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NBL: Townsville Crocodiles season review
The Townsville Crocodiles finished the season in second last place on the NBL ladder. Whilst that is a poor result, there were many positives to take away from the season.
WHAT WENT WELL
The improvement of the Townsville Crocs from the start of the season to their final game gives their fans hope that the future is bright.
Through the first half of the season, Townsville went 4-10. Some of those losses would've discouraged many, but Townsville stayed on path and kept working. This work was rewarded in the second half of the season, where they went 7-7.
Coach Shawn Dennis re-affirmed his standing as a coaching mastermind, winning NBL Coach of the Year. Not making the Finals and taking out the award is rare, but it is almost impossible to argue Dennis didn't deserve the accolade. He was a great mentor for a young team, and it was clear his players loved to play for him.
With Dennis signing a two-year contract extension, the Crocodiles looks set to move forward with some much-needed stability.
That famous win against Adelaide will go down in Townsville history as perhaps the most exciting finish to a game. The win showcased the fighting qualities instilled in the Crocs and even in the most unlikely circumstances, a team must play to the final buzzer.
The reaction of the players say it all.
The emergence of Nick Kay was also a real positive for the Crocs. Kay, returning home after a college career in the States, won NBL Rookie of the Year honours and showed continual improvement as he found his feet in his first season as a professional.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Brian Conklin's decorated time with Townsville ended unceremoniously halfway through the season. The reigning NBL MVP was averaging 13.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists, but with his team struggling mightily to compete it was clear changes needed to be made.
Conklin's contract was terminated 14 games into the season, much to the surprise of NBL fans around the country. Many questioned why the decision was made. GM Rob Honan explained it; "There are no outside factors or reasons behind this decision. We simply want to give this club the best chance of being successful in the competition."
The team was 4-10 when at the time and after the move was made, they went 7-7.
Import Jordair Jett was heading down a disappointing path through the first half of the season, but much like his team as a whole, he managed to turn it around and produce a good season of basketball.
Jett took out the Kevin Sugars Medal (club MVP), and with his ability to do a bit of everything he was a key piece for the Crocs. His willingness to drive hard to the basket and fight through contact produced headaches for opposing guards.
His highlights below include some impressive moves!
There is no debating that the Crocs had a terrible start to the season, highlighted by their 31-point defeat at the hands of Melbourne in late October. To their credit, they didn't let the season go to waste, improving greatly as the season wore on.
The Townsville Crocodiles earn a C- grade for their 2015/16 campaign.