NBL1 Central Power Rankings
With a week off for state champs next week and roughly a third of the season completed here's how I have the rankings right now. Interested in others thoughts.
1 - Woodville. Lost on the buzzer round 1 but barely challenged since. 50 point win over Forestville one of the most impressive I have seen in a long time. Whitmore has the right import combo and Humphries is one of the most versatile players in the league. Could this be the year Woodville finally break through for a title after a lot of promise in the Whitmore era.
2 - Forestville. One horrible result to Woodville aside this team has the most talent in the league and looked to put Sturt and Eastern away handily over the weekend. Will have too much size for a lot of teams once they get their chemistry, with DJ, Purchase and Mays a formidable front court and Doyle still the best Australian guard in the league.
3 - North. Undefeated but have had some fortune in their draw and haven’t faced Forestville yet. Imports appear solid but not world beaters going by numbers though they have had good contributions with Rathjen a solid pickup and a couple of young bench players scoring well. Will be interesting to see if they’re still around the mark by the half way point.
4 - Sturt. Lost to North early but seemed to have corrected course before running into a full strength Forestville. Have good balance with Daly and Spear plus Rigoni fitting in nicely. Haygood seems to be getting more comfortable as the weeks go on. Will be around the mark at the business end.
5 - South. Ninnis getting it done most weeks with his veteran savvy and experience. Lost to Woodville on the weekend but were very competitive. Smith and Starling the leagues leading scorers and best import duo still. If they can find more from the local contingent they’ll compete at the end of the season.
6 - Norwood. Some tight losses early but Ray Harding making a push for All Star 5. With their veterans plus solid import combination these guys will push for finals as they do every year. Andrew Webber will be better for the run after a year off and we can expect him to have a huge impact in the second half of the season.
7 - Southern. Had an interrupted start as they rely on u20s more than any other club. Olbrich showed on the weekend why he’s a 36ers DP with a huge game against Centrals and he sure has a bright future with his size and skill. Import combination seem to be finding their feet and with astute coach Hilbig at the helm expect Southern to coke home strong.
8 - West. Coach Maclean with some issues this year, again with only 1 impactful import and 1 who is coming off the bench. Shepard and De Santis keep them in most games but aren’t getting enough from others to win enough at the moment. Surprisingly uncompetitive against North on the weekend, some questions will need to be asked if they’re to turn it around.
9 - Centrals. A couple of narrow losses have them towards the bottom of the ladder but they’re a dangerous team with plenty of guys who can score on a given day. Experienced coach York will get these guys playing the right way and once they’re on the same page could upset some higher seeded teams. Dowdell showing what he can do when allowed to shine.
10 - Eastern. Here for now as they have been winless but Legan finally cleared to play and had 30+ on debut and along with Koop is probably the second best import combo behind South. Koop like Dowdell is showing what he’s capable of when not held back by a system. Expect these guys to be higher on the list next check in.