Earlier this year
Premier League Awards Preview And Power Rankings Round 12
Thought we'd take this chance with a break in the season to take stock of where everyone is & maybe start some award predictions (even if some aren't real awards!)
I'm breaking this up for now into "Contenders" and "Pretenders". That's because I think at this point the top 5 is set and we likely won't see any Pretenders jump into the top 5 of these rankings.
1a. Southern Tigers
Had a solid weekend, though they defeated both teams by less than the first time around (as they did with Sturt the week before). Their big 4 kept true to form and put up big numbers in what has become a regular occurrence but I still question if they have the depth to go all the way.
1b. Norwood Flames
McGriff dismantled West to the tune of 44 points and 15 rebounds in what was possibly the performance of the year. He is firming as an MVP favourite now and seems to be fitting in with the group well. Their offence seems to be humming and when shooting well their veteran group is the most dangerous in the league.
3. Forestville Eagles
A surprise Majok Deng sighting got them over the line in two hugely important games this weekend. Michael Harris also had a massive 34 points yesterday to help topple North. No one knows who they will line up every week but Andy's endless money pit means they're always competitive and now are locked in to finals. The question will be who do they suit up in August.
4. West Adelaide
A small hitch against a good Norwood team probably exposed their short comings without Jordan West. Still the deepest team in the league and had a very solid beat down of Sturt on Sunday but will be disappointed in giving up 116 to Norwood on Saturday night.
5. North Adelaide
Simply shown up on the weekend. Reed unfortunately is not returning to 2015 form and you have to question why he is still getting import level minutes for scrub level production. Quite possibly the worst signing of the season, and I was high on him coming in remembering his previous stint. Wasn't alone in going missing for the weekend though mention must be made of Schild's 11 points on Saturday night!
1. Woodville Warriors
2-0 for the weekend would have them feeling like just maybe there's a chance they can make some noise towards finals but in reality the best they can hope for is to play spoiler against some of the better sides. Even without import Perry some savvy Whitmore coaching got them over the line for two big wins.
2. South Adelaide
Managed to hold off Eastern with a vintage Eian Davis performance, unleashing for 48 points and a near triple double. Would have been a sure POTW if McGriff didn't happen. Still question if there's unrest at the Panther cage and unsure of why Shorne didn't play on the weekend, but he would be a big out if it's long term.
Had a narrow loss to Woodville and got blown out by Norwood. Would be disappointed after showing they're capable against North Adelaide. Young group so up and down season to be expected but would have hoped to at least split games with Woodville this season.
4. Eastern Mavericks
Hung with South and nearly stole another win but couldn't contain Davis. Put up more of a fight against Southern this time around and good to see more of an even contribution with some youngsters scoring the ball against Southern.
5. Sturt Sabres
Had the biggest weekend of any team this weekend and completely no showed. Max Calligeros stood up with a couple of big games it seems but if Saturday night wasn't bad enough, Sunday appeared to be an embarrassing display. Regardless of age or talent level Sturt have always remained competitive through the years, but this one seems completely wasted. I thought Casella was on the right track towards the end of the first round of games, but it appears I was very, very wrong. Looking more and more like his South Adelaide stint with every loss that passes.
Now let's get to some award predictions.
6th Man of the year
This is an interesting one. I would have suggested Mike Harris from Forestville (15.4ppg, 4.3rpg, 39% 3s) was the clear leader but he has started the previous few games. Codey Ellison from Southern (8.3ppg, 8.8rpg) hasn't played for a month now so might be out of contention. I'm going with Nick Marshall from North (11.8ppg, 5.3rpg), who has also started some games but primarily comes off the bench. Watch out for Tom Kubank (15ppg, 5.3rpg) who has only been back 4 games, but might sneak the (fake) award if he continues his form!
New import of the year
Another fake award - here are the contenders:
Brian McGriff - Norwood 24.9ppg, 10rpg
CJ Turnage - Southern 21.8ppg, 8.8rpg, 2.8apg, 58% FG
Greg Mays - Southern 19.1ppg, 8.3rpg, 2.5bpg, 62% FG
James Legan - West 20.3ppg, 5rpg, 44% 3s
Everett Osborne - Woodville 21.3ppg, 7.1rpg, 3.5apg
Nate Garth - Free Agent. Only in his own mind.
I have McGriff nosing out Mays after his past two weekends.
Returning import of the year
Yet another fake one - here we go:
Eian Davis - South 21ppg, 4.8rpg, 6.7apg, 51% FG
Alex Starling - North 23.5ppg, 14.5rpg, 52% FG
Jake Rios - Eastern 25.5ppg, 4.2rpg
CJ Reed - North. Hahahaha.
I take Starling here for overall production and importance to his team, despite a poor weekend.
Continuing the fake award trend:
Sam Johns - Southern 18.5ppg, 6rpg, 6.8apg
Brendan Teys - Forestville 23ppg, 5.6rpg, 2.8apg
Adam Doyle - Forestville 19.4ppg, 5rpg, 5.8apg
Patrick Thomas - West Adelaide 11.8ppg, 7rpg, 6.2apg
Matt Lycett - Norwood 18.1ppg, 6.6rpg, 4apg
Some good players on this list and some good ones who missed out. Until a couple of weeks ago I'd have had Teys for this award but his %s have nose dived recently. I'll take Johns at this point, but it's a close race.
U21 Player of the year
Our first real award and I think this is a battle of three guys. The aforementioned Michael Harris and Nick Marshall or the guy I would favour, Jimma Day from Centrals (17.9ppg, 9.5rpg) who has battled hard all season.
Defensive Player of the year
Alex Starling has been a menace on both ends for years now and generally starts as a favourite for this award, but I would favour Greg Mays from Southern who not only blocks 2.5 shots per game, he alters significant others.
First Team All Star 5
PG - Sam Johns
SG - Brendan Teys
SF - Matt Lycett
PF - Brian McGriff
C - Alex Starling
Second Team All Star 5
PG - Adam Doyle
SG - Jake Rios
SF - Patrick Thomas
PF - CJ Turnage
C - Greg Mays
Third Team All Star 5
PG - Eian Davis
SG - James Legan
SF - Brandon Brine
PF - Tobias Dowdell
C - Will Wise
Be interested to hear others thoughts and how much this changes before the seasons end.