2018 SEASON PREVIEW: RED DUST HEELERS
Last Year: 3 wins, 15 losses- 6th
Roster: Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy, Shelley Chaplin, Ryan Morich, Clare Nott, Jannik Blair, Rob Pike, Jake Kavanagh, Brad Ness, Joshua Turek, Brendan Hardman, Earvin Johnson, Corey Lawton, Angus Johnston, Tony Wade.
With the opening weekend Cluster Round to be played in Western Australia, Red Dust will be home and hoping to start their 2018 campaign off on the right foot. They then have an extended break without playing games in Round 2 or 3 but that means they face a heavy schedule in May when they play seven games in 11 days including a triple-header against the Perth Wheelcats for Round 5.
Missing out on the post-season last year after making a splash in 2016, Red Dust will be aiming to get back into the top four this year. The loss of Adam Deans hurts their interior play and rebounding and there will be question marks around how much court time Brad Ness will see but the Heelers still have a fair bit of offensive firepower through the likes of Ryan Morich who averaged double-figures in points last year and Rob Pike who also tallied 3.1 assists per game in 2017. Jannik Blair was named the Low-Point MVP last season after recording season-highs in points and rebounds and the Australian Gliders also have a healthy representation through Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy, Shelley Chaplin and Clare Nott.
One To Watch:
Josh Turek. A major coup for the Heelers in the off-season is the addition of American and three-time Paralympian Turek who won a bronze medal in 2012 before claiming gold with at Rio two years ago. At 38 years of age he may not be as spry as he once was but Turek is a dominant force under the rim and has experience from campaigns in the USA and Europe while he holds the record at Southwest Minnesota State University as the school’s most prolific scorer.