Two months ago
NBL1 Central: February Update
This is not intended to be a slagging post, though I'm sure some will take it as such. This is just taking stock of what I have seen on social media mostly or heard from reliable sources. If there’s anything I’ve missed or is wrong please comment so we can get an accurate picture of where teams are at right now.
Would love to use this thread as an information hub for the pre season - post dates and results for trial matches etc so people can follow before the season starts.
Would love if anyone can do something similar for the girls. As mentioned last year unfortunately I just don’t follow closely enough to do it justice. Would also love to see others ladder predictions.
Central District Lions
Imports: Gebereal Baitey, Spencer Williams
Recruits: James Adcock, Joel Offereins
Losses: De’Vaughn Jones, Jordan Riewer, Lual Diing, Jordan Centenera, Chol Luk
Outlook: Imports come to the league with underwhelming resumes – Baitey averaging less than 10ppg at a division 3 school while Williams barely played at Coe College until his senior year where he averaged 12ppg and 6rpg while shooting an impressive 75% from the field. Judging by the highlights, he won’t be shooting it far from the rim that’s for sure.
Their local recruits are also underwhelming with Offereins averaging 2.5ppg and 2rpg in Perth, while Adcock hardly got on the court at Southern, though did seemingly have a solid reserves season. Dau is an important re-signing for the Lions and he will need to continue to improve to see them with any chance of finals aspirations. Sapwell’s early return from college also helps but he may not be ready to contribute at full time starter level.
After a surprising 6th placed finish last year it looks like a regression is on the cards for first year coach Matt Atkins in 2020.
Imports: Dane Miller, Dante Thompson
Losses: Brandon Morris, Novian Cherry, Devon McGee
Outlook: Morris leaves a massive hole as one of last seasons best imports, his 25ppg and 10rpg will be difficult to replace. Likewise McGee’s underrated production of 13.5ppg and 7rpg from an Aussie is difficult to replace. No other news coming out of the Mavericks camp which we can only assume means more Vozzo and a long over due increased role for Kane Della-Pia.
Their imports look to be of reasonable but not All-League standard. Unfortunately I think one or both will have to be a Woollacott contender to lift them off the bottom of the ladder.
Imports: Brendan Teys (restricted), Greg Mays
Recruits: Brandon Brine (Norwood Flames)
Losses: Majok Deng
Outlook: Reigning champs bring back a very stable side with just one change in their main rotation. While Brine is a downgrade on Deng, he’s a great player in his own right and Forestville are title contenders yet again. Not much else to say about these guys - Andy always puts a competitive team on the floor.
North Adelaide Rockets
Imports: Anthony Drmic (restricted), Tobias Dowdell
Losses: Alex Starling, Bijan Johnson
Outlook: Retaining Jack McVeigh and pairing him with Anthony Drmic gives the Rockets the best 1-2 punch in the league. You do have to wonder if their games are a little redundant playing along side each other but they will give opposing teams huge grief on the wings while Dowdell is a solid enough big man import.
Losing Johnson leaves a hole at the point position, on his day he could be a game winner, but if a Ray Harding type can step up into the void then these guys deserve early season title favouritism. Hawkes has been close before, he’s finally got the cattle to take them over the top.
Imports: CJ Turnage, James Legan
Recruits: Matt Fauser, Lucas Valk
Losses: Brandon Brine
Outlook: Nabbing Turnage is a huge get for the Flames, he’s proven to be a top 3 player in the lague over the past two years and nothing should change this year. Legan is a sniper and still a very very good player even as he nears his mid 30s.
Brine will be a massive out for them, but considering they wasted an import spot on Moultrie last season, they’ve essentially upgraded from Brine to Turnage. Will be in the finals hunt again.
South Adelaide Panthers
Imports: Alex Starling, Tanner Giddings
Recruits: Most of Southern 2016-2019
Losses: Zach Allmon, Dakota Zinser
Outlook: Much better than before! Adding championship quality in Starling, Johns, Ellison and the like gives the Panthers hope they haven’t had in a long time. Giddings looks like a solid Allmon replacement, even if he may produce less stats due to playing with a deeper roster. Pressure will be on second year coach Jamie Petty to deliver after a disappointing 4-16 rookie season.
Favourite son Isaiah Omamogho also returns home after a year at the Tigers, with his Grandad’s name on the floor you’d expect him to be a fan favourite back at Marion this year and he will be looking to have a more consistent season than in 2019.
Imports: Vionte Daniels, Koop McCaloop
Recruits: David Humphries, Brandon Holloway, Jordan Centenera
Losses: CJ Turnage, Anthony Drmic, Sam Johns, Hamish Staude, Codey Ellison, James Adcock, Hamish Burns
Outlook: New era for the Tigers, it really is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. The spending has remained at least as evidenced by their interstate recruiting plus two imports still but new coach Dave Morrell will have to start from the ground up with the Tigers culture as there’s not much left from the previous regime which produced two titles. The imports look solid – McCaloop a stand out in reserves last year and Daniels with an impressive division 1 college resume. Humphries and Holloway are proven performers in state leagues over a long period.
It will be interesting to see how they go as the Tigers faithful have become accustomed to success. We all know $ talks in this league so you’d expect them to be around the mark in the final few weeks of the season or you’d have to wonder why they moved everyone else on.
Recruits: Joel Spear, Max Calligeros
Losses: CJ Rivers
Outlook: A full season of Alex Mudronja will certainly help, especially pairing him with Joel Spear in what is perhaps the best Aussie back court in the league.
Coach Rigoni is back at the helm and he has always run a tight ship with tough, disciplined teams. I’m sure this year will be no different but if they go without an import (I haven’t heard any announcements that they will have one, let alone two) then they might just be pressed for talent to challenge the top sides. I would expect them to be around the mark for finals, though.
West Adelaide Bearcats
Imports: Nate Sheppard, Robert Sampson
Recruits: Lewis Rowe, Lachlan Hunter
Losses: Bryan Jefferson, Tom Kubank, Shane Hayward, Patrick Thomas, Blake Truslove, Matt Fauser, Lucas Valk
Outlook: The other club who are out with the old and in with the new. Haven’t seemed to replace their losses with the same money the Tigers have, but their import selection appears solid, with both potential MVP level players judging by their resume.
This side got a whole lot younger but after a disappointing 2019 Coach McLean will be looking to go to war with a group of hungry young players rather than bitter old veterans. Early call – Nate Sheppard to have the most impressive debut season since Dee Oldham/Eian Davis.
Imports: Bryan McGriff, Joey Hewitt
Recruits: Devon McGee
Outlook: McGriff returns after an All Star 5 season with the Norwood Flames in 2018, while second import Hewitt will be an interesting inclusion. He looks like a shooter from a winning program at division 3 level but how much else he has to his game will be interesting.
McGee is a handy inclusion to shore up their front line but point guard will be the big question mark for coach Whitmore as he will be relying on youngsters Meldrum and Nathan to take steps forward.
Undoubtedly the most talented team Whitmore has had, anything less than a deep finals run would be considered a failed season after pumping more money into the program.