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Opinion

WNBL roster review:  Southside Flyers

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Roar Rookie
13th November, 2020
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Last year brought about a rebranding for the Flyers.

The previous Dandenong Rangers rebranded to better encapsulate the southern region where most of their fans reside.

What a historic season it was. They jumped out the gates to a 6-0 record, while finishing first in the league with a record of 17-4. They went 10-1 on the road, a league best.

The semi-finals brought about the Adelaide Lightning, who the Flyers easily dispatched in straight games to move onto the grand final. However, the defending champions Canberra were simply too well balanced for the flyers to overcome.

Mercedes Russell was named the defensive player of the year, while also garnering All WNBL second team honours. Shooting guard Rebecca Cole joined her on the second team. Opals Jenna O’Hea and Lelani Mitchell were both named in the All WNBL first team. This was without the best collection of four players on any team in the league.

Additions
Monique Conti is the ultimate super sub combo guard. If a team needs instant offence and a speedy guard, Monique Conti would be one of their top picks. On the offensive end there is little she can not do. Playing behind two of the top guards in the league, Conti will play both spots and give a boost of energy to the second unit.

Elizabeth Cambage is literally a huge signing for the Flyers. Standing at six foot eight, she is head and shoulders taller than the competition. No one else in the league is taller than six foot five. She has been an All Star for both the WNBL and WNBA, she is an Opal and she is the best Australian female basketball player since Lauren Jackson. She is an extremely skilled big that can do anything on offence. This is probably the most impactful signing in the entire league.

Liz Cambage

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Subtractions
Anneli Maley is a do-it-all forward and she made the move to Sydney. Maley had a good season with Southside as her return season the WNBL but minutes were hard to find on such a stacked team. This season Southside are just as stacked, so she made the move to join friend Lauren Scherf in the Sydney front court. She is a versatile player. She will be missed for her plug-and-play ability in almost any line-up or situation.

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Louella Tomlinson made the move to Adelaide. Tomlinson is a blocking machine when on the court, but similar to Maley, the line-up was just too stacked for her to find consistent minutes. A larger role for Tomlinson at Adelaide seems likely. While Southside will miss her, they have enough front-court size to negate the loss. She will shine for Adelaide in a big back-up role.

Stephanie Reid moves to the Fire in Townsville. The back-up combo guard will play the same roll for the Fire but hopefully with larger minutes. Her leaving opened the door for Conti to join the Flyers. She is more offensive minded then Reid but not nearly a defender. However, Southside have more than enough defenders in this roster. She will be an instant-impact defender and ball handler for their second unit.

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Southside lost some players who contributed last year. They all were great players but they are seeking larger roles. On such a stacked team, minutes can be hard to come by. However, the reinforcements flooded in by the way of Cambage and Conti, who more than cover any needs.

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Southside had a historic season last year and are likely to have a better one in 2020.

Prediction
Led by the big four, Southside will roll through the regular season and end up atop the ladder (12–2).