N-W TASMANIA THUNDER
Wins - 13
Losses – 11
Standing – 3rd South Conference
Post-Season Results – lost to Bendigo (PF)
2013 result – 17 wins 9 losses, 2nd South Conference
After missing the playoffs from 2009-2013, the Thunder reached the Preliminary Final for a second consecutive year. Their potent offence cracked the century three times while they hit more two-point shots than any side at an equal-best 50% mark. Fred Hunter was superb at both ends of the floor, finishing third in steals and fifth in offensive boards while collecting 18 points and 8.3 total rebounds per game. Nathan Wilson remained consistent with 14.9 points in his second year and Kyle Clark was the best three-point shooter in the competition with 32 connections at 53%.
Leaving a hole in their back-court, point guard import Monzaigo Williams did not work out in the Thunder system and was released after just nine games. Although they finished third in the South Conference, their 13-11 record would not have been enough to break into the top four in the East while their 5-7 road record was exposed when they lost in Bendigo in the Preliminary Final.
Garrett Jackson was an outstanding pick-up at mid-season after N-W Tasmania released Williams with his 20.6 points (fourth in the league) and 9.4 rebounds proving very valuable. He was the catalyst for most of the Thunder’s victories in the second half of the season as they were 2-6 when he scored less than 20 and 6-2 when he collected 20+ points.
N-W Tasmania may seek a point guard import for 2016 although Mason Bragg is a capable leader in the back court. They owned a dominant front court this season and will be hopeful in retaining Hunter and Jackson while Clark is an integral piece of the puzzle with his ability to stretch the defence beyond the three-point line.
At 19 years of age, Lachlan Barker could be ready to take the next step in 2016 as he has now clocked up 40 SEABL games over two years. Barker plays as a shooting guard and can be a great benefit to whoever the Thunder have at the point. He showcased his talents in a clash with Canberra earlier this season when he scored 20 points on 7-11 shooting while a spot on an NBL roster does not look far away.