Player Spotlight: Stephen Weigh

Outside the imports, this season's key signing for the 36ers was Perth forward Stephen Weigh. Perth's frontcourt was loaded and if he wanted more playing time, Adelaide looked a good place to go. The team had struggled the season before and he would be reunited with AIS coach Marty Clarke.

Weigh started the season ok, scoring 9pts and pulling in an impressive 10reb against his old team. He struggled the next 2 games before again getting a chance to face his old team and this time pulled in 16 and 10. Weigh coasted along until his standout game against the Tigers in Adelaide where he scored 24pts (including three triples) and 7 boards. He was solid all game and hit some key baskets down the stretch and all of a sudden it looked as if the 36ers had pulled off another great steal from their western rivals (see "Cattalini, Martin"). Unfortunately from there Weigh only had one more 20pt game (v Cairns Jan 22) and has not again pulled in 10 boards.

It came out well after the event that in December, Weigh had suffered a foot injury which had limited his training and oncourt effectiveness. What puzzled fans though was his continued heavy court time. Surely if he was playing under duress, he shouldn't be continuing to log such heavy minutes, especially in games that were over at 3qtr time. On online forums a few "conspiracy theories" arose that Weigh must have had a minutes clause in his contract. As his form dropped, many were calling for Mitch Creek to be given some of his minutes but this didn't eventuate and, if anything, Weigh was stretched further to start covering some PF and even C minutes.

So how do we rank his recruitement and performance?

The Good- Weigh has all-around potential with the ability to score inside and out, handle the ball and rebound well for his size.

The Bad- While he has range, he's shooting at 40% from the field and 35% from the 3pt line. Right around his career averages.

In his favour- Has been playing injured (to what degree we don't know) and is really the 4th option of offense most of the time. Also, look at Cattalini's scoring numbers below....

1995 (Perth)- 9pts a game
1996 (36ers)- 8pts
1997 (36ers)- 8pts
1998 (36ers)- 15pts
1999 (36ers)- 14pts
2000 (36ers)- 20pts

Surprising hey? Weigh is scoring more at this point of his career than "Cat" was. I'm not suggesting he's "Cat" but his numbers stack up well. He's certainly a better outside shooter than Cattalini was at the same point but probably needs to work on his intensity and defense. His FG% is worse, probably because he does fall in love with the outside shot a little too much at times.

There's certainly lots to work with and I think in the next 2 years Adelaide could have one of the league's best 3 men on it's roster. To be this I think these need to be worked on most in the offseason..............

Passing/ball handling- averaging 2.6 turnovers a game and is guilty most games of throwing one ridiculously long pass that misses everyone and everything. Could work on his inside passing also.

Shooting- Has a nice 3pt shot and would be good if he can lift his % to the 38-42 area. Has some nice moves under the basket and could do with some low post moves to add to this.

Defense- tries hard but often lacks the awareness/feel for where to be. Needs to work on foot speed (which is obviously an issue with the injury but this was apparent even before) and positioning.

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