Hungry Jack's NBL
Cairns Taipans sign Mitch McCarron
The Cairns Taipans have lured the 2015 NCAA Division II National Player of the Year Mitch McCarron back to Australia, signing him for two years in his first NBL contract. The 2015 NBA Draft prospect had work outs with the LA Lakers and Denver Nuggets before signing with Palencia Baloncesto in Spain; and winning the LEB Oro title in his first professional year. On the back of a Championship, the 23-year old returns home to Queensland as the seventh contracted player for the Cairns Taipans. “We definitely rated Mitch as one of the top guards in the free agents group this off-season, and I’m excited for him to join our team. He is a really top quality person and he has a bright future ahead of him,” said Head Coach Aaron Fearne. “I see him being a major contributor to our group. He’ll bring a great level of enthusiasm and get out on the defensive end of the floor. Offensively, he’ll be hard at the rim – his game is improving every year.” McCarron had an outstanding collegiate career at the Metro University in Denver, averaging 20.2 points, 6 rebounds and 4.23 assists in his senior year, and finished third in both scoring (16.3) and free throws made (416) in the school’s history. Playing alongside NBL Rookie of the Year Nick Kay, McCarron led their side to a third consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular season Championship with a 26-6 overall record. As the third 2015 NCAA Division II National Player of the Year to come from Metro State, McCarron is in good company with new team mate Mark Worthington – who won the same award with MSU in 2005. “I met Mitch for the first time at the NCAA Final Four last year – we follow all the Aussie boys during their college careers and his Player of the Year Award was well-deserved recognition for his performance during his time over there,” said Fearne. “We are pretty confident in the track record of players that have come out of the MSU program - Worthington, David Barlow and Luke Kendall, for example, have all played for Australia and had very successful NBL careers.” The 191cm guard represented Australia at the Under-19 World Championships in 2011 and at the 2015 World University Games in South Korea, alongside Mitch Creek, Shaun Bruce, Mirko Djeric and Corey Maynard. McCarron joins young gun Jarrad Weeks as the first new additions for the Snakes in their 2016/17 roster - a calculated move Fearne has made to invigorate his experienced line-up. “You always want a mix of enthusiastic, hungry young guys who are jumping out of their skins to keep those older guys on their toes - that’s important for any program,” he said. McCarron also joins Stephen Weigh, Alex Loughton, Cam Tragardh, Mark Worthington and Cam Gliddon on the roster, with more signings expected to be announced by the club soon.