Round One Team of the Week is out and three Eagles have made the 10 – here’s the full list:
Zaire Taylor (Worcester Wolves)
A true standout performer for the all-conquering Riders last season, the guard has made a quick adjustment at his new club, having made the short switch across the Midlands to Worcester. Taylor made an instant impact on his competitive debut by pouring in 29 points at Surrey United to get his team off to a flying start. He was unstoppable at both ends of the court, supplementing his fine shooting display and a super seven assists with his trademark defensive work. It saw him claim a stunning nine steals and finish with a performance valuation just one short of the magic 40 mark.
Paul Gause (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle)
The guard returned to the BBL and his former club last Friday against Wildcats, but it was a red-hot display 48 hours later at Cheshire Phoenix which really caught the eye. He claimed 23 points, including three of four from long-range and was too hot to handle for the hosts, also adding four assists. He showed why he is also a highly rated defender too, grabbing five steals and defying his diminutive physical frame to use his explosive athleticism and muster a couple of spectacular blocked shots. He also showed composure on the charity stripe, with a perfect night from the free-throw line as the Eagles coasted to the win.
Will Creekmore (Worcester Wolves)
The formidable 6ft 9in forward who joined from Tulsa 66ers, showed why he could be a real force this season for Wolves with a dominant display at Surrey United as the visitors outclassed their shell-shocked hosts. Creekmore produced a majestic and phenomenal 32 points and 17 rebounds to become the first player to post a performance valuation above 40. His efficiency rating of 41 came after sinking 11 of 15 attempts from the field as he exposed the weaknesses of his opponents inside. He also claimed an excellent seven offensive rebounds and with Taylor pulling the strings in the backcourt, both players put down a marker to suggest they could be the Wolves’ go-to-guys in 2013-14.
Mike Tuck (One Health Sharks Sheffield; pictured)
The veteran forward shows no signs of slowing down after starting the new season with a typically influential offering. It saw Tuck claim a double-double at Manchester Giants to help his team secure an opening weekend double success, having already taken care of Cheshire Phoenix. He managed to sink 15 points and harvest 14 rebounds, but also showed his all-round skill-set to great effect, by dishing up five assists and blocking three shots. It left nobody in any doubt that Tuck will once again be a cornerstone for Sharks as they bid to land silverware once again, having won the BBL Trophy last season.
Darius Defoe (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle)
When it comes to consistency, there have been few better performers over the years in the BBL than the Eagles forward who started the new season on the front foot once again. The Eagles weren’t at their best on opening night in the north-east derby game against neighbours Durham Wildcats, but Defoe was on hand with a big contribution to help dig out the win at Sport Central. Defoe corralled 22 points from an excellent 9 of 12 under the basket and also did the dirty work on the glass with eight rebounds, whilst also rustling up four assists.
Off the bench: Scott Martin (Esh Group Eagles Newcastle), Rod Brown (London Lions), Joseph Ikhinmwin (London Lions), Paul Guede (London Lions), Rashad Hassan (Leicester Riders), Mike Allison (Durham Wildcats), Rob Marsden (Manchester Giants)