Earlier this year
Jameel McKay appreciation thread
With all the changes in the league this year, it has been easy to forget that Perth are the reigning champs, and still have a very solid core.
Damo was the GF MVP, and he and most of the team have been together for a while. Even though Prather was new last season, he settled in and became their MVP.
Clearly, if Perth landed two new high quality imports, they were going to be awesome.
With all the furore over the JJ soap-opera, and the excitement over Cotton, it has been easy to overlook the steady improvement of Jameel McKay.
I have always been hopeful that he would continue to improve, but at one-point I worried that he (rather than JJ) might need to be sacrifice to bring in another import. Fortunately that worry is now behind us.
McKay is unlike what we usually see as an Centre in the NBL. He's not excessively tall, and not especially heavy, but OMG his leap, and wingspan.
Reading a bit of his history, as a College junior, he was named Big 12 defensive player of the year. Should have known then he would find his way to the Wildcats.
Against Sydney he scored a high of 19 points, and against Brissy pulled in an amazing 13 boards. He leads the league in blocked shots, and its not just the shots he gets his hands on. So often he forces the opposition to change their shot, or to give up and try to dish.
After watching Knight and Jawai rumble up the floor last season, its great to have a big guy who can actually run and score in transition. And I think the more he plays with Cotton (and Damo back) the more scoring we'll see.
I think importantly, McKay seems to have reached a tipping point. In some early games, he was a liability against big centres, because he was getting out-muscled. In these past few games, he has caused those guys to be liabilities because they can't match his pace and athleticism.