Following a three week hiatus, Myerscough returns to Elite Academy Basketball League play when it travels to BMET James Watt College on Wednesday afternoon at the Factory. It is the first-ever meeting between the two teams with BMET James Watt College navigating its first season in the league having moved from Bournville.
James Watt College (2-1) and Myerscough (2-0) are in an early three-way tie for first place with Charnwood College in the EABL Western Conference.
Myerscough wrapped up a 102-84 win over SGS College at the Pure Leisure High Performance Centre behind Edoardo Del Cadia’s 26 points. Mate Okros scored 15 points, and Konrad Kantorski and Aaron Martin both provided 14 apiece.
James Watt College is also coming off a victory having also defeated SGS College in a low scoring affair. Daniel Penkov led with 19 points and George Iliev added 12 in a 57-49 road win.
What to watch
It was a shooting gallery from 3-point range against SGS College as Myerscough knocked down 18 total 3-pointers in its second win of the season. Del Cadia had a stretch over three minutes to end the first half where he connected on four-straight, scoring the team’s final 14 points. Myerscough shot just 29 percent from distance at Loreto College, but has since found its range.
A growing confidence
Myerscough head coach Neal Hopkins made it clear just how young his team was at the start of the season. Eight players are in their first year at Myerscough whilst Kantorski and Del Cadia are the lone starters from the 2016-17 Final Four team.
The new guys on the block — trying to fill the void left by 2017 EABL Conference Player of the Year Zion Tordoff — have, however, not wasted any time in contributing to the team’s opening two wins.
“The leadership from older guys and their confidence in us has allowed the younger players to come in and do what we do best,” said first-year guard Okros, who is averaging 13 points per game 44 percent shooting, as well as six rebounds and three steals.
Hopkins has always stressed defence first and whilst he won’t be completely satisfied having watched his team give up 84 points to SGS College, he will be pleased with the manner in which it is forcing turnovers.
Opponents are averaging 22 turnovers of a game through two games and Myerscough is averaging 15.5 steals early this season. Myerscough has turned its opponent’s miscues into over 25 points per game — and that Hopkins will be happy with.
Who to watch
Myerscough: Forward Edoardo Del Cadia
Del Cadia had two 20-point games already and is averaging 24.5 through Myerscough’s opening two games. It is a small league sample size, but the forward is producing the same results for the Academy in National League 3, which has helped it land a place in the National Shield third round.
BMET James Watt College: George Iliev
It will be an intriguing battle between two very different forwards with Iliev leading the way for James Watt College. The 6-7 forward is averaging 19.3 points in three games and had a season-high in his team’s opening game with 20 points against Allerton.
Myerscough is 2-0 overall in EABL play and is 1-0 on the road having won at Loreto College to open the season … Myerscough’s bench scored 41 points in the win over SGS College.