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THE 2014 State Basketball League season commences this Friday night and here is a look at some of the changes that each club has made heading into the new campaign.
The Lakeside Lightning dominated the 2013 SBL season losing just three matches and heading into the playoffs with an imposing 23-3 record.
The Lightning then cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs with wins over the Redbacks and Eagles, and then winning a thrilling grand final over the Wolves to win what turned out to be a championship that was the last act for a host of favourite sons.
Coach Andy Stewart stood down at the end of last year's grand final to take up a full-time role in the NBL with the Perth Wildcats.
Former assistant David Olley returns to the Lightning to become the head coach in 2014.
Grand final MVP Justin Cecil won't be back with the Lightning in 2014 and neither will long time scoring machine Ben Beran who has decided to remain at home in the United States this year for family reasons.
There are two new Lakeside imports for season 2014 with Bradley Tinsley and Caleb Palkert arriving with huge shoes to fill.
They are no longer called Wanneroo, but the Australian Belt Scrapers Joondalup Wolves will be looking to go one step better in 2014 than it did in 2013.
After finishing the regular season with a 15-11 record and in sixth position, the Wolves made it all the way to the grand final last year and put up quite the effort against Lakeside, before narrowly falling short in the championship-decider.
Veteran big man Damien Matacz retired following last year's grand final while the Wolves are yet to announcing the signing of any imports for 2014.
The Vorian Agency East Perth Eagles had a strong campaign in 2013 ending up the regular season in fourth position with a 15-11 record.
They then beat the South West Slammers in the quarter finals before losing to the eventual champion Lakeside in the semis.
The Eagles have signed Sydney Kings NBL development player and former Willetton Tigers star Kyle Armour for the 2014 men's SBL season while centre Tom Jervis might not see any of the first half of the season at all due to NBL commitments with the Perth Wildcats, and then some time off.
The Perry Lakes Hawks had a strong regular season in 2013 finishing in second position with an 18-8 record, but then ended up losing to the Wolves in the semi-final series.
The Hawks are disappointed to lose Adrian Majstrovich shortly before the season with the veteran heading to play in the New Zealand NBL.
Perry Lakes will be announcing a replacement signing for him shortly but perhaps not in time for the opening weekend of the 2014 season.
The Sun City Plumbing Geraldton Buccaneers had a strong regular season in 2013 with an 18-8 record to finish in third position, but they then were bundled out in the quarter finals by the Wolves.
And there have been plenty of changes with Geraldton now coming into 2014 with Mark Heron taking over as a rookie head coach.
The Buccaneers have also signed former Melbourne Tigers and Perth Redbacks swingman Bennie Lewis who will be fresh off most recently playing in the NBA D-League.
Lewis will be joined in Geraldton by the returning import Carter Cook and new import Allan Ehte.
The Collie Crane Hire South West Slammers were a good team in 2013 finishing the regular season in fifth position with a 15-11 record, but they went down to the East Perth Eagles in the quarter finals.
Ty Harrelson remains as a playing coach of the Slammers while they decided not to re-sign Jamahr Warren.
Instead Johnathon Hendley arrives as South West's second import joining Harrelson on a team that will be looking to turn themselves into being a title contender.
The Mandurah Magic made the playoffs in 2013 ending the regular season with a 15-11 record before losing to the Perry Lakes Hawks in the quarter finals.
There have been huge changes at the Magic coming into 2014 with their Peel-region rivals Rockingham securing the services of Taylor Land, Andrew Bowman, Frank Fimmano and Tom Remmerswaal.
Former captain Ben Caporn also retired at the end of the 2013 SBL season.
With so many players departing, that means that there are plenty of new arrivals for Mandurah in 2014 with Daniel Thomas making the move from Geraldton while new import Paul Hafford has signed to join up with the returning Taylor Mullenax.
The Perth Redbacks were a solid outfit in 2013 scraping into the playoffs in eighth position with a 14-12 record, but they proved to be no match for the dominant Lakeside Lightning in the quarter finals.
The Redbacks have lost former Perth Wildcats NBL centre Justin Brown and Wildcats development player Michael Vigor for the 2014 season, but highly-rated import Stan Okoye arrives with huge raps on him.
The Willetton Tigers would have been disappointed with the way it ended the 2013 season finishing up with just a 12-14 record to miss out on the playoffs in ninth position.
The Tigers will be putting a lot of faith in their imports to try and return to finals action in 2014 with Quinn McDowell returning and he is joined by the exciting John Dickson.
The Cockburn Cougars weren’t able to back up their men's SBL championship win of 2012 last year ending up missing the playoffs altogether finishing in 10th position with a 10-16 record.
The Cougars have decided to not re-sign import Brian Carlwell this season with Anthony Borden signed instead with plenty of faith being placed in him that he can help the team at least back to playoff action in 2014.
The Rockingham Flames had a disappointing 2013 SBL season ending up with a 9-17 record to end up in 11th position.
And the Flames will be hoping that the recruitment of Taylor Land, Andrew Bowman, Frank Fimmano and Tom Remmerswaal from the Mandurah Magic can help them turn into a playoff contender in 2014.
The Stirling Senators had a disappointing 2013 season finishing up with a 9-17 record to end up in 12th position, but they have again put their faith in imports Jordan Wild and Cory Cooperwood to climb up the standings in 2014.
The Silver Lake Resources Goldfields Giants had a 2013 SBL season to forget winning just five matches and finishing in second last position.
As a result, the Giants now have a new coach in 2014 with Marcus Taylor taking over the helm while they also have two new imports in the form of Tommy Hannon and Duran Blue.
The Kalamunda Eastern Suns never got going in 2013 winning just four games to end up with the SBL's wooden spoon.
Individually, former Melbourne Tigers and Perth Wildcats centre, and Australian Boomers big man Luke Nevill put up some big numbers but it still didn’t lead to too many wins.
He currently is playing in the Chinese Taipei league and again putting up some big numbers, but at this stage he hasn’t been signed for the 2014 season by the Suns.
However, Kalamunda has welcomed two new imports with Mike Krummel and Adher Mayen on board to try and make the Suns a much more consistent and competitive unit this season.
Article by Chris Pike