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2018 SEASON PREVIEW: N/W TASMANIA THUNDER
Thursday, March 29, 2018

 

Departing:
Akeem Richmond, Klay Griffiths, Emmitt Smith, Joel Beveridge, Daniel Sepokas, Brady Simpson, Chudier Pal, Conner Hind, Nicholas Bingham, Jack Triffett.

Returning:
Kobe Jackson, Jeremiah Ingram, Tre Armstrong, Joe Chilcott, Ben Richmond, Brady Armstrong, Matthew Beurmann.

Newcomers:
Ben Woolley, Mason Bragg, Lachie Barker, Paul Campbell, Darcy Malone.

Fixture:
N/W Tasmania are fortunate to begin their season at home against Kilsyth and they then play five of their next eight at Ulverstone which could set up their 2018 campaign. It means they have a rough end to the regular season though, playing five of seven games on the road from Round 11-15.

Overall:
Starved for success in recent years, the Thunder have only reached the playoffs in four out of the last nine years and they have been unable to get past the Preliminary Final since 2008. They suffered more heartbreak last season, falling in the Semi-Final by a point to Dandenong but for the seven returning players from that game, the fire will be burning bright this season.

Import Jeremiah Ingram is one of those returning players, coming off a strong debut season that saw him average 19.2 points and eight rebounds per game. His length allows him to get to the rim while he also has the ability to defend most positions at the other end of the floor and he has been named captain for 2018. He will be accompanied in the front court by Canadian Paul Campbell who has shone in the NWBU as a shot-blocker while 23-year Darcy Malone is a 213cm centre out of LSU where he played alongside Ben Simmons in his final year.

Mason Bragg also makes a triumphant return to the Thunder to fill the point guard spot and with the NBL Champion in the line-up, coach Sam Armstrong is looking to play a high-tempo style while Bragg also improves their perimeter defence. N/W Tasmania are a young team overall though and only one player that averaged double-figures in scoring from last season will be back in 2018 so the club will be looking for a couple of youngsters to take the next step and push them into Championship contention.