IN our newest countdown series wrapping up the 2020 Sal’s National Basketball League (NBL) Showdown, we look at our top 20 players that took to the court this year. While it was an incredibly difficult list to create, we have had a mix of pure domination, defensive efforts and eye-catchers to form this list.
#19 KANE KEIL
One of the more underrated players in the competition was Otago Nuggets’ Kane Keil who provided an accurate all-round shooter for the premiers. While a lot of the focus went onto the likes of Jordan Ngatai, Jordan Hunt and Jarrod Kenny each week, Keil was able to ply his trade as a perimeter shooter in bursts.
Averaging two triples per game from 26.4 minutes, he is also ranked 12th in the competition for assists, with the greatest bang for the team’s buck, averaging just the 26.4 minutes per game, compared to the top three players in Derone Raukawa, Hyrum Harris and Izayah Mauriohooho Le’afa who were all well north of 30 minutes per game.
His accuracy from the three-point line ranked sixth of those players with two or more long-range bombs per game, and his accuracy from inside the arc was even better. Draining 55.9 per cent, of those same 10 players he came in third overall, making him a genuine dual threat. Keil was also the third highest distributor of those long-range bombers, and fourth in rebounds from that exclusive group.
While he might not get the plaudits that some others get, it is hard to deny he had an impact on court. He saved his best efforts for the Manawatu Jets dropping a season-high 29 points in just 27 minutes back on July 7 when he had 6/10 from long range, and also five rebounds and five assists. His next three games against the Jets he dropped an average of 13 points, but more than eight rebounds as he became a menace off the bench.
Often used sparingly early in the season, going as low as 14 minutes back in week two, Keil finished the season with a season-high 36 minutes in the Sal’s NBL Grand Final where he had 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists, as well as three from five outside the arc. He might not be one you think of when it comes to top stars, but he was a genuine star, even if he was underrated, this season.