With Tristan talking highly of the Reapers in the post draft podcast , I was looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about when my Bucks lined up against them in a practice match last Tuesday. In hindsight, no one should be eager to play the Taylor led Reapers. They certainly gave my mob a wake up call forcing GM Jacob Begg to make a trade to his roster shortly after the completion of the scrimmage.
Here are my thoughts on the team that Dale has put together this season.
Dale Taylor – Refuses to pick me in any of his teams so I don’t really have many nice things to say about the guy. When you look at his historical stat line in super-league the only thing that seems to be increasing is his weight and age. The Reapers have never won a South East championship. The common denominator? Dale Taylor.
Jarrod Batiste – I have played with Jarrod twice now. Once against and once as a teammate. I was surprised to see him still available in the 5th round of the draft. Definitely one of the pre-season candidates for the steal of the draft. Jarrod does not lack confidence when it comes to attacking the basket. He can finish with both hands. One defender wont be enough when Jarrod has the ball. You have been warned.
Bailey Griffiths – Might have been taken in the 7th round but don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security. This kid can shoot the ball. Leave him open and he will score. GM’s just had to look at all the basketball related posts on Bailey’s facebook page to realise we got a baller here.
Summit Thapa – Was missing from the scrimmage so I didn’t get too see him up close. Likes shooting 3’s however as evidenced by his six 3 point attempts per game last season in super-league. Averaged 8 points per game last season which is terrific value as a 6th round addition to the reapers. Also averaged 80% from the free throw line which is a great indicator of ones all round shooting ability.
Matt Bassilios – Taken in the 8th round but definitely a big asset to this Reapers lineup. Matt proved his basketball nous by leading his Ducks all the way to the big dance a few seasons back. He has a solid frame and is an unselfish player who will do what it takes to help his team.
Liam Blacka - didn’t play in the scrimmage but we all know what he brings to the court. Lots of hustle, quick ball movement and high basketball IQ. Tristan was telling me he got a PS5 for his little brother yesterday. Probably trade of the season so far.
Craig Drew – You know you are going to be picking up a solid bastketballer in round 3 of the draft and Craig certainly won’t disappoint. Made the top 20 in total points last season and was close to averaging a double double. Has a great all round game, knows how to get to the line, and can hit the odd 3.
Steve West - In this scrimmage my Bucks were badly beaten in the rebounding and Steve was instrumental in this. I think it was my first time playing against Steve and hopefully its my last. Neared the top in most stat categories last season including points, steals and rebounds. Fast, athletic and blessed with natural basketball talent. A bit unfair really. The Bucks are facing off against the Penguins next Sunday in a preseason scrimmage. I will let you know my thoughts on them in the near future.