NBL Player Profile: Torrey Craig
Photo Credit: Cairns Taipans Twitter
Steve Chalmers provides a background check on the Cairns Taipans import, while informing NBL fans what to expect out of the South Carolina native this season!
Who is Torrey Craig?
Craig, at the young age of 23, has just completed college in the U.S. and the Taipans is his first ever professional club. Coming out from an unknown school - University of Carolina Upstate - he went undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft and quickly switched focus to finding his dream job of playing basketball somewhere else around the globe.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” - Torrey Craig's favourite quote
The 6'6'' forward should have no trouble with the climate in northern Queensland. Much like Cairns, South Carolina is known for its humid, subtropical climate with both warm summers and winters.
Craig attended Great Falls High School in South Carolina and received 1A Player of the Year honours from the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association, due to his 24 points and 13 rebounds per game average. This included back-to-back state championship games in which he posted 36 points and 15 rebounds in the latter season's championship game after leading his team to a 25-2 record.
His college career wasn't too shabby either, staying put in his home state in which he spent four years at University of Carolina Upstate, where he instantly made an impact upon arrival. Torrey averaged between 14.4ppg and 17.2ppg there, showing his consistency on offense, while his rebounding numbers were between 6.9rpg and 7.7rpg.
In 2011, he was awarded the Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year, and in 2012 he upped that with the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year award. Finally, also in 2012, his efforts were rewarded by being named an Honourable Mention in the Associated Press All-Americans.
As a 6'6'' forward, Craig will ply his trade in one of the strongest positions in the NBL when it comes to flashy names and bright lights. With the likes of fellow imports in Josh Childress, DeAndre Daniels and local Breakers swingman Thomas Abercrombie, strong competition will never be too far away.
It will be one of Craig's first intentions to enter the NBL and look to make a name for himself here. Like many others before him, it could give his career a massive boost for the future.
In regards to his in-game attributes, the small forward loves self-assessment:
“I am at my best in transition, either getting baskets myself or creating for my teammates.....I am effective coming off of screens and I can stretch the floor by knocking down shots.”
On the flip side:
“I need to be a more consistent shooter....I go through too many ups and downs with my shot, and I need to work on hitting more open jumpers.”
Craig's fit with the Taipans probably couldn't have been any better, with the fact that he's come from a relatively unknown, small university to a community club in the NBL. If he can delight the fans in Cairns, he'll sure want to stick around for some time. Who knows, he could be the face of the future expansion for the NBL!