The feeling out period of the SEABL is well and truly behind us so it's now time to take a big picture look at exactly what group each team finds itself in before the final third of games.
Mt Gambier 10 Wins 6 Losses | #3 Net Rating | #2 Offensive Rating | #3 Defensive Rating An unexpected loss to Melbourne, a 0-2 record against Hobart, foul trouble against Brisbane and some inconsistent offensive efforts have meant that their season hasn’t been as smooth as last year. Despite all this, they have one of the easier runs home and look likely to finish top two in their conference. The addition of Jack Madgen further adds to their unmatched depth and they remain title favourites thanks to their combination of experience, line-up versatility and top end talent.
Bendigo 13 Wins 3 Losses | #1 Net Rating | #1 Offensive Rating | #1 Defensive Rating Continuity with player availability throughout the season, elite import production, a career shooting year from veteran Chris Hogan, as well as the fit of Kevin White has propelled the Braves to the top of the league. Role players continuing to knock down threes and getting two way play from Damian Johnson’s frontcourt partner look like the major questions.
Hobart 12 Wins 4 Losses | #2 Net Rating | #4 Offensive Rating | #2 Defensive Rating Jarrod Weeks has slowed down of late (32 FG% over his last five) but a 2-0 record against Mt Gambier has everyone on notice. Zach White has been an inspired import selection with his agility, rim protection and finishing ability fitting in nicely alongside their shooters and quick guards. Shane Southwell is the type of player who could get hot or cold for a stretch and decide their fate. Like many teams, you could question their depth.
Brisbane 10 Wins 6 Losses | #4 Net Rating | #7 Offensive Rating | #5 Defensive Rating They’ve been a clear championship contender when all personnel has been available, but with a player or two missing they’ve thrown in some atrocious results. The addition of Duane Bailey was timely and his ability to stretch the floor at power forward, as well as provide more size than James Trustum, should be valuable against the bigger teams. College bound William McDowell-White has been a big reason for their success with his ability to slide up and down positions on defense whilst also playing super efficiently either on or off the ball on offense.
One Way Teams
Geelong 9 Wins 7 Losses | #6 Net Rating | #10 Offensive Rating | #4 Defensive Rating Eric Gaff is still in the middle anchoring a top four defense but the below average offense is holding the Supercats back from title contention. Nick Owusu hasn’t played since the middle of April and although Jamie Medved has knocked down a bunch of threes off the bench to help cover the loss, the offense has been inconsistent against average opposition. Demarcus Gatlin doesn’t get to the free throw line as much as you might have expected and the spacing in their starting line-up outside of Nathan Herbert is in complete contrast to the top teams in the league.
Ballarat 8 Wins 6 Losses | #7 Net Rating | #5 Offensive Rating | #13 Defensive Rating Committing 32 turnovers but still posting an offensive rating of ~109 sums up the shot making of this team. They play the quickest pace in the league and are led by Roy Booker, who has an insane knack for consistently nailing pull up jumpers, and Earnest Ross who can be devastating at the rim or from three. James Hunter's recent arrival at center has given them a different look next to Ollie Bailey and it's this move that could change things on both ends of the floor. There's a need to improve defensively and this small sample of Hunter games has produced slightly better numbers.
Nunawading 7 Wins 8 Losses | #5 Net Rating | #3 Offensive Rating | #10 Defensive Rating The offense is ticking along as well as expected with Simon Conn still hitting over half of his short and mid-range jumpers and a bunch of shooters spotting up around the creativity of Shane McDonald at point guard. Defensively, their athletic limitations and lack of a consistent rim protector has left them vulnerable in some games including one where Albury-Wodonga put up triple digits with the springy Greg Mays at center and Donte Nicholas (a wing) at power forward.
NW Tasmania 9 Wins 7 Losses | #11 Net Rating | #6 Offensive Rating | #15 Defensive Rating Similar to Nunawading, low expectations on their defense were there at the start of the season with the presence of a rim protector missing. Gary Johnson and Garrett Jackson have been everything you could ask for on offense, and can move well enough to provide versatility, but they don’t have the length to intimidate and change shots. The young backcourt has stepped up their contribution but they need more out of Atem Atem or someone unexpected if they are to do more on what is one of the more difficult remaining schedules.
Canberra 8 Wins 7 Losses | #10 Net Rating | #11 Offensive Rating | #6 Defensive Rating The Gunners haven’t hit full stride yet but with one of the easiest runs home they at least have a chance to peak at the right time of the season. Defensively they’re holding their own but they have put together an awful three point shooting season despite having options on the floor in positions one through five. Point guard Indiana Faithful has hit only seven shots from outside of the paint in over 350 minutes per spatialjam.com.
Kilsyth 7 Wins 8 Losses | #12 Net Rating | #14 Offensive Rating | #7 Defensive Rating The Cobras have searched all season for an Auryn MacMillan replacement at power forward with Kieran Murphy, Jackson Brazier, Gerard Leonard, Will Sinclair and now Michael Knoll all getting a crack as the fifth guy. Whilst this has been a clear problem, star guard Kyle Adnam’s success has waned a little with his three point shot attempts increasing (with limited success) and his free throw attempts falling compared with last season. Kilsyth have been embarrassed on the road and against some of the top teams.
Dandenong 8 Wins 8 Losses | #9 Net Rating | #8 Offensive Rating | #12 Defensive Rating Their form has undoubtedly been patchy but all is not lost as the easiest run home of any team in the league awaits the Rangers. Player availability has been the obvious concern with zero continuity in their starters outside of Andrew Harms. The addition of Lucas Barker into the starting line-up at shooting guard has been a winner with his poise and effort level but his poor three point percentage hasn’t helped an offense that was already being held back by that. Given some of the athletes they have, defensively they should be better than their results.
Albury-Wodonga 7 Wins 9 Losses | #8 Net Rating | #9 Offensive Rating | #11 Defensive Rating Viewed as a certainty to make the playoffs again, the Bandits have trotted out talented line-ups that have yielded disappointing results. The reality is that they may be done as they have five of their remaining games against the top four teams. Chemistry issues have been mentioned by the coaching staff and the inconsistent results, poor defensive rating, mixed in with some individual offensive numbers reflect that. Whilst Cory Dixon’s departure was a big hole to fill at the rim, it’s the guard rotation that has also struggled. Deba George isn’t getting to the free throw line and Ben Kearins has been well below Daniel Sepokas’ level of last season.
Sandringham 5 Wins 9 Losses | #14 Net Rating | #13 Offensive Rating | #8 Defensive Rating Despite the import change of Corin Henry for Ari Stewart, a tough remaining stretch of games puts an end to any thought of a second half playoff push. The roster being too top heavy was the reason given for the change but freeing up frontcourt minutes by releasing the more athletic, more versatile and better shooting import doesn’t seem to fit with that logic. They do have some positives though with Jordan Vandenberg showing a bit more pop at the rim than last season and Stefan Uzelac knocking down some threes, whilst they are also fresh off a win against playoff hopeful Geelong.
Frankston 5 Wins 11 Losses | #13 Net Rating | #12 Offensive Rating | #9 Defensive Rating The Blues also played spoiler to Geelong last weekend and have a squad that has at least improved on last year’s disaster. Rob Jones’ arrival hasn’t given them a boost on the offensive end at all (surely he hits some shots soon) but his extra bulk at least gives them a different option to their former import on defense. Bennie Lewis has come alive over the last three games averaging 30ppg and his energy on defense has been solid whenever I’ve caught a Frankston game.
Melbourne 2 Wins 14 Losses | #15 Net Rating | #16 Offensive Rating | #14 Defensive Rating Daryl Corletto has finally arrived and the Tigers offense is now resembling a respectable one with two games of league average numbers. Rhys Carter finally has a consistent backcourt mate who will spread the floor, make smart reads and cuts, as well as do some ball-handling and passing out of the pick and roll. Ari Stewart has been an upgrade over Rob Jones with his athleticism but the departure of Jock Perry and the continued struggles of Bo Liu has the team limited up front.
BA Centre of Excellence 1 Wins 8 Losses | #16 Net Rating | #15 Offensive Rating | #16 Defensive Rating A younger and less experienced group than last season. The COE grabbed a win against the undermanned Melbourne and have a chance or two in the remaining games to snatch another. A bunch of this roster is over in Spain representing Australia at U17 level with Samson Froling and Tom Fullarton the two standouts. Froling is certainly a different build to his brother Harry but is also a skilled frontcourt player. He’s shown he can put it on the floor, score inside and outside with good touch, and appears to have lots of potential as a passer out of the high or low post despite a few turnovers. Fullarton has had success driving to the rim, has hit some spot up threes and has good size for a wing.