I had seen the Sharks in pre-season twice and I was really excited by what I had seen. Head Coach Atiba Lyons had, in my opinion, done a great job of recruitment and I really don’t think people recognise how important that aspect of coaching really is.
But recruitment is just one aspect of the job; now you have the players you have to get them playing Sharks basketball. As you know by now I was really excited about all the new Sharks signings especially Mike Cook and Tafari Toney and the Thunder game really confirmed what I had thought after the pre-season games. The Sharks have a team this season! And remember we haven’t seen Adrian and Matt as yet.
Looking at the results and stats coming in from games elsewhere in the BBL, it is easy to see that there has been some spectacular recruitment elsewhere as well.
I saw Reggie Bratton for the first time and he was pretty much unstoppable as he drained 30 points on the Sharks but 24 hours later he went for 47 against the Glasgow Rocks. His numbers were 17 for 23 from the field, 6 for 8 from the three point line and 7 for 7 from the stripe. WOW!
It would seem that coach Titmuss has done a fantastic recruitment job himself.
In that game Jessie Sapp of the Rocks went for 26 while former Sharks favourite Rob Yanders went for 25.
Last Friday as the Sharks were getting their first W of the season there was a titanic battle going on at the Metro Radio Arena where the Eagles were going against the Riders.
In the end the Riders would push them close but it would be the Eagles who would prevail. Riders star Tack Minor went for 28 and next night he laid 32 on the Tigers. Elsewhere over the weekend, Tonight’s visitors the Cheshire Jets would be making a good noise as well defeating the Worcester Wolves.
I saw the Jets in pre-season action against the Sharks and they have a good mix of youth and experience. It is good to see BBL legends Calvin Davis and James Hamilton still in the line-up, but we must also welcome all the Jets players, coaching staff and fans to the EISS tonight.
From the early encounters in the BBL it is obvious that there will be some titanic struggles as the season continues. The beauty of having top quality, free scoring players is that substantial leads could disappear in a flash.
But you have to have players who could play the team game that basketball is. Some of the movement and passing by the Sharks last week was fantastic. The alley oop pass by Ryan Patton and the throw down by ‘TAP’ was probably worth the admission fee on its own but that is the calibre of players we have here at the sharks this season. I have a feeling that win, lose or draw we are going to have some exciting times at the EISS this time out.
One final thing, I was absolutely delighted by the fantastic turn-out last week. I know that the MLS guys have been working hard to get this place rocking. The Thunder game was a real start and we must work hard to get friends and family to come and see the Sharks’ play. We need to turn the EISS into a real fortress where visiting teams really feel the influence of the crowd.
Let’s make some noise for the Sharks.
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