Dennis up for draw challenge
T OWNSVIL L E C r o c o d i l e s coach Shawn Dennis refuses to be daunted by a tough draw to the 2015/ 16 NBL season that will see his club play five of their first six games away from home.
The Crocs will open up their campaign with a blockbuster home fixture at the Swamp against Todd Blanchfield and his new club Melbourne United on Friday, October 9, before going on the road for five games straight.
Despite a tough schedule to start the season, Dennis said he wasn’t dwelling on it and would instead hit the ground running with assistant coaches Sam Gruggen and Greg Vanderjagt to prepare for the rigours of the 28- game season.
“It’s very challenging to be honest but I don’t get bogged down by it and I am far more concerned with the on- thecourt stuff,” he said.
“Of course, it presents some challenges to have five games in a row on the road early in the season but most of the teams aren’t at their peak early on so it could be a positive for us and that’s the way we will treat it.”
The NBL released its newlook draw yesterday afternoon, which sees games played from Wednesday to Sunday every week, and Townsville fans will have to learn to em- brace midweek basketball with nine of the franchise’s 14 home games on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Townsville will play four home fixtures on Wednesday night and five on Thursday to go with the season opener on Friday night and three Saturday games.
The slating of games five game nights per week is geared at helping the league securing a much- needed broadcast deal and Dennis wasn’t concerned with how the new- look schedule would affect his team’s preparation and play.
“Once the season starts, our players are basically full time anyway and for us coaching staff, it’s just about adjusting training days and making sure that everyone is fresh,” he said.
“We … will sit down over the next four to five days, map out the program for the season and make sure we are prepared as best as possible.”