Years ago

The Townsville Experiment

The Crocs have gone with stacks of young talent this season, with the additions of Nick Kay, Mitch Young and Corey Maynard. Also they've kept Mich Norton and Mirko Djeric. Combined with MVP Brian Conklin, vets Luke Schenscer and Leon Henry and the untapped potential of Clint Steindl, how far do you think this team will go? I think this season they're headed for a wooden spoon but long term I think they'll find a few diamonds in the rough that'll turn into stars and if they nab two quality imports and the eventual naturalisation of Conk this team will be a powerhouse in years to come.

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Years ago

They're probably all on 1 or 2 year deals. In 2 years time they're likely to have an entirely different line up. Teams don't really get time to grow up together in the NBL.

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Years ago

What's working against them:

Cairns seemingly didn't see enough in Maynard to give him much time
I'm not sure about Steindl
Count your naturalised imports when they're naturalised; heard it a million times
Not convinced by Djeric
Or Henry
No guarantee guys stay once they're proven (see Blanchfield)

Not sure they have enough drawing power to do much other than what they're doing though. Best bet is to unearth rough diamond imports, get prospects and maybe be shrewd with vets or naturalised imports. e.g., could've got someone like Gruber before he left. Look for guys who are sick of coming off the bench and fancy leading a team, hope it turns out better than Weigh moving to Adelaide and is more like Goulding's gig post-Blaze.

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Years ago

Your right about counting your naturalised when they're naturalised heard it countless times with Ervin and Wilson.

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NBL Fan  
Years ago

Djeric can be good but is very streaky. Doesn't hesitate to jack up a 3 whenever he gets the ball

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Years ago

They're like Minnesota. bottom of the food chain.

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Years ago

When you look at how e dry other team has recruited, Townsville font stand a chance this season. Markovic, Blanchfield, Gladness and Holmes all out and replaced with Scheshner, Maynard, Jett and Young...that's a massive downgrade in my opinion.
Jawai would certainly help there cause.

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Years ago

For me, I just don't see where they will get their points from. Nowhere near enough strikepower.

I think defensively they will old their own save for a few 'young player' lapses. Defensively they should model their team as extremely hard-working, aggressive looking for traps, pressuring the ball, mix and match defensive covers and just unbridled energy.

Isaac has hit the nail on the head. Players happily pack up and leave teams quite often - not so much a loyalty issue..just the nature of the cap and points regulations.

Plus naturalisation really doesn't help a team quite like you think. Conk will still want the same $ whether he is an import or naturalised (might even want more as a naturalised) if a team doesn't have much in the kilters, they're not going to go out and get a $150k stud import to now fill the import spot. Sure they may have room to get 2 min salary imports but previous experiences suggest they aren't any better than locals anyway.

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Years ago

Townsville are just out of VA. That would have contributed to most of last years team moving on, maybe. Most teams were fairly well into their recruitment when they got out of VA. They don't appear to have a new money bags or coach like Illawarra and are taking a low key approach. Probably can't afford not to.

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Years ago

I think jett will be much better than people are giving him credit for and will bring the penetration and shot creation that blanchfield didn't, granted he's unlikely to be as good a rebounder or outside shooter.

Gladnesses elite shot blocking can't be replaced, other than by the likes of ebekwe but he was offensively challenged to say the least. The offence we will get from Kay, schensher and young will be a big step up imo from vandy, gladness and Holmes and will be the biggest change we see.

I think we will be exciting to watch, with question marks over outside shooting and what the new guys will deliver.

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Years ago

They were all available for a reason...

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Thunder Jam  
Years ago

I think you'll find on certain nights, that this young group will just light it up and surprize teams. On the flip side, there will be nights they get beaten by 30+.

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Years ago

Weren't similar things said about Cairns last year, look at where they ended up?

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Years ago

They will be lucky to be there in one more season with Brisbane to take their spot.

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Years ago

Piss off Moron^^^^, Crocs will be around for a while yet. Brisbane has a catchment area of more than 2 million people and still cant get enough interest from the public or corporate to re-enter the league. Losers.

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Years ago

I'm adopting Townsville as my second team this season... I'm a huge fan of Steindl, I really get excited about the development of Norton and I think that Mitch Young could be some kind of cult hero this upcoming season... Our league is full of players that may not have been super talented but when they got on court they bettered you with their hustle, defence and Tenacity like Ray Gordon, Tim Morrisey and Brad Robbins and I think with Young playing behind our league MVP, coach Dennis could wind Young up, tell him to play hard and potentially turn a few games around. I just hope he can get some time at centre also.

I have them finishing above Adelaide but we do have to remember that this is a fair portion of a team that beat Hawks by 32 won game and lost to them the following round so even with last years talent they still lacked consistency

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Years ago

Things working against us:

- We just lost our best player in Todd Blanchfield, a super efficient athletic wing who can score from anywhere and is one of the best shooters in the league.

- Shawn Dennis can't coach.

- Clint Steindl still can't do anything except for catch and shoot.

- I don't see how Mitch Norton and Jordair Jett play next to one another: both need the ball.

- Not enough shooting. Losing Blanchfield and Markovic is going to clog up the floor. With no shooting you don't leverage Schenscher's excellent kick-out passing.

- The NBL is a win-now league. Development means nothing when everyone is on 1 year contracts league-wide. Case in point: we just lost Todd Blanchfield -- a local North Queensland product who wanted to move to the other side of the country.

Things going for us:

- Return to the proper stadium. No home court advantage in that rec-league stadium last year lost us a few close games.

- Kay looks like he's ready to contribute now.

- Markovic is gone. No disrespect to a guy who is dealing with legit mental problems, but strictly basketball-wise it's not great for the young guys when your leader misses every third game or so with psychological issues.

- Steindl will no longer be playing in Blanchfield's shadow. HOWEVER, I don't think he will rise to the occasion. He's 27 years old and would have done so already if he had it in him. Having said that, Steindl can now play purely at the 3 spot. Last year he got played at the two and he can't handle the ball or create.

You keep Blanchfield and throw this team around him and you're sitting pretty -- even if you just roll with one import in Conklin -- but no one can recover from losing a guy that good and replacing him with no one. Lots of people don't realise how good Blanchfield is.

They're are some great young pieces here but they are missing a stud. Did I mention Blanchfield left?

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Years ago

So, Mick, how good is Blanchfield?

You may be surprised by the Croc's this season, let's hope so...

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Callisto 75  
Years ago

Mick think you are being a bit harsh on Shawn Dennis tbh. Agree with you on the homecourt advantage costing a couple of games. Examples Perth and Cairns games.
Losing Blanchfield is the main issue imo. Even if they managed to keep him and go with a budget import instead of Conklin it would be ok.

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Years ago

You're probably right Tom. I think the younger team will be better for his coaching style and hopefully he produces.

Re: Blanchfield walking. If it was because they low-balled him with an offer I would be pretty pissed off as a Crocs fan: he should be the highest paid player on the team if that's what his asking price was. He was poised to have a monster seasons in green and would have been worth every penny even if he was one of the highest paid players in the league.

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Years ago

*Callisto 75, not Tom.

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Years ago

Blanchfield would be paid more than the league MVP?

That is highly surprising... I would have paid them very close either way.

@ Mick; How much improvement does Conklin have in him?

We know he is still young but does he have the roster around him to get the most out of his abilities?

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Years ago

Yeah I'd pay Blanchfield more than Conklin any day of the week. He's a better all-round player, and he's only 23/24 ish years old, has improved every single season and still has massive upside, plus he's a local kid that has played his whole career at the club. You have to look after people like that.

Conklin is a fine player but he's undersized, is only average on defense and can't shoot / won't ever be able to shoot the three.

Conklin is the classic case of an overpay: wins league MVP almost by default and then we don't bring back Blanchfield. My money says the Crocs paid Conklin heaps and then lowballed Blanchfield. I would have done the opposite...

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