Imports shine as Tasmania down Illawarra
The Tasmania JackJumpers have routed the Illawarra Hawks 103-73 in the NBL on the back of classy showings from imports Milton Doyle and Jordon Crawford.
American guard Doyle continued his rich vein of early-season form with 19 points at a packed MyState Bank Arena in Hobart on Thursday night.
He also picked up a team-high nine rebounds as well as five assists to help Tasmania to their third victory in a row.
Doyle's performance came after he dragged Tasmania across the line against defending champions Sydney Kings and competition heavyweights Melbourne United.
“He could play in the NBA, there’s no doubt about it. But scouts don’t come out here and say we need a guys who’s 30, they want something new and shiny so it’s good for us. I can’t say enough about the guy, the way he goes about his business, he is the silent assassin. We’re up 30, we’re down 30 you wouldn’t know. He just plays his role and gets it done” Head Coach Scott Roth said.
In his first season with the JackJumpers, Crawford was electric at times with 17 points and six assists.
The point guard joined the franchise from Buyukcekmece in Turkey, where he led the Basketbol Super Ligi in scoring with an average of 19.6 points per game.
“Perfect example of a JackJumpers-type player, keeps his nose clean and just gets on with his business. He’s very good on the defensive end as well as his obvious offensive power” Roth said.
“His role has changed from when he was in Turkey and he’s adapted really well. He has to cover the floor defensively, both front court and back court”.
Crawford lapping up the packed home crowd at MyState Bank Arena.
“it’s electric in there. It’s people from all over Tassie, you know you got people driving 2 hour to watch you lay, it’s amazing. You can always feel the energy, you’re up, you’re down, they’re 100% behind you” Crawford said.
Jack McVeigh got in on the act with 15 points in what was Tasmania's equal highest score since joining the national league two seasons ago.
The home team blew the game open with a 31-10 second quarter against the sloppy Hawks, who conceded 11 turnovers by half-time.
Illawarra mustered more defensive grit during periods in the second half, but by then the margin was too wide.
The Hawks have won just one of their opening three matches this season and have now lost 15 of their past 16 games on the road.
They shot at just 38 per cent from the field, while the JackJumpers were on point from deep and shot 43 per cent of three-point attempts.
“They’re the best team in the League with the little things” Hawk Head Coach Jacob Jakomas said.
“We didn’t guard but they’re super talented too so don’t get me wrong”.
“I need to get through to the group somehow, we’ll go back, we’ve got a short turn around and we’ll try fix some of the issues for that one” Jakomas said.
Tasmania came flying out of the blocks and were up by 13 points before Illawarra cut the deficit to 24-19 at the first break.
“Big shoutout to Jarrad Weeks, this was his first professional scout, and we celebrated that in the locker room. Huge result from him, couldn’t have asked for more" Roth said.
Gary Clark top-scored for Illawarra with 16 points, while Justin Robinson had some decent moments early and a first quarter that netted seven points.