Suns rise for season opener
THE Coffs Harbour team that takes to the Sportz Central court tonight will be a new-look Suns outfit.
The Suns face Newcastle at home in tonight's season opener and coach Blake Kelly said the Waratah League Division 1 Men's team had "a good blend of bigs and smalls”.
"There's six bigs and six smalls and some others in between,” he said.
"What's exciting is there are four players in the squad who were part of our under-18s team last year.”
There's still plenty of experience to call upon though.
After a fine first season in the Suns colours in 2017, Matthew Cook will be the on-court general, having been named captain.
The Coffs Harbour Basketball Association's new development officer Pat Williamson has had plenty of playing experience in Sydney and will be part of the starting five as a shooting guard.
A pair of other new faces Kelly thinks will make it worthwhile for fans to get to Sportz Central this season are Taylor Schmidt and Sam Russo.
Schmidt is a big body who will ensure the Suns won't be pushed around, while 19-year-old Russo stands at 2m and has made the move from Bellingen.
Kelly himself is looking to return to the court next month after a long year of rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction that stopped him playing at all in the past 12 months.
Last year the Suns went on a winning run in the second half of the season to reach the finals stage but Kelly said a repeat performance in 2018 would be due to a changed game plan.
"I think this year we're going to be almost exactly the opposite of last year,” he said.
"This year we're going to be a lot better defensively and work more as a team.
"Our biggest problem will be throwing the ball in the hoop.”
SUNS AT HOME
Waratah League Division 1 Men
Coffs Harbour Suns v Newcastle Hunters
Where: Sportz Central
Tip-off: 6pm tonight