Premier League Season 2019 Review
Doing my season review now as I want to give my tips for the Woollacott & other awards before the weekend.
Mount Gambier 17-3
The good: Riding an 11 game win streak heading into finals, having not be defeated since May 4th against Southern Tigers.
The bad: Suffered two early-mid season losses against Norwood and Southern after holding double digit leads in the fourth quarter.
Import grade: A. Barkley (24.6ppg, 14.8rpg) in contention for league MVP with a dominant all around game and the best import work ethic since Alex Starling. Dickson (13.6ppg, 9.1rpg) has gotten better and better as the season has gone on and is the perfect compliment to their Aussie contingent.
Local grade: A+. Tom Daly (22.8ppg, 5apg) is the best point guard in the league and while Burdon (12.5ppg, 3.5apg, 40% 3s) has been inconsistent he's provided them with timely outside shooting. Brad Rathjen taking on a starting role and averaging a very solid 13.5ppg, 4.9apg, 4.2rpg and Sam Daly (14.8ppg, 4.7apg) has provided good minutes whether he's been starting or coming off the bench.
North Adelaide 15-4
The good: Like Mount Gambier have ripped off 11 straight since a 4-4 start.
The bad: The aforementioned 4-4 start had plenty questioning chemistry and team hierarchy.
Import grade: A-. Starling has produced a typically consistent season with 21.1ppg and 12.1rpg along with his disruptive defence. Dowdell (15.5ppg, 9.6rpg) started the season well but has seemed to take a back seat towards the end of the season. He faded last season at West, the
Rockets will be hoping for a big finals campaign from him.
Local grade: A. McVeigh (24.3ppg, 6.5rpg) has had a fantastic back end of the season, proving to be a handful all over the court and hitting 3s at a 52% clip. Johnson has provided 15.8ppg and 4.8apg but has lacked consistency. Bench depth has been a question mark all season but Nick Marshall (9.9ppg) has helped here.
Forestville Eagles 15-4
The good: Kane De Wit has surprised this season, leading the league in assists with 9.5 per game to go along with 10.2ppg.
The bad: The bench, who aside from sometimes-starter Rios, often contribute very little.
Import grade: A-. Mays (21.8ppg, 10.6rpg) has had another outstanding season, peaking when Majok was unavailable and contributing on both ends while providing many highlights. Rios has been inconsistent, halving his 2018 average at 11.9ppg.
Local grade: A. Majok (27ppg, 11.6rpg) and Teys (20.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 4.2apg) have both had as expected seasons as elite locals. Harris (19.3ppg) has proven more consistent this year than last but probably hasn't shown that he's taken a major step forward in rounding out his game.
Southern Tigers 14-5
The good: Big comeback victories throughout the season, most notably against Mount Gambier in between Drmics departure and Gilligans arrival.
The bad: Cutting it fine against South, getting down by over 20 late in the game before staging a miraculous comeback. A similar story against Mavs earlier in the season.
Import grade: A+. Turnage has come back an even better player, improving his averages to 28.9ppg and 10.3rpg while draining 3s at a healthy 39%. Mid season replacement Gilligan has filled Drmics void nicely with 23.4ppg and 10.2rpg and 38% on 3s.
Local grade: B+. Johns (11.9ppg, 4.9rpg, 4.3apg) has taken a step back from his All Star 5 season last year, while Calligeros (10.7ppg) and Omamogho (8.4ppg) have proven inconsistent. Both Burns (6.6ppg) and Staude (3.3apg) have provided a punch at crucial times.
Norwood Flames 13-6
The good: Starting the season 10-1 including the only road win at the Ice House this season and 1 point victories over North and Forestville.
The bad: Limping into finals with only two wins in their previous five, including double digit losses to Forestville, Southern and North.
Import grade: B. Legan (20.8ppg) has been less efficient this year, shooting less than 34% on 3s, while Moultrie (10ppg) hasn't been given too much opportunity he sure looks a shell of his former self (albeit a larger, well rounded shell!)
Local grade: B+. Brine (17.8ppg, 9.5rpg) started off the season in great form but has regressed as it's gone on. Lycett (15.3ppg, 6.4rpg) and Andrew Webber (9.4ppg, 5.7apg) have had quieter years than previous.
The good: Round 11 victory over Norwood who were 10-1 at the time.
The bad: Losing 5 on the trot to eliminate themselves from finals contention before fielding 6 players in round 19.
Import grade: B+. Riewer (14.6ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.8apg) has been very solid as a combo guard and provided leadership and experience to a side desperately in need of it. Jones (17.4ppg, 8.7rpg) was a solid undersized big import who left mid season.
Local grade: B. Diing (15.4ppg, 8rpg) has proven a handful inside and out while Luk (12.5ppg) and Dau (13.6ppg) have been solid, there hasn't been much in the way of depth.
The good: 3-0 start to the season, including a double digit win over Southern.
The bad: Pretty much everything since!
Import grade: B-. Jefferson is a solid to good PL import with averages of 21.3ppg and 8.8rpg but has struggled with foul trouble on occasion. No replacement for Heyward has hurt them.
Local grade: B-. Kubank (16.8ppg, 6.5rpg) has been solid but inefficient and hasn't taken a step forward this year while Thomas (12.5ppg, 8.7rpg, 6.0apg) has given all around production he is better suited to a 3rd or 4th option.
The good: The return of Luke Stanbridge (19.3ppg, 9.1rpg).
The bad: Late season loss to Sturt when 6th place is up for grabs.
Import grade: C-. Surprisingly brought Perry (16.5ppg) back who never seemed fit this season and Clippinger (13ppg, 6rpg) who showed flashes but was too inconsistent for an import.
Local grade: B-. Boonstoppel (14.6ppg, 4.1rpg) could make a case for 6th man of the year, while Meldrum (8.6ppg, 3.8apg) and Nathan (10.4ppg, 3.1apg) have been solid contributors and will be a handy backcourt pairing in the future.
The good: A more competitive back end of the season.
The bad: Going 0-11 to start the season.
Import grade: C. Rivers (10.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.8apg) was a poor fit from the start and took too long to find his role within the team.
Local grade: C+. Young core who will be better for the opportunities given this year. Sturt will need to decide which youngsters are worthy of time next year as they spread their minutes across too many this year.
The good: Brandon Morris was an excitement machine who averaged over 25ppg and 10rpg
The bad: Team and club still largely seems dysfunctional.
Import grade: B+. Morris was great but Cherry (11.5ppg, 8.5rpg) was under skilled for a perimeter import in this league.
Local grade: C. Not a lot here outside of McGee (14.2ppg, 7.7rpg) who produced a solid season.
South Adelaide 3-16
The good: Like Mavs, brought one good import into the league with Allmon averaging 24.8ppg and 12.6rpg.
The bad: Pretty much everything else, culminating in a loss to a Centrals side suiting just 6 players.
Import grade: B-. Tough one to grade as Allmon is amongst the best in the competition but Zinser (8.9ppg) is among the worst to ever play in Premier League.
Local grade: C-. Possibly even less to work with here. Some serious recruiting or promotion of juniors will need to happen to make this team competitive any time soon.
Woollacott & MVP: CJ Turnage. Has had the most consistent season, improved from last season where he finished second and rarely has a bad game. Barkley and Daly as well as McVeigh and Starling will take too many votes off each other.
All Star 5
Guard: Tom Daly
Guard: Brendan Teys
Forward: Jack McVeigh
Forward: Kentrell Barkley
Centre: CJ Turnage
Hard to fit into positions but I think these are the best 5 if we are going by two back court and three front court players.
Fictional second team
Guard: Kane De Wit
Guard: Jordan Riewer
Forward: Majok Deng
Forward: Brandon Morris
Centre: Zach Allmon
Defensive Player: Alex Starling. Unlucky not to make either All Star team Starling is among the leaders in both blocks and steals. One of the best defensive players the league has seen in recent history.
Coach of the year: Nathan Hawkes. Brought his team together after a shaky start. Would have Mount Gambier worried leading into finals and meshing all those personalities together has been a master stroke by Hawkes.