Hungry Jack's NBL
Taipans retain point guard Shaun Bruce
The Cairns Taipans have retained point guard Shaun Bruce on a one-year deal. Bruce, 24, was one of the NBL’s most improved players in his second professional season, establishing himself as a reliable backup to star import Scottie Wilbekin. The 192-centimetre guard owned the League’s best assists to turnover ratio (2.71) and was a consistent threat from long range at 36.4 per cent. Taipans head coach Aaron Fearne said the former Taipans Academy athlete had been instrumental in the Snakes’ finals run. “I’m really proud of how Shaun has developed since he’s been here. He started as a development player and has put in his time and has been an absolute professional,” he said. “He was big for us in a number of games last season. His assists to turnover ratio was off the chart, he makes good decisions and takes care of the ball.” Fearne said he expected Bruce would continue his improvements on the offensive end in 2015-16. “I’ll be encouraging a bit of a mindset shift with Shaun to explore his scoring opportunities a little more. He looks to pass the ball a lot, but I’ll be encouraging him to score first then look to pass.” The Taipans will revert to a 10-man roster for 2015-16 to remain under the NBL player points limit, also confirming today that guards Nathan Sobey and Corey Maynard would not return to Cairns this season. Despite interest from the Taipans, Sobey utilised his free agency to sign a multi-year deal with another NBL club. Meantime, following the emergence of Bruce in the point guard spot last season, Maynard was released at his own request to pursue opportunities for increased playing time elsewhere. A full statement on Sobey and Maynard’s depature is available here. Bruce is currently in camp with the Australian World University Games squad.