever since I was a kid, shooting was something that kind of came natural, if you can say that it does. I spent lots of time on it, when I was a kid I had no girlfriend, just me and the basketball and hoop we had a love affair going on.
I could always shoot, but when I went to college you ask any coach and they just knew I was a shooter, but when I go and play pick-up games wherever and whenever that's when I kind of started working on other aspects of my game because I never wanted to be just pigeon-holed as just a shooter.

Q: I haven't seen many people in Australia shoot the way you do.

JR: (I watched) Lots of NBA tapes growing up. I've watched all the good shooters, Reggie Miller is at the top of the list, but then I also loved Moses Malone for his rebounding so I consider myself maybe the all-time NBL rebounder for a guard. For posting up and the fade-away, probably somebody like Mark Aguire I just watched endless hours of NBA, there's a whole list of players I watched.

Q: You've been on some awesome NBL rosters like your rookie year you had Leroy Loggins, Heal and Mike Mitchell especially in Wollongong we know him as a character…

JR: Especially around the glass palings…

Q: Adelaide with Sapwell, Brooks, Cattalini…

JR: Mee, Maher, Brogan

Q: In Sydney, Farley…

JR: Mackinnon, Dwight, Bolden, Rucker…

Q: The team you're on now you've got the Love Doctor, Homicide, the Pharmacist and Hinder, how does this team rank with all the great characters you've played with?

JR: Nah, absolutely as far as characters the Adelaide teams were unbelievable. Once you walked into the locker room, unbelievable. I remember if you actually didn't get paid-out on you weren't part of the team. So if you're having a dull day you knew something was wrong. I can remember one day we hung up a picture of a monkey in the locker room, you know Sapwell we call him 'monkey boy' and he didn't notice this poster and the monkey was positioned in the thinking pose and unbeknown to Sapwell he's sitting in the thinking pose in his chair as well. We're just like 'Sappy, you're just a class act'.

Kevin Brooks was a character; Darnell, he's sneaky; Maher, thought he was a magician back in the day. That's a true story, he had the old handkerchief in the thumb trick and he virtually might as well have had a black thumb over his thumb, but Martin Cattalini was just bemused by it like, 'Mahersie, how do you do that?'

We had some good characters for sure, but Corey (Williams) is a character, he's a circus himself. No-one else needs to be around when it's Corey, he's a full-on circus.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who Will Be NBL MVP?

Two thirds of the NBL season is in the books and the time to race for a playoff spot is upon us. It is also that time of the year when people begin to toss around who they feel will be the league’s MVP.

Now I have done a little searching to see who the buzz is around and my search turned up very little so I had to ask myself the question of “why?” and this is what I have come up with.

In most previous NBL seasons, the list of MVP contenders would have already narrowed itself down to two or three players with a real chance with a handful of dark horses lurking around the outskirts. This year that does not appear to be the case. There is no clear favourite or small group of favourites to date. It would seem that it will come down to how a top player performs during that final third portion of the year.

Nevertheless, this is my group of guys that I feel have to be in the running:

Chris Anstey is always the favourite in my book. Whether you like him as a player or not, when Chris decides to play there is little you can do to stop his impact on a game.

Reports have Anstey with a mystery illness which is affecting his play to date. If the Tigers can find a cure quickly and they can have a strong finish to the season, he will be well on his way to collecting another MVP trophy.

If Anstey remains unable to perform at his best and the Tigers finish the season in first or second place, look for teammate Ebi Ere to hold the MVP trophy for the first time.

Ere has been the bridesmaid on a few occasions for this award, will this year be his time?

Adelaide’s import Julius Hodge has come in and turned it around for Scott Ninnis and the Adelaide 36ers.

Hodge is putting up impressive numbers (25ppg, 9rpg and 7apg) AND his team is winning. This is a good combination when I’m looking to crown someone MVP.

Hodge was impressive in his time with the Sixers last season but did not play enough games to come into contention for individual awards. This year he will have played enough games to be in the running for MVP, but will the 36ers win enough to help Hodge’s cause?

New Zealand Breakers Kirk Penney got his season off to a flyer but I feel the contributions from team mates CJ Bruton, Tony Ronaldson and Phill Jones will have a bearing on Penney’s fate.

This Breakers team compliments each other very well which often makes it difficult to say that one is better without the efforts of those surrounding him.

Last but not least I think Mark Worthington’s name will be on the list of finalists. He is the most consistent player on the top ranked South Dragons team, which has to get you at least a look.

What may hurt Worthington is the fact that their team is consistent as a whole and votes may be spread throughout the roster. Also, if new import Dante Smith is the all round player that he has been touted to be, he may detract from Worthington’s cause for this individual accolade.

Now I have been known to be wrong a time or two, but I will be surprised if an MVP award is given to anyone not mentioned in my list. As I mentioned previously, there are always those darkhorses lurking just outside that may just sneak into the spotlight if their team goes on a tear on the tail end of the season.

Look for the race to heat up over the next two to three weeks.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Louisville Athletes

After doing that little piece on Luke Whitehead yesterday, it got me thinking about some of the great athletes that have been through the Louisville program.

Here are a few YouTube clips of some former Cardinal greats.

Darryl Griffith vs LSU 1980

LaBradford Smith vs DePaul 1989

Everick Sullivan vs Florida St 1989

Friday, January 2, 2009

News From The Hardwood

"I can't watch my carbs because I love the bread". - Luke Whitehead

- Don't forget, the latest edition of "The OT" is out now!

While I have spent the night kicking my wife's ass at checkers (draughts for you old timers like myself), this cannot be considered a major upset. The Wollongong Hawks however have put a hurtin' on the New Zealand Breakers tonight, 111-94. I can hear Dick Vitale right now, "upset city baby".

Read more on this below along with other news from around the hoops world.


- CJ Bruton will be out for three weeks with a dodgy wheel, while his replacement has been plucked from behind a office desk. Only in New Zealand!

Back to tonight's game. The Breakers were unable to capitalise on the favourable result of the South Dragons losing earlier on in the week. The Breakers had a chance to gain the outright lead at the top of the table with a win tonight.

Not to be. Now the Melbourne Tigers will begin to believe they are a chance of a top two finish.

- "I don't want to stir up the chemistry. He's come here to win a championship and fit in with the team and the way we use him will only be to the team's benefit. If we use him off the bench, we use him off the bench."

These are the words of Dragons coach Brian Goorjian talking to the Herald Sun about new import Donta Smith coming off the bench.

I see Smith playing a huge role the rest of the way for the Dragons. He oozes talent that could see him have a huge impact in this league.

But at who's expense will this come at?

- If you believe the words of Adelaide journo Boti Nagy, he will have you thinking the there will be a league next year (starting in October), and the name of it?

The NBL.

- Gold Coast Blaze import Luke Whitehead is at it again. He has put his rappin skills to work for a club song. I have yet to see or hear it, but as I'm heading to the Coast for a game on Sunday, I will endeavour to track it down.

Also, Whitehead has released a DVD titled Frisco 2 The Ville. Sorry Townsville, this is not us.

Luke grew up in San Francisco and attended college in Louisville, but the DVD centres around musical talents from these hoods.

Once again I'm trying to get my hands on a copy so I can review his work.

Just an idea Luke. If you want to create a buzz and push some major units, flick JR a copy or two of your DVD on Sunday. (Ask your teammate Scott MacGregor, I do not pay for anything so you are a better chance of a favourable review if you give me a copy instead of me having to go searching for a bootleg edition.)

I reach the masses from Toowoomba 2 Da Ville!

- Adelaide import Julius Hodge has not been getting his money on time. Ouch.

- Can the Cairns Taipans find an owner (or three) in time?

- While the NBL will continue to play in the summer, the WNBL is considering a change to the winter.