Preview written by Harry Hughes and available here
Nottingham Hoods host Newcastle University this weekend as they face off in the Division One clash. After winning both of their games in their double-header last weekend against Bradford Dragons, the Hoods moved to third in the table. The side who are unbeaten this year will want to continue their great form against the seventh placed Newcastle.
While the North-East outfit sit at mid-table, the team still have a respectable record of 8-6, having won five of their last seven games. Notts will look to avenge Newcastle after the side suffered a late 101-94 loss earlier this season, being handed just their third loss of the season.
Hoods coach, Ben Stanley, said: “We know it’s going to be tough. We were up by a lot in our last game against them and they managed to win and since then they’ve had some huge performances. In preparation we’ve been focusing on their style of play and personnel, but also executing our own coverages and sets to the best of our ability.”
Stanley has got his side playing great basketball on both ends of the court, with a variety of scoring options on offence and conceding the second least amount of points on defence. The team are led by Scottish guard Kyle Jimenez, who averages 8.7 points, 8.3 assists and over five rebounds. Alongside Jimenez is the imposing duo of ex-BBL centre Mo Williams and Joshua Guddemi who average 17.4 and 16.1 points respectively. Johde Campbell, Andrew Vickers and Logan Bailey also provide valuable contributions, each scoring over 10 points a game.
Despite their great squad, Hoods should be prepared for the international big three of Ronald Blain, Brandon Federici and David Moya. Blain has impressive average of 26 points, the second most in the league, 10 rebounds and over four assists. Federici is also in the top five for scoring, averaging 23 points, while Moya puts up 17 points, 7 rebounds and 8.5 assists a game. Hoods should be ready to face the three guards, who constantly pose a threat and can score in quick succession.
Stanley added: “It’s a massive game for us. We’re on a five-game streak right now, but we know we have really tough competition coming up over the next two months. We have a tough game nearly every weekend, and if we want a shot at the top position we have to be almost flawless.”
EVERY. MOMENT. MATTERS
Photo credit Evie Collier