Force imports back for another season
ENTICING some Aussie exports to return home will become the primary focus of Ipswich Force men's coach Mick Conlon after American imports James Legan and Kyle Harvey re-committed to the club for next season.
Conlon revealed the Queensland Basketball League (QBL) club is poised to bulk up its roster with some new additions in a bid to win a championship in the next two years.
"We've been talking to three players who are looking to come back to Australia after playing NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 basketball," Conlon said.
"NCAA players are virtually the same calibre as NBL (National Basketball League) players, so they're high level talent.
"I would expect these guys to be considered for the new Brisbane Bullets NBL franchise if they end up playing for us."
Any player with US college experience playing alongside Legan and Harvey would be a major boost to Ipswich's chances of a second straight finals appearance.
Legan and Harvey had outstanding campaigns for the Force last season to finish as the team's top two scorers.
Legan averaged 27.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while Harvey contributed an average of 22.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
Legan has built a reputation as an elite shooter in his 85-game QBL career, while Harvey is an extremely hard worker and gritty competitor who has the ability to change the game at both ends of the court.
Conlon praised both men for their contributions last year and said fans could expect to see more great things from them this season.
"It was key for us to get continuity with the team," he said.
"Both James and Kyle are well liked around the club by our juniors and supporters and to get those guys back is great.
"Finding the right imports to bring into your system can sometimes be hit and miss.
"You can do as much homework as you like, but you're never sure if they will ever fit into the culture of the club or what they're like as an individual.
"We made a commitment to
James and Kyle early on we wanted to bring them back.
"Having them return means one less thing we need to worry about."
While retaining the two imports was a huge coup, Conlon said the development of the club's up-and-coming juniors was also major part of the club's blueprint to success.
Preparing for his third season in charge of the Force, Conlon said he had unfinished business from last season, where the Force bowed out of the finals in the first week.
"We have a three year plan and last year I was delighted we were able to blood a lot of young local players," he said.
"We had eight players debut for the club and I'm expecting those guys to step up again.
"The plan is to compete for a championship and this year we're planning on going one better and make the semi finals, if not the grand final and win it either this year or next year."