Mantra that has Micaela fired up
BE aggressive. It’s the simple mantra which veteran guard Micaela Cocks believes has unlocked her best form for the Townsville Fire.
Cocks is averaging a careerhigh 10.73 points and 3.73 rebounds per game in the Fire’s title defence – almost double her output from last season when she was mostly used off the bench.
Fire coach Claudia Brassard recently challenged Cocks to put more shots up and the versatile guard has delivered, averaging 15.5 points in their past four matches.
Cocks has become the Fire’s most consistent offensive threat, particularly from three- point range, but she insisted her approach was always about doing what’s best for the team.
“I’ve always thought about being aggressive when open shots are there, but it’s just different teams and different roles,” Cocks said.
“Claudia asked me to shoot open shots so I just put my New Zealand mindset in a little bit more and I’m trying to be more aggressive.
“I’m always a lot more of a scoring guard for New Zealand just because we need that whereas in past Townsville teams we have had so many scorers so I’m just trying to do whatever the team needs.”
The Kiwi guard’s strong form has helped spark the Fire after an inconsistent start and they will likely finish the round in the top four with a win over Adelaide at Townsville Stadium tonight.
Cocks said the Fire still needed to improve as they chase their fourth WNBL championship in five years, but she felt their new combinations were finally coming together.
“We were such a new team and we didn’t have a long pre- season together and so I just think the early struggles we were still finding our roles and figuring ourselves out,” she said. “We unfortunately couldn’t get over the line against Melbourne, but we’ve had three close games against them and they are an awesome team with lots of Opals.
“They’ve set the standard and we haven’t quite met that standard yet, but I think we’re in a good place where we can keep improving.
“I think as the season keeps going we’ll get better and better and that’s showing.”
Cocks is a 193- game veteran and the longest serving player on the Fire’s roster having joined the club in 2011 after finishing her college career with the University of Oregon Ducks.
That experience will be vital against Adelaide tonight with captain Suzy Batkovic in doubt as she manages a pinched nerve in her neck.