2018 SEASON PREVIEW: ADELAIDE THUNDER
Last Year: 0 wins, 18 losses- 7th
Roster: Adam Roocke, Beau Buckley, Richard Davis, Michael Hooke, Phil Stephens, Will Crooks, Jay Dohnt, Nathan Simpson, Daisuke Mitsumoto, Luke McDowell, Luke Watkins, Shaun Whitbread, Fernando Grez Montiel.
Thrown into the deep end from opening night, the Thunder face the defending Champions in Wollongong to start season 2018 before taking on Sydney Metro and Kilsyth to finish Round 1 who were also finalists last year. They will then head home to host games in Adelaide and Port Adelaide in Round 2 while also playing home games in Round 8 which they will be hoping provides the perfect lead-in to playoffs.
After returning to the competition last season, the Thunder’s focus now turns to getting some wins on the board. They showed positive signs through the first half of the 2017 campaign before seeming to be weighed down by the gruelling nature of the season in the back half of the year. A rough opening weekend will put them to the test but Australian Gliders head coach David Gould is sure to have them prepared. Adam Roocke has returned after leading the club for scoring last season with 12.7 points per game and his capabilities from long-range helps to stretch the floor at the offensive end. Beau Buckley and Phillip Stephens will also keep the scoreboard ticking over while the defensive efforts of Jay Dohnt will be critical to their chances. Several rookies including Michael Hooke and Luke McDowell will also get their chance to show their talents on the national stage.
One To Watch:
Daisuke Mitsumoto. Heading to Australia after competing in the USA college system, Mitsumoto has competed alongside fellow NWBL players CJ McCarthy-Grogan and Jay Dohnt and that connection with Dohnt is sure to help him acclimatise in 2018. Mitsumoto won the NWBA Intercollegiate Championship Tournament in 2017 with the University of Texas at Arlington Movin’ Mavs while he was also named to the All-Rookie Team and as a bit of an unknown factor, he could be the x-factor that helps Adelaide get on the winning side of the ledger this season.