WNBL 2014/15 Season Preview: West Coast Waves
The 2014/15 WNBL season is right around the corner and The Pick and Roll team will be previewing each team for the next two weeks. Next up, the West Coast Waves.
2013/14 Record: 1-23 (9th)
The Waves suffered through the 2013/14 campaign to finish with a 1-23 win-loss record, with a large number of uncompetitive blowouts along the way. West Coast simply didn’t have the cattle to compete with the top sides and, aside from an impressive round one victory over Adelaide, were outclassed for the entirety of the season. With a roster stacked full of players more accustomed to the surroundings of the State Basketball League than the national competition, it left many questioning their position in the WNBL throughout the season.
Who’s New: Lindsey Moore (Minnesota Lynx, WNBA), Cassie Harberts (Atlanta Dream, WNBA), Louella Tomlinson (Pinkk Pecsi, Hungary), Sarah Graham (Logan Thunder), Isabella Brancatisano (Eltham Wildcats, Big V), Ebony Antonio (Bendigo Spirit)
You Won’t See: Natalie Burton (Melbourne Boomers), Melissa Marsh (retired), Lisa Walbutton, Adrienne Jones, Sarah Donovan, Gabriella Clayton, Brittany Morgan, Nikita-Lee Martin
Back Again: Deanna Smith, Antonia Edmonson, Darcee Garbin, Shani Amos, Mikayla Pirini, Kate Fielding, Jessie Edwards, Zoe Harper
Coaching Staff: Kennedy Kereama (Coach), Vladimir Alava (Assistant Coach)
Photo Credit: WNBL
The former Logan Thunder guard comes to Perth at a time where the Waves are building a roster capable of challenging for finals, or at least getting out of the bottom two. Graham comes to West Coast after averaging 12.6ppg in her 2013/14 campaign and will add some much-needed scoring punch to a side which posted the worst offensive stats in the league as they laboured to a wooden spoon. With the addition of two strong imports to the Waves’ roster, Graham will often find plenty of space to go about putting points on the board for her side and will play a pivotal role in determining how much improvement the Waves can achieve.
After many years in the WNBL wilderness, the Waves seem to have gotten pro-active in the off-season and a number of key signings look set to see some improvement from the perennial cellar-dwellers. The additions of import duo Lindsey Moore and Cassie Harberts, scorer Sarah Graham and long defender Louella Tomlinson are sure to improve any side, particularly when coupled with the returns of Antonia Edmonson, Deanna Smith and Darcee Garbin. While finals may still be out of reach in 2014/15, the Waves will certainly challenge the top sides at times and will likely keep the blowout losses, of which everyone has become accustomed to seeing of late, to a minimum. A strong start to the season is critical if they are to have any chance of reaching the post-season, but just being in contention as the season enters its final month will be a huge improvement for the West Australian side and may be as far as they go.