Freethrows
Two years ago

Cairns Taipans 2017/18

Cairns made it to second place in the regular season in 2016/17, before being swept by a rampaging Wildcats team that went on to win the finals, as we all know.

With the following players contracted for 2017/18, what pieces can the Taipans add to make them a more competitive outfit next season?

Cam Gliddon
Nathan Jawai
Jarrad Weeks
Mitch McCarron
Stevie Weigh
Alex Loughton

They need a starting point guard, small forward and power forward, and backup at centre, then an 11th man who can fill the gaps when required.

Fearne seems hell bent on pursuing Nnanna Egwu for the back-up centre position. Is this a good idea? If they do that, should they go hell for leather for a great starting point guard like Scottie Wilbekin, get an Aussie for the two starting forward positions (Todd Blanchfield and a returnee from US College hoops, perhaps?)

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Zodiac  
Two years ago

To be honest I think the Taipans would be best served getting out from under Fearne and his stifling system. The core he attracts is only ever so-so and most young players get out of there as soon as they can.

They always live and die by their imports, if their imports turn out good they can challenge but usually they're not that crash hot.

IMO, Fearne is a bit like Marty Clarke a college type coach he's not a pro coach the players have to fit into his system otherwise they go to waste.

I know FNQ might not be most players ideal location and the team has a limited budget so it's all easier said than done but I would just like to see what a less rigid coach could do with their rosters. Shawn Dennis comes to mind.

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ME  
Two years ago

Yeah I don't like Fearne as a coach. Drop him and move on.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Great. Let's just drop a coach and get someone else who may work. Makes sense said no one ever.
Maybe if they spent to the cap at least they might be better? Why is it a stifling system Zodiac? PLease explain.

Reply #631572 | Report this post


CT  
Two years ago

Can't be bothered to go round in circles about Fearney again. He'll be there another year minimum so there's no discussion to be had.

Like the idea of keeping Egwu if the price is right, he's a fairly decent back up to Jawai and offers something different from just being a like-for-like replacement strong/slow big man. Especially if he ever starts being allowed to shoot a bit more from 15 yards out (as he's shown he's capable of doing from time to time).

They live and die by their import point guard each year though. I'm sure Fearney now gets an automated email alert every time an otherwise promising young college PG gets pinged by the cops for something serious enough that the NBA scouts get the jitters :-)

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Fearne has massively underachieved in his time at Cairns. Any other club would have moved him on by now, instead of making excuses and accepting less-than-mediocre efforts.

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Wookiee  
Two years ago

What young players have left Cairns as soon as they could? Gliddon would have been the best example of young talent coming on board, but he's not only stuck around, but become captain and looks to be a lifelong Taipan...

Nate left for overseas, didn't he? When he came back I don't think Cairns had a spot for him, he went to Perth, but is now back for 3yr stint, a huge part of that would be because of Fearne... From all accounts, Fearne was in contact with McCarron while at college and in Spain and look who he came back to play for?

As for living and dying by their imports, the same could VERY MUCH be said of Perth as well... If it wasn't for Cotton coming on board, they wouldn't have made the playoffs and if it wasn't for him and Prather, they wouldn't have cracked 40ppg as a team...

I understand there are legit criticisms of Fearne, but got to keep it in perspective...

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Sobey, Bruce, Maynard

Reply #631610 | Report this post


Freethrows  
Two years ago

@Zodiac, I can see some strength in some of your comments, and as a long tem Taipans fan, I concur that Fearne's system is a difficult one for players to really shine. That said, Cairns has always had problems (due to both cash and location) drawing high quality players at the peak of their careers, and when we have, we've often been gutted by other teams (witness Melbourne poaching Ubake and Dorsey, along with Dillon.)

I also heartily agree with my courtside neighbour, @CT. We can go round and round about Fearne, but he's here for next season. That's why I initiated the post about the playing group, not the coaching personnel.

Also, @Wookie is right. What NBL teams would have come close to the finals this year without the stellar play of their impoorts? Adelaide without Randle? Perth were crap without Cotton, even with Prather playing his pants off. Illawarra without Clarke firing were pasted by Cotton and his cohort in the finals series.

^ Anon: Sobey is relevant to the discussion. Maynard couldn't crack an NBL roster anywhere, and Bruce will always be a fairly decent back up.

So, yes, teams live and die by their imports. It's just a fact that Australia has rarely produced point guards of the standard we can get from (principally) the USA. That's why every almost team in the NBL has relied on them over the years.

So, should the Taipans stump up for a really high quality PG? Should they try to keep Trice?

What are their options at PF? Personally, I think they should play Egwu at PF with Nate more often - he CAN hit that 15 foot jump shot (I don't know about 15 yards, CT!) Weigh can also play at PF, he has the strength and the athleticism, can post a lot of guys up, and also stretch the floor. Is a PF by committee approach feasible, with Egwu, Loughton and Weigh sharing the minutes, given that Egwo will also have to share minutes with Nate (especially if he has fould called on him at the rate he did this season)?

How about this?
IMPORT/Weeks/Heuir
Gliddon/McCarron/BLANCHFIELD
BLANCHFIELD/McCarron/Weigh
EGWU/Loughton/Weigh
Jawai/Egwu

That still leaves a roster spot open, perhaps for a returning college player at PF/C.

Reply #631612 | Report this post


swish  
Two years ago

Surely when the low budget teams ( Cairns, Adelaide, Illawarra) all make the play offs you have to give credit to their coaches.
How did Cairns achieve what they did when they got so little out of 2 of 3 imports and probably no Aussie that would start on any other team?
Cairns play to their strength ( slow it down, make the game a grind) like Adelaide play to their strength ( fast run and gun). Hawks play smart basketball.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Yet the slow it down method wasn't going to work against Perth, yet they still persisted. No Plan B at all.

Reply #631622 | Report this post


Lovebroker  
Two years ago

If people are going to give Joey credit for being projected to finish 7th yet finished 1st, can't they extend that courtesy to Fearne who was projected 8th and finished 2nd?

Almost all coaches are going to live and die by their imports.

See the difference in Vickerman when he had Kerron Johnson vs Cedric Jackson.

See the difference in Gleeson when he had Ennis Vs DeAndre Daniels Vs Prather.

See the difference in Fearne when he had Wilbekin vs Trice.

Egwu is great for Cairns. He is the prefect compliment to Nate's health, weight, foul issues.

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Wookiee  
Two years ago

Sobey, Bruce, Maynard

Sobey is slightly relevant, but wasn't he still a Dev/10th man at the time?

Does Maynard even basketball anymore?

As for Bruce, he did really well under Fearne's system and got himself a nice pay day... How'd he go for the Bullets this season? yeah...

But back on track, I think Freethrows is spot on with Egwu... From the games I saw, he was a pretty solid player, just needs a bit more of a chance, not one of Fearne's strengths sure, but it all depends on how much of the cap Worth was taking up as to how much they have to splash around for Import PG and SF... Not sure the budget would stretch to quality for both spots... FA list is a tad light on this off season, so Blanchfield will be pretty popular...

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Why does Jawai still have weight, fitness and conditioning issues. If so seems to me that Cairns just signed him for sentimental reasons being a local boy.

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snooch  
Two years ago

Steindl is another to have moved on.

Perth has succeeded due to the stability of their Australians more so than the play of their imports.

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Freethrows  
Two years ago

@snooch, what was that baout Perth? John McEnroe: you cannot be serious!

Also, Steindl gets so much of a rap, but he never achieved anything in the NBL. Journeyman, at best.

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Freethrows  
Two years ago

^ about Perth. :D

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Lovebroker  
Two years ago

@Snooch.

"Perth has succeeded due to the stability of their Australians more so than the play of their imports."

I think the stability of their local contingent has a great say in their success, they can make the playoffs even with a 'decent' import pairing of DeAndre Daniels and Beal.

But its the quality imports that takes them to that championship level, for example -
- Ennis / Beal.
- Prather / Beal
- Prather - Cotton



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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Quality? Beal??

Reply #631674 | Report this post


James Harvey fan  
Two years ago

What is Scottie Wilbekin up to those days? he should be their priority.

Reply #631678 | Report this post


skull  
Two years ago

The flow offence is always only 1 deflection away from having to throw up a 3 pointer on a dwindling shot clock.

Was never going to work against Perth....

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Wilbekin just inked a multi year deal in Romania

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CT  
Two years ago

Egwu can hit 15 yard shots (see 2:45 below)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxzN7n9_ZQw

But yes, I meant 15 ft :-)

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paul  
Two years ago

You know they'll be around the mark with Fearne coaching and the solid core he's built. Had they got a decent PG this year who knows what they could have achieved.

Next season they're probably going to need an import 3-4 to replace Wortho, so it might look like:

Jawai/Egwu
Import 3-4/Loughton/Weigh
Weigh/Import 3-4/McCarron
Gliddon/McCarron/Heuir
Import/Weeks

The base is there, the system is there, they just need quality in those two new import spots to be a contender.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Maybe Cairns should shut down operations if it can't complete for Wilbekin against a Romanian team.

Reply #631730 | Report this post


Thunder Jam  
Two years ago

Maybe you should just shut up!

Reply #631735 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

In light of the increased spending by most other clubs they are going to end up like the Geelongs, Hobarts, Gold Coasts and Newcastles of the late 90s. Don't say shut up, and discuss it... or shut up!

Reply #631736 | Report this post


snooch  
Two years ago

Apparently Jawai has had shoulder surgery and will miss a the start of next season.

http://www.cairnspost.com.au/sport/local-sport/nate-cops-a-body-blow/news-story/bc6eccc98e8738928efec0358200731e

In a blow to the Taipans' hopes next season, Jawai and his surgically repaired shoulder are facing a six to eight- month recovery period before he can return to the court.

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Freethrows  
Two years ago

Well, Blanchfield is out of the picture, having signed with the Kings. That's a strange move for both Sydney and Blanchfield, but best left for another thread.

@Thunder Jam, I understand your impatience with the Anonymous quote you responded to, but he has a point, I'm afraid. If the Taipans can't find the dollars to compete for the best players (and we lost out to Perth and Melbourne on $$ for imports in 16/17, so there's precedent,) it's going to be very hard to keep competing.

I think Fearne may be of a mindset to start McCarron at 3, with Weigh backing him up, and look for two more guards and a 4. Jeromie Hill?

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Where is the extra money Cairns is supposed to be getting for two thirds of last seasons clubs over the cap, is this going to happen is it bull shit.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

It smells like BS now, they obviously have changed their minds (i.e. big clubs got their way after complaining) and league HQ are keeping hush hush about it now.

Reply #631764 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

It's not right if that's the case, heard that there looking at someone from Sydney, Hill possibly.

Reply #631766 | Report this post


Anonymous  
Two years ago

If the league doesn't enforce the equalisation measures then they might as well shut up shop now because I am hearing some big $$$$ amounts being thrown around at the high end locals like Blanchfield. It won't be much of a league if 3 teams have no hope of signing those type of guys and I doubt that a 5 team league is going to interest fans and viewers for long.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

^^^^
Exactly, pay the tax.

Reply #631769 | Report this post


Zodiac  
Two years ago

Apparently Jawai has had shoulder surgery and will miss a the start of next season.


It never ends with him unfortunately. Missed most if not all of pre-season last year with a thumb injury which also caused him to miss about the first 5 games of the season and now similar again so will again be using the regular season to try and get himself into shape.

I think he lost his starting spot to Egwu late last season too.

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GordonG  
Two years ago

Re Wilbekin, Romania is looking to naturalise him... For them/him to want to do that, they would have to be paying him a shitload.

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Wookiee  
Two years ago

I agree about paying the tax and if the NBL is keeping things hushed up on purpose, that's fucked up... The whole point of teams being able to go over "the cap" was that it would help fund the teams unable to do that...

A shame about Jawai, I didn't think his rehab would have taken so long, and really, if it took three weeks for him to get it done, that's a bit sucky, could have really gotten back that much sooner at the other end...

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

I bet Marvin cried about the tax and got his way again.

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Air Delay  
Two years ago

Cairns need to sign a gun #1
Just like every other team...
And with Blanchfield at the Kings & Wortho retired they need a 4-3.
Best bet is banking on youth and pinching the young gun Moller from the Kings. I think his energy will complement Weeks & Mccarron & as his body fills out (I think he's only 22) he's gonna be one large, athletic 3-4 man.

I just wish we could get him at the Hawkies cause we really need an athletic rebounder! : (

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Freethrows  
Two years ago

Blanchfield is obviously out of the equation, now, which I think is a real shame, both for him and for Cairns. It looks like Sydney are going to fo their best to stack their roster with 3-men, again! ... or dies this leave the likes of Moller, Hill and Whittington open for other clubs to poach? I'd consider any of those three.

2sc945, I like the idea of Khazzouh as Nate's foil at 5. If Fearne continues to chase Egwu's signature, we could see:

Import / Weeks
Gliddon / McCarron
Whittington / Weigh
Egwu / Loughton
Jawai / Khazzouh

I'd like to see Heuir retained as the 11th man, as he provides guard flexibility as a fifth option. I think that's a pretty well balanced line-up, because McCarron can slide into a 3 roll, Whittington can cover 2 - 4, Weigh can play 3 or 4, and both Egwu and Loughton are options at 4 and 5. Is the starting line-up too top heavy? I would like to see Egwu play a little more at the elbow, because he's a decent shot from 15 feet, and would give Nate more room in the opposite post, demanding a defender at the elbow.

Hopefully both Tevin Jackson and Jack Madgen retained as DPs, although I'm not certain about the status of either s DPs. Does anyone know?

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Freethrows  
Two years ago

^ It looks like Sydney are going to DO their best to stack their roster with 3-men, again! ... or DOES

Damn, stupid, clumsy fingers!

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"2sc945, I like the idea of"

Who?

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