Big Red re­turns to Crocs

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - ROHAN O'NEIL rohan. o'neil@ news. com. au

IT’S BACK to the fu­ture for tow­er­ing Aus­tralian cen­tre Luke Schen­scher with the vet­eran big man re­turn­ing to the Townsville Crocodiles on a three- year deal.

Schen­scher last played for the Crocs from 2010- 12, where he helped guide the team to two con­sec­u­tive semi- fi­nal se­ries, and the 216cm man was also se­lected in the club’s 20th an­niver­sary All Star team.

The 32- year- old has spent the last three sea­sons with his home­town Ade­laide 36ers but the chance to re­turn to fa­mil­iar sur­rounds in Townsville and be a part of the re­build­ing club’s push for a maiden cham­pi­onship proved too good to refuse.

“I have fond mem­o­ries of play­ing here a few years ago and head­ing back to the Swamp and be­ing part of the club’s resur­gence is quite spe­cial,” he said,

“I have a huge trust in the cam­paign Shawn ( Dennis) is cre­at­ing, the team had some bril­liant games last sea­son and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing what we can achieve next.

“I know the place re­ally well, I know the peo­ple and I re­ally en­joyed my time there and af­ter lis­ten­ing to Shawn and ( Crocs chair­man) An­drew ( Gisinger) I think the fu­ture of the club looks re­ally strong so I’m ex­cited to be a part of that.”

Third year Crocs coach Dennis said he was thrilled to lure the South Aus­tralian away from his home­town 36ers and ex­pected Schen­scher to bring some vet­eran lead­er­ship to his youth­ful play­ing group.

“He’s re­ally ex­cited to be com­ing back. He has fam­ily up here and the other thing that is re­ally good for us is Luke’s lead­er­ship,” Dennis said.

“Peo­ple don’t re­alise but he has played out here for eight or nine sea­sons and he’s only ever not made the play­offs once.

“That was part of the rea­son­ing for bring­ing him in, that win­ning abil­ity he has and what he will bring to this team.”

Dennis was also rel­ish­ing the prospect of un­leash­ing a front­court made up of Schen­scher and newly re- signed NBL MVP Brian Con­klin.

“I think he is go­ing to be such a great part­ner to Brian and to­gether they will form quite a for­mi­da­ble front line,” he said.

“Teams will have to do a lot of home­work to work out how to de­fend that be­cause Luke is a ter­rific low post player and the thing that is un­der­es­ti­mated with him is his bas­ket­ball IQ and his pass­ing abil­ity.”

Schen­scher will make the move to Townsville later this month.

I have fond mem­o­ries of play­ing here a few years ago

LUKE SCHEN­SCHER

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