Tag: west adelaide bearcats

WNBL Player Spotlight – Adelaide Lightning – Jasmin Fejo

PERHAPS one of next season’s breakout young guards, Jasmin Fejo will look to take the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) by storm when she signs on as a rostered player for the Adelaide Lightning next season. Fejo will rely on her pace and speed when she sizes up against some of the Australia’s elite basketballers after displaying numerous impressive stints in the NBL1 Central division over the last few years.

Beginning her play at Portside Christian during her high school days, Fejo earned a coveted spot for South Australia Metro in 2017 at the National Under 18 Championships, which preceded competing in the same tournament’s Under 20 age bracket later down the track. Following what was a stellar junior circuit for the 20-year-old, it was time to take her journey to the next stage and start to transition to the professional level.

Back in 2016, it was announced that former WNBL legend Rachel Sporn would ply her mentoring traits to a new basketball academy, to help progress the next wave of South Australia’s finest ballers. Fejo was a part of that squad for a few years. In the meantime, Fejo started to refine her game competitively in South Australia’s state-wide competition, the Premier League.

Perhaps her best night on record with the West Adelaide Bearcats came in 2019, where Fejo produced a career-high night from the field, accumulating 40 points in a single game against the South Adelaide Panthers. This performance was indicative of her season as a whole, as Fejo rose to prominence throughout the 2019 season. Awarded the Merv Harris for being the best player under 21 years of age in the competition, she was also be awarded an All-Star Five selection to round out a spectacular 2019 year whilst shooting an exemplary 42.7 per cent leading to 15.6 points per contest.

Major aspects of Fejo’s game are her quickness and her ability to get out on the fast-break and cause substantial damage before the opposition defence even has the chance to get set. For Fejo herself, she knows what her strengths can offer to the Lightning and she is excited to be able showcase this to head coach Chris Lucas.

“I can get up in the lanes of the offence team, also using my speed and court supervision to blow past players and bring my teammates into the game,” Fejo said. “I would describe my playing style as aggressive, not selfish, and hard-working so I am always willing to put my body on the line for the team.”

Following the ongoing contracts of both Steph Talbot and Chelsea Brook as well as the signing of WNBA superstar Alanna Smith, Fejo became the fourth known member of the Lightning’s squad for WNBL21. The Adelaide faithful are hopeful that the debutant can produce in what will be an unprecedented season up in North Queensland come November 12.

NBL1 Central men’s team summary: West Adelaide Bearcats

THE National Basketball League (NBL)1 competition was cancelled for the 2020 season, so instead we take a look back at some of the teams that would have been tipping off in the NBL1 Central competition. Today’s side in West Adelaide Bearcats mens team that finished seventh overall on the table, a win behind sixth but seven wins behind a finals spot.

SEASON SUMMARY

Finished: 7th
Won: 7
Lost: 13

TOP PLAYERS

Brian Jefferson

Statistics: [20] 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists
Shooting: 60.8% (2pt) | 25.0% (3pt) | 68.0% (FT)

The Bearcats’ top scorer on the side put up some big numbers of 22.1 points and almost nine rebounds per game each week. The average came despite a couple of quite games where Jefferson recorded single-digit points, but then he had a three-game streak in May. Across the three matches, Jefferson averaged 34 points and nine rebounds in a remarkable run of form. His season ended with his second highest score in the final round, picking up a double-double of 36 points and 10 rebounds, the last of seven double doubles for the year.

Patrick Thomas

Statistics: [20] 17.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.6 steals
Shooting: 53.2% (2pt) | 23.1% (3pt) | 47.2% (FT)

As the dominant playmaker in the team, Thomas was more than capable of dishing off dimes or going it alone, filling up the stats across the board. Finishing second to Jefferson in both points and rebounds, while topping the assists column showed just how vital he was to the Bearcats’ offensive transition, and he could have been even more effective with his three-point and free-throw shooting percentages considerably low. In 2019, Thomas averaged 35.9 minutes on court, the most of any Bearcats player and his best game came against Eastern where he almost had a triple-double thanks to 20 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Tom Kubank

Statistics: [17] 16.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals
Shooting: 47.8% (2pt) | 29.6% (3pt) | 73.4% (FT)

While Kubank missed three games during the season, he still had an effective time and was able to have an impact in those 17 matches he played. Being an accurate shooter from inside the arc, Kubank dropped 47.8 per cent of his two-point attempts and then 73.4 per cent from the line on his way to 16.5 points per game. Along with 6.3 rebounds, Kubank was a clear third standout in the matches, and he picked up double doubles twice, including in his best game where he had 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

Highlight of the season: Opening season with three wins

The start of the 2019 season provided plenty of hope for the Bearcats, going undefeated for three rounds before running into Norwood Flames. In that time, West Adelaide knocked off Southern Tigers, South Adelaide Panthers and Sturt Sabres.

Best win: defeated Central District by 11 points

In the only win against a team that finished above them on the table, West Adelaide triumphed 86-75 over Central District in late June. In that 11-point win, the Bearcats dominated off the offensive glass with 17-6 offensive rebounds on their way to a 50-29 total rebounds count. Jefferson drilled 27 points, 11 rebounds and two assists, while Thomas had 10 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and three steals in the win. Kubank (15 points, eight rebounds and two assists) and Lucas Valk (14 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals) were also handy.

2020 recruit to watch – Nate Sheppard

It would be a great result if Sheppard can get out on the court for the Bearcats in 2020 having put up some huge numbers coming out of college at Malone. In the NCAA, Sheppard averaged 19.2 points and 5.2 rebounds, something that would definitely show up in the NBL1 as a player to guide an offence around.

Summary

West Adelaide Bearcats would have been missing a number of key players from their 2019 campaign, but brought in a number of talents including Sheppard. If they could attack the season differently and not fall into a slump mid-season, then it would have been interesting to see what they could do. There is much unknown about 2021, but hopefully the Bearcats can retain their list for next season.