QBL 2019: Complete season guide to men's competition
WITH the QBL season tipping off, we deliver a complete guide to the state basketball league season ahead.
LAST SEASON: 4th (11-7),
lost semi-final to Townsville.
COACH: Sam McKinnon
CAPTAIN: Zac Carter
INS: Jason Cadee (Brisbane Bullets), Will Magnay (Brisbane Spartans/Bullets), Ben Volkman (Southern Districts Spartans), Jacob Wilson (US College), Nick Soddart (SWM Pirates), Lachlan Venus (SWM Pirates)
OUTS: Tim Coenraad (NBL), Nelson Kahler (Rockhampton), Ben Wilson, Seb Windsor, Christian Lam, Brandon Davis
MAIN MEN: Aaron Anderson has been one of the standout imports and guards in the QBL for several years and pair him
in the backcourt with Australian Boomer star Jason Cadee and they are already the best guard combination in
the league. Pair that with the size of young gun Will Magnay and the Capitals have a star-studded roster.
LAST WORD: Brisbane have fallen short in recent seasons but with a new coach in Sam Mackinnon and several new
additions, this outfit should challenge deep in the postseason.
LAST SEASON: 15th (3-15)
COACH: Rob Scheibner
CAPTAIN: Jake Allen
INS: Scott Kenny, Chris Whitehead (US import), Callum Dalton (Brisbane Bullets), Jake Allen (SWM Pirates),
Josh Derksen (Toowoomba), Darryl McDowell-White (US College)
OUTS: Will Magnay (Capitals), Ben Volkman (Capitals), DeShaun King, Mitch Philp, Jarryd Eustace (GC Rollers),
MAIN MEN: Chris Whitehead was an elite scorer in his previous stint in the QBL with Toowoomba and will look to lead this Spartans group young big man Callum Dalton will be looking to establish himself in his first season in the QBL. If Scott Kenny can rediscover the form that saw him signed in the NBL in 2014, he will be one to watch.
LAST WORD: There's no doubt this Spartans outfit is better than last year's wooden spooners and their starting five definitely boasts the talent to compete for a playoffs spot.
LAST SEASON: 2nd (10-8),
lost grand final to Townsville
COACH: Jamie O'Loughlin
CAPTAIN: Anthony Fisher
INS: Alex Loughton (Cairns Taipans), Tommy Hamilton IV (Texas Tech), Aaron Bin Tahal (returning from injury)
OUTS: Michael Nwelue (Spain), Matt Smith (retired), Kuany Kuany (NBL1 - Ballarat)
MAIN MEN: The Marlins are pretty much unchanged from 2018, having offloaded one import for another, and a Taipan
for another. Plenty will depend on Hamilton's influence. He shapes as a skilled big man who can step out
and shoot the three. How he adapts to playing in Australia and the rough and tumble of the QBL will be a factor.
LAST WORD: The Marlins surprised many as they made their way to the grand final last year after a lacklustre regular season. The loss of Kuany is huge. He is not a star, but he does offer a lot of intangibles that will be hard to replace.
GLADSTONE PORT CITY POWER
LAST SEASON: 13th (4-14)
COACH: Brad Walmsley
INS: Paul Aleer and Harold Ridgeway (Toowoomba Mountaineers), Kyle Tipene (Mt Gambier Pioneers), Jared Blanchard (Rockhampton), Stephen Kiir (North Gold Coast), Nathaniel Koko (Savannah Pride), Nathan Druitt (local)
OUTS: Casey Walker, Cirkook Riak, Matt Hancock (Waverley Falcons), Boti Hajos (Brisbane), Nathaniel Musters (Aris Leeuwarden), Patrick Ciganovic (West Adelaide Bearcats), Tyler Allen
MAIN MEN: They say size matters. And at Gladstone there is no shortage of tall timber. Paul Aleer stands at 208cm, Stephen Kiir 205cm, Harold Ridgeway 203cm and Nathaniel Koko 196cm. And there's youngster Mitch Knight
(196cm), who demands more minutes.
LAST WORD: With an improved roster, coach Brad Walmsley will be looking for major improvement after a disappointing
2018 campaign. Will be aiming for a place in the top eight.
GOLD COAST ROLLERS
LAST SEASON: 7th (9-9),
lost quarter-final to Townsville.
COACH: Mick Conlon
INS: Anthony Petrie (Brisbane), LJ Rose (BC Valga-Valka), Spencer Parker, Jaryd Eustace, Jalen Manu
OUTS: Brent Wallace, Matt Adekponya, Deon Mitchell, Dwayne Vale
MAIN MEN: The signing of former Bullets Anthony Petrie is a huge plus and along with fellow NBL veteran Rhys Martin gives the Rollers balance and leadership. Both imports are talented and versatile players. An athletic wing, Spencer Parker has played at a high level in Europe while LJ Rose has just completed a season in Lithuania and has G League experience with the Utah team. Another promising signing is 200cm combo guard Jaryd Eustace, who has played under Conlon at Ipswich and offers versatility
LAST WORD: Coach Mick Conlon is aiming for a top-four finish. The imports may hold the key.
LAST SEASON: 9th (8-10)
COACH: Chris Riches
CAPTAIN: Jason Ralph
INS: Jayden Ferguson (US college), Marty Leahy (ex-Ipswich, returning), Joel Rees (Brisbane comp), Joshua Lincoln (junior development player)
OUTS: Joseph Owens, Garett Hall
MAIN MEN: Import Jayden Ferguson joins the Force after playing with Ipswich captain Jason Ralph at Valley City State University. Ferguson's scoring consistency and character were important considerations in building a unified Force team. American import Kyle Harvey returns after a powerhouse 2018 season where he almost steered Ipswich into the finals.
LAST WORD: Ipswich were one game short of qualifying for last year's finals. Coach Riches has changed his pre-season approach to prepare his side earlier, with more trials and individual sessions. With a similar team to last year, Riches is looking at established players and his two American imports to step up a level this year.
LAST SEASON: 5th (14-4),
lost quarter-final to Cairns.
COACH: Luke Cann
CAPTAINS: Michael Cedar and Mitch Young
INS: Bryan Coleman (US import), Tendekai Machando (SWM Pirates),
Ryan Jeffries (Spartans 2017), Zac Young (US College)
OUTS: Obi Kyei (Spain), Luke Shelley
MAIN MEN: As usual, the Logan Thunder have one of the best senior cores in the QBL with stars such as Mitch Young and Mick Cedar with import guard Rayshawn Simmons also returning to Cornubia. But also
watch out for Ryan Jeffries and Tendekai Machando to improve Logan's depth.
LAST WORD: One of the favourites for the title, finished third last season and have only gotten stronger with new import Bryan Coleman and adding several solid role players to their bench, will definitely be a top-four regular-season team once again.
LAST SEASON: 3rd (15-3),
Minor premier, lost semi to Cairns.
COACH: Jason Borg
INS: Verle Williams (South West Metro), Bryce Washington (Canada NBL), Derick Newton (NBA G League)
OUTS: Todd Blanchfield (NZ NBL), Nelson Larkins (South West Metro), Brendan Shephard, Mitchell Gamblin,
Titus Robinson (Japan), Cameron Tragardh (Rockhampton GM)
MAIN MEN: Mobile big man Bryce Washington is second on the all-time list of leading rebounders at University of Louisiana team Ragin' Cajuns. Derick Newton (pictured) brings NBA G League experience and is a ball-winner. Chris Cedar is moving to the point-guard role and will be pivotal in leading the group.
LAST WORD: Mackay are looking forward to another competitive season. It will be a different style of play and a different team with new arrivals Newton, Washington and the lightning quick Verle Williams all looking to make their mark.
NORTH GOLD COAST SEAHAWKS
LAST SEASON: 14th (3-15)
COACH: Adam Tyrus
INS: Robert Linton, Tom Howard (Aussie rules), Marcus Holmquist-
Pollock (Seahawks junior), Earl Jones, Brent Wallace, Jordan Lum Kon
OUTS: Jerron Jamerson, Stephen Kiir, Remy Lawyer, Jalan Manumaleuga,
MAIN MEN: He's still only a teenager, but local product guard/forward Cameron Goldfinch shapes as a key for the
Seahawks after averaging 32 points per game last season. US import Quinton Campbell is also back after a
successful off-season stint in Europe.
LAST WORD: Last year was a learning experience for the young Seahawks. They have reportedly enjoyed a strong
pre-season and will have much more depth off the bench this season. Looking forward to seeing some improvement after a disrupted 2018 season.
LAST SEASON: 8th (9-9),
COACH: Neal Tweedy
INS: Shaun Bruce (Adelaide 36ers), Sean O'Mara (Xavier University),
Nelson Kahler (Brisbane Capitals), Jamaal Robateau (SC Phoenix)
OUTS: Jack Lopez (Sydney), Ray Willis (USA), Malcolm Bernard (USA)
MAIN MEN: Point guard Shaun Bruce has been hailed the perfect player for the Rockets, with his experience, leadership and playmaking ability sure to prove invaluable. Sean O'Mara arrives from Finland, where he
averaged about 20 points and 10 rebounds for BC Nokia. At 208cm and 115kg, the hulking centre will more than shore up the middle.
LAST WORD: After the Rockets' first-round play-off exits of the past two campaigns, point guard and former QBL MVP
Bruce will work with arguably the greatest coach in QBL history to orchestrate the Rockets' return to glory.
SOUTH WEST METRO PIRATES
LAST SEASON: 10th (8-10)
COACH: Wayne Larkins
INS: Nelson Larkins (Mackay), Jarett Croff (US import), Henry Pwono (US import)
OUTS: Verle Williams Jnr (Mackay), Tendekai Machando (Logan),
Princeton Onwas, Tyrell Harrison (NZNBL)
MAIN MEN: Their three new additions in Nelson Larkins, Jarett Croff and Henry Pwono will be the
engine room for the Pirates as well as stalwarts Jarred Bairstow (pictured) and Ryan Vines. That starting five will be as gritty as any in the QBL this season.
LAST WORD: As mentioned, South West's starting five will be tough and should be able to carry their club to some wins this season but there is a question over whether they have the depth to contend for a playoff spot. But look for the team to play a more up-tempo style this season under coach Wayne Larkins.
SUNSHINE COAST PHOENIX
LAST SEASON: 12th (6-12)
COACH: Vern Robateau
CAPTAIN: Not announced yet
INS: Eric McAlister (Rip City), Zane Meehl (Rip City), Zach Price (Texas),
Sam Webster (SBL), Tyler Allen (Grafton), John Fitzgerald (Sweden), Dekeba Battee (US)
OUTS: Roy Booker (US), Delvon Johnson (US), Matthew Donaldson (Rip City), Jamaal Robateau (Rockhampton
MAIN MEN: John Fitzgerald, Eric McAlister and Zach Price have plenty of experience and will be vital in leading the Phoenix across the court. While he had a relatively quiet season last year, Zane Meehl (pictured) is also expected to step up, especially from the three-point range.
LAST WORD: Phoenix endured a lacklustre season last year but plenty of talent has been injected into the squad for the 2019 campaign. Playoffs are the aim, and coach Robateau expects his charges to be super competitive.
LAST SEASON: 11th (7-11)
COACH: Danny Breen
INS: Demetrius Perkins (US), Ricardo Martin (US), Daniel Sims (Ipswich),
Jason Spurgin (TBA Jnr), Ranko Puseljic (Brisbane/NCAA DII), Malat Makauch (Ipswich)
OUTS: Damon Bozeman (Melbourne), Harold Ridgeway (Gladstone),
Josh Derksen (Southern Districts),
Tito Kwajakwan (Darwin), Mayo Manylok (WA)
MAIN MAN: On their radar for close to a year the Mountaineers have officially welcomed import Demetrius Perkins
who was due to play for the 'Neers in 2018 until injury ruled him out. Perkins adds depth to a strong guard rotation. South Australia State League import Ricardo Martin brings poise and experience.
LAST WORD: The loss of star guard Damon Bozeman is a big blow but they have recruited well in the backcourt. The young 'Neers shape as be a surprise packet this season.
LAST SEASON: 1st (15-3),
won grand final over Cairns.
COACH: Rodney Anderson
INS: Jonathon Mines (NCAA)
OUTS: Justin Baker, Harry Froling, Jordair Jett
MAIN MEN: Point guard Josh Wilcher is the driving force of the Heat's offence as he enters his fourth season in Townsville. Another to watch for is Jonathon Mines, an experienced NCCA shooting guard who has trialled with the Brisbane Bullets, he will be looking to clinch an NBL contract with a big season for the Heat.
LAST WORD: The two-time defending champions have lost some class in Baker, Jett, and Froling and they are yet to finalise their full roster for this season. The Heat could be slow starters as they adjust to a new game plan, but with Wilcher and coach Rodney Anderson back on deck they should still be a finals threat.
USC RIP CITY
LAST SEASON: 6th (13-5),
lost quarter-final to Brisbane Capitals.
COACH: Nathan Arousi
INS: Jalen Bradley (Nebraska), Brandon Conley (Texas), Chris Kann
(Rockhampton), Toby Zaremba (SC Phoenix) James Griffin (US College)
OUTS: Lance Hurdle (US), Eric McAlister (Phoenix), Zane Meehl
(Phoenix), Zeke Meehl (Phoenix), Pete Walker (US), Rory Sutton (injured)
MAIN MEN: Isaih Tueta will again be important while brother Josh is also poised to play a key role this year due to the roster not being as deep as last year. Imports Jalen Bradley and Brandon Conley will also prove crucial in the core five and will add plenty of strike power.
LAST WORD: They finished fourth last year but Rip City face a tough challenge this year after suffering a big turnover of talent. Coach Nathan Arousi is counting on the young squad delivering a fresh, up-tempo game style.