Earlier this year
NBL1 Central Round 1
Round 1 this weekend - can't wait! The February update created lots of discussion so hopefully we can continue that throughout the season. These are my thoughts only and I certainly don't know everything though I try to follow closely. If people can fill in the gaps or correct my mistakes that would be most welcome. Here's to another fun season in SA.
Forestville vs Woodville
Defending champs Forestville get to unveil their championship banner against the visiting Warriors. The Eagles lineup retains some familiarity with only Brine in for Majok while the Warriors have had a major overhaul. Scotty Whitmore will be on the hot seat now they have joined the big budget sides. Imports McGriff and Hewitt have seemingly impressed in pre-season with some big scoring totals.
Woodville to sneak a win here to spoil Forestville's parade. A fast start is important to the Warriors this season while the Eagles often take some time to work their way into it.
Warriors by 7
North Adelaide vs Norwood
Massive rivalry game to open up the new stadium at Lightsview. North have re-tooled with a pair of 36ers now along with some familiar faces. It will be interesting to see how they cover for the losses of Starling and Johnson who were their defensive anchors last year. Norwood get Woollacott medalist CJ Turnage across from Southern and he is a handful for anyone to cover. I am under the impression they will also have Legan as well which makes this a very tough outfit. It will be an interesting storyline early to see how the Webber's respond to a new coach.
North by 4 in a tight one.
South Adelaide vs Southern
Southern old vs Southern new by the looks of it. Panthers have no doubt recruited well, feasting on unhappy players (fair enough too - they don't have any juniors coming through!) but like Whitmore, Petty will be under huge pressure after over promising and under delivering last season. Adding the proven Starlign is a huge in for them while their other imports seems to have gone OK in the pre season.
Southern also have had an overhaul although it doesn't seem by choice - but have done a great job recruiting. From what I can tell they had a highly successful trip to Millicent and have selected imports very well (maybe not the best combo in the league but could see them being top 2-3) plus now Lwal Diing a late addition. Untested coach but comes in with great credentials and should do fine in this league. Look for Dave Humphries to be the surprise of the season and scoop All Star 5 honours.
People seem over excited by Souths glossy new signings and are sleeping on the Tigers. I have Tigers to win a close one by 6.
Sturt vs Centrals
Not much news out of either camp makes this one difficult. I wasn't hugely impressed looking at the Centrals imports but haven't seen them play or really even heard reports this pre season so they could be anything. Sturt have a younger lineup that will be better for last years opportunities and have added a class back court in Spear and Mudronja.
That should be enough for them to get it done at home. Sturt by 11.
West vs Eastern
4 new imports on the court in this one, which is great for the league. By all reports Wests guard import Sheppard is the real deal and could go close to MVP. Mavs imports look decent but there's not much Aussie talent to supplement them. West retain a veteran group despite losing some depth from last year.
Coach McLean to be good enough in this one. West by 8.