Ipswich Force captain James Legan hopes to continue his hot shooting form against Bundaberg this weekend.
Ipswich Force captain James Legan hopes to continue his hot shooting form against Bundaberg this weekend. Kate Czerny

Captain sees vital role for road trip

WHEN you're producing the eye-catching numbers James Legan has in recent games, there's not a lot more you can ask from your captain.

However, the team-minded American import is just as focused on getting the best out of his state league basketball side as individual milestones.

"I take pride in leading by example,'' Legan said.

"That's all I've been trying to do, trying to win. I let my numbers do the excuse for themselves.

"Any time you put 38 points up on Brisbane that's most satisfying. I dislike those guys.''

Although Ipswich lost that previous encounter, Legan gave his all on court. He top scored, to go with his eight rebounds, five assists and four steals.

He's also averaging 27.5 points a game, the second highest in the QBL.

However, with Ipswich being stranded on one win from its first four games, Legan is looking to his team's first major road trip of the new season to ignite a winning streak.

"It's all about us gelling and just finding that chemistry as a team,'' he said.

"Right now is the perfect time to start because we've had a couple of tough games. So now, going on this road trip, having a little team bonding and stuff like that, it should be good.''

Force play Gladstone on Saturday night before facing Bundaberg on Sunday.

"We have to back each other and go in and be positive about putting up numbers and putting up two wins,'' he said.

Legan is in his third season with fellow American Kyle Harvey.

He's pleased to see Ipswich-bred guard Jason Ralph keen to make an impact after his US college stint.

"Ralphie's back on and it's good to have him back,'' Legan, 29, said.

"It makes my job a lot easier. He's taken more of a leadership role as well. That's taken a lot off my plate.''

The personable American is looking forward to seeing new recruits Brent Wallace and Jaryd Eustace reach new heights.

"He (Wallace) is trying to find his role in the team,'' Legan said.

"It's about him relaxing, realising he can be as dominant as he wants to be.

"He's a massive guy.

"Jaryd is trying to figure out his role on the team as well.

"I know it's hard with me and Kyle out there. I think Ralphie coming back in will make his job a lot easier.''

Another key player, Ben Wilson, has joined the team after completing his US college commitments.

The NCAA Division 1 athlete is expected to link with the Force regulars on the road trip.

"I've heard great things,'' Legan said of Wilson.

While the Ipswich men are yet to click this season, Legan is backing his side all the way.

"That's our overall destination,'' Legan said. "To get back to the finals and try to get to the championship because we have the team this year.

"There's really no excuses.

"We've put together a good team this year. Right now, it's about gelling and getting to know each other and starting to click as as team.

"Towards the end of the year when the quarter finals start, I think we can shock a lot of people.''

The Force women also play Gladstone and Bundaberg this weekend.

Game day

QBL road trip: Saturday - Ipswich Force v Gladstone (matches at 6pm and 8pm).

Sunday: Ipswich Force v Bundaberg (matches at 2pm and 4pm).



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