The Force will be with the Leicester Riders on December 27th as they take on the Glasgow Rocks in a Star Wars game courtesy of our sponsor Showcase Cinemas. Here’s all you need to know about both teams ahead of the Riders final game of 2019.
About the Rocks
The Rocks have had a stuttering start to their 2019/20 campaign under French Head Coach Vincent Lavandier. Lavandier is in his second season in charge.
As Scotland’s only team in the BBL, Glasgow built their team around a group of Scottish internationals – shooting guard Gareth Murray, forward Ali Fraser, point guard Jonny Bunyan, and off guard Fraser Malcolm, but are having to cope with the retirement of GB and Scottish captain Kieron Achara.
Lithuanian international, Tadas Rinkūnas, and American point guard Greg Pryor, both return. Pryor previously played in France and averaged 11.4 points and 3.4 assists per game last season with the Rocks. Rookie centre Maxime Djo Ebala was born in Yaounde, Cameroon and played previously in the French league.
Glasgow released American forward Eli Pepper after their last defeat by Leicester. In mid December they signed 25 year old guard, Dante Thorpe. Thorpe was born in Washington DC and spent the last 2 seasons with Northern Illinois University, starting in 60 games. He averaged nearly 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
They have also recently added Terrell Vinson from Baltimore, who is a 29 years old forward and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts. He has competed in a number of leagues across Europe including the LEB Gold in Spain and Romanian Div A. Most recently he played in the Icelandic league, averaging 22 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
Season So Far – Rocks
The Rocks had a disappointing Cup campaign finishing up in fifth spot in the Northern group, with a 4 and 6 record. They were not helped by fielding an ineligible player against Manchester in their opening match. The campaign did include a rare but memorable win in Newcastle, against the Eagles, their biggest and closest rivals. In the Championship, they started with a loss at the champions London Lions, 88-72 in their opening match at the Copper Box.
Season So Far – Riders
The Riders are currently 1-1 in the BBL Championship after defeating Plymouth on the opening weekend and an unfortunate overtime loss to the Cheshire Phoenix. The Riders are also in the Semi Finals of the BBL Cup and hold a narrow 3 point lead heading into the second leg at the Morningside Arena on January 3rd. Riders beat the Rocks twice in the group stages of the Cup in convincing style, 88-66 in Glasgow, and 93-58 in Leicester.
Players to Watch
Scottish international forward Ali Fraser continues to be the dominant man on offence for the Rocks. In their opening match in the BBL Championship he top scored with 24 points, on 11 from 17 shooting from the floor, and pulled down 3 rebounds, and added 3 assists.