The Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders were celebrating the inclusion of two of their top players this week, with the announcement that forward Ayron Hardy and guard Bradd Wierzbicki were named into the BBL Team of the Week.
In two games, Hardy registered two double doubles of 16/11 and 13/13 while Wierzbicki raked up 26 and 28 points in respective games against the Wolves (won 91-68) and on the road to the Raiders (93-81).
For Hardy, this is his 12th time in the TotW but no less an accolade and merely adds weight to the argument that he is a legitimate MVP candidate (#GoHardyorgohome). While for Wierzbicki, his first inclusion in the team is, to some, long overdue:
“I feel like he already should have gotten one,” said team-mate and co-entrant Ayron Hardy. “He’s been doing it all season,”
“If he’s hitting shots, it opens up everything for everybody else. He’s a very key asset to our winning.”
While Riders veteran, Barry Lamble, remembers Wierzbicki from his first stint at the club:
“I played with him when he came over in December 2008 and he looked like a 12 year old kid. He STILL looks like a 12 year old kid but he’s got a bit of stubble now!
“He’s had some big games for us this season. It’s nice to have someone in our team who plays well pretty much week in and week out and doesn’t get the recognition (because) it means the other teams kind of sag off him a bit more and don’t pay so much attention to him
“It’s definitely long overdue for him to get his first BBL Team of the Week.”
Wierzbicki himself says that this being his first nomination doesn’t bother him because he’s confident he’s been having a pretty good season but acknowledges that his game has improved this season:
“If I can help the team win by six points and 10 assists, I’ll be happy with that. If they need me to play defence for one game then I’ll be happy with that”
“People have told me my defence has gotten a lot better. Rob (Paternostro, coach) and especially Lataryl (Williams, asst coach) have been really complimentary on my defence and told me I was getting better. I really feel like I’m stronger this season.
“When I first got here, people were telling me I looked bigger – I don’t know if they were just trying to mess me up or what not – I did put on 15 pounds.
“(I’m also) trying to find my team-mates and trying to make my team-mates better. I’ve had some games with 10 assists, seven assists, eight assists. I really think that’s been an improvement in my game.”