Monday, January 04, 2016

The Week That Was - Jan. 4th

Welcome to "The Week That Was" - our weekly look at everything that happened in NBL Canada over the past seven days. We'll be trying to roll this out every Monday, so be sure to check back so you can catch up on all the action!


NBLC's First Week Highlights League's Newfound Parity

Courtesy of the Moncton Miracles
In the 2014-15 season, it took 21 days for all eight NBLC teams to register their first win. In 2015-16, it only took nine days. Yes, it has been a great start for the league, with each team playing competitive basketball right off the bat. Even more incredible, based on the high scoring nature of the league, is just how many of those game's have been close, with ten of those games ending with a lead of five points or less.

What caused this change in the league? Perhaps it comes from one of the league's newest rules, which limits the amount of player moves that can be made in a season, as well as the later start time. Teams aren't waiting around for a batch of players from overseas to become available, as now they are forced to field a more complete roster on day one. That's not to say we aren't going to see players coming back after their contract ends (*cough, Brandon Robinson, cough*), and there isn't anything wrong with it either. It just means that there should be less of a revolving door as the season progresses. The condensed schedule also plays a role in this, as the frequency of games played means that waiting for players leads to more losses than in the past.

That isn't to say it's been a perfect start to the year. Moncton just barely squeezed their win into my deadline (thanks for that, boys) and there has still been some blowouts, but on the whole, the league is off to a very promising start.

Niagara River Lions Make Their Debut

Courtesy of the Niagara River Lions
Professional basketball made its return to the Niagara region, with the River Lions debuting on the road against the London Lightning. Logan Stutz scored the first points in the team's history, and while that game ended in a loss, Niagara's next game, their home opener, was a game that won't be forgotten any time soon. Finding themselves down by one with seconds ticking off the clock, Clinton Springer-Williams nailed a buzzer-beating three pointer, securing the 106-104 victory, Niagara's first ever win.

There's still a lot of work to be done, as their 1-3 record indicates, but there's plenty of reasons to smile. The team has found a legit star in Stutz, who has been averaging 27 points and 12 rebounds per game, numbers that are tops in the NBLC. Sammy Zeglinski has also been fantastic manning the point for the River Lions, to the tune of 22 points and 10 assists per game.

Perhaps more importantly for the sake of the whole league, the River Lions drew a crowd of 2,819 for their home opener. If the River Lions can continue to draw crowds close to that size, it will make Niagara the kind of success story the league needed to start the season with.


G - Anthony Anderson (Saint John) - Per game: 23pts, 6asts, 4rebs
- The reigning MVP has been his usual self, scoring at will. Already has 2 double-doubles
G -Doug Herring Jr. (Saint John) - 23pts, 6asts, 5rebs
- Anderson's running mate has been equally effective, pushing SJ to a hot start

F - Logan Stutz (Niagara) - 27pts, 12rebs
- The best newcomer so far, has only been held under 28 points once in the early going

F - Brandon Robinson (Windsor) - 25pts, 7asts, 6rebs
- A late add, has been magnificent for Windsor, including nailing the dagger against London

F - Mike Glover (Halifax) - 22pts, 6rebs
- Big man has already had two 30+ scoring efforts, great first impression for Halifax fans

Notes - Didn't seem fair to give three spots to players from the same team, but Gabe Freeman almost forced his way in. Sammy Zeglinski also played well enough for a spot, but having two players from a one win team just sort of felt wrong.


December 26th - Opening Night, featured all eight teams in action.
December 27th - Niagara's Home Opener vs LON, ISL at MON, HAL at SJ
December 29th - HAL at MON, WIN at LON
December 30th - MON at SJ
December 31st - HAL at ISL
January 1st - MON at HAL, WIN at ORA
January 2nd - ORA at LON, ISL at SJ, NIA at WIN
January 3rd - All eight teams in action.

TRANSACTIONS - All transactions courtesy of NBL Canada

- Dec. 30: Released Josiah Moore. Signed Renaldo Dixon
- Dec. 30: Placed Brent Jennings on IR. Signed Paul Cooper. Activated Gary Gibson from IR.
- Dec. 31: Activated Brent Jennings from IR. Placed Rashad Whack on IR
- Jan. 3: Placed Paul Cooper on IR. Activated Rashad Whack from IR
- No Transactions
- No Transactions
- Dec. 30: Activated Samuel Deguara from IR. Released Russ Conley
- Jan. 1: Placed Dylan Edgar on IR. Signed Russ Conley
- No Transactions
Saint John
- No Transactions
- Dec. 31: Placed Raheem Singleton on IR. Signed Brandon Robinson
- Jan. 3: Placed Theo Davis on IR. Signed Chris Matthews