ADELAIDE – The Adelaide 36ers have brought in a few new players but overall, they’ve managed to keep the majority of their sensational roster from last season intact.
Season 18/19 Roster:
Adris De Leon (G), Majok Deng (F), Adam Doyle, (G), Anthony Drmic (G/F), Harry Froling (C), Daniel Johnson (F/C), Jack McVeigh (F), Ramon Moore (G), Nathan Sobey (G), Brendan Teys (G), Jacob Wiley (F)
Possible Starting Five:
Daniel Johnson, Jacob Wiley, Anthony Drmic, Ramon Moore, Nathan Sobey
Daniel Johnson is their superstar in the middle and he finally got his chance to play for Australia after many years of head-scratching omissions from the team, plus he has also recently been named skipper of the 36ers. A somewhat undersized centre (build-wise), he does however have great touch inside and a solid jump shot outside that makes him a huge threat on the offensive end of the court. A key cog to the 36ers machine.
New import Jacob Wiley is a walking highlight reel – whether it be on the offensive end throwing down dunks or the defensive end blocking shots, he will entertain the 36ers crowd and he should also perform well statistically too. He could average a double-double on the season in points/rebounds and also average multiple blocks and steals making him a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
Anthony Drmic has plenty of potential and showed it during stretches last season, he just needs to perform consistently for the 36ers and hit his outside shots at a good clip in all his games. They’d be hoping that he could get his points average over 10ppg and his rebounding up to 5rpg.
Ramon Moore is the sole returning import for this 36ers team and after taking out the Sixth Man of the Year award last season he will likely step into the starting lineup this go around. He good shooter, particularly inside the three point line and he gets to the free throw line regularly to keep the pressure on opposing defenses.
The X-factor and crowd favourite, Nathan Sobey, rounds out the 36ers starting lineup. A super-athletic guard, he can shoot the three and fly to the ring to finish off an alley-oop, he can pick the pocket of the opposition and climb high for a highlight rejection. He entertains the crowd like almost no one else in the league can and he will be one of the key pieces of the team this season.
Majok Deng and Adris De Leon will get the bulk of the minutes off the bench but what will be interesting to see is how Joey Wright uses Harry Froling and Jack McVeigh.
Both of those young players have a promising future in basketball for Australia and they will need to step up and take the court as part of the 36ers big man rotation.
Majok Deng came onto the court and lit up the game in a few instances last season, who could forget his performance against the Perth Wildcats! His role won’t change too much from last season, step onto the court and hit a few threes.
Adris De Leon returns to the NBL after previously playing for the Gold Coast Blaze and Illawarra Hawks (when they were Wollongong). The man dubbed “2-Hard-2-Guard” won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2013 in the NBL. A quick guard that can set up his teammates well and plays solid defense too, he will be coming off the bench behind Sobey/Moore.
The 36ers won’t be changing much from last season and their gameplan will still be rather simple – speed. They’ll look to get the ball up the court as fast as possible with their athletic wings and guards streaking down the court hoping to get on the end of an open three or dunk. Their big men aren’t slow either, so watching them cut rim-to-rim will also be on the cards.
Opposing teams will have to be on their toes to pick up players in the full court or sprint back to ensure they aren’t out-numbered as the 36ers try to get their transition game going at full speed.
The 36ers gameplan of transition, fast-break basketball suits their players perfectly and they can all hit the three or play inside but where they might begin to struggle is what happens when the three’s aren’t falling? They don’t have, outside of Johnson who still prefers a fade-away rather than bully-ball, a renowned inside presence to open things up in the half court when a team is able to slow them down. Looking for mismatches and creating those mismatches for themselves inside will also be a key offensive plan for this team.