Cheshire Phoenix: Are Cheshire ready to Nix some more silverware?
Last Season Finish: 9th
Makem Takem Prediction 2018/19: 11th
Key Player(s): Daniel Norl
Likely Starting Five: PG – Norl / SG – Latinovic / SF – Rivers / PF – Allen-Jordan / C – Session
Concerns: The players with BBL experience weren’t impact players in their previous teams, will they be in Cheshire? or will it all be on the shoulders of the starting five?
To say Cheshire had an ‘interesting’ campaign last season is an understatement. Hopes weren’t massively high before the season (even though their player budget had gone up considerably). They had a rookie coach and their star player was an oversized 7ft CJ Gettys. In hindsight both over delivered but besides an impressive BBL Cup final win there was little to shout about in Ellesmere Port.
The target for them this season has to be securing a playoff place and they have decided to have a spring clean and so far start with no key returning players. Historically they do like to have proven BBL players in their roster and this season is no different bringing in Louis Sayers from Plymouth, Ashton Khan from Worcester, Solomon Rolls-Tyson from Sheffield and Momcilo Latinovic from London.
There will, however, be one familiar face at the Sports Village as Dii’jon Allen-Jordan returns after be absent last season. Phoenix fans are guaranteed some entertainment from Allen-Jordan who lacks some fundamentals but makes up for it is his sheer hustle and athleticism.
Amongst the new arrivals the key man for Cheshire is going to be Daniel Norl. He is a tough-nosed guard that is happy to go in amongst the trees to both draw fouls and get easy scores. He is very different from the departing Sandoval who was a pass-first point guard whilst Norl is more a score first and pass second kind of guard. This may be a better fit this season as they have less scoring options on the roster.
Cheshire always keeps an import slot for an impact big man and this year they have signed two, with the arrival of Jordan Session from Georgia State and Jimario Rivers from Memphis. Both are definitely different prospects than CJ Gettys, they are far more mobile and aggressive. Sessions started all 35 games in his senior year of college in Georgia. Whilst Rivers was a regular starter at in his senior year in Memphis he wasn’t an offense focus there but his athleticism will no doubt entertain the crowds at EPSV. They both still look pretty raw so plenty for Coach Thomas to work on through the season with the expectation for them to be producing more post-Christmas.
The Phoenix roster seems a player short of being highly competitive, it feels as if they are missing a scoring two guard. If they have the budget expect this to be addressed pre-season if not there could be roster changes early in the season. Cheshire once again seems to be a team that will have to fight hard to make the playoffs and this means that fans are in for another rollercoaster season.