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The Tall, Short, Big and Small of the NBL

The collective assembly of elite athletes that will take part in the 2015/16 NBL season are the tallest, heaviest, and most experienced in the League’s 38-year history. An analysis of the measurements of all 80 contracted NBL players has exposed Melbourne United’s roster as the tallest, Perth Wildcats’ as the heaviest, Illawarra Hawks’ as the oldest and Townsville Crocodiles’ as the least experienced. The average NBL player is 198cm tall, weighs in at 98 kgs, is 27.7 years old and has played 110 NBL games. While no current player fits those exact numbers, an exhaustive calculation session suggests that Sixers swingman Mitch Creek gets the nod as the closest match to the NBL’s Mr. Average. A survey of each club’s playing roster going into this season has revealed some interesting insights, with Perth the only team to finish in the top half of all four of the survey’s categories, which included height, weight, age and experience. As far as height goes, the Townsville Crocodiles have the long and short of it. Shawn Dennis’ squad includes both the League’s tallest player, Luke Schenscher at 216cm, and the shortest, with Mitch Norton measuring 184cm. All teams have at least four players on their roster that are 200cm or taller, except for the Breakers who have just three (Pledger, Jackson & Wesley). Average Heights: 200.0cm – Melbourne United 199.4cm – Perth Wildcats 199.1cm – Cairns Taipans 198.4cm – Sydney Kings 197.9cm – New Zealand Breakers 197.7cm – Townsville Crocodiles 197.2cm – Adelaide 36ers 197.0cm – Illawarra Hawks League average 198.2cm Tallest NBL players: 216cm – Luke Schenscher (Townsville) 215cm – Alex Pledger (New Zealand) 212cm – Daniel Johnson (Adelaide) 211cm – Matthew Hodgson (Adelaide) 211cm – Matthew Burston (Cairns) 211cm - AJ Ogilvy  (Illawarra) 211cm – Tom Jervis (Perth) Shortest NBL players: 184cm – Mitch Norton (Townsville) 185 cm – Jordair Jett (Townsville) 185cm – Rhys Martin (Illawarra) 185cm – Kevin White (Illawarra) 185cm – Kenyon McNeail (Adelaide) It is not surprising that new Wildcat’s signing Nathan Jawai – listed on the Perth website as 143kgs - is also the heaviest. According to League records, there has never previously been a player listed that matches his size, which should give him a significant advantage in the post. The average NBL player weighs in at 98.8kgs, with Jawai a statistical anomaly that sees Perth on the top rung when it comes to average weight. Despite having big Angus Brandt (112kgs) on their books, the Sydney Kings are the flyweights of the competition. At just 79kgs, new Taipans import Markel Starks, is officially the lightest player in the competition, only slightly in front of Sydney’s Jason Cadee (80kgs).  Average Weights: 102.6kgs – Perth Wildcats 100.3kgs – Townsville Crocodiles 98.8kgs – New Zealand Breakers 98.7kgs – Melbourne United 98.4kgs – Cairns Taipans 97.6kgs – Adelaide 36ers 97.6kgs – Illawarra Hawks 96.9kgs – Sydney Kings League average 98.8kgs Heaviest current players: 143kgs – Nathan Jawai (Perth) 115kgs – Luke Schenscher (Townsville) 115kgs – Matthew Hodgson (Adelaide) 113kgs – Brian Conklin (Townsville) 113kgs – Alex Pledger (New Zealand) 113kgs – Daniel Kickert (Melbourne) 113kgs – AJ Ogilvy (Illawarra) Lightest current players: 79kgs – Markel Starks (Cairns) 80kgs – Jason Cadee (Sydney) 84kgs – Kenyon McNeail (Adelaide) 84kgs – Nathan Sobey (Adelaide) 84kgs – Rhys Martin (Illawarra) With the departure of League veterans’ Peter Crawford and Adam Ballinger, the NBL no longer features any players that were born before the League (1979). The return of 2009 NBL MVP Kirk Penney (born November 1980) has prevented Shawn Redhage from being the competitions oldest by two months. For the first time ever, there are no contracted players under the age of 20 years. Despite racking up 60 NBL games over the past three seasons, Crocodile’s youngster Mirko Djeric is the league’s youngest player. Djeric is due to celebrate his 21st birthday in round two of the season. Breaker Rueben Te Rangi is just six months older than Djeric, but has clocked up 70 games and suited up in two grand final series. All of the age calculations were measured against the season’s tip-off date of 7th of October 2015. Average age of teams (as of 7/10/15) 29 years 8 months – Illawarra Hawks 29 years 6 months – Perth Wildcats 28 years 4 months – Cairns Taipans 27 years 8 months – Adelaide 36ers 27 years 8 months – Sydney Kings 27 years 5 months – New Zealand Breakers 26 years 8 months – Melbourne United 25 years 7 months – Townsville Crocodiles Youngest contracted players in 2015: (as of 7/10/15) 20 years, 5 months – Mirko Djeric (Townsville) 20 years 11 months – Rueben Te Rangi (New Zealand) 22 years 4 months – Charles Jackson (New Zealand) 22 years 6 months – Mitch Norton (Townsville) 22 years 7 months – Marcus Thornton (Sydney) Oldest contracted players in 2015: (as of 7/10/15) 34 years 10 months – Kirk Penney (Illawarra) 34 years 8 months – Shawn Redhage (Perth) 34 years 2 months – Ebi Ere (Adelaide) 33 years 9 months – Luke Schenscher (Townsville) 33 years 8 months – Oscar Forman (Illawarra) When it comes to experience, the Illawarra Hawks’ numbers have been elevated due to the fact they are the only team that will not suit up any NBL rookies this season. They also have the most experienced player in the league with Oscar Forman’s 420 games, well in front of Cairn’s veteran Matt Burston on 352. Cairns will enter the season with five players with at least 200 games of experience under their belts, which leads the league in that category. Average games played: 168.0 – Illawarra Hawks 153.1 – Cairns Taipans 119.5 – Adelaide 36ers 115.9 – Perth Wildcats 106.8 – New Zealand Breakers 88.3 – Sydney Kings 67.0 – Melbourne United 64.6 – Townsville Crocodiles Most NBL games played: 420 – Oscar Forman (Illawarra) 352 – Matt Burston (Cairns) 335 – Mika Vukona (New Zealand) 326 – Shawn Redhage (Perth) 312 – Adam Gibson (Adelaide) 298 – Cameron Tragardh (Cairns) 286 – Larry Davidson (Illawarra) 279 – Mark Worthington (Cairns) 254 – Rhys Carter (Sydney) 216 – Tyson Demos (Illawarra)
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