The Redland Bulldogs lived up to their moniker elegantly yesterday when they battled tenaciously individually and collectively to Win The Paddy Ryan Memorial Trophy played out to enthralled fans at The O Loughlin Gaels Sports Complex in Kilkenny City as they defeated newely promoted to Ireland,s Superleague The Dublin Thunder on a scoreline of 91 to 75.Now from a coaching stance I,m all for strategy that makes the best of what you,ve got and The Bulldogs certainly did this with a seriously disengaging often full court pressure and help defence that put quite simply never allowed opponents in any of their three games to play with composure concentration and confidence.Couple this to a really well conditioned team both physically and mentally and you have the components for real success.The Bulldogs opener versus hosts Team Left Bank Kilkenny saw them start as they obviously planned to finish by using their speed quickness and endurance to take the game to their opponents and keep it there in their opponents half for as long as possible the outcome of which most often than not was a relieved offence simply for getting the ball over the half way line though now with the clock running down and opponents guards over-stressed from having to carry the bulk of the phychological workload.In fairness to Kilkenny they never dropped their heads despite the scoreline running 15 plays 7 17/11, 19/11, 23/11, and to finished at 69 plays 24.Kilkenny though with ex Superleague Winner with Waterford Crystal guard Dean Kavanagh and guard Julian O Keeffe who certainly talent wise were up to Redlands level would have benefitted more having the bigger inside players with better level ball handling and finishing skills at least close to the basket, conditioning too physically would have made a considerable difference though that,s what you get practising 2/3 times / week as opposed to every day and twice a day.The Kilkenny followers though were fully appreciative of the efforts put forward by their team and with this the House -full sign can be expected to be seen when Kilkenny play Blue Demons in their Div 1 opener in a 10 game home schedule in October . Game 2 saw Ballon BC play also newely promoted to superleague play Dublin thunder and as was to be expected seeing the strength of the teams in the warm ups The Thunder won convincingly at 61 to 37.The Thunder on their showing this weekend are quite capable of making an immediate impact at superleague level though it remains to be seen what the true picture can become until teams actually state their named teams for the season.The Thunder in this their opener had good balance with their guards and relatively speaking big men inside allowing substituting after the first quarter with the momentum and game under their control.
The third game pitched Redlands with Dublin Inter (Ballons 1st team) and it in terms of deciding who,d progress or not was critical.The contrasting via East versus West in terms of basketball styles was the hallmark of this game with Inter being more direct and staid in their approach whereas the U.S.A. team were at least on the surface more emotionally involved and self expressive in their play.Inter it must be said though did possess that winning attitude to a man and their tough uncomprimising attitude meant the Americans were put to the pin of their collar to eventually win it at 51 plays 47.Jim Ducey earned his corn with this one on the line in the third quarter impressing on his charges the value of what was at stake in a similar vein to how Isaw The USA team of under 20,s compete at the 2006 Albert Schweitzer Tournament at Mannheim Germany.Ducey,s team duly responded in what to a certain extent as the tournament was their final. Game 4 Dublin Thunder 80 against Castleisland,s 55 points with St Mary,s Andrew Fitzgerald now in the best shape of his life at 30 years of age hitting 26 and playing defence that would have me starting him on any Superleague team at the minute (providing of course he comes through maherprobasket,s teamsystem player evaluation process).
Game 5 Dublin Inter 51 / Team Left Bank kilkenny 49. ....Game 6 Castleisland 66 / Ballon BC 60.
Game 6 the Final : Wearing my coach,s hat and having seen practically every shot, rebound, foul and heard the oooh,s and ahhh,s of a highly entertained fan contingent from early in the day being at the venue literally before the first team arrived my initial thoughts on writing up my usual pre game personalised "skinny" I asked myself "Pat ! What are the deciding factors here likely to be" next I listed them 1.Are the older and in 3/4 instances physically stronger Thunder,s players likely to be be able to gain some mometum early and maintain it to give themselves a shot at winning ?. 2. Do the thunder have the energy to stay with The Bulldogs given the intensity on defence the bulldogs have displayed up to this point ?. 3.Can the Bulldogs win enough boards to get the quick breaking points they are used to scoring to give themselves the leverage they need with what is practically a bit of a gamble even with the top level teams. The answers as they unfolded were irrelevant to a degree as the quality of the bench players dictated the final outcome with the Thunder unable or unwilling to an extent to risk putting guys on the floor who up to this stage were quite capable of playing a positive contributing role and this scenario was evident really early in the opening quarter when The Thunder,s "Big 3" inside players simply had to come out for a breather. (In fairness to The Thunder this scenario is unlikely at the minute to be a diminishing factor in terms of their Superleague aspirations this season).Westbrooks up to the final few minutes to give him his due was able to run the game in a way where if his teamates (and I have seen him do this with the Senior Men,s National team) had the ability to dominate the floor and create passing lanes / opportunities he is quite capable of making those passes with his perimeter scoring threat a plus for himself too, though he could use a quicker step to give himself that triple threat game with a higher level of legetimacy.Bulldogs coaching staff played this one out not unlike an elaborate chess game allowing Thunder to get close but not too close again and again and again until finally and I could see it etched on the thunder,s faces an expression of "Well ! What do we have to do here against these guy.s".The final scoreline again of 91 to 75 was probably a fair reflection and a just outcome for all the efforts The Bulldogs must have put in to get in the shape they are in. Tournament sponsors : www.aib.ie, www.basketballireland.ie, www.kbowlkk.ie, www.leftbank.ie, www.firecentre.ie, www.kingsize.ie, www.arklowbay.com, www.springhillcourt.com, www.clonmelpark.com,www.greenisle.com
Congratulations to Kilkenny BC on running a very successful tournament.
Dean Kavanagh (183-G-84)
Donnie McGrath selected the top Irish playing abroad in last week's games - 3 days ago
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Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Irish who are currently playing abroad. Experienced Mike Hall (203-F-84, agency: Interperformances) led Angelico Biella to a victory over the tenth-ranked Lighthouse TR in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) in Sunday night's game.
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Irish who are currently playing abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an experienced former international guard Donnie McGrath (193-84, agency: Diamond Sports, college: Providence, currently plays in Greece). He contributed to an easy victory against the 11th-ranked Koroivos (7-15) crushing them 89-63 in the Greek A1 last Saturday.
McGrath recorded 9 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
AEK Athens (17-5) is placed third in the A1.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This season McGrath averages: 5.8ppg, 1.4rpg, 1.8apg, 2FGP: 47.1%, 3FGP: 25.8%.
He is a naturalized American.
McGrath played for the Irish senior national team nine years ago.
Strangely he has never played in Ireland.
#2. Second place goes to former international center Damian Matacz (204-79, college: N.Michigan, currently plays in Australia). He led Wanneroo to a 3-point victory against the eighth-ranked Cougars (0-1) 104-101 in the Australian State League (second division) last Saturday.
Matacz scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in only a mere 13 minutes. It was his first game for Wanneroo this season.
His team are placed fourth in SBL group.
But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen.
It's Matacz's eighth year with the team.
He has a dual citizenship: Irish and Australian.
Former Mardyke UCC Demons Cork starter played for the Irish national team in 2008.
#3. The Irish player who performed third best last week abroad was an international forward Brian Fitzpatrick (203-89, also represented by Diamond Sports, college: Bucknell, currently plays in Czech Republic). Fitzpatrick contributed to Prostejov's victory against the fourth-ranked MMCITE Brno (10-18) 81-76 in the Czech Republic NBL on Saturday night.
He scored 9 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Orli Prostejov (9-19) is placed sixth in Places 7-12 group.
They ended the series of eleven consecutive loses.
There are only four games left until the end of the Second Stage. So now every game is very crucial.
Fitzpatrick's overall stats this season are: 9.9ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 52.3% and FT: 68.0%.
He is a naturalized American.
Fitzpatrick is also a member of the Irish senior national team. Apparently he has never played in Ireland.
#4. Point guard Cian Hickey (183-96, currently plays in United Kingdom) managed to help Manchester Magic to win against the seventh-ranked Storm (13-13) 103-96 in the British NBL D1 (second division) in Saturday night's game.
He scored 5 points.
Manchester Magic (18-5) is placed third in the NBL D1.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is quite important.
Hickey's overall stats this season are: 2.9ppg and 1.1apg.
He used to play for the Irish U18 national team
back in 2014.
The list of other players, who all have Irish passport but never been selected to any of Irish national teams:
#1. Experienced Mike Hall (203-F-84, agency: Interperformances, college: G.Washington, currently plays in Italy) led Angelico Biella to a victory over the tenth-ranked Lighthouse TR (12-13) crushing them 79-55 in the Italian Serie A2 (second division) in Sunday night's game.
He was MVP of the game. Hall had a double-double by scoring 16 points and getting 10 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Angelico Biella (19-6) is placed first in West group.
Hall has relatively good stats this year: 14.7ppg, 13.3rpg, 3.0apg and 1.3spg in 25 games he played so far.
He is a naturalized American.
Strangely Hall has never played in Ireland.
#2.Will Hanley (201-G/F-90, agency: Duran International, college: Bowdoin, currently plays in Spain). Hanley could not help CB Canarias (18-6) to beat Valencia Basket (5-18).
He recorded only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 11 minutes.
The league leader CB Canarias was edged 65-62 on the road by the much lower-ranked (#13) Valencia Basket.
It was CB Canarias' first loss after three consecutive victories.
This year Hanley's overall stats are: 5.0ppg and 2.5rpg in 24 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Apparently Hanley has never played in Ireland.
#3.Ian O'Leary (201-F-86, college: St.Mary's, CA, currently plays in Spain) was not able to help Baloncesto Fuenlabrada in their game against Sevilla (8-15) in the Spanish Liga Endesa.
He recorded 5 points and grabbed 5 rebounds.
Baloncesto Fuenlabrada was defeated 72-67 on the opponent's court by the lower-ranked Sevilla (#13).
O'Leary's overall stats this season are: 6.8ppg and 3.9rpg.
He is a naturalized American.
Apparently O'Leary has never played in Ireland.
#4.Patrick Carney (185-G-85, college: Chapman, currently plays in Germany) was the major contributor in Schalke's victory against the third-ranked Elchingen (15-7) 76-74 in the German ProB (third division) in Saturday night's game.
Carney scored 22 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 35 minutes.
FC Schalke 04 (11-11) is placed sixth in North group.
Carney has relatively good stats this year: 14.2ppg, 2.9rpg and 3.0apg in 24 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Interesting that Carney has never played in Ireland.
#5.Ako Adams (188-G-97, currently plays college basketball in the States) managed to help Rice University to win against the University of San Francisco (10-8) 85-76 in the NCAA National Tournament Round 1 last Wednesday.
He recorded only 2 points and added 4 assists.
The Rice University has a solid 11-7 conference record this season.
The National Tournament Round 1 already ended in the NCAA.
Adams' overall stats this season are: 3.0ppg, 1.1rpg and 1.2apg.
#6.Matt Wilson (206-C-92, college: Hartwick, currently plays in Spain) was not able to secure a victory for Leon in their game against Calidus Gal.COB in the Spanish EBA (fourth division). He cannot count Saturday's game as one of the best ones.
Wilson scored only 3 points, had 7 rebounds and made 2 blocks in 17 minutes.
His team was edged 68-66.
This year Wilson's overall stats are: 8.4ppg and 6.7rpg in 21 games.
He is a naturalized American.
Interesting that Wilson has never played in Ireland.
MAREE were today crowned Basketball Ireland Men's Division One Regular Season champions for the second year in a row with a win over Ulster University Elks in Oranmore. In an extremely close and competitive game, it took Maree until the fourth quarter to put some breathing space between the two sides, with momentum swinging from end to end throughout the game. Good scoring from Kenneth Hansberry and Eoin Rockall (182-PG-98) sealed the deal in the end for the Galway side, and Maree were cr... [read more]
MAREE were today crowned Basketball Ireland Men's Division One Regular Season champions for the second year in a row with a win over Ulster University Elks in Oranmore. In an extremely close and competitive game, it took Maree until the fourth quarter to put some breathing space between the two sides, with momentum swinging from end to end throughout the game. Good scoring from Kenneth Hansberry and Eoin Rockall (182-PG-98) sealed the deal in the end for the Galway side, and Maree were crowned champions. 'It feels brilliant. We had a really tough game today, Ulster Elks are a really good team and they really put it up to us,' said a thrilled Head Coach, John Finn . 'We were nine points down going into the fourth quarter and played really well to win the game so we're delighted. I felt that if we could play to our ability we could win, but it wasn't until the fourth quarter that we played the way we can play.' Courtesy of: basketballireland.ie
Irish Super League round 22 best performance: Jermaine Turner - 5 days ago
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Naturalized American Forward Jermaine Turner (195-F-74) put on an amazing game in the last round for Killester, receiving a Usbasket.com Player of the Week award for round 22.
The 42-year old player had a double-double of 27 points and 15 rebounds, while his team beat Eanna (#11, 5-16) 89-75. Killester maintains the 5th position in Irish Super League. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Killester will need more victories to improve their... [read more]
Naturalized American Forward Jermaine Turner (195-F-74) put on an amazing game in the last round for Killester, receiving a Usbasket.com Player of the Week award for round 22. The 42-year old player had a double-double of 27 points and 15 rebounds, while his team beat Eanna (#11, 5-16) 89-75. Killester maintains the 5th position in Irish Super League. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Killester will need more victories to improve their 13-8 record. In the team's last game Turner had a remarkable 61.5% from 2-point range. He has many years of experience at Killester, through which he has constantly improved. Former Dowling College star has very solid stats this year. Turner is in league's top in points (5th best: 20.7ppg), rebounds (4th best: 12.5rpg) and averages impressive 1.7bpg and 55.1% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 25-year old American Mike Garrow (193-G-91) of UCD Marian. Garrow had a very good evening with a double-double of 23 points and 25 rebounds. Bad luck as UCD Marian lost that game 66-94 to slightly higher-ranked Swords Thunder (#2, 18-3). It was definitely game of the week between two contenders to the title. UCD Marian still maintains its place in the top 3 of the standings, even despite this loss. His team's 16-5 record is not bad at all. Garrow is a newcomer at UCD Marian, but is already one of team's top players.
Third on the list of top players last round was Latvian center Martins Provizors (202-C-87) of DCU Saints (#8). Provizors showcased his all-around game by recording 21 points, sixteen rebounds (!!!) and five assists in the last round. Despite Provizors' great performance DCU Saints lost 64-76 to slightly higher-ranked UCC Demons (#6, 11-10). But his team cannot count on just a single player as he also needs help of the other teammates. The chances of DCU Saints not to end season at such low position in the league, however are less than slim as they have already lost 14 games, recording just seven victories. With bigger assistance of his teammates, Provizors could try to bring DCU Saints' a little bit higher in the standings. Provizors has individually a great season in Ireland. After 19 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in points with 21.1ppg (4th best) and rebounds with 16.7rpg (#1 in league). He also has 1.5bpg and FGP: 69.5%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Paul Freeman (201-F-83) of Moycullen - 22 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists 5. Lorcan Murphy (182-PG-94) of Templeogue - 31 points and 5 rebounds 6. Jason Killeen (211-C-85) of Templeogue - 27 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Justin Goldsborough (203-F) of Swords Thunder - 18 points and 12 rebounds 8. Dustan Moreira (202-F-89) of UCD Marian - 21 points and 10 rebounds 9. Isaac Westbrooks (189-PG-85) of Swords Thunder - 9 points, 7 rebounds and 14 assists 10. Michael Bonaparte (196-F-82) of Templeogue - 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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