It has been a while since I have updated but I've been a little busy coaching at the Queensland u/16 State Titles over the Easter break.
Congrats to the Townsville teams that put in a great performance at the Classic.
Currently I'm in Adelaide competing in the High Stakes Hoops tournament. Yes, our performance was below par, but hopefully tomorrow will bring a better performance.
One of the first comments I heard today was NBL legend Daryl MacDonald ask "when can I get a mention on the blog?"
Since he is a pass first point guard I will oblique with the request but I will throw you the assist this time D-Mac.
Check out this footage of the New York native in action during his NBL days.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
It has been a while since I have updated but I've been a little busy coaching at the Queensland u/16 State Titles over the Easter break.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The St Mary's Gaels are about to take on Baylor in the Sweet 16. Man of the moment Omar Samhan has his own blog happening but he has caught up with two of the Gaels Aussies.
Checkout below interviews with Jorden Page and Ben Allen as the talk about the NCAA Tournament.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Sorry, I have not been able to update the blog recently but I've get been helping get a few things kick started around here.
I have been keeping a close eye on all things basketball, especially the NCAA Tournament.
If you happened to have watched the first weekend of action you would have noticed the Aussie heavy St Mary's Gaels have a "man" in the middle that is fast becoming America's darling.
Check out Danville, California native Omar Sanham who is averaging 30pts and 9.5 rebs on one of the largest sporting stages in the world, the NCAA Tournament.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Captain of the Townsville Crocodiles Russell Hinder has been the first player to re-sign with the club for the upcoming 2010/11 NBL season.
Here is footage from the press conference which was held this morning.
Monday, March 15, 2010
One Shining Moment 2009 - March Madness
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
The league head office is considering the bizarre request as Beveridge has asked if he can exchange/trade his current players (besides one, more on this soon) for an All-Ranga look.
I have gone through the NBL archives and I think this is the best "red headed" roster that Beveridge could ask for.
PG: Little used Singapore Slinger via New Zealand Hayden Allen and West Sydney Razorback/Sydney King (development player) Tim Hudson will play rock, paper, scissors to see who starts against Martin & Martin. Newcastle local Marty McLean may get the call up if he still has his Breville maker in working order.
SG: No brainer here due to Mat Campbell suiting up for the opposition, the mad bomber himself Cameron Dickinson. "Dicko" was the third Australian born player to average 20 points in a NBL season. He will be given a sub by Adelaide championship winning guard and former NBL top dog Peter Ali.
SF: Sydney King turned king journo Tim Morrissey gets the nod here. If people think Galen Young gets under the nose of people, you need to watch some vintage Morrissey. His back up will be journeyman Craig 'Spider" Adams. Adams was more your four man but Beveridge needs an "X" factor and that is Adams' forte.
PF: We exchange one naturalised import for another. Out with captain Shawn Redhage and in with 36ers resident "ranga" Adam Ballinger. Backing up "Balls" will be Wollongong Hawks development player Gareth Dawson. Dawson has been released to play in his native Kiwiland comp but it has all been part of Bevridge's grand plan. (note: Import Young has tried to fit into the "Ranga" culture by wearing those bright red shoes, but in the end, they are just not cutting the mustard.)
C: Luke Schenscher has retained his spot on the roster, yes, because he is a natural red head. Giving Schenscher a breather will be a Western Australian legend and three time NBA champion, Luc Longley. (note: It will be strange not to see Longley sitting next to close friend and WA tough guy Andrew Vlahov and mega wealthy Wildcat owner Jack Bendat-like Beckham.)
I cannot wait for Game 3 to tip off. With this new look roster I'm sure "Bevo" will not sleep a wink tonight.
Monday, March 8, 2010
The Syracuse Orangemen (#1) traveled to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in what was to become an historic game at Freedom Hall.
Where am I going with this story you may ask? Stick with it.
The Orangemen who usually have no trouble scoring as they run out of their world renowned zone defense, struggled against the Rick Pitino coached Cardinals.
I'm guessing that 'Cuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim would have loved to have had former standout guard Eric Devendorf at his disposal.
Instead, Devendorf kick started his New Zealand pro career with a lazy 49 points (7-10 threes) against the Nelson Giants as his defending champ Waikato Pistons ran out winners 92-73.
I was told (secondhand of course) that Devendorf and Pistons coach Dean Vickerman had an interesting conversation during the early stages of this game.
It went something like this.
Vickerman asked, "Eric, can you give me a little better effort on the defensive end when we are in man to man, please?"
Devendorf responded, "Is that where I stand at the top of the keyway and way my arms around like I'm landing a plane? The way Coach Boehiem had me do it so well for four years?"
My understanding was Vickerman was a little taken back and needed to think of a better way to get his message across.
In the next break in play, Vickerman calls over the tatted point guard and hopes this message gets the point across.
"Ok Eric, lets try this philosophy I learnt from a former player I coached this past year. You are responsible for that player (points to Nelson's point guard Mike Fitchett) and if you can score more points than him, you have done a great job defensively in our man to man principals", Vickerman explains to Devendorf.
History shows that Devendorf liked the idea of this defensive concept.
I will keep an eye on this situation to see how this man to man theory continues to pan out over the season.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Sorry I've been a little slack of late, but I've been parked on the coach watching all the hoops on television. Whether is has been college, NBA and European, I have not been able to drag myself away from the tube.
It is getting to the best time of the year as March Madness is just around the corner, the NBA is getting serious as they head towards the playoffs and the European mid week competitions are heading to the money end of the season.
Just in cased you missed it, the other day in a college women's game, there was a "cheap shot" in a game. Check it out.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
- Hawks starting point guard Rhys Martin has dual Olympian CJ Bruton to thank for his move to the beachside town in New South Wales.
- There is a war of words brewing between the journos in the respective towns that are competing for the NBL title. Keep it going boys. Oh, it's starting to get better. Cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.
- Gold Coast Blaze forward Anthony Petrie once honed his skills in a little country town on the New South Wales/Queensland border, Tenterfield.
I used to love heading to Tenterfield and playing in their annual carnival. I just wonder if a young Petrie was one of those kids hanging around?
- New Zealand Breaker Kirk Penney and Hawks Head Coach Gordie McLeod have taken out the NBL's player and coach of the month award respectively to end the season.
- Thanks to Twitter, we find out the Andrew Bogut believes the Perth Wildcats will win.
- Perth are ready to roll after the "bug' got them.
- Is Perth Wildcat Martin Cattalini retiring?
- Have Galen Young and Corey Williams made up?
- The Townsville Crocodiles indicate that they are ready to keep Corey Williams around.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Wollongong Hawk benchman Dave Gruber came out in Game 3 and provided the Hawks with the "X" factor that teams need at this time of the year.
The former Northern Iowa University product has had this type of impact on a game throughout the season. I remember him coming of the bench against my New Zealand Breakers and scorching us for 17 in an efficient manner. He was the difference maker.
Can "MacGruber" become the X Factor in the Finals series against the Perth Wildcats?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The series deciding game can now be seen live on Fox Sports 1 from 6.30pm (NSW time) which is a considerable upgrade from when we would have been watching it beforehand. (Thank you Fox Sports)
Now for the people of Wollongong who are going to the game. Do not be late, it is a 6.30pm tip off time. Yes, the time has been changed so do not be late.
Now to some news around the league.
Boti Nagy discovers that Luke Schenscher is hoping he has something in common with fellow South Aussies (Paul Rogers,Mark Bradtke and Brett Wheeler) big men.
We will find out in about a week's time if Luke joins the list.
Basketball Australia has asked the Cairns Taipans, "to show them the money" if they wish to participate in the 2010/11 season in the NBL.
Former NBL nomad Matt Shanahan has been lending a helping hand to the Hawthorn Football Club.
Are the Gold Coast sporting franchises "chokers"?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Julian Khazzouh gave Adam Ballinger a little something in Sydney, read below to find out where in the world these two guys ran into each other.
Wow is all I can say to the Wollongong Hawks/Townsville Crocodiles series to date. The games have been so bad I do not wish to relive them or nor should you.
I will say one thing on the back of a lot of Crocs fans asking me as I left, "Who will win Game 3?"
Like most games in the NBL these days, limit your turnovers and shoot the three ball at a good clip and you win alot.
Game 3 will be no different. It will just be a matter of which team executes their offense without turning it over will win.
Now onto the point of this blog. I have just been sifting through boxes so I have cut and paste them of players that have had some affiliation with Aussie basketball.
- In case you missed it yesterday, Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks had 24pts, 20rebs and 5 blocks to become only the second Buck ever to register a 20-20-5 game.
The other was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
- Former Adelaide 36ers import Mark Tyndale is playing in the D-League for the Iowa Energy.
- When not talking it up on Twitter, for New Zealand Breaker Carlos Powell can be found in the D-League playing for Albuquerque Thunderbirds.
- Also in D-League, Sioux Falls SkyForce can been seen with former Perth Wildcat David Bailey, one time Taipan Jared Newson and Nathan Jawai together.
- Aussie centre Luke Nevill plays in the D-league for the Utah Flash, along side former Breaker Orien Greene.
- Recent Breaker import Kevin Braswell has just inked a deal in France.
- Former South Dragons championship winning swingman Tremmell Darden will come across Braswell in his French travels.
- Scoring machine Ebi Ere is plying his trade in Italy.
- Former Sydney King point guard Dontaye Draper is in Italy.
- Former Slinger/Tiger/36er Rod Grizzard can be found in Israel these days.
- West Sydney product Julian Khazzouh is also in Israel. He played against current/former 36er Adam Ballinger (12 & 10 on debut).
- Don't forget the National U/20 Championships are on. Catch up on all the results here.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Tonight on the local news up here in Townsville, Crocs Head Coach Trevor Gleeson has hinted at the idea that the Crocs will make changes to the starting line up after their lack luster performance against the Wollongong Hawks in Game 1 of their Semi Final series.
The Crocs managed just one assist in the first half of last week's contest. Anyone that knows hoops knows that this stat indicates that not too much team basketball is happening.
I would hate to speculate at what changes will happen so I better just get to the game on Wednesday night.
- In other NBL news, Scott Ninnis has been relieved of his head coaching position with the Adelaide 36ers.
The 36ers finished last in this year's NBL competition. This was the first wooden spoon for the South Australian club.
- Tomorrow night the Gold Coast Blaze host the Perth Wildcats in Game 2 of their Semi Final series. With the Wildcats up 1-0, Blaze coach Joey Wright is looking for New Zealand born Craig Bradshaw to lift and help the blaze force a Game 3.
Blaze import Ayinde Ubaka has been ruled out of the game.
- Wollongong Hawks Larry Davidson is a stat stuffer (someone who has positive stats across the board) and had an impressive Game 1 against the Townsville Crocodiles. Is it time he was called into the Australian Boomers squad?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Andrew Gaze does not know his footwear like Imelda Marcos.
It may seem I have been in the wilderness (I was in Cairns) for the past 48 hours but I have actually been away starting to build my coaching resume.
I was away with a couple Townsville U/16 boys teams preparing for the State Championship in April. (Just in case you were wondering, I was an impressive 4-1.)
I have just finished watching Game 1 of the Wollongong Hawks/Townsville Crocodiles series. I was traveling on Friday while the game was on, but thanks to My Star, I can watch it at my own leisure. (Thanks to my Tweeps for keeping me and my family up to date with the scores as we headed up the Bruce Highway.)
Now after having watched both playoff games via Fox Sports and listened to "Mr Basketball" Andrew Gaze I'm going to throw a few things back in his direction.
First point. He is trying to sound like Imelda Marcos with his knowledge of players footwear during the playoffs.
On Thursday night he made comment about Perth Wildcat import Galen Young and his bright red shoes and how Young must have pulled them out for the playoffs.
Now I'm with Drewie in the fact that they are very red shoes. Not even Wildcats resident "Ranga" Rob Beveridge can reach that shade of red when he blushes. The point I'm getting to though, is Young has been sporting (I will call them) the Nike Rangas for quite some time now.
The next example of "Imelda" Gaze's mishap was with Brad Williamson and him wearing joggers as his game shoes. Drewie made comment along the lines of Williamson must have left his game shoes at the hotel and will have to get by with his walk around shoes.
Note to Gaze, Williamson has been wearing his Brooks runners all season long after suffering a early season foot injury.
Drewie, maybe you can bring him up some of your famous Gaze shoes for him to tryout?
Second point. The Wollongong Hawks have defended the Townsville Crocodiles, but more importantly Corey "Homicide" Williams, like that all season long. (If you missed the game, the Hawks defend Williams by sending his defensive player below the free throw line in hope of being able to control his tough penetration while giving up the perimeter jumpshot.)
It has been a ploy that has worked a treat for the Hawks as they have had some convincing wins over the Crocs in their 3-1 regular season record.
My question to Drewie on his theory of having Williams launch a few 15-18ft jump shots in hope of making one or two and then the defence having to change their mindset. Did you ever say that to Warick Giddey?
Now that I have that of my chest, let me move on.
Fresh of logging his first playoff seconds in front of his home crowd (Wollongong Hawks), Lil Zac Delaney has been pulled over to the side and been asked to produce some ID.
I know your thinking the young fella went out (chest puffed out) on the town after his thirty odd seconds of fame on Friday night against the Crocs and a club bouncer has asked the 169cm (that's generous I think) baby faced assassin to provide some ID.
Wrong. Delaney was just trying to take in a movie over the weekend and the movie theatre worker asked the Hawk fan favourite to produce a proof of age so he would be allowed to view the flick.
I have my sources on the case to make sure the rumours aren't true that the movie was Flushed Away.
Friday, February 19, 2010
I have been scavenging through You Tube today to see what I could dig up that I'm hoping not many have seen previously.
I have come across this Washington State Dunk Contest that was held during Midnight Madness. Yes, that was a while ago but I'm sure you will be happy to take some time out of your Friday afternoon schedule to check it out.
Aussie Brock Motum (6'9 leftie, wearing white #12) is one of the participants in the show. I must say, the way he celebrates his throw downs improves over time.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I know that the NBL playoffs kick start tomorrow but there are plenty of people making comment about the two series that get underway so let me focus on bringing you up to speed on Aussies abroad.
- A player I have never dedicated ink to is Trian Iliadis of Old Dominion. The Perth local is in his second year with the Monarchs and follows in the footsteps of fellow Aussies Al Laughton and Sam Harris.
The guard was solid in his play (7pts, 3rebs, 2ast) today as ODU defeated Towson.
- Ben Louis of James Madison recorded 5rebs and 5ast in a loss to Lanard Copeland's alma mater Georgia State.
Louis has been described as a Glen Saville type to me.
- Brad Newley continues to shine in the Turkish league. This week Newley was solid with 10pts (4-6fgs), 6 boards and 2 assists.
Besiktas (Newley's team) is currently in third spot with a 13-6 record.
- Former Sydney Spirit forward Matt Knight has been going to work. This week his team, Soproni, coasted to an easy win. Knight went 4-4 from the floor for a total of 8 points and 4 rebounds to go with it all in just 16 minutes of action.
His squad sits in 6th lace at 10-8.
Remember Crocs import DuJuan Wiley? He is currently playing in Hungary and lead the league in block shots with 1.9/game.
- Aleks Maric reached double figures again with 13 points as his Partizan team remained in second place in the Adriatic League with a 15-5 record.
- Aron Baynes did not get to play in a blow out win for his Vilnius squad. I will endeavour to find out the reason for this.
- Matt Nielsen and his Valencia team lost a close one this week by 2 points. "Nitro" contributed 7pts and a solo rebound in the game.- Joe Ingles contributed 15pts, 3rebs and 3ast in Granada's three point win.
His team currently owns a 9-13 record.
- Nathan Jawai of the Minnesota Timberwolves did not score in his twelve and a half minutes on court today.
- Although the Houston Rockets suffered defeat at the hand of the Utah Jazz, Aussie David Andersen was impressive. Andersen went for 18, 7 and 3 in twenty four minutes of action. In his 18 points Andersen connected on three long range bombs.
- Nate MacMillan was generous enough to give Pat Mills a minute and forty five on court. Mills delivered a basket in two attempts in an easy Portland Trailblazer victory.
- Now this video footage has nothing to do with Aussies. College basketball analyst Greg Anthony names his current college Player of the Year. It is not John Wall of Kentucky, so who could it be?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
The Perth Wildcats/Gold Coast Blaze series kicks off proceedings on Thursday (18th) night in Perth. Game 2 will be the played on Tuesday (23rd) in the sand on the Coast and if required Game 3 will be squeezed in on Sunday (28th) back out west.
Moving to the rematch of the 2001 Grand Final series, the Wollongong Hawks take on the Townsville Crocodiles. Game 1 is in the Steel City on Friday (19th), Game 2 in the far north on Wednesday (24th) and if the series is knotted, it will return south on Saturday (27th).
- Current Blaze captain James Harvey could not be happier playing his former club in the first round of the NBL playoffs.
My spies at Blaze practice today noticed that players would make a couple of free throws before breaking for water, except, Harvey and his flamboyant teammate Chris Goulding.
The backcourt duo would brush off the free throws and walk to centre court. That's right, they practiced their saluting instead.
- With Adelaide out of the playoff picture, Boti Nagy has given us his final regular season wrap.
- Wollongong Hawks Head Coach Gordie McLeod (and my vote for coach of the year) comments on the closeness of this season. More from McLeod in his local rag.
- Perth Wildcats Head Coach Rob Beveridge "thought we've got to get him (Shaun Redhage) shots", he told Perth Now.
Redhage had a team high 32 points in the much anticipated clash for the minor premiership against the Townsville Crocodiles.
- Adelaide 26ers MVP adam Ballinger has signed a 3 month contract with Israeli team Ironi Nahariya.
It could be a tough year for Ballinger. The 36ers picked up their first ever wooden spoon and now travels to Europe where he joins a 3-10 team.
- Injured Gold Coast Blaze due of Anthony Petrie and Ayinde Ubaka will be back for the playoffs.
- Aaron Fearne the head coach of the Cairns Taipans has graded his team's performance after their season came to an end this past weekend. He gave them an "A" at home but was not quite sure about on the road. They won one road game for the season.
While on the Snakes, they could learn their fate as early as tomorrow. The NBL are set to announce the teams that are in for next season.
- Joey Wright is a sneaky little bugger.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Like many of you I sat through the 2010 NBA Dunk Contest in hope that eventually some energy would creep into the contest. I did not scoot to the edge of my couch one time in anticipation that something exciting would happen.
No doubt New York Knick Nate Robinson was the best dunker today, but there are only so many times I can see the little man from Seattle lob the ball and dunk it.
By the end of it all, Twitter kept me entertained as my group of ground bound friends made hilarious comment after hilarious comment after each dunk.
Here is some old footage of former dunk contests that brought some thunder and atmosphere to the arena.
Enjoy as the NBA Dunk Contest is dying a slow death, unless LeBron James, Dwight Howard and maybe Kobe Bryant answer the bell.
This one never gets old - Nique vs MJ
Vince Carter - 2000
Dee Brown - 1991
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Andrew Bogut is currently enjoying what Vegas has to offer while most of the NBA fraternity is in Dallas for All-Star weekend. (Sorry Andrew I went to as many Internet cafes as possible to vote for you.)
Bogut's Milwaukee Bucks teammate Brandon Jennings is there for the Rookie/Sophomore game but he also feels the Aussie centre should be representing the Bucks in the main game.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Two former teammates have been using the media to try and gain the upper hand as both their teams try end the season as minor premiers.
Corey "Homicide" Williams kick started the "trash talk" after Wednesday night's televised game against the Adelaide 36ers calling out Perth Wildcat Galen Young and his bullying tactics.
Young responded today by calling Williams a "misdemeanour" more than a "homicide".
Oh, and now "King Ranga" Rob Beveridge has added his twist to the story saying his young team are the "underdogs" in this contest.
I cannot wait for Sunday's "Valentine's Day Massacre" battle for the minor premiership. You can catch all the action live, here.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I have just returned from tonight's Townsville Crocodiles and Adelaide 36ers clash.
With prime time seats on offer I was rather pumped to check out some NBL action from such a vantage point. Well, what a poor game this was from a spectators point of view. The Crocs were easy winners 102-87.
Instead of dwelling on it too much I have found something that completely trumps this game's look.
Former 36ers bank shot expert Rupert Sapwell in acid wash jeans has trumped all today's precedings by a country mile. The thing that scares me the most is Sapwell was wearing the same jeans when I saw him in Adelaide during a December game I played in.
Enjoy this blast from the past footage.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The secret to this blog's success, International Roast!
I have Googled and looked high and low for all things basketball in the Oceania area or involving an Aussie hooper. Here is what I come up with and I was only aided by a few cups of the good stuff, International Roast.
- New Zealand Breaker Kirk Penney has picked up his second NBL Player of the Week award for season 2009/10.
- Defending NZNBL champions Waikato Pistons have signed former Syracuse star Eric Devendorf. The tattooed point guard comes well credentialed and will provide his team and competition with a little flare.
If Devendorf and the Pistons become three-peat champs, I'm guessing the American import can convince his coach (Dean Vickerman) to get some ink on his neck.
- Staying in New Zealand, Beakers Head Coach Andrej Lemanis is pleading to the locals and come out and support the Breakers as well as the retiring Tony Ronaldson.
If the Breakers fall short of the playoffs, this will be "Bear's" final appearance in front of his home crowd but more importantly, the first time in his 20 year pro career he misses post season action.
Struggling with injury, centre Rick Rickett should be fit enough to suit up after missing the Breakers last game.
- Yes, we all know that Chris Anstey and Sam MacKinnon are retiring from the NBL. I found this article where Anstey talks about never losing to Michael Jordan and making sure his kids know about it.
- Got a spare 400K? You need to contact the Cairns Taipans, quickly.
- The Gold Coast Blaze may have to move to the "spiritual home" of basketball during the playoffs.
- The AFL continues to recruit athletes from all walks of life. Legendary coach Kevin Sheedy now believes it is worth looking further afield, and the USA college system is on his list.
- Perth Wildcats feisty guard Brad Robbins may miss the remainder of the season if his rib is fractured.
- The Adelaide 36ers goal for this week is to avoid the "Wooden Spoon".
- Something for those NBA nuts that drop by, here is an article about who the potential lottery picks are in this year's upcoming NBA Draft.
- Aussies seeing NCAA action today
Ben Louis (JMU), Ryan Broekoff & Cameron Witt (Valpo)
- Aussies in Europe
Brad Newley (Turkey), Daniel Kickert (Spain), Joe Ingles and Matt Nielsen (Spain), Rhys
Carter & Neil Mottram (Sweden), Alex Loughton (Spain), David Barlow (Spain),
Monday, February 8, 2010
Years ago it was Larry Bird and Michael Jordan playing H-O-R-S-E for a Big Mac and fries for lunch.
Now Gen Y has their go at re-creating the classic commercial. Take a look at the new Lebron James and Dwight Howard version of the McDonald's ad made legendary by the Hall of Famers.
As usual, Larry Legend leaves the winner.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Phillips has MCed a few functions for the Crocs and he is quite the entertainer (this can be seen below in the video footage as he never lets the truth get in the road of a good story).
But once I saw Ritchie's Andrew Vlahovesque frame mount the stage it reminded me of a childhood memory involving both myself and Ritchie.
In my youth growing up in Toowoomba I rather fancied myself a Test batsman and not an Olympic basketballer.
Ritchie was kind enough to return to his childhood stomping grounds and contact a cricket clinic for kids while on break from Test cricket.
With my Greg Chappell Grey Nic single scoop packed the night before and fresh pen packed and ready for "Fat Cat" to sign it the next day, the clinic could not come quick enough.
It was your tradition clinic in that you got to bat in the nets for 15 minutes while the rest of the young punters tried their best to bring the "automatic wickie" into play as they worked on their out swing bowling. Then every so often Ritchie would roll the arm over so you could go to school the next day and tell all your mates you faced an Aussie player in the nets.
Then it was my turn. Back in the day I was know to be more Bruce Laird (yes, you will need to research him yourself) than Adam Gilchrist with the willow in hand.
Well, I had been watching "Fat Cat" roll the arm over for the past 2 hours (and you could see why he was thrown the ball for only 1 over during his Test career) so I was going to make the most of his long hops to me.
I was textbook sound for the first 10 minutes until Ritchie pipes up, "my tune". Ritchie waddles in and attempts a leggie. Now the highlight of the day, but worst part of the day was about to occur.
It was slow motion, like how the movies do it. I was Sir Viv Richards for one shot and it worked. Graceful footwork to the pitch of the ball and right off the middle of the bat. The ball sailed over the netting that surrounded the practice area. All mid wicket could have done was watch that ball fly over his head for six. I'm thinking this is a thing of beauty and Ritchie will appreciate that stroke. (If you ever saw him bat, boundaries meant he did not have to try and run.)
Instead, I hear, "you can go and take your pads off for such a wreckless shot like that."
"No worries," I said to myself.
Disappointed I did not get to bat my allotted time but I certainly went home with a smile on the dial knowing I had taken to a local Test hero.
Oh, and the pen stayed in the bag as well.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Now former NBA and Serbian center Vlade Divac and I have never seen eye to eye but you always have to respect a guy for his individual skills.
Divac was considered one of the best passing big men in the league during his time in the United States. I will not argue that point and I will not argue the point below in the video footage that was kindly brought to my attention by my Serbian friend.
Divac mastered the art of flopping and in case you forgot how bad it become, I'm sure these highlights will remind you of how strong the big man held his position.
Who is the NBL's version of Vlade Divac? I'd be interested to hear from Dusty Rychart to see who gets his vote.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Tony Ronaldson become the most capped NBL player in history by surpassing the great Andrew Gaze last season, but earlier this week he decided the 2009/10 season will be his last.
Throughout his 20 professional seasons Ronaldson has many accolades to his name including NBL Championships, 2 Olympic Games and a Commonwealth Games Gold Medal to his name.
The "Bear" held a press conference on Tuesday in New Zealand to announce his retirement from the NBL. You can hear what he had to say below.
Right now Ronaldson is on court warming up in preparation to play the Wollongong Hawks and trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. (You can catch this game on Fox Sports in 30 minutes.)
Monday, February 1, 2010
Before I pack my bags in preparation in leaving the States to head home and finally start to see my family on a regular basis, I put together this links package so you can read the latest in NBL news.
- Minnesota Timberwolf Nathan Jawai talks about the differences of playing in the NBL versus the NBA.
In paraphrasing Jawai he talks about how he could just "beast" his way to the hoop here (NBL)while he needs to use his "smarts" over their (USA) because they can match his stretch and quickness.
_While on Taipan players, Kerry Williams talks about growing up in Cairns and becoming a starter for his home team.
- The Townsville Crocodiles finally get something to go their way to get a come from behind win over the Adelaide 36ers.
- The Melbourne Tigers are relying on a whole lot of luck, plus they need to win to remain an outside chance of the playoffs.
- Andrew Vhahov is heading to Cairns this week as he will look over the financially hurting Queensland franchise. In his role with the NBL Commission, Vlahov will endeavour to help the reptiles with some ideas of helping with the cash flow.
Message to Taipans fans: KEEP THE FOOD COMING!
- Damien Martin is in jeopardy of missing Perth's three game road double this week. Martin missed practice due to an abdominal injury.
- While the Adelaide 36ers aim to climb off the canvas and then off the bottom of the NBL ladder, Boti Nagy tells us who he would keep around for next season.
- The Wollongong Hawks will have a little extra incentive when they hit the sunny shores of New Zealand later this week.
Arun Jagatramka has offered the players $100 000 in shares if the team can win the NBL crown this season. Those not familiar with the mining magnate (always wanted to use that word), he is the guy that become the saviour of the Hawks when it seemed they had seen their last days in 2009 as an NBL franchise.
- Eddie Groves has had to surrender another asset. The "Dome" in Adelaide is no longer his as the Commonwealth Bank had to take it back.
- Ever wondered what happened to NBL guard Stephen Black? He is following in his father's (Allan) footsteps and going into coaching. Black will coach the South West Metro Pirates in the Queensland ABA.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
This morning I meander down to breakfast rather late, as I watched both NBL games via the "live" updates to the wee hours of this morning, only to have the pleasure to meet Craig Ehlo.
The first thing to spring to mind was the "shot" but I could not muster up the testosterone to ask him about one of the most recognisable plays in NBA history. (Think 1989 Playoffs, Bulls vs Cavs)
Instead as we began with some general chit chat, he mentioned how a New Zealand media outlet called him last Saturday to talk about Michael Jordan's game winning free throw line jumper.
Another discussion point (as we ate Vegemite toast) was Mark Price's coaching experience with the South Dragons. Ehlo was well aware that his former backcourt partner had a brief stint in the southern hemisphere.
Well, it time to head to shoot around as the Gonzaga Bulldogs prepare to battle the San Francisco Dons tonight.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Sorry I have been a little slack on the blog the last few days but I make a quick trip to the USA to attend the funeral of my college coach Dan Fitzgerald. What a great service and the speakers were fantastic to boot. It was great to see a number of former teammates and catch up and relive the "good ole times".
Since arriving over here I have been asked to do the colour commentating for the Gonzaga Bulldogs vs Santa Clara Broncos tonight.
I will have my head buried in stats and trivia for the next few hours so I can sound somewhat educated on air.
I will get back to you after I have enlightened the American audience with some Aussie slang in commentary. Is it possible to have subtitles on radio?
I cannot wait for this experience but its time for me to find out what Matt Bouldin and Bol Kong get up to at shoot round.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
In yesterday's Townsville Bulletin, the former Crocodiles captain talked about a few of the alterations that have been made to the NBL rules this season.
He feels the game has become "boring" at stages and the need to go back to 48 minutes would be his ideal. Hopefully it would help with the low scoring games he has seen so far this season.
As I said, the "Magician" does not make public comment too often, but when he does, maybe everyone should listen.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Wollongong Hawks have been doing a lot of things right on and off the court this year. Without doubt they are leading the NBL in cyber appearances.
Here is their latest edition as this very happy fan has walked away with a year's worth of Slurpees, all thanks to 7-Eleven. All he did was drop a halfcourter.
Check the footage below to see how the punter won. Oh, his son looks pretty happy too!
Friday, January 22, 2010
I have just returned home for one of the ugliest contests of the year, Townsville Crocodiles over the Wollongong Hawks.
Instead of telling you about that eye sore, check out the latest edition from the Wildcat boys. Potential Rookie of the Year Jesse Wagstaff tells us a little about himself. A self confessed "nerd" who would otherwise be an engineer in Canberra if it was not for hoops.
Worth a look and I look forward to the Perth/Melbourne clash tomorrow night.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Wednesday night really sets the mood for the week's games. First we have the resurging Melbourne Tigers taking on the top of the table Perth Wildcats on Fox Sports.
The Tigers are winners of 5 of their last 6 and have moved up to sixth on the ladder. Having added import Mike Rose, the Tigers have played their hand in saying the season ain't over yet. This weekend's home and away against the Wildcats will determine if the Tigers have any roar in them as we head towards the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats are playing for a Top 2 finish and home court advantage during the playoffs. As we know, the Wildcats are tough to beat at the "Jungle" so Rob Beveridge will have his boys amped for this mini series.
I'm saying each team will win on their home floor but look for Sam MacKinnon and Galen Young to conduct a no holds barred wrestle for halftime entertainment.
The Wollongong Hawks and the Townsville Crocodiles also enter a home and away series over the next three days. Wednesday starts down at the "Sandpit", while the return leg at the "Swamp" is Friday night.
The Hawks continue to go about their business despite MVP fav Ty McKee out for the season. The Hawks have dusted the Crocs 2-0 already this season so can their good play continue against the reptiles?
I'm sure now leading MVP candidate Corey "Homicide" Williams will be looking to have a night out on his feathered friends. Coach Gordie McLeod's scout on the playground legend has been spot on to date.
If the Crocs have aspirations of a Top 2 finish, they need to get over this hurdle the Hawks have presented to date. Meanwhile, if the Hawks can get two wins, they will put to rest all the doubters and should secure a playoff birth.
Thursday night's game across the ditch is being pumped up as a grand final for both teams.
Adelaide has had an injury scare this week, but it seems that captain Adam Ballinger boarded the flight and will suit up for the 36ers against my New Zealand Breakers.
As for the Breakers, they/we just need a win for the sake of confidence right now. If the game had been reduced to thirty minutes this year, the title favourites (at the start of the season) would be holding court and making bookies look like they knew what they are doing.
Unlucky for the Breakers the game is forty minutes and they/we have found just about every way possible to cough up a handy fourth quarter lead.
I'm tipping the Breakers, break out, and drop a lazy 100 on the 36ers.
Saturday night will see the Crocodiles play their third game in five days as they travel to Cairns. The folks of the far north will be promoting this one big time and plenty will make the trip north from Townsville.
No matter what is at stake, these two towns will always show up and support their team.
The Taipans have not been playing the best ball of late but they must be due and I'm sure they are holding onto the old mathematical equation scenario regarding making the playoffs.
On the other hand the Crocs mental makeup (from their two games against the Hawks) will determine how they go into this game.
Last but not least, the Gold Coast Blaze host the NZ Breakers.
The Breakers will come into this game with renewed energy and hope after beating the 36ers on Thursday. Having been narrowly defeated on New Year's Eve at the same venue, the Breakers will like their chances.
Joey Wright will have his Blaze team thinking Top 2 so they cannot afford to drop too many more in the fashion they did in Wollongong last round.
Injury is starting to creep into the Blaze camp (Adam Gibson and Ayinde Ubaka) but if they are serious about competing for a championship they need to win this one.
I'm tipping this is going to be the game of the round so people on the Coast need to get a piece of this action come Saturday night.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Hold on, was that a Wollongong Hawks jersey on Neighbours? First Zac Delaney gets his first NBL point, now he is on the Kylie Minogue-less TV show?
Well done Hawks, I'm impressed.
- Adelaide 36ers will travel to take on the New Zealand Breakers this Thursday with out the services of captain Adam Ballinger. Read this article to see how courageous Capt Ballinger was in the eyes of coach Scott Ninnis.
I'm my opinion, the loser of this game can start recruiting for next season. Without the "Ranga" making the trip across the Tasman, Ninnis can start plotting for next season, early.
- Despite the season ending absence of MVP frontrunner Ty McKee, the Wollongong Hawks keep finding ways to win. After a impressive 21 point victory over the Gold coast Blaze, the Hawks stay well entrenched in the top 4.
- With Pero Cameron out of action with his NBL squad (GC Blaze) he returned home to look at some of the potential that may line up for his Wellington Saints this coming NZNBL season.
I'm sure he may have snuck in a lamb shank or two while home.
- The Melbourne Tigers continue to make a late run for a NBL playoff position, but have they make their late season dash a little late?
- Perth Wildcat "mighty mouse" Brad Robbins will be back in uniform. The top of the table Wildcats are preparing for a couple of games against the inform Melbourne Tigers this week.
- The Townsville Crocodiles have moved up to second on the ladder without playing a game this weekend.
- Just as well Christmas has come and gone. "Bad Santa" is heading out west to deliver presents to the Eastern Suns in the WA State League. Read about the street ball "legend" heading out west.
Wollongong Hawk little big man Zac Delaney scores his first NBL point over the weekend against the Gold Coast Blaze.
Teammate Daniel Jackson catches up with the local legend to see what he has to say about a life long goal, scoring big.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
It seems to me that many teams involved at the second tier basketball level in this country are trying to step up their games and the Kalamunda Eastern Suns in Western Australia may just be leading the way.