2016 TEAM PREVIEW: WOLLONGONG ROLLER HAWKS
Last Year: 13 wins, 2 losses- 3rd
Roster: Nicholas Scott, Darren Hayes, Anthea Castelli, Sam White, Tim Markcrow, Hannah Dodd, Brad Fisher, Brett Stibners, Andrew Tarrant, Luke Pople, Nick Taylor, Michael Auprince, Ashley James Kennedy, Clay Kelly.
Kicking off their season against the Wheelchats adds a bit of mystery with Perth returning to the league after missing 2015 before the Roller Hawks finish Round 1 with a replay of their third-placed playoff against the Spinning Bullets. A final round match-up against the Metro Blues should be an easier finish to the year.
The Roller Hawks are the model of consistency in the NWBL and it all stems from a core group that have been together for a number of years. Brett Stibners is an MVP candidate and although Nick Taylor no longer competes at the international level, he is likely to be one of the top shooters in the league this season. In addition, Michael Auprince is one of the biggest talents in Australian wheelchair basketball and is coming off a year with the University of Alabama while Sam White is also coming off a stint with the University of Wisconsin. From the bench, Darren Hayes, Brad Fisher and Tim Markcrow will have the job to maintain the work that starting five is sure to produce which is the main challenge for coach Jim Williams.
One To Watch:
Luke Pople averaged over 15 points a game last season but did suffer from a lack of consistency, scoring in single figures three times. He has the potential to be the league’s leading scorer though while his passing ability makes him one of the NWBL’s most dangerous offensive players.
Brett Stibners will be the High Point MVP and lead the league in left hand bank shots from the right side of the floor.