Plymouth Raiders prepare for opening battle of wills
PLYMOUTH University Raiders coach Jay Marriott expects a pivotal battle of wills against London Lions at the Pavilions on Sunday (4pm).
Lions visit on the opening weekend of the 2013/14 BBL season.
It is Marriott’s first competitive game in charge, after only being in the job for three weeks, following predecessor Gavin Love’s surprise sacking on September 7.
Lions boast three veterans – one-time Raider Rod Brown, Julius Joseph and Mike Martin – who will bid to dominate a young Raiders line-up, whose average age is 24.
Ask us for a quote for standard C Rated (Window Energy Rating) windows and we will upgrade your order to A Rated for FREE
Terms: Must quote Okehampton People website when arranging survey
Contact: 01837 510303
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
However, Brown is now 35, Joseph 37 and Martin is 39, and Marriott naturally wants to turn the tables on the trio.
“I think we’ve got experience in our own right – and we’re all gelling, that’s the important thing,” said rookie BBL boss Marriott, who himself is only 32.
“People aren’t fighting to be top dog. They just want to win and that makes us dangerous.”
Marriott added: “London will try to bully us, but vice-versa.
“We’re going to try to put pressure on them to play at a high tempo and test their age and see how they react.
“I’ve got maximum respect for guys like Rod Brown and Mike Martin, but we’re out there trying to win a game.”
Two Raiders in a nine-strong squad are set to make home debuts on Sunday, American guard Matt Pressey and compatriot guard/forward Trevor Setty.
Both are exciting additions.
Pressey, 24 and from Texas, has arrived to add pace and quality to Raiders’ counter-attack, while Setty, 23 and from Ohio, is a 6ft 8in three-point shooter, who can rebound the ball strongly.
“Trevor spreads the floor for us on offence, which is what we wanted,” said Marriott.
“Also, it’s Trevor’s character. He has that bubbly personality and he just gave us a lift in France last Saturday (in Raiders’ final pre-season friendly).
“He brings everyone back to life and we had already had good characters on the team.”
Marriott added: “Matt gives us that savvy player.
“He’s only just come in but I think he’s already well respected within the group.
“Matt can be a floor leader for us and that guy who can talk to others out there using his experience and mentoring people a bit.
“He’s also that transition guy for us on offence, who can move us up the floor quicker when we get the ball.”
Marriott has made forward Ben Eaves, an astute summer signing by Love from BBL rivals Manchester Giants, his captain.
Eaves has been terrific in pre-season and is set to have a huge influence on the team in 2013/14.
Eaves said: “Now the league’s starting and things matter, this is what’s it’s all about. That’s what you live for and play for.
“The intensity and the atmosphere goes up now. You don’t get better than this.”
Marriott said: “We definitely need to be mindful that we’re putting on a show at home and make sure that yes, a win is important, but we want people to know what we’re all about.”