On Friday Night the Leicester Riders take on the Worcester Wolves on the road in the First Leg of the BBL Cup Semi Finals. Coach Paternostro will be looking for a strong performance from his team as they look to bring a lead back to the Morningside Arena ahead of the second leg of January 3rd.
About the Wolves
Last season was one to forget for Worcester, who lost their American Head Coach Ty Shaw to illness in early January, and then called up ex-GB and Glasgow Rocks coach Tony Garbelotto to steady the ship. The Londoner has vast experience in the UK and overseas, but was unable to turn the tide for a talented Worcester team.
This season ex-Leeds coach Matt Newby has taken over, and he has completely rebuilt the squad.
In came BBL experience from former Rider Raheem May-Thompson, who joined from Cheshire Phoenix, GB guard Kofi Josephs, who was previously with Glasgow Rocks, and versatile forward Jordan Williams, who was with Surrey Scorchers.
The new boys include American Cortez Edwards, who joined from Southern Mississippi University, where the 6ft 2in guard averaged 13.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals last season. Another American guard, Mark Hughes, joined from Wright State University, where, last season, he averaged over 9 points and 4 rebounds per game. Dutch guard Maarten Bouwknecht also joined from Den Bosch, and another Dutch player, Julius Van Sauers, was recruited after 4 seasons at Long Island University in New York.
Their latest signing is 6 foot 11 inch centre Amir Williams who was 4 years at Ohio State University, and had a spell in the NBA G League.
Season So Far – Wolves
It has been a very solid start to the season so far for Worcester. They finished second in the South Group of the BBL Cup with a 6 and 4 record, including two wins over the Cup holders, London Lions, and then upset Newcastle Eagles in the Cup quarter-finals, 90-86, in a gripping finish. They started their Championship campaign last weekend in impressive fashion with a 93-75 home victory over Surrey Scorchers.
Season So Far – Riders
Riders have won 9 of 12 games so far this season. Coach Paternostro’s team defeated the London Lions in the BBL Cup Semi Finals on November 29th to book their place in the BBL Cup Semi Finals after claiming the number one seen in the BBL Cup North Group. The Riders also made a positive start to their BBL Championship Campaign defeating the Plymouth Raiders by 18.
Players to Watch
Wolves new signing centre Amir Williams was sensational in their win last weekend against Surrey, knocking down 21 points, and grabbing 19 rebounds, to go with 5 blocks and 2 assists, in a magnificent all around performance.
Riders American point guard Kyron Cartwright is leading the BBL in assists, and he had his most spectacular performance to date, with a Riders record 19 assists, last game out against Plymouth. He added 11 points and 8 rebounds for good measure.
Next Home Game
The Leicester Riders next play at home on December 27th when they take on the Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Championship. CLICK HERE as the Riders look to finish 2019 with a W.