Wilson ready to step up

Thursday January 9th 2014

Wilson ready to step up

Jamar Wilson has raised his hand to help fill the scoring void in the Skytrans Cairns Taipans left by injured forward Cameron Tragardh.

Despite coming off the bench for the Snakes this season, the reigning two-time club MVP says he feels even more of a responsibility to inject energy and scoring into the game in Tragardh’s absence.

“I’m coming off the bench this year and haven’t been shooting as much as in past seasons, so I know it’s not going to be my night every night,” he said.

“But with ‘Trigger’ out I have to find ways to be more aggressive, since he puts the ball in the basket so well.”

Wilson did just that during last Friday’s win in Sydney, drawing fouls at key moments and converting 9-of-10 free throws on the way to 15 points. Crucially, he drove straight at Sam Young late in the third quarter to draw Young’s fourth foul, sending the import to the bench having played only a minute on-court in that term.It’s games like these which Wilson was known for over the past two seasons, and he’s keen to rekindle that form.

“The calls went my way this weekend…over the past two seasons I’ve been one of the league’s top five free throw shooters – now I just have to keep that aggressive mindset,” he said.

As the Taipans prepare to host the Wollongong Hawks this Saturday, Wilson is comfortable he and his side can defend fourth place against the form of a red-hot Rotnei Clarke. Clarke—the NBL’s third-ranked scorer at 21.8 points per game—sunk 9-of-10 three-pointers (37 points) in a New Year’s Eve loss to Melbourne, before converting 6-of-10 triples (28 points) in an overtime win over the Perth Wildcats on 4 January.

“He’s shooting the ball really well, and when you’re shooting like that it’s very hard to guard,” Wilson said.

“But we know if we stick to our principles and make sure he works for everything we should put ourselves in a position to win.”

The 6-9 Skytrans Cairns Taipans host the 5-9 Wollongong Hawks this Saturday night in a battle for fourth place. Tip-off is at 7.30pm.

Game Preview: Cairns Taipans v Wollongong Hawks, Cairns Convention CentreTelevised online at NBL.tv 8:30pm AEDST

The Cairns Taipans have surged into fourth place on the NBL ladder with a big win over the Perth Wildcats followed up by a comeback victory over the Sydney Kings.

The Taipans will be without Cameron Tragardh for the remainder of January but in his absence veteran Matt Burston and rookie Mitch Young stepped up in Round 12 and will need to do so against the Hawks.

The Wollongong Hawks knocked off the Perth Wildcats in overtime last week and have moved themselves off the bottom of the ladder. Hot shooting point guard Rotnei Clarke is third in the league in scoring and will be a handful for the likes of Jamar Wilson and Demetri McCamey to contain.