Checking in on the SEABL after Rounds 1-7
The SEABL season is approaching the halfway mark and it’s Kilsyth who have established themselves as the best team in the early rounds. Felix Von Hofe looks in better shape than what he finished the 2017 season in with the Cobras putting together a top two team on both ends of the floor (every player on the roster is a positive in the plus-minus so far). Their only loss has come on a road back to back on the first weekend of the season.
MELBOURNE AND THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE HAVE 12 COMBINED WINS
Melbourne have been awful during their return to the league but they have so far capitalised on some scorching form from Tom Wilson and a fixture that has been a little soft. Wilson has handled the ball even more this season using a quick trigger coming off on-ball or off-ball screens to make a bunch of tough shots. His size and class at guard is a real advantage at this level and he’s relishing the responsibility that he has on this team.
The Tigers are 4W-1L with Dexter Kernich-Drew in the line-up and they’ve got some meaningful contributions from role players at times but it would seem unlikely that they can sustain the wins.
The COE however are more likely to sustain this run given their depth of talent (22 players have already logged minutes). The kids are still prone to turnovers but they have rebounded the ball extremely well and have had some guard’s step up to compliment the skilled Sam Froling inside. Alex Mudronja looks completely in control at this level now whilst Argentina’s Francisco Farabello has been another constant creator in the back-court.
Daniel Grida is the oldest player on the team (1998 born) and has shown to be a bit of a late bloomer and an interesting wing. He plays with a lot of purpose on both ends and impresses as an athlete. He’s a smooth mover and has had some great success as an aggressive slasher and three point shooter.
MT GAMBIER AND GEELONG ARE A COMBINED 7W-9L
The Pioneers have had the worst player availability of their golden era with Tom Daly, Brad Hill and Majok Deng all playing sparingly due to injury. Tim Coenraad stepped in to fill the void recently but the roster was still that short-handed that they were forced into using a six-man rotation last weekend.
Deng will not be seen again but Hill and Daly are close to a return and Sam McDaniel is set to debut. McDaniel gives them some more versatility and talent but the question on legitimate size up front still remains. A run of home games, starting with the lowly Canberra, as well as a BYE over the long weekend will allow the champs to get their season back on track so they can compete for another title.
Geelong have had an indifferent season with form but are still 2W-1L at home. There’s been a slight drop-off in production across the board from a number of players but it’s Ma’alo Hicks and Matthew Johns who haven’t met my expectations the most. There’s time for improvement and still a ton of quality on this roster so I wouldn’t be too concerned, especially given how John Davis has looked in his first SEABL gig.
SANDRINGHAM AND FRANKSTON’S ROSTER MOVES HAVE NETTED NO RESULTS
The Sabres had question marks up front heading into the season before completely flipping the balance and signing Makuei Puondak, David Barlow and Reggis Onwukamuche. All three played together for some time to start before Puondak (big individual numbers but poor on-off court plus-minus numbers and a tough fit next to Onwukamuche) moved to the bench, Barlow slid over to power forward, and Nathan Crosswell came in at point guard. The talent and depth they have is better than their current record.
Frankston also had front-court questions before the season and have since added Samuel Muldrow and Daniel Trist which forced Aaron Ross to the bench. The Blues now have enough talent and depth (especially with Rhys Carter healthy) to win a few games and improve in the second half of the season.
Elsewhere at the bottom, Canberra are absolutely desperate for Marshall Nelson (just 37 total minutes) to come in and give them some type of shot-creation whilst Diamond Valley have also had some underwhelming play from their ball-handlers. The Eagles put together a roster that looked to have enough pieces to be competitive in a lot of games but the offense has been a slog every night, nowhere near the level that they would have envisioned it being at.
Thank you for loving Aussie hoops! From Kein, Damian and #TeamPnR