SEASON PREVIEW: KILSYTH COBRAS
Last Year: 15 wins, 3 losses, 4th
Roster: Josh Allison, Brian Carminati, Michael D’Amelio, Tristan Knowles, Shaun Groenewegen, Jontee Brown, Damon Fent, David King, Phillip Turner, Dylan Alcott.
The Cobras should not be panicking at the halfway mark of the season if their record does not have them in a finals position because their second half of the year is favourable. After byes in Round 4 and 5, they do not venture away from home again (until hopefully the playoffs), playing eight consecutive games at Kilsyth Stadium between Round 6-8 in what could be the perfect lead-in to the post season.
Kilsyth finished the regular season in 2017 in second spot and were heading into a finals series that would be played on their home floor. However, nothing went to plan as they dropped three consecutive games to end the year in fourth position and miss out on a medal. That is sure to have them desperate for atonement this year but the loss of two of their top four scorers from last season in Shawn Russell and Daniel Del Toso will not make things any easier. Tristan Knowles is still a leader on court and is the reigning High-Point MVP after averaging 24.5 points, seven rebounds and 11.1 assists per contest in 2017 while also collecting three triple-doubles overall. Joshua Allison and Shaun Groenewegen are fellow national representatives who have won Championships with Kilsyth while Brian Carminati and Damon Fent are up-and-comers but their depth will be tested this season and could be the difference between making or missing the playoffs.
One To Watch:
Jontee Brown. Representing the Australian Spinners at the Under-23 World Championships last year where they won bronze, Brown earned the rare distinction of playing for his country before he played for his state. A late-comer to the sport, Brown is developing into a star though and is certainly on the radar for the Rollers. He averaged 3.6 points and 2.9 rebounds last season with a personal best of 14 points and eight boards coming against the Blues on 7-11 shooting. Brown was also named Bendigo’s Young Citizen of the Year in January for his football and basketball coaching as well as his motivational speeches that he delivers to schools.