The first import to be cut is always an interesting talking point prior to the start of an NBL season but not many would have predicted that import to be Adelaide’s Kenyon McNeail who is dealing with a shoulder injury.
Through six preseason games, where stats were made available, McNeail averaged an impressive 15.0 points (50.0 FG%, 44.8% 3P, 100% FT) along with 3.3 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals in just 23 minutes per game.
McNeail appeared to be a perfect fit for Joey Wright’s high paced offense with his quickness, athleticism and outside shooting ability allowing him and Adam Gibson to play either on or off the ball on offense with ease. Whilst he was unlikely to be an MVP candidate type of import, his lead in form suggested he was clearly going to see the season out.
According to RealGM, the 36ers are currently ranked second last in the league in pace at 90.2 which is uncharacteristic for a Wright coached Adelaide squad (they’ve led the league in pace in each of the past two seasons). Although it’s a small sample size, Wright will be hoping a fit and firing new import guard can help wrestle that back in their favour.
The import with the task of filling this role is Jerome Randle, and according to last season’s point guard Jamar Wilson, he is more than a capable signing.
He seems to boast the ball handling, creativity and speed to be effective on offense whilst he also projects as at least an average three point shooter. Having not seen much of his play, the question marks I obviously have of him are around his size and his ability to defend or finish at the rim in the NBL.
Outside of Randle, the 36ers need more out of Ebi Ere who has looked off the pace, has failed to create much offensively, and hasn’t had much success with his jump shot (outside of a second quarter showing in one game). No team can afford to work their way into form too slowly in what is such a tightly contested league.
Check out some of Jerome Randle’s highlights below: