SHAUN Bruce has added bit off the bench in his first pre-season with National Basketball League club Cairns Taipans.
Taipans head coach Aaron Fearne said Bruce arrived in great shape from Ballarat and looked forward to helping Bruce fine-tune his game.
“He’s brought up here a sharpness in his game and is definitely well-drilled,” Fearne said.
“Shaun’s still got things to improve but he’s a good, quick player, is a good size and works hard.”
Bruce arrived in Cairns mid-August, a day after the Ballarat Miners’ final regular season match in the South East Australian Basketball League.
He signed at the Taipans as a development player and played his first practice match the next day against visiting Washington State University.
The 21-year-old seized his chance with extra minutes in back-to-back practice matches against NBL club Sydney Kings at the weekend and was second leading scorer for the Taipans in the second match.
Fearne said it was obvious Bruce had come a long way in his three years with the Miners under head coach Guy Molloy, who has played and coached alongside Fearne and shares a similar coaching philosophy.
The Taipans have back-to-back matches against Perth this week and Fearne said Bruce was likely to feature in the pre-season Blitz tournament later next week.
NBL season opens with a home game against Townsville on October 6.
Meanwhile, fellow Miners Dan Joyce and Kevin White remain on trial with NBL club Sydney Kings.
Rush star Nat Taylor has returned to her Women’s National Basketball League club Logan Thunder and Rush’s Ash Stonehouse is back with Bendigo Spirit as a development player.