Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rumble In The Jungle

There was a little bit of "handbags at 10 paces" for the boys after the Gold Coast Blaze inflicted the Perth Wildcats with their first home loss of the season.

Former Wildcats Chris Goulding and James Harvey "saluted" the Perth faithful, while Wildcat Stephen Weigh (he is on report) took offense to the antics displayed by the Blaze pair.

No doubt the question looms, "is this good for the sport?"

I did find it amusing that Blaze manager "Big Joe" was helping break up the melee with a t-shirt that read, "get in the game!".

I would love to hear your thoughts after you have watched to footage.

Pat Mills Interview

Pat Mills was in attendance at a recent NBL game and he lends his time for an interview with the Wollongong Hawks media department.

He talks about where he fits in the Portland Trailblazers plans, talks about dunking on Kobe Bryant and Chris Bosh (well maybe) and supporting the NBL.

Jones Jr To Hoop It Up On The Gold Coast?

Roy Jones Jr may return to Australia to play hoops.
Roy Jones Jr is in Australia to fight Danny Green, but the do-everything-athlete has suggested he may come back next year to play some hoops on the Gold Coast.

Is this a case of a boxer pumping up his own tyres right before he climbs into the ring for another bout or does this statement carry some validity?

Jones Jr has played semi professional hoops in the States before and has even played in a game then gone and fought. You have to give him some credit for this unique combination.

I'm really not to sure what to think out this. It might be a great promotion for the game, but my money is on a one on one contest between Jones Jr and Anthony "The Man" Mundine.

I can see it now. Surfers Paradise, on the beach, bikini clad women everywhere and two of the greatest showmen ever, battling it out on a temporarily built hardwood floor beachside.

I will take Mundine in this contest as I have seen his hooping skills first hand.

Who you got?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wasting My Night Away

Well the Townsville Crocodiles and the Adelaide 36ers have just got underway. The only way for me to keep track of this game is through the live stats on the NBL website. So, to fill in my time in between "live" updates, I will link all articles that I read during this time.

- Australian basketball is not the only place finding it hard to get the required dollars necessary to start a new franchise. Southland in New Zealand are on the clock, in their quest to join the New Zealand NBL next season.

- Cairns Taipans were inconsistent against the mighty New Zealand Breakers.

- In case you have not heard, the NBL has come down heavily on the Melbourne Tigers after a courtside incident in last week's game at The Cage.

- "The Roar" blog gives us their option on how the Fox Sports television deal is impacting the sport.

Crocs up 18-15 at quarter time. Rolan Roberts has 7rebs for the Crocs.

- Gold Coast Blaze young gun Chris Goulding (Got it confirmed this week the "u" is silent so the Fox commentators are right in their pronunciation of "Golding".) has a whole lot of self belief.

- Boti Nagy weighs (not Stephen) in on the Heal/Groves saga. Here is some of the commentary that took place.

- Is the Cairns Taipans budget in trouble?

- The Wollongong Hawks are to do some "soul searching" before they head across the ditch next week.

- Another youngster ditches basketball for AFL shot.

- "They have some good ball-shooters like (Nathan) Herbert", Townsville Crocodiles Head Coach Trevor Gleeson tells the Townsville Bulletin as they prepare for the Adelaide 36ers tonight.

Crocs by nine at the half, 46-37. Crawford 14, Williams 12 for the Crocs.

- The Gonzaga Bulldogs headed to Hawai outside of the NCAA Top 25. After returning to the mainland as winners of the Maui Invitational, serious consideration must now be due.

- Check out Melbourne Tigers forward Mark Worthington and his "new edition".

- D2 Alaska-Anchorage defeated D1 school Nicholls St, 72-58. Besides being considered a huge upset, there where six Aussies in this game.

Crocs up ten at 3/4 time. Crawford 21, Williams 16 for the Crocs.

Charles Barkely and Jimmy Kimmel discuss losing weight.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Hawks View From A Different Angle

The Wollongong Hawks are trying to get creative in the way they market and make their team available to all media avenues.

Here is a look at what can happen during a game at the "Sand Pit".

Wollongong Hawks Vs Adelaide 36ers 251109 Canon 7D from Laww Media on Vimeo.

AI Retires, Pat Mills Siting

This just in. The greatest NBA pound for pound player Allen Iverson has retired.

In other NBA news, the Portland Trailblazers Pat Mills was a fan at last nights NBL game between the Wollongong Hawks and Adelaide 36ers. Below is a interview that Fox Sports Shane Heal had with Mills at the game.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crocs Hurtin'

It seems someone within the Townsville Crocodiles camp has either walked under a ladder or ran over a black cat.

Kelvin Robertson's Road To Recovery

Townsville Crocodile Kelvin Robertson suffered a severe season ending knee injury during the 2008/09 season. Robertson worked hard during the offseason so he could be ready ahead off schedule and in time for this season's tip off.

Check out the interview. (Beware, there is Kelvin Robertson humour in the video.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pull The Trigger - The Fully, Massive, Bloody Oath Episode

Episode 5 of "Pull The Trigger" has arrived. Now being honest, it is not my favourite episode but don't let me be the judge of Cameron Tragardh's line of thought.

Check out his poor impersonation of Matt Campbell, while Glen Saville seems to have refereeing as a career path in the near future.

The funniest part of PTT for me was (look around the 6-7min mark) when Tragardh's gag got no response from a punter. He was trying the old tap on the shoulder trick, but looked rather perplexed when he got no response from the young lad. You can see the look on Trigger's face as if to say "why aren't you turning around".

Trigger, you need to tap them on the shoulder, not the backpack strap.

One Hawks fan was not happy with Townsville Crocodiles Corey "Homicide" Williams performance in the Gong, not so long ago.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hoops Hot News

Click on the sweet 'do to the left to see other stylish locks of NBL players created by some artistic guys from the west. By the way boys, the wife loved the Vanilla Ice look.

- Yes, he's back. The NBL's MVP will be back on court this week. I can vouch for it as I spent my morning chasing him around at practice. Kirk Penney will be back in uniform when the New Zealand Breakers take on the Cairns Taipans this Thursday night.

I'm looking forward to teaming up with one of the premier perimeter players in the league.

- Adelaide 36ers Head Coach believes his team is nearly back to full strength which will allow him to go with his preferred starting line up.

- Melbourne Tigers franchise player Mark Worthington feels it is time for his team to "rip people's heads off". Read all his words here in the Herald Sun.

- Are the Cairns Taipans back after going 2-0 this past week?

- Gold Coast Blaze CEO Dave Claxton is calling the come from behind win, the best in the club's brief history.

- The Townsville Crocodiles are fired up about the officiating.

- Brad Newley continues to put up impressive numbers in Turkey. Although his team lost a close contest, Newley dropped in 33 points. He went 7-10 from down town. Newley is currently the 7th (17.8pts) leading scorer in the Turkish league and his team sits in 3rd place with a 4-2 record.

- Joe Ingles was solid with a 9 point, 6 rebound effort in his teams blow out win in Spain.

- Matt Nielsen had 10&5 as his Valencia ball club had a solid win.

- NCAA D1 Aussie performer of the day is Gold Coast native Christian Salecich. He helped lead the St Louis Billikens over Kennesaw St Owls 76-66.

Salecich finished with 15pts, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.

Fellow Aussie Cody Ellis should be joining him after the semester.

Check out this shot of the day by Kobe!

Hodge Responds

Julius Hodge thinks he is the male version of Anna Kournikova. Somehow I cannot see him pulling of a Speedo like this.

Melbourne Tiger import Julius Hodge has responded to the recent blog posted by former Adelaide teammate Brad Davidson.

Hodge down played the blog entry but responded on with a comment regarding Davidson's comparison of Julius with tennis glam girl Anna Kournikova.

He is what he had to say via

"She's very beautiful and I would like to give a thanks to Brad cause he did know that by far I am the most handsome teammate he's ever had. So, cheers mate."

Somewhere in Adelaide Rupert Sapwell is shaking his head in disbelief at this quote.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crocs/Breakers Press Conference

Here is video footage from the Townsville Crocodiles/New Zealand Breakers press conference.

Crocs Head Coach Trevor Gleeson talks about early foul to key members of his team.

Meanwhile, Breakers coach Andrej Lemanis talks about a team contribution which allowed his Kiwi team to taste success on the road for the first time this year.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is Hodge A Good Fit?

Julius Hodge should probably be in the gym working on his jump shot instead of the beach if you ask former teamate Brad Davidson.

I've been surfing the net this morning just checking out all things basketball and this Brad Davidson blog entry is by far the most interesting read I found.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist talks about his relationship with new Melbourne Tiger Julius Hodge during their time together as teammates at Adelaide.

I will let you decide for yourself and come to your own conclusions, but it would be interesting to here from a Melbourne Tiger (hey Wortho, in between beers, give us a blog on Hodge) to see if Hodge has painted a different picture in Melbourne, than the impression he has left in Adelaide.

Here is Davidson's words, let me know what you think.

"Since Julius Hodge last left our shores in the middle of the 2008/09 season, I have said to a few people that he was the worst teammate I’d ever had on my team throughout my basketball career.

Is Julius a bad person? No he’s not. Did Julius give you everything he had on game night? Absolutely yes during his first season here in Adelaide, but the second season hmmmm - most of the time.

Julius mark 2 came in so much fanfare that you can see why he was so self centreed and deluded and I think a big factor for his attitude was he didn’t want to be here after being so close to fulfilling his NBA dream. The tech fouls, not getting back on defence and general attitude when things were going bad really hurt him in the face of the team. When a guy that really did like you say that you were a cancer for the team you gotta start to think it’s you mate, not the rest of the world that has the problem! I think the Adelaide 36ers were at fault to start the disintegration of the relationship but Julius was at fault there after but not once has he said he wished he’d done something differently so he could’ve stayed in this place that he claims to love so much. I’m pretty sure he was getting some bad advice from his American agent too (and not the first person that has had that, Schensch?).

I think it’s sad that Julius is back. He is easily the most talented player I’ve played with, but is he the best player I’ve played with? No but he should be. Make no mistake about it Julius is going to come back to Australia and put up big numbers and be in the top 3 players in the league. Do you know how good you have to be to score 25 a game and put up the numbers he does with that ridiculously bad shooting style and flat shot? It was like Anna Kournikova - her serve was the worst in women’s tennis but she was still in the top 10 in the world because the rest of her game was so good. I could say that Julius is like Kournikova and isn’t a winner but I never got a championship, so you know what they say about people in glass houses……

Everyone knew Julius and I didn’t quite see eye to eye as we are polar opposites, yet also surprisingly similar. We are both smart arses who liked getting a rise out of people. I would shoot and hit a few threes in a row and say to Julius “if you had this shot you’d be earning five million a year right now” and he would call me ‘mini me’ and enjoyed dropping some short jokes any chance he got. But that’s where the similarities end. Julius worked harder in the gym during his second season here and did spend time shooting, but this was after sitting out the parts of practice he didn’t want to participate in. I personally didn’t want to shoot with Julius after training because I’d already had my workout and didn’t need more fitness work rebounding all his misses. Besides, I would get up more game type shots in 30 mins as he would get up standing still shooting in an hour.

I’ll be interested to see whether Julius has learnt anything since he left and whether he returns with a better attitude. It will be interesting to see if he helps the Tigers get better or whether he still thinks the world revolves around his every move. Either way it’ll be good to watch!!"

Friday, November 20, 2009

What I'm Up To Today

Courtesy of the Townsville Bulletin, this is what I'm up to today.

"A FAMILIAR face strode into Townsville airport yesterday in the unfamiliar colours of the New Zealand Breakers.

Former Crocs skipper John Rillie, pictured, will take to the court tonight as the enemy in his new role as a bench player for the team from across the ditch.

The 38-year-old jokingly said he was expecting a 'standing ovation' from The Swamp faithful, but knows he may cop a bit of stick from his former fans.

But first and foremost on his mind is helping his club notch up their first win on the road for the 2009/10 season after they were beaten by 77-64 Cairns on Wednesday night.

''To tell you the truth I haven't thought about that too much after our lacklustre effort,'' he said. ''Obviously the team is a bit disappointed after our performance in Cairns. That's going to be an interesting feeling, going back there and playing.

''What happens, how it happens, I'm not sure. It's just going to be one of those things when you walk into the arena how your emotions go about it.

''We haven't tasted success on the road so right now we're just trying to get that monkey off the back.''

After earning his lifeline last week, Rillie has had time to adapt to the New Zealand program which is missing sharpshooter Kirk Penney (injury) and sacked import Awvee Storey.
Rated as one of the championship favourites at the beginning of the season, the Breakers are sitting outside of the NBL top four largely due to their poor road form.

Rillie said the club was heading in a new direction though and was confident they could get their maiden away win against his former club.

''The team's a work in progress right now, I think with the changes that they've made we're just trying to see where we're going and the direction,'' he said. ''We need a road win more than anything.

''Slowly but surely I'm coming along, I think last week was just raw emotion playing a part in at all,'' Rillie said. ''I think now playing a couple of games in a couple of nights, that will be the real test, just to see where my fitness level is.''

Rillie has played two games for New Zealand so far and scored three points against Wollongong and six points against Cairns - all three-pointers. He expected his role to be more of the same tonight but said if the shots start dropping, he could be in for a big night.

''The situation coming in, (there's) not too much expectation right now, I think it's a feeling out process,'' he said.

''I guess when I do get opportunity I've got to go out there and just make the most of it.''

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JR & CJ Interview

I caught up with new teammate CJ Bruton before we head out on the road for a pivotal "Sunshine Swing".

Bruton talks about his time in Europe, oops, he meant New Zealand and how we are going to do on our trip to sunny North Queensland.

CJ also mentions that the weekend consists of both Saturday and Sunday, but he questions whether Head Coach Andrej Lemanis is in tune with his line of thinking.

Corey "Homicide" Williams loves competing against the best but CJ tells him he is the boss of the final ten minutes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Making The Most

Black does give a slimming look, doesn't it?

I have yet to really discuss how the opportunity came about for me to join the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL for my 16th season at the professional level.

It all happened all so quickly. A phone call from Head Coach Andrej Lemanis, a quick discussion with the wife and next minute I'm on a flight bound for Auckland.

After saying yes to the Breakers I had to make several phone calls to understanding bosses (at least I hope so) around the traps. I really appreciate the understanding these people had towards my situation in allowing me to continue playing the sport I love.

Once I landed in the land of the long white cloud (yes, this is true) the honeymoon period began.

Tuesday morning was my first practice (at this level since February) and although the team had returned from a loss in Perth, I was focused on bringing a positive energy to the group. (If there has been one thing that has been highlighted since Ive spent time away from the game, it is how lucky I am to have the ability to earn a living from something that I love to do.)

I didn't come into the group and do anything different than what I have not done at any other team I've been affiliated with, but sometimes when a team has a loss, you forget to keep the fun element in it. It is amazing what results you can achieve when there is an element of fun attached.

The first game against Perth arrived and I went into it without expectation. Hell, I have been out of the game for 9 months so what could I have expected? I knocked down a shot (I cannot believe Martin Cattalini went under a screen on me, but cheers), grabbed a few rebounds (despite what Daniel Eade said) and got the win. Everybody's happy at this point in time.

Now the honeymoon is over, it's time for us to go on the road and get the club's first road win for the season.

I head into the "Sunshine Swing" still with no expectation yet, as I'm still getting my feet wet with everything Breakers, all the while trying to get myself to a level physically that I will be happy with.

I certainly appreciate the opportunity given to me and I'm looking forward to making the most of this before I head back to the real world, whenever that may be.

I Have Internet

I'm sure you fans the other side of the ditch must have thought I was out shopping for Ugg Boots and the odd warm sheep skin jacket over the weekend, due to my lack of blogging.

Not the case. I was out of cyber world action over the weekend, but I'm back baby.

I'm not going to lie, I was sitting in my apartment with the heater on trying to guess my password to gain Internet access. The guessing game became an arduous task after a few hours of punching in a few hundred password attempts (I know now how Ben Wallace must feel at the free throw line...just hoping and praying) you can have before you think about throwing the Wi-Fi router out the window.

Give me a few hours and I'll be back to let you know what I've been up to.

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's On The NBL Wires?

- - "He's a smart player and a good guy (me), " Andrej Lemanis (New Zealand Head Coach) said. "He's certainly helped already with the chemistry of practice and you can tell there's a fun feeling in the gym when he's in there talking some trash and having a good time."

- Check out one of my first interviews here in New Zealand.

- Wollongong Hawks pair take out monthly honours. Head Coach Gordie McLeod and point guard Tywain McKee have taken out the coach and player of the month award respectively.

- Diploma has officially become the Perth Wildcats major sponsor.

- Melbourne Tigers new import Julius Hodge is a comedian? Adelaide people may disagree with that.

- Adelaide 36er Chris Molitor. You have probably never heard of the 36er rookie, but here is your chance to learn something about him.

Pull The Trigger - Episode 4

In this episode Wollongong Hawk centre Cameron Tragardh chats with Iowa boy, Dave Gruber. Also, Tragardh kick starts his food drive for NBA players.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

McKee - POM & Jawai Top 10 Play

Wollongong Hawk import Ty McKee has taken out the NBL Player of the Month Award. Hawks Coach Gordie McLeod was voted Coach of the Month.

McKee gets interviewed by Hawk legend Glen Saville. Check out the interview where McKee talks about his NBA (stolen) sock collection, watching my teammates CJ Bruton and Kirk Penney play and he thinks Wollongong is like living in Hawii.

Nathan Jawai has began to see some regular minutes with the Minnesota Timberwolves. here are today's Top 10 plays from the NBA. Jawai has the block shot that leads to the buzzer beater. Thanks to NBA Mate for the tip.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ogilvy Off The Bench

Thanks to a concussion, AJ Ogilvy has been coming off the bench.

One of Australia's best in the college system is AJ Ogilvy. Playing for the Vanderbilt Commodores but due to a concussion suffered during the preseason, his role has been limited to coming off the bench.

The Commodores smashed their DII opponent, Alabama-Huntsville, in their exhibition game 91-56.

This is how Yahoo! Sports has reported the Ogilvy bench situation.

"Festus Ezeli started over A.J. Ogilvy due to Ogilvy's missing the majority of preseason practice due to a concussion. Stallings (head coach of Vandy) says that Ogilvy's concussion is fully healed, but said that Ogilvy was nowhere near his full-game readiness due to missed time."

Vandy's season opener is against the high powered Lipscomb Bison on the 16th of November.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Back Baby

I'm feeling a little lazy tonight as I'm a little tired from practice today and I had to carry my new Sheep Shagger friends to a win at the local trivia night (hope this is a good sign).

I'm ecstatic to be given the opportunity to hopefully continue my NBL career here in New Zealand, no matter how long the stint is for.

I will Phill you in a little more over the next few days once I have found my feet and Ugg Boots.

In the meantime here is how other people are seeing this move. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes, either through Twitter or Facebook.

- Mookie from A Stern Warning is all over the comeback. Thanks for the use of the sweet picture in the Breakers outfit.

- The Townsville Bulletin's Josh Alston was all over the story before most.

- Adelaide's Boti Nagy is just warming up to the idea of my comeback. I look forward to some colourful words. Oops, I spoke to soon. He is beginning to warm up.

- Liam Cox of 7 News Townsville has it covered as well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

MJ vs Russell

According to Yahoo! Sports Marc J. Spears, Bryon Russell (of Utah Jazz fame) and Michael Jordan (not sure what his claim to fame is) are about to engage in a one-on-one battle on the court.

Jordan hinted at the idea during his Hall of Fame speech. In the meantime Russell has been working behind the scenes trying to make it work, financially for Jordan.

What are the odds of the game ending with Jordan stepping back and nailing a fade away "J" in Russell's face?

Here is how Spears reported the concept:

"Bryon Russell thinks he’s lined up enough cash and TV interest to lure Michael Jordan into a one-on-one exhibition.

Jordan called out Russell during his Hall of Fame speech, saying the former Utah Jazz swingman motivated him with his trash-talking. He challenged Russell, saying: “From this day forward, if I ever see him in shorts, I’m coming at him.”

Russell responded by telling Yahoo! Sports he would play Jordan anytime.

Russell now says he has substantial financial backing to stage a public one-on-one game, but declined to give details. He hopes to talk to Jordan soon in person and seek his approval.

“I am hoping it can get done because everybody wants to see it,” Russell said to Yahoo! Sports. “I wasn’t the one that called me out. I’m just returning the favor. I think people will fall in love with it to see M.J. and Bryon going at it again.

“I just need him to see what I got. And I guarantee you he will fall in love with what I got. It could be a very lucrative event for him that could put a smile on his face even after he loses.”"

Winning Time - Reggie Miller vs The NYK

I know I'm pecking a little early, but I'm excited for this Reggie Miller documentary.

March 14th on ESPN is the release date of "Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs The New York Knicks".

Miller is one of my all-time favourite NBA players and his clutch performances cannot go unnoticed, especially against the Knicks.

It's feels like it will be Christmas in March at the Rillie household.

Here is a little taste of what to expect.

"Reggie Miller gave New York the finger. The whole city.

The 6'7" wiry shooting guard of the Indiana Pacers tortured the Knicks. If he didn't beat Riley, Ewing, Oakley and Starks with his quick release and unlimited range, he made them think he would. He took pleasure in letting the packed Madison Square Garden know it was his show and his game that they were watching during the 1994-1995 playoffs.

Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, by award-winning filmmaker Dan Klores, will zero in on the dramatic seven game 1995 playoff series between Reggie's Pacers and the Knicks. The series was front page news in the NYC tabloids, a war of words between the glib Miller and Knick fanatic Spike Lee, included appearances on Letterman, pronouncements by Giuliani, fistfights between teammates, near riots by Indiana fans, chokes, overtimes, finger rolls and bitterness not only between Hall of Fame coaches, Pat Riley and Larry Brown, but between the two most precious basketball cultures in America - Hoosier Land vs. “New Yawk”.

The Pacers, who had lost to the Knicks in the two previous playoffs, were seeking dramatic revenge. Reggie scored eight points during the last 16 seconds of Game One, silencing MSG and bringing children and gamblers to tears. Later, leading the series three games to one, the Pacers blew a ten point lead with five minutes to go in Game Five. And when they returned home, they were dealt a devastating defeat in Game Six.

Would Game Seven at MSG be “Miller Time”, or would Ewing get another chance at the Finals after losing the championship the year before? Would Spike, Woody and Trump have the chance to return Reggie's choke sign? Would Starks, who head-butted Reggie in a playoff game the year before after he lit him up for 25 points in the fourth quarter, come through in the clutch? Would Brown's whining to officials, the League, and the media matter as the final minutes ticked away?

Through the memories and hearts of the players, coaches, fans, and media of both “cultures”, Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks will examine the relationship between Reggie Miller, a guy with a New York attitude playing in middle America, and the team representing the “Basketball Capitol of the World”."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Around The NBL On A Saturday Night

Best photo I could find of Adam Ballinger. On the up side, Perth Wildcats Head Coach Rob Beveridge loves the thought of two redheads banging down low.

Just catching up on the news that is relevant to the NBL this evening.

- Ty McKee and Cameron Tragardh lead the Wollongong Hawks to a decisive 93-69 win over the Townsville Crocodiles.

Although McKee and Tragardh were dominate in the scoring column, I'm on the Larry Davidson bandwagon. He is the do-it-all guy for the Hawks right now. Whether it is stretching the defense with his three point range or blocking shots at the defensive end, Davidson is giving the Hawks a dimension that aids the team in so many areas.

There is no doubting McKee's ability, but the thing that impresses me the most about the kid is his decision making. He sees the floor as well as anyone that I have seen in the NBL in the last five years. Whether he is knifing to the hoop and dishing off to a big man in the paint or finding a perimeter player from range, McKee's feel for the game is great to watch.

- Adam Ballinger has been woken.

The Adelaide 36ers score a 80-77 home win over the Gold Coast Blaze tonight.

I would say Ballinger has been off to a slow start this year but tonight he erupted for 36 points.

It must have been hard to go past this performance, but the Adelaide media are giving David Cooper some serious credit for his 10 minutes of playing time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Crocs Video - Tonight's News

Check out Townsville Crocodiles captain Russell Hinder on the local news and what he is going to do to the Wollongong Hawks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crocs On The Road In New Zealand

Hoop Happenings

NBL Player of the Week - John Gilchrist

- College basketball has just kicked off over the past few days (yes, exhibition games count) and I will endeavour to keep up to date with how the Aussies are doing.

Southern Utah that is the home to three Aussie played Mesa St in an exhibition game.

67-63 was the final, with Mesa getting the win over the very young SSU Thunderbirds.

How did the Aussies fair?

Brisbane boy Matt Massey (who has transferred in from Nova Southeastern) finished the game with a double double (16pts, 12rebs) to lead the team in both statistical categories.

Townsville's own Damon Heiur started off his college career in a solid manner with 5pts, 2rebs and 2 assists in 17 minutes of playing time.

The third Australian on the roster, Matt Hodgson (also from queensland) got the rough end of the pineapple in his first game. He had 1pt and a steal in his 12 minutes. Look for this kid to develop into a player though people.

- Last night the Wollongong Hawks extended their home win streak to six to start the 2009/10 NBL season.

The Hawks cruised to a 92-80 win over the struggling Melbourne Tigers.

The Hawks had contributors everywhere. Six players reached double figures in the scoring column and Ty McKee was not one of them.

Are the hawks starting to make people believe in them yet? They hit the road Friday and Saturday as they head north to take on Cairns and Townsville. A couple victories here and people will start having to give them credit.

As for the Tigers, speculation mounts as to what they are going to do with their roster. Time will tell, but they certainly look out of sync.

- If you are looking for a lighter read in the world of hoops I would advise you to check out The Bball Scoop. These guys look at the sport and NBL with some creative goggles on at times. Always an interesting read.

- Mark Worthington is back on the blogging scene after taking a little hiatus. He blames his Internet service for his lack of blogging, but I pose the question, "Was the mail thief taking more than the mail?"

I would love to see Wortho or Ben Knight chasing the thief and asking him for the Internet back.

Good to have you back though Wortho.

- Rich Melzer and the Cairns Taipans are desperate for a win against the Wollongong Hawks.

- Adelaide 36ers import John Gilchrist has been named NBL Player of the Week.

- Is soccer (A-League) becoming a mirror image of basketball (NBL) in this country? Andrew Gaze gives us his thoughts.

- Two time Olympian Glen Saville rates import Ty McKee, highly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pull The Trigger - Ep3

It's only hours away from tipoff between the 5-2 Wollongong Hawks and the struggling 3-5 Melbourne Tigers.

Do the Tigers have anyone that can stop Ty McKee's penetration that creates open looks for his teammates? In saying that, how will the Hawks go about defending MacKinnon and Mark Worthington when the Tigers go small?

The answer will begin to surface all on Fox Sports at 6.30pm (Qld time).

In the meantime check out "Pull The Trigger" with Hawk Cameron Tragardh s he sits down with 3rd year Hawk Danial Jackson.

SEN Interview with JR

Sunday afternoon I was fortunate enough to be a guest on Melbourne's SEN Sports Talk radio show.

Click on the logo to hear what I had to say about all things basketball.

We chat about what I'm up to, the point guard depth in the NBL and trying to get another run on the show.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How Does Your Team Look?

Awvee Storey and the New Zealand Breakers will only get better as the season goes along.

The NBL 2009/10 season has already raced through a quarter of the season. I take a look at how each team is traveling and where I think they will end.

Adelaide 36ers (4-4): John Gilchrist is the key to the 36ers success. When he plays huge they win, and when he looks stiffer than David (as he did against the Melbourne Tigers) he looks marginal and so does the team.

Center Matt Burston's injury problems do not help as that forces Adam Ballinger to play a lot of minutes a centre. Something I cannot imagine he wants to make a steady diet of doing.

But, if the 36ers are to advance to the playoffs this season, road wins are going to have to start to appear. Currently 1-3 on the road (and that over a struggling Cairns Taipans) the 36ers need to find some consistency when traveling away from "Brett Maher Court".

I have the 36ers missing the cut as they will not accumulate enough road wins.

Cairns Taipans (3-6): After racing out of the gate (3-1) the Taipans have shown they're no stayer as they have lost their last 5.

Phill Jones has been a great addition but even his sweet stroke will not be enough to pull the Snakes out of the cellar.

It will be interesting to see how long the Cairns faithful with stick by their team as the loses begin to mount. Round 8 may bring relief as the local derby will stimulate most Snake fans out of hibernation when fellow North Queenslanders, Townsville come to town.

I cannot paint this picture any better, the Taipans will struggle for wins the remainder of the way.

Gold Coast Blaze (3-5): The Blaze are no different from all the other NBL franchises, they struggle on the road. Yet to post a win in four attempts on the road, the Blaze need to find a way to get it done when they leave the beach.

New coach, new players will always lead to a slow start but Coach Joey Wright will be looking for his squad to start getting into a winning mood soon.

This upcoming weekend could really become a season defining one for the beach boys. Thursday night they head southeast to take on the New Zealand Breakers, then head to the city of churches on Saturday.

If they want to be considered a legit playoff team, this weekend is the time to start.

Sorry Joey, despite the hype around your team during the offseason, you better have Fox Sports if you want to watch the playoffs.

Melbourne Tigers (3-5): Everyone is waiting for the Tigers to tinker with their roster but they still have talent to get the job done.

The Tigers tackle the hot Wollongong Hawks on Wednesday before they head home for a favourable home schedule for the remainder off the month.

Mark Worthington is still playing himself into shape (thanks to a preseason foot injury) and with Chris Anstey to return around the same time as Santa Claus appears, the Tigers, well, are being the Tigers.

When February comes around, the Tigers will be in the Final Four.

New Zealand Breakers (4-3): The Breakers are brilliant at home and terrible on the road. A perfect 4-0 at home while they remain winless in Australia.

That means the Breakers will finish 14-14 which I believe will be enough to make the finals.

Unfortunately for opposition teams, I feel the Breakers will only get better as a group. With MVP Kirk Penney out, this has allowed the growth of Tom Ambercrombie and extra minutes for import Awvee Storey on the perimeter. (I have been told by several players throughout the league, he goes to the boards with a purpose so you better get a body on him.)

The Breakers get to break the duck on the road over in Perth on Sunday. Not the easiest place to get a win, but a hot shooting Breakers could just do that.

Perth Wildcats (5-2): This team has made the most of the home stand in recent times. the critics were out after a slow start on the road, but no they are the hottest team in the league, having peeled off four in a row.

They are one of only a few teams that have a few guys that can tear you apart.

Shawn Redhage has been steady without being outstanding, but I expect him to find a rhythm that sees him post some huge numbers.

Import Kevin Lisch has shown he can deliver down the stretch. He has 2 game winners to his name already.

My X Factor for the Wildcats is Martin Cattilini. He has not been called on to play huge minutes to date, meaning he will be as fresh as a daisy heading into the playoffs.

Yes, the Wildcats playoff streak will continue.

Townsville Crocodiles (4-4): The only team in the league that has tasted success multiple (two) times on the road.

Corey "Homicide" Williams has started off the season in red hot form. He will need to continue this type of form if the Crocs are to make a run at a Top 4 spot. The murderous one has had his way with defenses, but I'm expecting teams to become a little more aggressive with him as the season plays out.

When and if this happens, the likes of Michael Cedar, Brad Williamson, Peter Crawford and Kelvin Robertson need to be locked and loaded and ready to knock down the three.

Like Adelaide and Gilchrist, the Crocs will be dependant on Williams being able to continue to perform at such a high level if they wish to taste playoff action for the fourth year in a row.

Wollongong Hawks (5-2): No doubt the surprise packet of the season. Import Ty McKee is getting his share of ink but it is his teammates that have been just as helpful.

Mat Campbell has been solid, Larry Davidson has been doing it all and Cameron Tragardh has become a real Jay Leno.

Gordie McLeod has once again done a great job of allowing his plays to utilise their individual strengths, while performing within the team structure.

The Hawks fast start will allow them to steal a playoff birth. Hawks fans will get a better understanding of their team as they have three games in four days this round.

There you have it. If I was to put some of the hard earned stuff on who I believe will make the Final Four, here you have it.

Wollongong, Perth, New Zealand and Melbourne

Aron Baynes Throw Down

Last week Aussie Aron Baynes threw down this monster dunk. While this Baynes highlight comes during Euroleague play, I'm more interested to find out why the big man is wearing #31.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aussie Hoopers Around The Globe

Whether it is over Kobe Bryant or playing in Turkey, Brad Newley knows how to score the ball.

I have not done an around the globe look in at how our exports are doing, so here is the latest on how they are performing on the international stage.

- Former Townsville Crocodile Brad Newley has taken his game to Turkey after a two year stint in Greece. Newley continues to shine as he had 19pts and 4rebs as his team, Besiktas, defeated a fellow GU Alum, Richie Frahm and his team, Mersin, 85-74.

- Let's turn to the NBA and Andrew Bogut and his Milwaukee Bucks got a win against the Detroit Pistons. Bogut helped with 6pts and 8rebs as he battled foul trouble. More importantly, I wonder how the Buck fans are going with the sweet seats Bogut has kindly purchased for the home fans?

Portland Trailblazer Pat Mills registered a DNP, while David Andersen hit the court for 10 minutes and 2 points as the Houston Rockets snuck by the Blazers and Brandon Roy's 42 pts.

Tomorrow will see Minnesota Timberwolf Nathan Jawai get a chance and Mills gets to look forward to some PT (playing time) as the Blazers play back to back games.

Re Mills: I just find it funny that he is listed on the roster but will be out of action for quite some time due to his foot injury. Got to love that.

- Former NBL scoring machine Ebi Ere had a lazy 21pts and 6 rebs as his team cantered to an easy win in Italy.

- Ever wondered what happened to Commonwealth Games gold medalist Neil Mottram. Well he has teamed up with former South Dragons championship winning guard Rhys Carter (and 10th leading scorer in the league) in the Swedish League for a team named Gothia. They had a 92-76 win over the weekend. Both Aussies had strong performances (click on score to see stats) with Mottram fouling out, which should not be a surprise to anyone. Keep up the good work boys.

- Former Sydney Spirit star Matt Knight is now eating glass in Hungary. Click here to see how efficient his last monster game of 24pts and 14rebs came about.

- Click on the individual names to see their stats from this year to date.

Aleks Maric, Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles, Matt Nielsen, Wade Helliwell and Alex Loughton.

Manu Catches Bat

In case you have missed it, San Antonio Spur Manu Ginobili open handed a bat during their Halloween game today. NBA, Where Amazing Happens!

You Tube Highlights From Around The NBL

Episode 2 of "Pull The Trigger" with Wollongong Hawk Cameron Tragardh hit cyber space a few days ago.

He interviews Hawk grey haired monster Glen Saville and they discuss how Tragardh can maybe find some "Double D's".

Here are some game highlights and press conference from the Townsville Crocodiles and Melbourne Tigers clash from Friday night.