Master Chief
Years ago

The Terrance Ferguson experiment

Firstly, credit has to go the club for making it happen. It was creative and they got some exposure and hype from it.

Secondly, i think Joey was guilty of under-utilising and offering unbalanced minutes.

I'm of the view that Adelaide needed a ready made import for that crucial third spot. It felt too much like a project player for Joey as opposed to someone who was here to help us win. When you see Ferguson anchored to the bench during some games, you can't help but wonder why he's here. Again, not a criticism for those who disagree, but more so a challenge to the club as to what the point of the experiment was?

A counter argument to this is that Adelaide and Illawarra were two teams that had success with imports who were role players. Ferguson seemed like a great team guy. Maybe if we went for a star type, we wouldn't of had the same chemistry that got the team to the semis? And you compare that to big spending teams like Melbourne.

I don't think there's any right or wrong views here, but ultimately i think Adelaide needed a seasoned import if they didn't intend to use Ferguson much or properly to his strengths. Now that it's done, would you like to see them go down a similar path next season?

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Years ago

I think you nailed the balance here. Good thinking from Joey given they would've spent virtually nothing on two of their imports. And credit to Ferguson for his attitude. Lenience given his age. And obviously consideration to the fact that an alternative might've wrecked the chemistry that was a huge foundation for the team.

But on the other hand, it's hard not to think that Ferguson could've tried more out there, aggressively driving to the bucket (I raised Brad Hill at 17 yo as a comparison previously - he was dynamic from his first game). And had he offered more, he might've been played more.

His draft prospects might be shaky, based on what we saw, but that's for him to worry about.

I think they'd be reluctant to try the same thing again, at least not without more scouting of the player's ability against professional opposition. And I think they'd probably be in a different position if they had a gamble-import in that role instead. Other teams had similarly limited output from some imports - United had two just by themselves. Or on pros in past years - Christopherson, Massingale, etc.

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Years ago

I thought that when they started him Adelaide were at there best, I believe that he was under used. Easy to say in hindsight but sometimes you just got give the young guys ago, as it is Teys was solid but not going to win you the game.

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Years ago

I think it worked out fairly well. This team was built around Randle as the centre piece, then a good big man/wing (DJ/Sobey), along with other capable role players. Another star import could have crowded things a bit due to the way the team was built around Randle being so ball dominant.

If he goes on to have success it will be a great for Adelaide and their fan base. As a Wildcats fan its great when you see highlights, articles and stats pop up about Ennis, and feeling that bit of connection about being a supporter from where it all started for him.

It will be a good sales pitch for future imports too saying "we developed this guy who was just a kid and got him to the NBA, come to us and we can do the same for you". It's also be good networking for the club when people around the NBA ask where he came from etc and he gets linked back to Adelaide.

In terms of actual production from him was it a success? Probably not, although he did make some good contributions at times.

In terms of gaining the right player for team balance this year, recruiting future imports, getting an exciting player for the fans to continue to support and have a connection with, networking in the NBA, overall was it a success? imo yes.

Good luck to him, he'll now have a whole state/country following and supporting him on his journey to the NBA.

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Very Old  
Years ago

There is more than one stakeholder in this experiment, the club, the agent, the player all would have had different main outcomes for the year, and another set for future years.

1) he got paid

2) He got experience against grown men and pros.

3) he did not get hurt (agent)

4) the club got credit from him for their support

5) He did not really get his talent on display ( but does the NBA care about NBL performances)

6) He did not really seem to get his skills developed in a way that showed in output on the court ( compare against Drimic this season)

7) the club did not get much of a performance lift in games from him.

8) Club and league got some additional PR exposure overseas

It did not hurt, particularly given the salary cost available to Adelaide for 3 imports as compared to , say, Perth.

But I agree that his mprovement in defence was sufficient that he could have been more of a contributor at the pointy end of the season, if he had gotten more game time earlier - but who really knows ?

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Years ago

All NBL teams should be about winning championships not experimenting or developing players.

36ers got lucky this year that Sobey exploded to where he did otherwise Ferguson may not have seen out the season at all.

Substitute Torrey Craig, Beal or Jaron Johnson into that position and the 36ers would have been close to unbeatable

I don't think we will see that experiment again from the 36ers as the new owner is highly cashed up and ready to spend

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Years ago

I've been hearing this rumour about a new owner for a couple of months now, but haven't heard any definite details. Could you elaborate on what you know Fundingsland?

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Master Chief  
Years ago

Another point is that even if a team is mindful of chemistry and personality, you don't need to recruit high school players in order to find that type of player. There's plenty of quality role player types around the world.

Also, a star player, or a player who's just likely to be more capable of producing statistically, doesn't have to come at the expense of chemistry anyway.

Fundingsland, i think you're right to direct the challenge at the intention, regardless of all the secondary motives. So club has been sold?

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Years ago

New owner is an expat based in Singapore. Runs a Asian property firm as I understand it.

Reply #628401 | Report this post

Years ago

Well....that would make things interesting.

Weirdly, this forum seems to have a fair amount of accuracy to rumours. I don't know who you are Fundingsland, but you've got me curious.

Get ready for about a thousand questions you probably can't answer!

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Years ago

With developing players, I think there's room for it in the NBL, but with multi-year contracts or at least local players. No point for a one-and-done draft candidate who has no reason to stay.

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Years ago

The thing that made the Ferguson experiment a bit uncomfortable was that no one the team included expected us to be a contender this season.

Last season we pushed for one more roll of the dice with our veteran team and missed the playoffs and the old players departed Ebi Ere, Gibson, Petrie & Walker.

This season was essentially going to be a rebuilding year signing young guys like Drmic, Deng, Jacobsen and of course Ferguson.

I suspect the Ferguson signing was hoped to bring a bit of recognition to the 36ers whilst hopefully providing some on court highlights for the fans to pacify them over the losses and expected finish near the bottom of the ladder.

As it turned out after that 3-6 start the team clicked winning 14 of it's next 15 games and wrapping up the minor round championship with 4 games to go which is when it all started to fall apart.

Ferguson unfortunately was just about useless and his refusal to drive (no doubt ordered by his agent) just turned him into a glorified spot up shooter who rarely shot the ball and could be guarded aggressively because everyone knew he wouldn't take it to the hole.

Reply #628435 | Report this post

Years ago

"Substitute Torrey Craig, Beal or Jaron Johnson into that position and the 36ers would have been close to unbeatable"

How's that Meatloaf song go Fundingsland.

Reply #628438 | Report this post

Years ago

I think there are some bigger questions to be answered before we can make an accurate assessment.
Do we actually know how much he was paid? Even roughly or comparatively? Could they have found somebody better in the NBA's D league?

Why did the 36s fall? There was lot of talk from the commentary team about them being a young team. Was that really an issue? Maybe with so many young players they mid have been better served with a mature d-leaguer or journeyman?

Or was it just Joeys not emphasising defence? If so, did Ferguson contribute to that issue?

Reply #628440 | Report this post

Years ago

I think the team broke even on T Ferg. He wasn't the highlight package people were expecting, but he wasn't terrible either. He showed some steady improvement, and at times very good defense.

If the 36ers had more money at the time he may not have been an option, so I think the team looked to build its brand overseas knowing they weren't going to get a star with what they had. They've done that much, and the league will be better for it if and when he gets drafted.

Would I personally do the experiment again? Under the right circumstances, yes. If we can get 2 stud imports and then develop a third who will bring some sort of needed attribute as well as publicity, then sure, go for it. I just hope we now have deep enough pockets that we don't necessarily have to do that.

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Years ago

The thing that made the Ferguson experiment a bit uncomfortable was that no one the team included expected us to be a contender this season.
Exactly. I doubt they would have done it if they'd thought a championship run was a possibility.

Reply #628448 | Report this post

Years ago

I don't think he was giving a fair go and as a good young shooter he needs to be on the court longer than he was so he can get some rythem going. You can't be expected to be good if you stay on the court for three minutes max and i would of giving him more game time than that useless guy named Teys(he is rubbish).

Reply #628466 | Report this post

Years ago

Just wish another team had been the innovator.

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Years ago

If he goes high in the draft I don't think it would be out of the question that a lot better players come over in the future that have more developed skills, given the disdain high ranked players have for the college system. NBA needs to scrap 1 and done college careers that are completely useless when the players don't get paid.

But the nbl can benefit till that day comes.

Reply #628574 | Report this post

Years ago

"The thing that made the Ferguson experiment a bit uncomfortable was that no one the team included expected us to be a contender this season.

Exactly. I doubt they would have done it if they'd thought a championship run was a possibility."

What does that mean?
Why did Joey spend big on Randle if not to challenge for a chip?

If anything I'd say the opposite is true don't you think?
Why waste time on a player who wont be here next year?

Reply #628603 | Report this post

Years ago

Hype, eyeballs, money, the chance to attract better players in the future.

Reply #628604 | Report this post

Years ago

Terrance Ferguson plans pre-Draft schedule, is already recruiting other high school stars to NBL

I've told players that want to go to college, 'don’t go to college’. I’ve already been working; I’ve been recruiting for Australia.

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