Love hopes to play two new players as Raiders go toe-to-toe with Giants
New signing Rod Brown will make his Plymouth Raiders debut tonight, with another recruit expected to figure against Manchester Giants at the Pavilions (7.30pm).
Experienced point-guard Brown was signed by coach Gavin Love as a replacement for fellow American Jeremy Bell, who has been released by Raiders.
The 29-year-old Bell had been in Arkansas for "personal reasons" for the best part of a month and had unable to commit his immediate future to Raiders.
Love moved swiftly to snap up Dallas-based former London Leopards and London Towers guard Brown, and is hopeful of bringing in another addition to his playing roster.
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Tonight's BBL Championship match is the Raiders' first at home in 2013. Love would not name his potential second signing in a week, other than to say "he's not a guard, nor an American but hopefully should be all signed up for the game with Giants".
The Raiders' home fixtures have been few and far between and Love admitted his players, including Brown, were champing at the bit for "match action".
Love's team will also be without guard and leading points scorer Mike Ojo, whose eye socket injury has not improved significantly to be considered for inclusion in the match-day squad.
Fourth-placed Raiders will be bidding to complete a clean sweep against the BBL new-boys Giants having beaten them 105-74 at home in October and 86-83 at Wright Robinson College, one month later.
Last time out, Raiders took their win/loss ratio to 11-6 with a thumping 97-69 victory at Glasgow Rocks on Sunday, January 6.
Although "really delighted with the team effort" at Glasgow and being ten points better off than Manchester, Love feels Raiders' relative inactivity combined with Giants' improvement, makes tonight's outcome hard to call.
"We certainly won't be taking Manchester lightly but are really looking forward to the match, unveiling Rod Brown and, hopefully, one other new signing," said Love of the match-up with tenth-placed Giants who need a victory to strengthen their play-off chances.
"Rod will bring with him a winning attitude and also a wealth of experience which includes in playing in the BBL and winning championships in the top leagues in Europe.
"We cannot expect too much of him, too soon, as while he's fit, he won't be match fit. But it won't take him long to bring his ethos and leadership skills to the fore: I'm sure the fans will give him a great welcome tonight.
"And, hopefully, one other new player, who if he signs in time, will get court time in what is expected to be a sell-out at the Pavilions."
Love added: "We haven't played at home since it seems forever and are starting life without Jeremy [Bell] and also for this match, too, Mike [Ojo].
"We'd been hopeful that Mike would be passed fit in time for the Giants game but I guess medically, it's best to err on the side of safety.
"But it's not going to be easy playing without two, 20-point per match, even though we played a great game against Glasgow.
"We had a total team performance against the Rocks.
"The effort was there, as was the execution offensively and defensively.
"[Guard] Drew Lasker had his biggest game of the season and Liam Potter imposed himself inside at the defensive end. It was our defence that won that match for us but it is going to be tough as Manchester are improving all the while.
"Nick George, [former Raider] James Jones and David Watts are all capable of dominating games."