2018 Men’s SEABL Preview

The SEABL is back and there’s some slight tweaks in the format from last season. Conferences are scrapped and each team will play 20 games, including the Centre of Excellence who will be eligible for the playoffs. One thing to remember with this league is that roster movement and player availability can be unpredictable, unannounced, sudden, and absolutely vital to a team’s win total and depth.

MT GAMBIER

Main contributors – Tom Daly, Brad Hill, Majok Deng, Erik Burdon, Luke Jamieson, Lewis Thomas

The championship winning core have returned which gives this roster elite play-making, shooting, versatility, coaching and experience once again. Deng is the exciting new addition and he will be in a position to really excel on offense with so much talent around him, whilst he will have some added defensive responsibility compared to his NBL role. There’s a lack of bulk up front for the defensive end, but they do have players who can switch and guard multiple positions, and the offense will be humming along at a league-leading level so this might not be much of a factor.

Predicted record: 16-4

NUNAWADING

Main contributors – Simon Conn, Shane McDonald, Tom Wright, Andrew Steele, Dain Swetalla

This squad is experienced playing alongside each other and the rotation runs deep with quality. The top-end talent are mostly all in their thirties though, so you have to be wary of a slight drop off in form, or the injury bug biting someone important. They’re the kind of team who has only a small variation in their floor and ceiling.

Predicted record: 14-6

KILSYTH

Main contributors – Dane Pineau, Isaac Turner, Chris Patton, Owen Odigie, Felix Von Hofe, Sam Daly

A team that is packed with talented guys in their mid-twenties in all positions. The coaching staff certainly have some expectations to meet with the only concern being how quickly the new additions gel together. Pineau should have a terrific season whilst Von Hofe has a chance to lead the league in three point attempts.

Predicted record: 14-6

GEELONG

Main contributors – Nathan Herbert, Demarcus Gatlin, Ma’alo Hicks, John Davis, Michael Luxford, Matthew Johns

Another experienced squad who are returning plenty of quality from last year. Hicks needs to stay out of foul trouble, given the departure of some inside depth and the recruitment of the undersized Davis. Luxford returns to the sport and has a real chance to play meaningful minutes and be a difference maker at point guard, whilst Johns adds some more youth and upside to the roster. Nick Owusu being injury-free at some stage would be a welcome addition as well.

Predicted record: 14-6

BALLARAT

Main contributors – Peter Hooley, Davon Usher, Marvin King-Davis, Josh Fox, Nic Pozoglou, Sam Short

The retention of Hooley is the talking point as he will likely be an MVP contender even more so with the departure of Craig Moller. The imports had their moments last season but need to improve overall this season for the Miners to truly challenge. Fox and Pozoglou add some front-court value to the rotation although the roster doesn’t have quite the length of some others.

Predicted record: 12-8

HOBART

Main contributors – Craig Moller, Mathiang Muo, Tre Nichols, Zac White, Tiri Masunda

Elite starting front-court with three athletic guys who can defend multiple positions, crash the glass, shoot, and go up for a dunk. Moller should make a run at Defensive Player of the Year as his game continues to improve at a rapid rate on both ends. The roster has quality but they’re small in the back-court again and the depth is very thin.

Predicted record: 12-8

DANDENONG

Main contributors – Anthony Drmic, Lucas Barker, Rhys Vague, Tim Lang, Josh Oswald

An All-Australian lineup that has a couple of fresh faces to the SEABL. Drmic is a shooter and a pesky defender and competitor at NBL level but will do much more for Dandenong. Barker truly arrived last season as a two-way point guard force at this level whilst Lang needs a bounce-back season. Vague’s level of play will be a deciding factor for how good this team is.

Predicted record: 11-9

BENDIGO

Main contributors – Jeremy Kendle, Ray Turner, Matt Andronicos, Indiana Faithful

Kendle returns to a similar situation to that of his previous stop in Bendigo. He and Ray Turner will put up some big numbers but the supporting cast doesn’t look as strong as the championship year. Chris Hogan is coming off a very poor season and Indiana Faithful needs to produce a lot more than he did in his last go-around at this level.

Predicted record: 11-9

ALBURY-WODONGA

Main contributors – Deba George, Daniel Sepokas, Lamar Mallory, Rashad Hassan, Tevin Jackson

The Bandits look like they will improve on a very disappointing 2017 season. Deba has shown no signs of slowing down on the offensive end and he just needs some consistent production around him on both ends for the Bandits to be tough again. It looks as if the starting lineup will feature Jackson at small forward which isn’t his best position.

Predicted record: 10-10

NORTH WEST TASMANIA

Main contributors – Jeremiah Ingram, Mason Bragg, Lachie Barker, Ben Richmond, Paul Campbell, Darcy Malone

Solid squad who will compete for a playoff spot. Bragg returns and they will need him to elevate his game on the offensive end or they may lack a little bit of elite guard scoring. There is some size up front with Ingram returning, the naturalised Campbell, and Malone joining the squad.

Predicted record: 10-10

DIAMOND VALLEY

Main contributors – Mike Best, Daniel Camps, Darcy Harding, Dyson King-Hawae, Matt Reynolds

The Eagles have been impressive in putting together a deep roster that will certainly compete in their first season. Two imports and some proven SEABL talent headline the squad, but there’s also quality point guard and Eagles mainstay Matt Reynolds, as well as some exciting youth that have done some damage at Big V level.

Predicted record: 9-11

SANDRINGHAM

Main contributors – Igor Hadziomerovic, Anthony Odunsi, Octavious Brown, Nathan Crosswell, Alister MacDonald

Two new imports bring with them some optimism but in reality they have some large shoes to fill with Jerry Evans and Ethan O’Day playing well in 2017. The Sabres have a plethora of decent guards or wings but are obviously lacking another big inside at the moment to round this roster out appropriately.

Predicted record: 8-12

CANBERRA

Main contributors – Ben Allen, Daniel Joyce, Marshall Nelson, Eric Gaff, Glenn Morrison, Brody Doran

The Gunners really struggled last season but did find some production from two promising youngsters in Doran and Morrison. The front-court is full this season with Gaff coming in and he isn’t a perfect fit at first glance but they’ll be able to get away with some big line-up minutes at this level. Marshall Nelson needs to have a productive season for this squad to do much.

Predicted record: 6-14

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

Main contributors – Sam Froling, Kody Stattman, Alex Ducas, Aiden Krause, Callum Dalton, Tamuri Wigness

There’s a long list of talented names on this roster that will share the minutes, starting spots and games around. They have enough talent and depth to pinch some wins at home, especially against the bottom four teams.

Predicted record: 5-15

FRANKSTON

Main Contributors – Rhys Carter, Bennie Lewis, Aaron Ross, Rob Linton

The Blues are lacking depth and some player announcements. They’ve been known to make some roster moves throughout the season so look for some additions to help out the solid guard and wing rotation. Aaron Ross needs to put up some big numbers inside.

Predicted record: 4-16

MELBOURNE

Main contributors – Tom Wilson, Dexter Kernich-Drew, Deng Acuoth

They’re a young team who will really struggle to put wins on the board unless they can add some imports or more local talent. Wilson and Kernich-Drew will have all the shot-creation that they can handle which will probably lead to some big counting stats on questionable efficiency. Outside of those two it would be great to see some production from Acuoth and Patrick Bines.

Predicted record: 4-16

Jordan Mc

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NBL contributor. Find me on Twitter @jordanmcnbl

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