Coaches bring winning edge in 2023
Victory in sports isn’t just what happens on the court, it starts with leadership and preparation before the first tip-off. And with new recruit Keith Noack and 2022 Coach of the year Shawn King in the coach's box, the University of Melbourne Winged Victory basketball teams are well placed to dominate in 2023.
After his first season in the role, which saw him lead the Men’s Big V Team to a 23-1 record, King is confident that the team's combination of newly attained talent with some key returning students is going to set Melbourne up this season.
“I’m excited to have the majority of our team returning from last year and having been able to add a couple of NBL1 players as well. We are confident about our chances of making finals after just missing out in 2022”.
2021 UBL MVP Joel Rimes is returning as captain for the squad, a move that King agrees will be vital for the University’s playoff hopes. He also highlighted the return of last season’s total blocks leader Matt Roseby (Bachelor of Commerce) and team field goal percentage leader Will Bruhn (Bachelor of Commerce), who shot 55% last season, as other key additions to the new-look squad.
“To have so many high calibre players returning, players who bring a wealth of experience and understanding for the game, it presents a valuable net positive for our season”.
Noack, who joined the University in late 2022, took over as the Melbourne University Basketball Club’s Big V women’s head coach and will be coaching in his first UBL home game this Wednesday against archrivals RMIT.
Both coaches are North American natives and bring a wealth of passion and experience for the game having grown up around the big leagues in the States. Noack particularly is well acquainted with college sports, having completed his medical degree at the University of Minnesota.
Divulging his hopes for how the team will implement his offence, Noack gave out some early accolades, describing his team as “a really nice group” who will “make more plays and get more scoring opportunities (than their opponents)”.
"Our team’s strength lies in their chemistry and synergy. They can recognize those (scoring) situations, and play with space, so they’ll often get 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3 in space rather than playing the half-court game”.
Noack was excited to talk about several new additions made to the team for 2023. First year students Laura Hamilton (Bachelor of Arts) and Lulu McLaughlin (Bachelor of Arts) will be donning the University’s white and blue for the first time in 2023, teaming up with returning stars Ariel Edwards (Bachelor of Science) and Rachael Smith (Bachelor of Biomedicine), the latter of which averaged 12 rebounds last season, the fifth most in the league. Newcomer Meera Coburn also stood out to Noack as particularly promising.
“We’ve picked up quite a spectacular player from NSW in Meera, she’s about 6’2 and can defend and rebound and score. She’s got a very good IQ coming out of the state program … and being a big who can pass, that is liquid gold in basketball”.
Both men’s and women’s Winged Victory teams take on RMIT during Super Sport Wednesday, on 22 March tipping off at 6pm and 8pm respectively at the Nona Lee Sport Centre, with all games live streamed through Clutch TV.