PERTH – The Perth Wildcats made some great moves during the off-season, particularly when it came to boosting their depth and skilled local players.
18/19 Season Roster:
Angus Brandt (C), Bryce Cotton (G), Lochlan Cummings (G), Sunday Dech (G), Greg Hire (G/F), Tom Jervis (C), Nick Kay (F), Damian Martin (G), Bryan Michaels (G), Mitch Norton (G), Clint Steindl (G/F), Rhys Vague (F), Jesse Wagstaff (F), Terrico White (G)
Possible Starting Lineup:
Angus Brandt, Nick Kay, Terrico White, Damian Martin, Bryce Cotton
Angus Brandt was injured while playing for the Boomers recently but he should be the starting big man for the Wildcats. He has improved over each of the last few seasons, showing much of the potential that people saw in him years ago. A very good player when he gets the ball in the post on the offensive end, fights hard for rebounds and his only knock on the defensive end could be that he finds himself in foul trouble a fair bit.
Nick Kay is one of the solid local pick ups that the Wildcats have gotten themselves over the off-season. The former NBL Rookie of the Year has had good seasons for the Townsville Crocodiles and most recently, the Illawarra Hawks. The Wildcats will be hoping he can provide a consistent option as a stretch four player on the offensive end. Defensively he can rebound the ball but needs to work on maintaining his position in front of his player.
The Wildcats newest import Terrico White played last season in the Korean Basketball League and won the Championship with his team as well as the Playoff MVP trophy for himself. He is most well known for his highlight dunking ability but will also need to be able to spread the floor for this Wildcats team.
A staple of the Wildcats backcourt for recent seasons, Damian Martin and Bryce Cotton are the two who make the wheels turn for this team. Both are among the best players in the competition and when one or both are out of the lineup the Wildcats tend to struggle.
Greg Hire, Tom Jervis, Mitch Norton, Clint Steindl and Jesse Wagstaff will all be coming off the bench or substituted into the starting lineup when injuries occur. Jervis, Norton and Wagstaff should see the bulk of the minutes available off the bench and each offer a different aspect to the Wildcats play.
Jervis is a bruiser down low who will play tough defense and set hard screens on the offensive end, Norton is also a tough defender around the perimeter and an underrated player on offense while Wagstaff will continue to get the wide open three point looks he has been getting for years with the Wildcats.
With Bryce Cotton and Terrico White in the team they will look to push the pace and keep the tempo up high when they have the ball. Brandt is able to run the floor quickly for a big man and Nick Kay is no slouch either.
This team always tries to penetrate through the defense to create their opportunities, rather than simply passing the ball around the perimeter to get the defense off balance, so they get the defense collapsing inside and open players outside. The trouble is their consistency shooting from outside – players like Steindl, Wagstaff, Cotton and even Norton will be able to hit the three point shot on a regular basis but the other players in their team aren’t considered marksmen by any stretch. This is where Nick Kay and his continued improvement will hopefully come in handy for the Wildcats, if he has taken another step in his development and can hit the long ball regularly it makes them tougher to stop.
The Wildcats are going to be tough to score on, defense is their main priority, especially with players like Damian Martin and Mitch Norton in the lineup. The offensive end is going to be the story for the Wildcats throughout the season.