Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Tough Road Is Our Go

Russell Hinder and myself have seen this scenario before.

AT the Crocs this season we've made a habit of putting ourselves in difficult situations and then digging our way out – so why should the semi-finals be any different?

Look back throughout the six months we've been going at it, nothing has come easy.

We had a slow start that had many people questioning our NBL playoff credentials.

Injuries kept getting thrown at us and there were a few off-court distractions as well.

Then when we finished fifth at the end of the regular season we were given no hope heading to Perth to play the Wildcats in an elimination final at `The Jungle'. Yet look where we are. In the semi-finals, two wins away from a grand final. There's nothing tougher than having to fight back from 1-0 down, but, as we've shown, a little bit of adversity doesn't faze the Crocodiles in the slightest.

If anything it will strengthen the team's resolve and we'll come back harder than ever at the South Dragons at The Swamp tonight.

It won't be easy but, as I have said, that is the way us Crocs seem to like it.
I also can't help but draw on past experiences at times like this.

The last team to come back from one game down in a semi-final series was the West Sydney Razorbacks in 2002, a side I just happened to be a part of. And I can assure you, the circumstances of our loss at the Pigs was seemingly far more dire than the situation we face at the Crocodiles.

We went to Melbourne to play the highly rated Tigers with a shocking road record and got annihilated by 21 points.

But, just like we do in Townsville – where we have won our past nine games – West Sydney's home form was excellent and the Razorbacks hit back to level the series.

Once it headed back to Melbourne it was anyone's game, there was nothing to lose, and, really, home-court advantage meant nothing in that situation.

West Sydney were triumphant and progressed to the grand final.

I am certain the Crocodiles can do the same. After all, it's not as if we were completely outplayed at Hisense Arena on Tuesday night.

Townsville controlled large portions of the game and it was more a case of us not cashing in our opportunities that let us down in the end and cost us victory.
When we were up by nine points in the third term we had chances to extend our buffer to as many as 15 and put them out of the game, but we didn't and we were made to pay.

There were 10 determined guys that stepped back into Townsville yesterday afternoon ready to make sure they don't make the same mistake tonight.

You can find my article in every Wednesday's Townsville Bulletin.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Back To The 'Ville

Both Mark Worthington and Brian Goorjian will become Public Enemy #1 when they arrive in Townsville later today.

We are already back at the airport, ready to head back home and reload in anticipation of Game 2.

It was disappointing to end Game 1 the way we did but we get a second chance to right our wrongs. We played a pretty solid first half without really capitalizing on some good play.

Give the South Dragons some credit for stifling our offensive production in the second half and picking up their own.

We need to flush Game 1 from our memory and get on with performing in front of our home fans for the first time during the playoffs.

The "Swamp" will be electric and all involved in this contest should leave thinking they have seen one of the best games ever.

Well, it's time to board our flight and it's time Crocs fans jump on board for their own ride Thursday night.

Some vintage Reggie Miller to get me ready for Game 2.

Monday, February 23, 2009

"The OT" - The Brett Rainbow Edition

Has there ever been a better #23?

The latest edition of "The OT" is up and ready to go. We have a new theme and this will be known as the Brett Rainbow Edition. Listen to find out why.

Rod and I talk all things basketball, especially the playoffs and I shoot my mouth of as to who will have a better NBA career than AJ Ogilvy.

Have a great day and enjoy this edition.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

QLD - Winners of the U/20 National Men's Championship

Jorden Page - MVP of the u/20's championship

The championship game saw Queensland take on New South Wales. The Maroons ran out easy winners in the end, 111-72.

On this occasion talent over powered everything at the end of the night.

NSW went into the Gold medal game with out centre Shane Harris-Tunks (Colorado), so it was going to take a miracle for the Blues to over come this hurdle. Maybe they played their final the night before by defeating Victoria to get into the championship game.

The first half was very even with Qld going into the half time break with a six point lead, 46-40.

It was Sean Mullan (18pts) that kept the Southerners in touch with a stellar 16 point first half.

PG Jason Cadee (20pts/6ass) controlled the game well for his team during the first 20 minutes, creating a lot of easy opportunities for his teammates. Qld did a lot of double teaming of Cadee in the back court but he made good decisions that created open space for his teammates.

Once the second half began it seemed as though Qld just turned up the pressure at the defensive end. This led to a lot of easy fastbreak points. Whether it was a layup or an open transition three, Qld was firing on all cylinders.

Tourney MVP Jorden Page (25pts/10ass) was the catalyst behind this fast pace game. This kid excels in the open court. St Mary's fans get ready for the Pat Mills comparisons.

With Page's speed causing NSW's defense problems, this allowed Brock Motum (27pts/12rebs) and Mitch Young (14pts/12rebs -8off) to control the paint.

In the end it was a case of big brother just beating down little bro'.

Cadee was always going to have to have a monster game, especially with Harris-Tunks sidelined with a dodgy wheel (sprained ankle), but Qld did a good job of making him work for everything he got.

Mullan could not keep his offense going in the second half so that left NSW's offense anemic.

On the otherhand, when Qld subbed, they lost nothing as the depth of their team proved too much for the Blues to handle.

I felt it was a good championship's as a number of these kids will on day grace the NBL hardwood.

First there are many that will test their luck in the USA college system, so over the next week or so, I will break down these players individually so the public of Australia and other places can see that basketball is well and truly alive in this country.


- Utah Utes Luke Nevill becomes the schools all time leader in block shots. Plus could he be the next Aussie who is ready to have an impact on the NBA? You need to listen to the next edition of "The OT" (out soon) to hear what I think.

- South Dragons coach Brian Goorjian fears "Homicide"?

"I was the girl that was tryin' to stay", says Stephon Marbury.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

For My Overseas Readers

A few overseas readers have mentioned how they have had little access to some footage of the playoff games to date.

Here is a little taste of what you have missed.

Also, Steve Nash has been at it again. This time from three point range. I'm looking to match or better this effort in the near future. Maybe you can as well?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Remember This Name - Jason Cadee

POD- Jason Cadee

The Under 20 National Championship was at the semi final stage tonight and I think we witnessed a boil over with New South Wales taking care of Victoria, convincingly.

I have yet to look at any boxscores because I did not want to be influenced by numbers. I'm doing this write up on what I saw from just sitting in the stands. I believe I have a good feel and understanding of the game.

What I witnessed tonight was one of the best displays of point guard play I have seen for quite some time at this level. NSW PG Jason Cadee controlled this game as if he was a seasoned pro.

His feel and understanding for the game is well beyond his years (17yo) and I see a bright future ahead for this Bankstown junior.

Whether it was finding an open teammate or making a play himself, Cadee come up trumps tonight. Victoria came out with a game plan to physically disrupt his rhythm but he kept his composer all game and cashed in with double figure foul shot attempts.

NSW ran a whole lot of pick and roll with Cadee and Colorado bound Shane Harris-Tunks and the Vics had no answer for this.

Cadee either knocked down the three, found his way into the paint to finish or feed Harris-Tunks (Liverpool junior) for the easy finish.

While on Harris-Tunks. He did his ankle tonight and will be doubtful for the final tomorrow but he showed me enough to have me thinking he will get some minutes early in his career at Colorado.

He finished well around the rim and even showed some range on a few jumpers. He actually sprained his ankle when he came down awkwardly from a turn around jumper.

Now back to the man of the hour, Cadee.

He played all 40 minutes under constant pressure but never shied away from the PG responsibilities. He was always looking to make things happen for his team.

I know I have praised and hyped the young fellow up but he did show me a lot of savvy and poise that kids of this age usually do not have.

Tomorrow night will be another test for Cadee as Queensland will get after him with the lightening fast Jorden Page.

I'm already looking forward to this game and the battle of the point guards.

Could this be the beginning of a matchup that will continue into the Pro ranks in years to come?


Qld vs WA (click on the results tab on left side of page)

NSW vs Vic (as above)

NBL News

- Hawks are not dead, just yet. Find out more here.

- Rillie Hungry For More (sportal)

- Caporn Wins Praise (sportal)

- Townsville import Corey Williams escapes censure at antics (adelaide advertiser)

- Cats to rebuild from scratch (the west australian)

- Breakers' tagert Anstey as Tiger to tame (tvnz) That was the headline in New Zealand but I believe it should say "target". Also, I'm hearing Anstey has hurt his knee during practice today. More on this when it becomes available to my sources.

- Townsville Crocs star given reprimand (townsville bulletin)

- Jawai makes his point (cairns post)

Shaq being...Shaq (thanks to AB for the find)

Thursday, February 19, 2009


You can't stop this, you can only hope to contain.

Perth Wildcats coach Conner Henry said he was disappointed with the space his team afforded John Rillie.
"He was getting free and finding cracks and once he hits one 30-footer it's on," Henry said.

"He's been doing that in this league for a long time.

"How old is he? He's got to be 48, and we got beat by a 48-year-old three-point shooter.

"Hats off to John. I like John and he's a good player, but I'm disappointed in how we defended him." Courtesy of AAP.

- They (the crowd) were giving it all night weren’t they, the old Aussie chant ’Corey’s a wanker’ and all that kind of stuff," said the owner of this blog. Too find out what I'm talking about, click here.

- One last article about our great win, but from a Townsville angle.

We have a Monitor WINNER!

For all those people who were a little uncertain about our banner comp, this is all it took to win. It is actually depressing that I have to give it to Russell Hinder.

Thanks to for their generous donation. People, there are more up for grabs throughout the playoffs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"The OT" Soon & Ready For Perth

I'm here (Perth) and DJ Rod was there (studio) but we managed to punch out an episode of "The OT" for our avid listeners. Hopefully it should be ready to download any minute now.

Tonight sees this year run to the NBL championship begin and me and my Crocs kick start it off here in Perth.

Yes, we have not looked like winning a game here in Perth all year, but we only need to win this one and all will be forgotten.

It is a elimination final so the season is over for the loser of this contest, while the winner will meet the South Dragons in a best of three semi final.

I believe we (Crocs) are ready to rock and roll. We came over here a day early (hence my lack of blogging) to give ourselves the best possible chance to prepare for the Wildcats.

There is a good feel amongst the group and it seems as though we are ready for a good performance. I guess we will find out at about 9.30pm if this feeling was correct.

Time for shoot around and last minute preparations (plus my half an hour allotted time at the Perth library has run out) so I have to run.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 1 of the Under 20 Champs

Ryan Broekhoff - my player of the day (POD) from the u/20 national champs.

I attended three of the four men's games today and they were all pretty much blow outs. The closest game of the day was the night cap which saw Western Australia take on South Australia. (all boxscores here)

What I learnt from this game is there is no second coming of Brett Maher in the near future for South Aussies and Rick Majerus will have Cody Ellis playing in a higher gear.

As this is the first time I have seen most of these kids play I will just comment on a few of the individuals that played through out the games.

Ryan Broekhoff: The star of the day. This Valparaiso bound guard has a genuine stroke from deep and he showed it from the minute he entered the building today.

He finished with 29pts on 11-14 shooting including 3-4 from deep.

I'm sure this guy may have been able to play at a bigger school but he would have only become a spot up shooter. By going to Valpo he will be able to work on becoming an all round player.

Jason Cadee (NSW): This kid has basketball in his blood. Both parents have played at the highest level in this country, so you know the kid has savvy.

He has the ability to work the pick and roll to perfection as he has the ability to knock down the three or make the pass to the big man rolling. I have yet to see any other kid who can run the pick and roll and look confident in pulling the trigger from deep.

I'll keep you up to date on how Cadee handles himself against the better opposition as the week progresses.

Shane Harris-Tunks (NSW): This big man will be attending Colorado next year where he will join fellow Aussie Nate Tomlinson in the Big 12 Conference.

Today was not much of a gauge as Oceania is getting used to playing at this level. Harris-Tunks needs to active on the glass if his team is to give this championship a shake.

Brock Motum: This Washington St signee looked effective without breaking a real sweat today. His 26pts and 8rebs came at an efficient clip (11/11 fg's).

I'm sure what has the Cougars coaching staff salivating is the trouble this 206cm power forward can create on the defensive end. His wing span looks a healthy one and at the top of a press he can cause trouble for many a point guard.

Rumour has it Motum has tied both mine and Steve Nash's free throw challenge. Only trouble is we need evidence big fella, otherwise it is just a rumour!

Mitchell Young: I know it is only one game, but I like what I saw and I'm sure St Mary's and Randy Bennett will love him to.

This rock solid power forward is not fancy, but just has a knack of getting the job done. His 20pts and 9rebs is just 20 minutes support my argument well.

I will get a better read on his ability when Queensland and Victoria go at it.

Jorden Page: Another Aussie joining AIS II aka St Mary's. I can see where he will fit in with the Gaels fast paced offense. When Page gets it, he is gone.

I'm sure Bennett will harness a little of Page's game as he had 4 to's and 1 assist against an ACT defense that did not scare my 4yo son.

He has speed and you cannot teach that, but he will need to work on his ability to control the tempo for his team better.

Matthew Dellavedova: While I'm on my St Mary's run, I will comment on Dellavedova.

He plays composed and under control all the time and coaches love that. He has a good feel for the game and always found the open man whether in transition or in a half court set.

It will surprise me if this kid does not have a solid college career. I will watch with interest during the tournament to see how his jump shot looks.

Cody Ellis: St Louis bound Ellis had a lazy 21pts and 12 rebs and 7to's today. I never witnessed him getting out of a jog and he hit the big baskets when his team needed a little buffer. Enjoy this while you can Cody.

Rick Majerus, the guy you are going to play for, will have you running to class let alone at practice.

Ellis has a great feel for the game and at times played a power point role when South Australia went to a half court press. But at times he was very loose with the ball which reflects in his 7 to's.

My message to him would be, you need to snap out of this and play at a higher intensity level all the time otherise you will be spending a lot of extra time with Mr Majerus.

I need to see Ellis up against some legit size and competition to make an honest evaluation though.

Matt Hodgson: The Southern Utah bound Queenslander will become a monster on the boards. Listed a 6-10" and a wing span to match he will become quite an intimidator on defense.

When the Maroons went to a zone today and he stretch out those wings it seemed like the keyway was armed.

Solid pick up by the small Utah School.

Liam McInerny: This workman like 6-7" power forward will be attending Stetson next year.

Not as talented as Young but in a similar mold. He has a nose for the ball around the basket and has no trouble finishing. Seems to play well within himself, something that coaches love about these types of players.

Let me know if there is anyone else you would like me to scout. I will be heading out there next on Thursday. Until then I have my own game against the Perth Wildcats to worry about.

All In A Day

Well, this morning I head to practice knowing what lies ahead for the Crocodiles.

We are heading to Perth for a single elimination final on Wednesday night. The winner of this game gets a chance at minor premiers the South Dragons in a three game series.

Also filling in my day today is the National u/20 championships here in Townsville. I will be attending as many games as possible and then giving a daily report on the talent on hand.

Better get to practice so I'm ready to take on the Wildcats come Wednesday.

Friday, February 13, 2009

News and Notes

If you want to tune into the Melbourne/Perth game, click here.

Campbell and Sav got to finish their careers in Wollongong off in style.

Here's some news to kick start your Saturday.

- Let's take a look at some of the stories that centred around the Wollongong Hawks playing there very last home game at the 'Sand Pit".

Hawks leave fans with lasting impression. They defeat the Adelaide 36ers. boxscore

Hawks Mat Campbell and Glen Saville to receive honour.

877 games later, and it's all over for the Hawks.

- Newcastle just going to have a look at NBL meeting.

- If you want to keep a close eye on the Melbourne Tigers clash with the Perth Wildcats, click here and you should be able to listen to the Saturday night contest.

- Sydney Spirit donate their final pay to the fire victims. Well done boys.

- Local kid could make it hard for the Perth Wildcats to taste victory against the Melbourne Tigers.

- Gold Coast Blaze import Luke Whitehead talks about his hot rebounding of late.
- Bleacher Report gives us his top ten draft classes from the NBA.

- Shane Heal is ready to coach his daughters.

Just throwing out ideas for the new NBL marketing department.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tough Weekend For A Few Crocs

Read more to find out which Crocs were in this situation.

The past weekend held some interesting revelations for the Crocs as a team and for a few of us individually.

The weekend started off with a bang after a fantastic win over the league leading South Dragons. The taste of victory was soured, however by the loss of Kelvin Robertson for the remainder of the season to a knee injury. Last I heard, Kel is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his ACL on Thursday.

Avid Croc fans will understand how important this guy is to our team. Kelvin can open up a game by coming in and dropping a couple of long range bombs in a matter of minutes or with his sheer speed. He has the uncanny ability to cause oppositions headaches from the bench when he finds his rhythm.

On a personal level, watching a teammate go down with an injury of this type is never easy. From a team standpoint, losing Kel at this stage of the season is equally as difficult.

Obviously we seem to have picked things up as a team in the last few weeks and everyone looked to have discovered what he needed to do to get us over the line. We had found a bit of momentum at what appeared to be just the right time and were ready to make some noise heading into the playoffs.

Something about not having Kel come along for the ride just doesn’t seem right.

On a lighter note, however. Other members of the team ran into some rather unfortunate obstacles this weekend, it would appear.

Unless you have been in a coma for the past month, you would be aware of just how much rain has been around town. Any sensible person would also know that a bit of extra care would be required behind the wheel of a car, especially at night.

If what I am hearing through the grape vine is true, assistant coach Rohan Short may have some further explaining to do. I have it on good authority that Shorty was seen pushing his car in his jocks out of a large pool of water on Saturday night somewhere near Murray stadium.

Hmmm,…Who would have guessed that there may be a little water on the road?

Just wait,…there is more. Just a matter of hours after Shorty’s car was removed from the scene, Daniel Egan came driving along the same stretch and it was like Groundhog Day all over again.

Apparently Coach neglected to pass on the news of the potential water hazard to the rest of the team out at the stadium.

Unfortunately for Daniel, a local television crew was there to catch him pushing his car to dry land. And from the footage I saw, he managed to keep his pants on while throughout the event, unlike Short.

Now even someone as relentless and unforgiving as myself does understand that things like this can happen to even the best of us, especially on the dark streets around Murray Stadium. But I did have to ask one question,… “Is it coincidence that both these guys are Victorian,”? Food for thought.

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"The OT" Early Edition

Due to my road game against the Melbourne Tigers, "The OT" has been recorded a little earlier this week. Hope you like the sound of that.

This week our guest is Wollongong Hawk legend Glen Saville. He drops by and talks about the Hawks last game, who has dunked on him the best, where Dwayne Wade actually hit him during the Olympic Games and why he groped a mascot at a recent Hawks home game.

Also in this episode we discuss the hot topics around the league and another coach drops by "The OT".


Monday, February 9, 2009

My All Surprise Team

Just a random picture. EJ Rowland in pink. Only in Germany!

As we head into the last round of the regular season, I'm just casting my mind back to what I would not have thought possible at the start of the season.

Here are five guys I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams of having the type of season they did.

Top of the list is Adelaide 36ers Luke Schenscher. The former Georgia Tech centre is averaging close to 11 rebounds per contest. I can believe this part but the most surprising to me is the 17 points per game.

I just felt the NBL style and pace would have created problems for the big red head but after a sluggish start to the season, the 36ers found a way to utilize his much improved touch around the basket.

If you want to be critical at all about his game, you would think at 216cms he may give you a little more than 1.5 blocks per 32 minutes on court.

At the end of the day Schenscher has produced so well I believe he will poll ok in the MVP race.

Anthony Petrie finds his way onto this team because of his workman like attitude towards the game. (Plus anyone from Tenterfield has done well to get this far.)

Petrie has improved in all statistical categories this season but it was his defensive effort on Cairns Taipan Martin Cattalini that really caught my attention.

Petrie had the task of shutting the offensive minded Cattalini down on this particular night. He did more than that. He had Catt-Man thinking more about the one on one battle than what was best for the team.

Besides the "D" Petrie was providing he was efficient on offense and keeping Cattalini busy at his defensive end of the floor.

I believe he will find himself on another team in the near future. His 12 points and 7 rebounds won't hurt his cause either.

Cairns enigmatic centre Ian Crosswhite has surprised me over the past six weeks. There is no way I thought he would ever average a double double over any period of time.

Well Mr Crosswhite proved me wrong. Since Larry Abney, Dave Thomas and Stephen Black have moved on, he has averaged 15 and 10.

He picks his spots and his awkward left hand can cause opposing centres trouble on most nights.

I will have to eat humble pie on this one. Who will pick him up for next season?

Now to a guard. South Dragon Rhys Carter has performed the back up point guard spot for the minor premiers very well.

Carter has always shown he has flair for the game but I think coach Brian Goorjian has finally harnessed a little of this so his play is solid more times than erratic. This shows in his reduced number of turnovers.

At West Sydney he was a turnover waiting to happen as he forced the action too much for my liking. Now he has a respectable 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.

Now to really win me over he needs to do this for a few seasons in a row.

Last to get the nod is a guy who only got to play half a season, Greg Vanderjagt.

Here is a guy that could not catch a cold in Townsville, but on the Gold Coast he finished everything around the basket. His 60% field goal shooting will support that. Also the big giraffe hauled in 7 rebounds to go with his 11 points in just 19 minutes of playing time.

He went that well that the owner of the Gold Coast Blaze has commented that the only players safe for next year are captain James Harvey and Vanderjagt.

That's a great endorsement to have along with a spot on my team.

There you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. Do you agree with my selections? Leave a comment and let me know your choice.
You Tube of the Day - Kelvin Robertson Done.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kobe vs LeBron

Over the past week New York Knick fans have witnessed two of the best performances ever on their home floor, the famous Madison Square Garden. The only trouble was neither performance was from one of their own.

First it was Kobe Bryant that lit them up for a record setting 61 points, beating Bernard King's old mark of 60. King's record has stood for 24 years.

Two nights later, enter LeBron James. Lebron dropped 52 on the Knicks as J-Zay watched his buddy destroy the Big Apple's team.

To go along with his half century of points, James was originally credited with a triple double (52pts, 11asts, 10rebs). No one since Kareem Abdul-Jabber in 1975 had recorded a TD which included dropping 50 plus points.

Later, the tape was reviewed and James was no credited with the triple double. His final rebound in the dying seconds has since been rewarded to Ben Wallace.

Both performances are worthy of the attention they have generated but I believe that Kobe's is the better performance.

Sure, I'm a little bias towards Kobe, but he set a record. This was the best scoring performance ever at the famed MSG.

Here are some highlights of both efforts. Let me know which one you think is worthy of top billing.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cane Toad Becomes A Hinder-ence

Read below to find out who is intimidated with this creature.

Wow! That is about the only word I have to describe what would appear to be our final encounter with the Cairns Taipans.

The game certainly had the home fans buzzing and has led to some interesting conversations around town.

No, I have never seen someone ejected that fast in a game before. Taipans big man Ian Crosswhite exploded in the face of an official within the first ninety seconds of the game and spent the remainder of the game in the Taipans locker room.

If nothing else it set the tone for the remainder of the game. From that point on, the crowd was on edge and looking for more.

Surprisingly it took until the third quarter to see some more fireworks. This time it was a lopsided scuffle between strongman Rosell Ellis and Cairns guard Dwayne Vale.

There is nothing terribly unusual about a little pushing and shoving. What got exciting in this one was the involvement of the non-players.

One young floor wiper became embedded in the brawl like the meat in a sandwich.
And some of our corporate members got a little closer to the action than they bargained for when this may lay spilled over into a baseline box under on the end line. I had never seen so many people try and save a food platter.

Interestingly enough, I may or may not have seen Cowboys forward Carl Webb actually drop his platter and begin slowly edging towards the court, but that is another story for another day.

I cannot tell you how many people made comment after the game about how basketball could use more action and passion like this to get the fans pumped and excited.

I can’t say that I agree that we need to see it night in/ night out, but it was good to see a little fervor from my team mates, especially against the Taipans.

I also had to have a quiet chuckle to myself when I saw the photo used in Monday’s game report.

In a nutshell, it would appear that while the rest of us had each other’s backs and the battle was erupting, Russell Hinder went ahead and made sure that the ball was in safe hands and clear from any potential danger.

I was not at all surprised to see this moment caught on film. You see, Hinder and his family are regular guests in our home. And it just so happened that recently at the end of an evening of North Queensland hospitality, Rillie style, we tried to send Rusty around the corner with the rubbish for the bin at the side of the house.

“Rusty what’s the matter”, I asked when he returned with a look of terror on his face, rubbish still in hand.

“JR I’m not taking this (rubbish) up the side of your house”, he replied.

“What happened?” I shot back at him.

“There are cane toads up there,” he nervously stuttered.
Don’t worry Rusty,…next time the skinny kid from Toowoomba’s got your back.

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


- Rosell Ellis has copped a $750 fine for his behaviour against the Cairns Taipans, while both Dwayne Vale and Ian Crosswhite got off their charges.

- In a blow for the New Zealand Breakers, Kirk Penney will miss the team's vital road double this weekend. The NBL's leading scorer jarred a knee during practice earlier in the week.

- Perth Wildcat centre Paul Rogers is out for the remainder of the season. Rogers who has been battling injury all year made the decision so the Wildcats can re-activate former St Mary's Gael Adam Caporn.

- A great read about Wollongong Hawk Glen Saville and his career in the Gong.

- James Harvey and Greg Vanderjagt are safe on the Gold Coast.

- Ratepayers to help out Taipans cause?

- Cairns Taipan Martin Cattalini keeps his team's slim playoff hopes alive.

- Basketball's Meltdown

- My own piece of gossip. Look for Joey Wright to be back coaching in the NBL next season.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Brad Newley Joins Us On "The OT"

Click on the logo to download the episode.

The latest episode of "The OT" has landed. Brad Newley joins us from Greece. He tells us about the European way to play the game and how he hopes to join the Houston Rockets, sooner rather than later.

Besides Newley, we look at this week's games and discuss all the hot topics around the NBL.

May Be My Last Blog For A While

We are now 24 hrs on from this photo and the sign is submerged in water now. HELP!

Over the past 48hrs Townsville has seen ran like it hasn't seen in years. The worst flooding in 30 years to be exact.

So I have been surfing the net for a few hours since Rod and I finished our latest edition of "The OT" (will be available sometime tomorrow) but I thought I will provide you with all the latest hoop news before I head to bed.

Who knows what the story will be when I wake in the morning or start floating down the river during the night. (See video for evidence, I'm not storytelling for once.)

I'll see you when I see you, but until then enjoy the news.

- Crocs players involved in incident.

- Ian Crosswhite, Dwayne Vale and Rosell Ellis to face NBL Tribunal.

- You can stick a fork in the Hawks now. More on the situation.

- Cairns are building momentum in trying to stay alive, but they need a little more help.

- James Harvey of the Gold Coast Blaze is the NBL's POW.

- NBL's podcast writes off the Crocs and everyone else besides the two Melbourne teams. Anyone surprised by this?

Hope I'm back in contact with you guys tomorrow, otherwise see you when I'm dry.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Where To Now For Players

Will the Wildcats become interested in Cats instant offense?

The playoffs are just around the corner and we already know what six teams will make up the playoff picture. So, I thought it was time to breakdown the fate of the players who are on those rosters (Cairns, Sydney and Wollongong) that are 99.9% sure they will gone when the new league tips off sometime in October later this year.

I'll writing this as if there will be eight teams in the new competition.

Let's put the Cairns personnel under the microscope.

Guys that will not struggle to pick up a new contract.

Martin Cattilini has already stated that he will be pulling up stumps in the north and heading back home to the west. The question here is, will the Perth Wildcats want him?

I cannot see how they would not want him on their roster. I can see Catt coming of the bench and providing instant offence for the franchise that gave him his first dollar in pro sport.

Ian Crosswhite has been absolutely great for the Taipans (18pts and 11rebs)since their roster become depleted.

Crosswhite is a big body and there are not too many of them floating around at the moment. He is a lock for a contract, purely on size alone.

The situation will have to fit the team.

I will lump Darnell Mee, Aaron Grabau and Matt Smith into this group.

All these guys could add value to a roster but will they be happy moving to a new environment and possible role.

Mee and Grabau have been some of the better defenders in the league for their entire careers. There will be a team that will love the idea of adding a veteran defender to their playing group.

Just how many spots will be available will dictate how many of these guys get picked up.

Smith is rather intriguing for me. He is never flash but has the ability to be in the right spot at the right time. He always finds his way onto a roster. Can his knack of finding a roster spot continue?

The Youth

Kerry Williams has a bright future I believe. He has one of the best handles in the NBL and can get to the rim on anyone.

But, the kid needs to spend the off season working on his "J". Get into the gym and fire up 500 plus shots a day if you are serious kid.

Scott Cook and Dwayne Vale I feel are going to feel the pinch due to the reduced number of teams.

From my understanding both these guys work their butts off at practice and deserve all the court time they are getting rewarded with right now.

The harsh reality is, someone has to miss out.

As for Gary Boodnikoff, my understanding is he has numerous business opportunities happening around Cairns so I'm not sure if he's looking to move.

Sydney Spirit's turn under the microscope.

Guys that will not struggle to pick up a new contract.

Matt Knight has shown over the past ten games that he is a double-double guy. He has expressed interest in looking at Europe but Knight will have no problem finding a new home in Australia.

Jason Smith would get another contract but the question is, does he want to move his family around?

If Sydney gets a team Smith will remain put. Otherwise, I'm sure a team like the Dragons may become interested in the defensive minded veteran since he has shown no signs of his early season shoulder injury.

A question franchises will be asking themselves is, Smith or Grabau?

Damien Martin's phone will ring. Teams that are looking to improve would love to have this tough as nails guard on their roster.

Martin's stats are never going to blow you out of the water but this guy has a knack of coming up with the ball when it's most important. This skill will keep him on a roster for a number of years in the NBL.

These guys need to have a strong ABA season.

Former teammate Drew Williamson needs to go out and put up huge numbers with an ABA team if he is to convince someone to go with him. In truth Drew is a guy that does everything OK, but nothing great.

He needs to go and find a skill that separates him from the rest of the pack.

Greame Dann has all the natural talent under the sun but has not been able to take his game to a consistent level.

I'm sure coaches are starting to run out of patience (and hair).

Dann needs to learn to play with intensity all the time instead of when he wants. But is it too late?

The Rest

Everyone that has been a teammate of Tony Rampton says what a great guy he is. It seems that injury is catching up with the guy so I cannot see the Kiwi international in the league next year.

Clint Reed and David Gruber will become casualties of the new league.

Microscope time for the Wollongong Hawks.

Locks for a new deal.

Two time Olympian Glen Saville will have his suiters providing he wants to leave the sun and surf of the Gong.

I think Sav, like many other long serving players in the league, will have to decide whether they want to pack up and move teams or retire to the place where they want to live the rest of their life.

I'm guessing Sav would love to see a new Sydney team come into the competition.

The situation will have to fit the team.

Cameron Tragardh has shown over the last few seasons that he is more than capable of putting points on the board. He needs to find a team that requires this skill.

Anthony Petrie has been this year's big improver through my eyes. This hard working second year forward will have to pack his bags again if he wants to continue his pro career.

I see him becoming a Mika Vukona type with more offense in his repertoire.

Looking for a strong ABA season.

Rhys Martin and Lindsay Tait do not possess true point guard skills so they will need to produce something special in the offseason to catch a coach's eye.

Tait may fair ok if the Wellington franchise joins the new league as he is playing for them in the New Zealand NBL domestic league.

Tough times ahead.

Larry Davidson and Daniel Jackson will find it hard to go around again if the number of teams are reduced.

Davidson seems to be forever struggling with injury, while Jackson has not cashed in on his limited opportunities.

Caught between a rock and a hard place.

The mayor of Wollongong, Mat Campbell. "Soupy" has played his entire career with this club so you have to really feel for this guy in a time like this.

Campbell would help out a number of teams (see Smith and Grabau) but I'm guessing he does not want to pack his bags at this stage of his life.

Both imports, Dusty Rychart and Kavossy Franklin have served this league well but will probably get caught out in a numbers game.

I believe that Rychart is trying to get Australian citizenship. If his paperwork comes through it becomes a different ball game for him as the picture becomes a little more rosy.

This is one aspect of professional sport that is never good. A reduced number of teams means less jobs to go around.

Sometimes we all have to have a little reality check, the trouble is, it is getting close for everyone.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Global Coverage & News From Home

Can you help Mookie identify these Aussies?

While I have been busy draining some threes against our northern rivals, the Cairns Taipans, it has been impossible for me to keep up with everything that has been happening in our great sport.

To bring you up to speed, let's take a look at what other bloggers have found interesting.

- Mookie my man over at A Stern Warning is all over the NBA.

First he takes a look at the Los Angles Lakers and centre Andrew Bynum's injury that occurred today. How much will this hurt the Lakers chances of another title run.

Then he finds a ripper interview of Shaquille O'Neil with Stephen A Smith. As usual Shaq holds court and talks about himself and Kobe's relationship and how it's all "about the marketing baby".

Finally, there are a group of Aussie puntas (above) that Mookie is trying to track down. They have become stars on American TV. Let us know if you know any of these guys.

- The Basketball Professor takes a look at who will be filling the NBA All-Star benches.

- NBA Mate brings us up to speed with what is happening with the new Ch10 sports channel. Could it be possible we will see multiple games per week?

- With the NBA AllStar game not to far away from hitting Phoenix, The Sport Count us with their nine worst ever All Stars.

- "I was scared, man," said Nathan Jawai, the Raptors' seldom used forward. "I thought I was going to get fined [for being late]."

Click here to find out why Jawai felt he was going to be lighter in the pocket.

- After being stuck in Moscow for a few days early in the week, Brad Newley made it back to Greece as his team beat POAK.

- Here is a full menu of college scores from games played today. Check out how your favourite Aussie went today.

Now to NBL News

- Where have the Breakers gone? The local media is starting to ask questions about their team.

- "It was as hot as hell out there," Adelaide coach Scott Ninnis said.

Is Ninnis talking about the one time during the week he got out of his air conditioned office and tried to exercise? Find out here.

- Looking for the boxscores from the past weekend's action, click here.

- And yes, here is the ladder.

Rudy Gay Talks Dunks For All Star Game

Thanks to BDL I came against this footage. Classic stuff I you ask me.

Rudy Gay tries to get a little help from his friends in deciding how he will woo the crowd during this year's All Star Dunk Contest in Phoenix.

It's a little after the fact, but the Cairns/Townsville rivalry saw some big statements being made by all before the game tipped off. Good to see boys.