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. Let’s kick things off with the Adelaide Lightning.
2013/14 Record: 12-12 (5th)
The Lightning were stuck in the middle of the pack last season, registering a .500 record throughout the season which saw them finish fifth. The side finished off the season well with two big wins over Dandenong, who ended up bailing out in the preliminary final. After the early season debacle of the team sacking head coach Peter Buckle when the team sat with a 4-4 record, Richard Dickel took over and couldn’t improve the side. With strong play from Laura Hodges and veteran Jo Hill, Adelaide couldn’t get over the hump and jump into the top 4.
Who’s New: Natalie Novosel (Dandenong Rangers: Will miss season due to torn ACL), Carley Mijovic (University of Canberra Capitals), Alexandra Bunton (University of Canberra Capitals), Emma Langford (Logan Thunder), Kathleen Scheer (Sydney Uni Flames), Kelly Faris (Connecticut Sun), Kerryn Harrington (Bendigo Lady Braves-SEABL)
You Won’t See: Stephanie Talbot (University of Canberra Capitals), Jennifer Screen (Gorzow, Poland), Chay Shegog, Azania Stewart (Pinkk-Pecsi, Hungary), Nadeen Payne, Lauren Mansfield, Jo Hill.
Back Again: Amy Lewis, Laura Hodges, Jess Foley, Angela Marino
Coaching Staff: Jeremi Moule (Head Coach)
Laura Hodges will have the spotlight on her this season for the Lightning, as she is coming off what was her finest season as a professional basketballer. Hodges was named a WNBL All-Star forward last season and will look to continue that strong form into season 2014/15.
The 30 year old led the league in field goal percentage last year at 57.9% en route to averaging 18 points and eight rebounds a game. Most recently, she has continued this form on an Opals trip to the USA and will represent Australia in the FIBA World Cup in Turkey.
After just missing out to a young Melbourne team last season for the fourth and final spot in the finals, the Lightning will be looking to improve on their .500 record. The new additions of young jets Alex Bunton and Carley Mijovic will certainly add some much needed firepower to the squad, while returning role players Jess Foley and Angela Marino provide depth in the backcourt.
The team has a nice balance of bigs and guards, it will be head coach Jeremi Moule’s job to sort out which rotations work well together and steer his side in the right direction.