Show Me G-Money!
Adelaide becomes Ervin's third NBL team. "G Money" started his journey at Mississippi State where he played 2 seasons before sitting out 2005-2006 as a transfer. He played his junior and career years at the storied University of Arkansas, where he started before moving to a bench role. Ervin's numbers were consistent though and he still had a big impact on many games. He then moved to the D-League before starting his international career, starting in Canada and making stops in Australia, Ukraine,
Venezuela and Croatia along the way.
The addition of Ervin gives Adelaide it's deepest team since the title-winning teams of 1998 and 1999. Adelaide's starting lineup will likely feature Ervin, Adam Gibson, a to-be-named import, Daniel Johnson and Luke Schenscher. Backing up this group will be Boomers Jason Cadee and Anthony Petrie, Tall Black BJ Anthony, young gun Mitch Creek and Brendan Teys. Let's break down the positions to fully see the depth and options Coach Wright will have at his disposal.
GUARDS- Ervin, Gibson, Cadee, Creek, Teys
Ervin gives Adelaide the crunch time and aggressive scorer it has craved for many years. He'll provide sorely needed toughness and leadership. His addition frees up Adam Gibson to pick and choose his spots on offense and focus on shutting down the opposition's best guard.
Cadee moves to the bench which will surely be seen as a setback. He'll have the opportunity though for a more clearly defined role and will play in spurts and should thrive playing in an up-tempo lineup with Creek and Petrie. Creek will be given time to work his way back and allows the team to not miss a beat defensively when Gibson sits. He should thrive under Wright, who will fully utilise his athleticism and ability to turn a game on it's head on both ends of the floor. Teys will likely see only spot minutes but should continue to apply pressure to the starters and be solid insurance in the event of an injury.
FORWARDS- Import, Johnson, Creek, Petrie, Anthony
With the 9 signed, Adelaide can afford to take a gamble on a first time pro or a veteran role player. The key requirements of the new "3" will be shooting, athleticism and a solid defensive game. They won't need to be a leading scorer but someone who can either hit open outside shots or score off rebounds, cuts etc.
DJ will split time between the 4 and the 5 and will expected to step it up under Wright's watch. He's every chance to be a serious MVP candidate if Wright can iron out the wrinkles in his game. Creek will get some minutes at the "3", largely dependant on how the import works out. Then there's Petrie, who is coming off perhaps his best year and Boomers recognition. He'll be pushing for good minutes and will likely get many playing at the 4 alongside DJ.
BJ Anthony comes in after a year out of the NBL but in the best mental and physical shape of his career, plus some dominant form in the NZNBL. He'll push for playing time but provides much needed big man insurance should one of the bigs suffer an injury.
CENTRES- Schenscher, DJ
I'd expect Schensch to have a clearly defined role and to see his minutes hover around 15-25 minutes a night. He'll need to be managed carefully and it's likely he'll just have too much competition for minutes. Big Luke can be a game changer and Wright will likely save him more for certain match ups and situations. DJ should see more minutes at the 5, flanked by either Petrie or Anthony. If DJ can contain opposing 5's and hold down the fort on D and improve his post game it will allow the Sixers to run a wider variety of lineups.
As you can see, the Adelaide management and coaching staff have done an incredible job putting together an excellent group of players who can play most game styles and will be night and day from the teams of the last few years.