For the third year in a row, NBL fans will get to see their sides take on some of the best in the business in the 2019 NBLxNBA series.
After a 28-match 2019-20 NBL season, these are my player rankings for the seventh-placed Adelaide 36ers.
Jerome Randle: 7.5/10
Jerome Randle is believed to have been paid a considerable amount of money to return to the Adelaide 36ers, and in return he had a pretty good season. He played all 28 games and averaged almost 20 points a match, which was higher than in his previous year with the Sydney Kings. Randle rarely had a bad game, which is why his averages were so high this season.
Sadly his leadership was disappointing. He couldn’t prevent the bad culture at the club, and that was probably one of the main reasons the 36ers didn’t make the play-offs. Randle was also involved in several on-field arguments, and it seems to me that he is difficult to work with.
It’s a shame he had that horrific injury in the off-season, because after the season he just had he deserved another season in the NBL.
Daniel Johnson: 8.5/10
This was another great and pretty underrated season by the big man. Johnson averaged almost the most points and rebounds he has ever averaged in his career and kept all his other stats still at a high NBL standard. For a big man to average nearly 20 points a game and nearly ten rebounds is phenomenal in a team that didn’t have a great season.
He also showed great leadership and passion on the court, which I’m sure would have been difficult considering that the club behind closed doors was in turmoil. It doesn’t look like his production on the court is slowing down and I hope he will eventually get some well-deserved recognition for his achievements. He is a legend of the NBL and will be known as an all-time great for the Adelaide 36ers.
Eric Griffen: 6.5/10
Rumoured to also be on big money, Eric Griffen was expected to do a lot better than the performances he gave out in the 2019-20 NBL season. The narrative of him being in the running for the sixth man of the year really hid the fact that there was a reason he was on the bench to begin with.
Foul trouble was consistent throughout Griffen’s season and big games were very few and far between. He did put up some above-average numbers and statistics, but for a player on big money it just wasn’t good enough. I’m not sure he will get another opportunity again if he demands that kind of money because he is clearly not worth it.
Anthony Drmic: 6/10
He started the season very well but then fell off a cliff for the rest of the year. For a player to average only ten points a game, two assists and four rebounds despite starting every game just isn’t good enough when his three-point percentage and defensive efforts aren’t really up to par either.
Although Drmic has improved in every season he’s played in the NBL, we expected better from him in a contract year. Touted as Adelaide’s next Nathan Sobey, he didn’t really live up to the hype. He’s rumoured to be a target for the Brisbane Bullets, and I think this could be a good move given he needs a team with a better structure.
Ramone Moore: 2/10
Sadly I think the Joey Wright-Adelaide 36ers saga affected him the most out of everyone. Moore lacked confidence and just wasn’t himself, and eventually he was benched. I hope he gets another opportunity, because he’s a great budget import and in a better environment could become at the very least serviceable again. I hope he can recover from his mental health battles and I wish him nothing but the best.
Harry Froling: 4/10
For a player who wanted to be in the NBA just months ago, this was a disappointing season for Harry Froling. He lacked fitness and from all reports seemed to have a terrible attitude. He also had a worse season than last, when we all expected a vast improvement. At least he has time on his side. Still being young and hopefully, he can put this season behind him and get that drive back to be a professional athlete.
Froling has all the mechanics to be a great player but perhaps needs a fresh start at a different NBL club. This season should be seen only as a failure, hence the low rating.
Jack McVeigh: 5/10
He didn’t start many games or play a lot of minutes to have a higher rating, and so the rating doesn’t reflect the pretty good season he had with low expectations. McVeigh – also known as the Energiser bunny – had a great attitude and always gave his team 110 per cent. He was also a pretty good contributor when required and all in all was a serviceable roleplayer, which isn’t always a bad thing.
Brendan Teys: 5/10
Surprisingly, Brendan Teys had some big moments in some games and wasn’t too bad defensively either, which is what the Adelaide 36ers lacked a lot of. A serviceable roleplayer who maybe started a few too many games, he played his role the best he could, similar to Jack McVeigh. He always gave his all to the team. I think this year’s performance should give him another contract in the NBL, which I didn’t think was possible.
Kevin White: 2/10
For an NBL player to average one point a game in eight minutes per game and still have a job is quite laughable. All of his stats from 2018-19 to this season halved, including his minutes, which clearly illustrates how unimportant his role at the club was. White’s defensive efforts weren’t at their best either. After his involvement in the Joey Wright saga I doubt he will have a job in the NBL next season.
Obiri Kyei: 5.5/10
He probably started a few too many games, but that wasn’t entirely his fault, due to Eric Griffen’s underwhelming performances. I felt like Kyei had some big moments, but they were few and far between, and most of the time say he didn’t look out of place or overwhelmed. His stats don’t really reflect on the passable season he did have, and he has the chance to get better. He just needs to limit his direct opponent’s impact on the game and increase his own numbers at the same time. I hope we see him again in the NBL, maybe on a better roster.