My boys Haggard and R-Diddy over at Can't Buy A Basket deserve to have this type of stuff published everywhere.
Well done boys and the cheques in the mail.
Here is what they had to say about the upcoming season for the Townsville Crocodiles.
"The Crocs made a hard hitting decision to axe sharp-shooter John Rillie and the tall Daniel Egan merely hours after the new league was established. The decision to let Rillie go was surprising. Sure the guy is 38, but the guy was their captain, a great inspirational leader on the court, shot well and carries his team into the second round of the playoffs against the highly touted Wildcats in last years finals series, he probably had another season or 2 in him even possibly in a diminished but team leader role . The Crocs will miss his ability to rack up points but the blogging community will benefit from a known identity being able to devote more time pumping their knowledge and thoughts into cyberspace.
Townville made the smart decision to retain import point guard Corey Williams. Williams with his stocky structure , addictive bravado and former landing strip haircut is one of the most recognisable players on the court. Whilst Corey is at his strongest in his high energy game taking the ball to the hole and drawing contact CBAB believe he earned his nickname ‘Homicide’ through his ability to kill his own game averaging almost as many turnovers (4.3 per game) as assists (4.4 per game), his lousy 3 point shooting (20%) and ordinary free throw shooting (63%, 149 from 236 last season). When you get to the line as often as Corey (7 attempts per game) it pays to be able to hit them. While "Homicide" has shown he has gradually been able to develop at least a semi reliable medium range J, does he have the beyond the arc range to cause defences to guard him closer rather than back off and try to stop his dribble penetration.
Rolan Roberts will fill the other import slot that Rosell Ellis occupied. Fans will probably remember Rolan as the guy that hurt his arm in the slam dunk competition and subsequently walked out on his contract stating that he was owed many months worth of salary. Roberts brings a type of athleticism that is rarely seen in the NBL but has father time taken it's toll and will Rolan have enough left in the tank to produce the numbers expected of him . He can bang away in a power game then jump over his opponent , well that's what we remember of him anyway, but has father time given his athleticism a good old spanking, we will find out soon into the season . Roberts will be a hard one for the other teams to match up with if he is even a glimpse of the player he was when he was doing his last Tour De NBL .
Russell Hinder counts his fansBig man Russell Hinder returns and nobody could really care, the big Hinderance will still be around throwing elbows and grabbing crotches for the 09/10 season. While a servicable big man Rusty has been a little over rated in his years due to Boomers selection in lean years where other players were not available. He will provide good minutes but needs to keep his brain in order and body parts off other teams players, Stephen Hoare would seem to demand alot of the minutes Rusty previously had but the big goose can still give solid numbers when needed.
Role players Cameron Tovey and Brad Williamson will continue with their business as usual types of game. Tovey shows glimpses of being a good basketball player and then he’ll let his mind wander , he also really really needs to work on his free throw shooting, he had some very forgetable moments at the line in season 08/09 . If Tovey can concentrate in greater stretches he could have an impact on this roster. Williamson has shown he can hit the three ball, but is it enough to replace John Rillie? CBAB don't really think you can replace JR with anybody but you can always try.
The Townsville admin rallied hard to get veteran Stephen Hoare signed. Hoare has been the definition of ‘role player’ whilst he was a Tiger and gave a little bit of everything. He battles hard for rebounds, will dive on the floor for a loose ball, has a consistent jumpshot , he is the consumate role player with a great basketball IQ, his addition can only be a good thing for the Crocs as he will now get more minutes in the rotation to show just how much he is worth . After being the benchmark as a role player for many seasons how will his role change at his new club? Will he be able to stand up should his role increase? CBAB believes he was the ability and the head to do so. Can he be a star? No, Can he be solid? Yes.
A couple of ex-Wildcats head east. Peter Crawford will most likely be starting for the Crocs. PC brings a wealth of basketball knowledge and experience and the Crocs will be able to use his tight outside defence and three point range. The only criticism is we would like to see PC take the ball to the hoop a little more and not rely on running off screens and camping outside. Jeff Dowdell followed PC over east and CBAB would like to see how Dowdell is used on the Crocs Roster. CBAB think he was over utilised as a Cat and has no game that can translate into efficient NBL level minutes, he is still considered a young player but a perimeter shooting tweener at best.
What they Need: John Rillie’s axing leaves the biggest hole in the team. They have bought in other players that can hit the three, but who will be able to hit them win it matters late in the game. Rillie had a knack at hitting clutch shots. When looking at this roster you don’t see anyone that can do that.Adding Hoare to the frontline doesn't hurt them at all as last season they were very shallow on big man depth, it seems that is the case again this year but at least they have other players who can at least step into the void rather than just plain having a void, size it seems is the only tool lacking at the crocs.
The Crocs fans are loud and passionate and always filling their arena. For this reason its hard to win in Townsville. The Crocs success will lie in their ability to win on the road.
The Crocs have some good basketballers. Williams, Roberts, Crawford and Hoare can all play at a high level. How will they gel? Can two large personalities like Williams and Roberts coexist? You knew that with Ellis you had a team player that didn’t crave the limelight. Is Homicide prepared to share it this season , if not will that then make it a suicide instead?
The obvious question is what will they get form their next tier players. If players such as Tovey, Hinder, Robertson, Williamson and Dowdell can take a step up the Crocodiles could be competitive; but is that likely to happen? Probably not. Expect the Crocs to make the playoffs but not go beyond the first round and push for the finals. "