Facing the unknown is how UCC Demons coach Paul Kelleher describes his sides task of taking on new Superleague outfit Dublin Inter this Sunday in Cork in week two of the Nivea for Mens Superleague.
Inter surprised more than a few with a resounding debut victory over last seasons league finalists DCU Saints.
Its really facing the unknown. They are a new team in the league, their personnel will be new to us so the early minutes of the game will involve a lot of feeling out each others tendencies, says Kelleher.
Returning forward Carlton Cuff, who missed their opening weekend win away to Moycullen in Galway, will give the Leesiders a much needed physical boost on the perimeter this Sunday, an area Kelleher has concerns about.
We were destroyed on the glass by Moycullen. It is something we will have to be better at this weekend to have a chance of winning.
The game will be Dublin Inters first trip to Cork and will serve as a benchmark test for how genuine their title aspirations are following their stunning opening weekend win. Unfortunately for head coach Audrius Jonusas, the new boys on the block will have to do so without the services of some of their brightest stars including Aurimus Statkus and Mazvydas Cepilauskus, both of whom are unavailable.
Regardless, supporters can be optimistic that Inter will bring the same spirit to Cork that they held in Dublin last weekend. We had a good win but this is a new big challenge for us and we are ready to fight for it, says Jonusas.
In Dublin, both UCD Marian and DCU Saints play host to travelling teams with Moycullen of Galway and Bord Gais Neptune of Cork their respective counterparts on Saturday night.
All four teams suffered losses during the opening weekend and will be keen to avoid falling two games behind so early in the season. Players and coaches in the Moycullen, Neptune and Marian, campss will have had many restless nights over the week, contemplating what could have been as the three teams lost by a cumulative 13 points in their openers.
According to UCD Marian coach Sasa Punosevac, this Saturdays game carries extra significance for his team as it is their only home fixture in their first four outings.
I think we have more passion for this game than for any game we will play at the start of the season. We want to win it. We know a lot about Neptune, they have some very good guards but we might be able to have an advantage inside with our big players against them, he says.
The remaining game of the weekend in the Nivea for Mens Superleague takes place in Limerick where UL Eagles face Killester in a matchup that has produced a number of memorable encounters recently.
Every game between Killester and UL over the past few years has been a close affair. We realise that the shape of
Killester has changed but they certainly had a great team spirit last weekend and won a good game against UCD, said Eagles head coach Mark Keenan.
Killester have been the subject of much of the preseason talk this year, electing to go with guard Puff Summers as their American player ahead of their usually ever present star Jermaine Turner. Perhaps because of this decision, their excellent win over UCD Marian last Saturday was keenly watched by many around the league who wait to see how the new look smaller and faster Killester fare in the early stages of this year.
Saturday October 6th 2012
Nivea For Mens Superleague DCU Saints v Moycullen, DCU Sports Complex, 19:00; UCD Marian v Bord Gais Neptune, UCD Sports Complex, 19:10; UL Eagles v Killester, UL Arena, 19:30
Basketball Ireland Mens Division One Maree v Donegal Town, Calasanctius College, 17:00; Matt OFlahertys Chemists Titans v Templeogue Azzurri, Renmore Community Centre, 19:00; Dublin Thunder v Team Left Bank Kilkenny, OCarroll Arena, 20:00
Sunday October 7th 2012
Nivea For Mens Superleague UCC Demons v Dublin Inter, Mardyke Arena, 15:30
Basketball Ireland Mens Division One Blue Demons v Ballon, Mardyke Arena, 13:00; Team Left Bank Kilkenny v Fr. Mathews, Watershed Sports Centre, 15:30
32-year old Irish ex-international guard Donnie McGrath (193-90kg-84, college: Providence). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. McGrath played last season at Obradoiro in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 33 games he had 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg and 4.7apg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Krasny Oktyabr in Russian league where in 6 Eurocup games he recorded 11.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 5.3apg. McGrath also played 17 games in VTB United League where he avera... [read more]
Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius (LKL) signed 32-year old Irish ex-international guard Donnie McGrath (193-90kg-84, college: Providence). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. McGrath played last season at Obradoiro in Spanish Liga Endesa. In 33 games he had 7.7ppg, 1.7rpg and 4.7apg. The previous (14-15) season he played at Krasny Oktyabr in Russian league where in 6 Eurocup games he recorded 11.2ppg, 2.7rpg and 5.3apg. McGrath also played 17 games in VTB United League where he averaged 9.2ppg, 2.6rpg and 4.6apg. The other team he played shortly was Anadolu Efes in Turkish league. In 5 Euroleague games he got 4.0ppg, 1.4rpg and 1.0apg. McGrath also spent pre-season at La ICL Manresa (also in Liga Endesa) that year. He was a member of Irish Senior National Team between 2006 and 2008. McGrath is quite experienced player. He has played also professionally in France (Cholet Basket), Greece (PAOK Thessaloniki, AEK Athens and Egaleo), Italy (Openjobmetis VA, Verona and BancaTercas), Lithuania (Zalgiris) and Russia (Spartak St.Petersburg). McGrath attended Providence College until 2006 and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season as a professional player.
Ian O'Leary agreed terms with Fuenlabrada - 9 days ago
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30-year old American (has also Irish passport) forward Ian O'Leary (201-101kg-86, college: St.Mary's, CA) from Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. In 34 Liga Endesa games in Spain he recorded 4.5ppg and 2.7rpg last season. The previous (14-15) season O'Leary played at Gran Canaria where in 26 Liga Endesa games he averaged 4.9ppg and 3.1rpg. He also played 20 games in Eurocup where he had 6.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.2apg. A... [read more]
Montakit Fuenlabrada (Liga Endesa) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American (has also Irish passport) forward Ian O'Leary (201-101kg-86, college: St.Mary's, CA) from Iberostar Tenerife CB Canarias. In 34 Liga Endesa games in Spain he recorded 4.5ppg and 2.7rpg last season. The previous (14-15) season O'Leary played at Gran Canaria where in 26 Liga Endesa games he averaged 4.9ppg and 3.1rpg. He also played 20 games in Eurocup where he had 6.8ppg, 3.0rpg and 1.2apg. Among other achievements O'Leary played in the final of WCC Tournament in 2009. He received also Eurobasket.com All-Spanish LEB Silver Forward of the Year award back in 2011. O'Leary has played previously for four other teams: Blancos de Rueda, Palencia Baloncesto, Vigo and Oviedo CB. He attended Saint Mary's College of California until 2009 and it will be his eighth season in pro basketball. The scouts decsribe him following way:
Overlooked somewhat at college but has blossomed in Europe. Strong going to the basket and has good athletic ability. Working on being more consistent outside the 3pt line but provides a real mis match for teams.
A very good athlete he is able to play several positions effectively because of a great mix of size and quickness. Rebounds like a center but runs like a guard. Very effective mid range jumper causes a lot of problems cause he is able to just shoot over top of most defenders. Can handle the ball and has no problem handling pressure and being a release valve for any backcourt. Aggressive offensive mind set makes him lead by example. At college played in a system to showcase NBA Draft choice Patrick Mills, but his performance in Europe will be very different as he will be allowed to show his complete game. Has very long arms and consistently tips and blocks shots from the backside and weak side. A very complete player is capable of playing at very high levels as he continues to develop. Shoots the deep ball quite well and is extending his range which for a player his size will make him deadly.
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