Sport

Crocs centre Luke Nevill helps team quickly climb NBL ladder

Luke Neville of Townsville goes for three points during the round 13 NBL match between the Adelaide 36ers and the Townsville Crocodiles at Adelaide Arena on January 4, 2013 in Adelaide, Australia.
Luke Neville of Townsville goes for three points during the round 13 NBL match between the Adelaide 36ers and the Townsville Crocodiles at Adelaide Arena on January 4, 2013 in Adelaide, Australia. Morne de Klerk / Getty Images

HE didn't quite land an NBA contract, but Townsville Crocodiles centre Luke Nevill certainly took a lot out of the time he spent with the Indiana Pacers in the American summer.

What 2.18m wouldn't relish the chance to line up against one of the best centres in the best league, Roy Hibbert, at training hit-outs?

So rather than hunch his shoulders at missing out on his dream for a second time (Nevill was cut from the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing four pre-season games with them in the 2009 US summer), the 26-year-old has helped pull the Crocodiles out of a massive form slump.

Nevill joined the Crocs in time for their round nine clash against the Adelaide 36ers, and his massive presence was felt immediately.

Going into that game, Townsville was reeling with an appalling 0-10 record.

In the five games Nevill has been there, his side has won all of them, jumping from last to sixth on the ladder.

"One thing we were lacking was a tall presence in the middle of the court," said Nevill, who averaged 9.5 points and almost five rebounds for the Perth Wildcats in the 2011/12 season.

He has six rebounds this season, something which has delighted Crocs coach Paul Woolpert.

Woolpert audaciously recruited Nevill at the 11th hour, after missing his dream Pacers contract, for this very reason.

With an average of 16 points per game to go with that, the sixth highest in the league, and with star American import and teammate Gary Ervin second on this list (17.3), the Crocs have found their offensive bite.

"I've tried to get the ball to my outside men as cleanly as possible so they have time to make their shots," Nevill said.

"They haven't hesitated with the ball before taking those three-point shots recently which has really helped us."

Nevill benefited immensely from the two pre-season games he had with Indiana.

"It's a good situation when you get the opportunity to line up against Roy Hibbert at training," he said.

"Before those games, we had three weeks where we played a lot of five-on-five games among the squad, so I got the chance to see what makes the top players successful."

Nevill said this Friday night's game against the two-time reigning champions and table-topping New Zealand Breakers will give a true indication of just how good his side is travelling.

"They're an elite team, but we've got a lot of guys who are high on confidence," he said.

"(Breakers talls) Will Hudson and Alex Pledger are great players."

Topics:  basketball, nba, nbl, townsville crocodiles




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Multiple people injured in motorway crash

Ambulance with lights on Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury

Expect delays on Ipswich Motorway.

Grieving family want to bury Toowoomba sisters in India

The four Mathew sisters together, with (from left) Anumol, Elizabeth, Anjumol and Asha. Anjumol and Asha died in a car crash near Ipswich.

Toowoomba sisters' tragic deaths rock community

Ipswich Motorway upgrade: 470 jobs up for grabs

The long awaited upgrade of the road from Darra to Rocklea is set to begin in full next year - but early works will start from June.

Early works on Darra to Rocklea project will start from June

Latest deals and offers


City’s most eligible bachelors go up for auction

Australia's favourite redhead twins and celebrity bachelors Stevie and Andy Mac will perform and be auctioned off at the Pink Hope Charity Male Auction Gala.

All women need to do is bid for the man who catches their eye

Taliyah to compete in model search

Taliyah Murray has made the finals in the Aboriginal Model Search.

Taliyah Murray has made the finals in the Aboriginal Model Search.

Waleed Aly explains

Waleed Aly in a scene from the 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival Debate. Supplied by Channel 10. Please credit photo to Jim Lee.

Project host Waleed Aly explains how price cuts will make dairy farming...

Police attend fatal crash

Police are still trying to confirm the identities of two victim of a fatal crash in Peak Crossing this morning.

Police are still trying to confirm the identities of two victim of a fatal crash in...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago