Pace versus size as Ballarat Miners prepare for physical home battle

Ballarat Miners will look to build on their fast-paced style of play, while rivalling Frankston’s physicality, to get the job done at the Minerdome on Saturday night.

EXCITEMENT: The Ballarat Miners value their home floor and home crowd and will be looking to use that to their advantage. Pictures: Dylan Burns

EXCITEMENT: The Ballarat Miners value their home floor and home crowd and will be looking to use that to their advantage. Pictures: Dylan Burns

While big man Cam McCallum is still unavailable to play in the round seven South East Australian Basketball League clash due to holidays, Amos Brooks gets another chance to suit up.

“If we can get into a good position with our lead or if we feel comfortable his physicality can help us, particularly on the defensive end against their bigs, he will definitely get an opportunity (on the court),” coach Nathan Cooper-Brown said. 

While the Blues have only had the one win so far this season and sit in 15th position on the ladder, the Ballarat GMHBA Miners are conscious of their height and the talent on their squad. 

“They’re big from their two guards through to their five and their point,” Cooper-Brown said. “And their guard is Rhys Carter, who is a veteran of the SEABL and the NBL. He is smart and he is going to do a really nice job, so we have to be wary.”

The Miners have put an emphasis on rebounding the past few weeks, but have not always delivered. Against a tall side, getting this area right will be crucial. 

“We’re continuing to talk about rebounding, valuing it in practice, so we hope that clicks at some stage,” Cooper-Brown said.

“We don’t want to make rebounding an athletic contest, we need to get the bodies first so that will be important for us.

Ross Weightman.

Ross Weightman.

“We know that they are also drivers, they  want to attack the rim, they want to play a lot through the posts.”

The Miners will also work hard to limit the impact of talented Blues recruit Daniel Trist, who has signed with National Basketball League team Melbourne United, while using their own strengths to advantage. 

“That kind of physicality, controlling the paint and controlling the boards will be important for us if we want to be successful,” Cooper-Brown said. “But when we look at their size, our pace game is a really important weapon. We want to get out and run, we want to push the tempo and make them have to defend us every possession because we feel like that’s where we can do the most damage.

“They get a lot of points in transition, they get a lot of points when they are able to play free and in the open court, so defensively we want to take away their transition.

“We want to make them get into the half court and try grind it out because we feel like our discipline there is another weapon for us.”

With the next five games on the road, the team is focused on making sure it takes care of games at home.