Men's EF Preview - West v Sturt

Men's Elimination Final
West Adelaide Bearcats v Sturt Sabres
Saturday July 21, 2007, 8:15pm at Port Adelaide

 

West Adelaide Bearcats

Sturt Sabres

Minor Round Record

4th - 11 wins and 7 losses

5th - 9 wins and 9 losses

Head Coach

Dion Grieger

Liam Flynn

Likely Starters

Brendan Mann
Anthony Spadavecchia
Danny Phillips
Kris Davis
Blake Truslove

Mark Bauer
Marcus Ng
Marcus Hakendorf
Mark Paget
Jordan Dodman

Top Scorer

Blake Truslove - 16.2 ppg

Marcus Ng - 22.2 ppg

Top Rebounder

Blake Truslove - 10.2 ppg

Jordan Dodman - 9.0 rpg

Top Assists

Anthony Spadavecchia - 5.7 apg

Marcus Ng - 4.5 apg

Head to head

24/3/2007      Sturt 93 d West Adelaide 86
26/5/2007      West Adelaide 86 d Sturt 82

Rookie coaches Dion Grieger and Liam Flynn have had stellar starts to their senior coaching career. Both have taken over programs that have a strong history of success at this level and have progressed to the finals, but the journey ends for one this weekend.

Sturt has fielded a vastly different group to that which was runner-up last year. The loss of Oscar Forman, Austin Smylie, Todd Gower and Paul Bauer meant that it would run with in a much less experienced group in 2007, and with Woollacott medallist Darren Ng only playing a limited role, most would not have predicted this group to be contenders this year. The opportunities provided to Marcus Ng have allowed him to answer all critics, and his 22.2 points and 4.5 assists per game have been a big factor in the Sabres's success.

Similarly, Jordan Dodman has relished the opportunity to demonstrate his NBL potential. He has averaged 16.3 points and 9.0 rebounds a game, and will provide and entertaining battle with West's frontline of Blake Truslove, Kris Davis and Shane Crothers.

Anthony Spadavecchia has been the surprise packet of this year's league. He exploded into the season with the first CABL player-of-the-week award, and while the first half of his season has been better than his second, his ability to score in big games (two 20+ point games against North). Brendon Mann recovered well from an early  injury and with 28 points in West's most recent game against a top-5 team, he is also capable of lighting it up on any given night.

Both teams started the season better than they have finished, but with Sturt at just 3 and 6 in their last 9 games and West competitive with Forestville just two weeks ago, it will be tough for the Sabres to progress past the first round. However, if Marcus Ng has a shooter's night, anything is possible.




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