Thursday, September 17, 2009

Five I Watch With Interest

John Gilchrist cannot afford to be a zero for the Adelaide 36ers.

The 2009/10 NBL season is only a week away. Like any season there is always speculation about what will happen and who will emerge as the champion.

Here are five players I'm going to watch with interest throughout the season.

1. Cameron Tragardh (Wollongong Hawks) - The preseason MVP is looking the goods, but is he ready to elevate his game to a new level this season?

The former Most Improved winner has his body in the best shape I have seen it, ever, so this will only help as he strives to be a consistent night in, night out player.

There is no doubt the QABL Player of the Year has plenty of confidence going into this Hawks campaign. Averaging a Kobe Bryant like 42 points per outing to go along with a Michael Cage like 14 rebounds, Tragardh seems primed for a great season.

Helping his cause is the addition of Wollongong legend Gordie McLeod to the sideline. McLeod's motion style offense plays to the strengths of "Trigger's" arsenal at the offensive end.

What I actually believe is the biggest help to Tragardh's cause is the lose of Dusty Rychart to the Cairns Taipans. Tragardh no longer has to look over his shoulder for solid playing time. This situation gives a player confidence in knowing that they are required to perform at a high level if the team is to reach any worthwhile goal.

MVP may be a little stretch for the Brisbane native, but I'm looking for the scoring machine to have an impact on the upcoming season.

2. Jesse (
Kendall) Wagstaff (Perth Wildcats) - One of two guys who I think will compete for the Rookie of the Year award, Wagstaff has come onto the NBL scene after a solid college career at Metro St in the USA. (Same school that produced Melbourne Tiger pairing of Luke Kendall and Mark Worthingon.)

The 3/4 man is very active and shows a good nose for the ball at both ends of the floor.

I have only seen the kid play three games but he plays with energy and a pose that will see him have nights where he looks like a seasoned pro. (Sure there will be those rookie nights.)

Heading west Wagstaff will get an education everyday at Wildcats practice as he goes against Olympians Martin Cattilini and Shawn Redhage.

Coach Rob Beveridge loves what the kid is about and so do I. Look for the Canberra junior to be around the mark when the ROY is announced.

3. Second Fiddle Croc (Townsville Crocodiles) - Point guard Corey Williams will always accumulate his stats and win some games on his sheer determination but the bigger question for the Crocs, who becomes the next best consistent option.

If you look through the roster, it is full of players that have been asked to perform a particular "role" over their career. (I hate to use the word role because everyone has a role to play within the team, but I know you understand what I'm saying here.)

Now there is an opportunity for someone to grasp with two hands and run with it.
Peter Crawford or Michael Cedar are the obvious choice to me to ride shotgun with "Homicide", but these two guys are going to be battling each other for court time. Tough gig right there.

Crawford comes back to the Crocs after a holiday with the Perth Wildcats for the past five years and there is an expectation placed upon "PC". With a disrupted preseason due to national team commitments it may take Crawford a little time to settle back in at home.

Cedar has been performing at a high level over the preseason but the majority of his minutes have been a the point guard position. With the return of Williams from a "mystery" illness and Kelvin Robertson slowly regaining his confidence from a long term knee injury, Cedar will slide back to his natural two guard position.

For the Crocs to reach the playoffs this year they will need someone to be able to step up on a nightly basis and become Robin to Williams' Superman.

Who will it be? That is the money question if the Crocs are to advance in the playoffs this season.

4. Tim Coenraad (Wollongong Hawks) - My other favourite for the Rookie of the Year award. This Queensland product returns from a
college experience at Nova Southeastern University where he averaged 13.3 pts and led his team with 85 assists his senior year.

The 6'7 small forward will see some minutes at the four spot as well.

After seeing him perform in Darwin what I liked was the swagger he played with or as one coach told me, "Tim always plays with a chip on his shoulder."

I love that and that is why he will surprise a lot of people this year.

Look out, this kid will have a very productive NBL career. Think a cross between Shawn Redhage and Kent Lockhart.

5. John Gilchrist (Adelaide 36ers) - The new kid on the block has been thrown the keys to drive the 36ers back to prominence. The former Maryland product has been impressive during the preseason but now we are playing for keeps, so lets see what he's got.

I was a fan of the aggressive point guard during his college days under Gary Williams and he has shown he is capable of dropping a triple double on your in a heartbeat.

To date, how Gilchrist goes, so do the 36ers.

Sure, Adam Ballinger and Cortez Groves will explode for huge numbers on certain nights, but it will be Gilchrist's level of play that dictates where the Sixers end up on the ladder.

If he is a consistent performer, I believe the Sixers are top four material, otherwise they fall back to the pack just like so many teams this year.

**Thank you readers for picking up on my cartoon reference mishap. As many of you pointed out, it should read Batman and Robin, not Superman. I was never one for cartoons as I was too busy working on my "J" early on a Saturday morning.


Mick Dundee said...

"For the Crocs to reach the playoffs this year they will need someone to be able to step up on a nightly basis and become Robin to Williams' Superman."

Don't you mean "Batman", JR?

Anonymous said...

You were never the Crocs Batman rillie. you simply were the invisible woman last season.

Myrtle Beach Golf said...

Nice blog. The updation on this blog in good.

DJ Rod said...

Rangas 4 LIFE!.

RealSlimSHADY(not that clintdogg dude) said...

Once you get to 1000 views on any of your videos let me know.
Until then.....

ClintDogg said...

This is the REAL CLINT DOGG little kids.

Nice try tho.

ClintDogg said...

RealSlimSHADY(not that clintdogg dude) you should CHECK SOME OF MY OTHER VIDEOS on youtube, way over 1000 veiws.

Nice try again.

J-Foxxx said...

Ay YO guys Im blacker than ClingDogg easy....

DJ Rod said...

I LOVE Clint Dogg.

I viewed his vids.
I do this all the time.

J-Foxxx said...

This is the real J-Foxx here. Stop trying to be me, you wish.

DJ Rodd said...

Ok, give it up guys.

Now, back tot he Rangas!.

ClintDogg said...


Hi Rangas.

J-Foxxx said...

Clint my ball itch come over please. I been calling you all night.

ClintDogg said...

Ok ill be right there, can I give it tonight cause taking it all the time is taking its toll. Thanks
Until then......

JAOnFire said...

Site Updated.

Mick Dundee said...

Haha. ClintDogg your videos are hilarious.

I love the persona/character you've come up with: an aging, balding, bitter NBL fan that holds twenty year grudges and thinks working for an NBL club is a "big deal", hanging around in your dilapidated house with your fat, ball-scratching compadre, making home videos about NBL posters. It's like something straight out of a comedy.

I love the rapping too. Again, hilarious.

That film clip of you driving around rapping was great, DJ-ing at some party with five people in someone's backyard under a tarp. Again, great. I love how you even beeped out the swear words, as if that song would actually be played on radio and require censorship.

You are a comedic talent. I love the depth of the humor, how it seems like you're actually being serious in parts, as if someone that sad and pathetic could actually exist in real life. I love layered comedy. You should definitely get a sitcom.

JAOnFire said...

Thats not a Knife, this is a Knife!.

ClintDogg said...

Mick Dundee needs to post his real name.

The swear word were bleeped out probably CAUSE IT WAS PLAYED ON Radio dickhead!. lol.

Please post your videos and clips to your original songs, so I can compare them to mine.

Until then............

p.s. my knowledge on the NBL is alot better than yours since I have dealt/worked with an NBL club unlike some, I 'd expect a reply like that from a "fan" or someone who has no clue and clearly has not worked or dealt with an NBL club.

JAOnFire said...

JAOnFire said...

check this link out too -

Anonymous said...

the Invisible Woman... ha ha you took it off JR!

Anonymous said...

the Invisible Woman... ha ha you took it off JR!