The professional fate of three members from last season's Ballarat Miners squad playing in the NBL could rest on this season's performance.
Ballarat Miners head coach Brendan Joyce sat down with The Courier to discuss the outlook of Sam Short, Deng Acuoth and Kuany Kuany following round one of the 2019-20 NBL season.
The three players inked contracts in the nation's premier league after starring for the Miners in this year's NBL1 competition.
Joyce was optimistic his players could succeed at the top level, but said they would need to make improvements in likely limited game-time.
"Kuany is going to have to consistently knock down the three-point shot, Joyce said the guard who signed with the Sydney Kings.
"In our league he was able to consistently get to the rim because he was bigger and stronger.
"Now the guys he is playing against are just as strong, so that's not enough at NBL level.
"There is an opportunity there that will present to get open looks because defences will play off him, so he will need to knock down the three and punish that situation."
Joyce expressed a bullish outlook with Acuoth, saying his height and athleticism made him tailor-made to contribute to the league's newest franchise the South East Melbourne Phoenix.
He said his physical attributes made him an ideal weapon to throw at reigning league MVP Andrew Bogut.
"When they play Sydney he could be a good match-up for Bogut with his mobility," said Joyce.
"He is a big that can, rebound and block shots, but he has got the challenge of trying to put on extra size because NBL players are bigger and more physical, and that's his only question mark."
Joyce hinted Short would have the biggest challenge of the three as he heads into the final year of a development contract with Melbourne United.
"I think he is ready because of the year he had in the NBL1, but the big thing is for him to hit the gym. He is an organised player with a high IQ and I trusted him," Joyce said.