Deakin Melbourne Boomers 2021/22 WNBL season preview

During the 2021/22 WNBL season the Deakin Melbourne Boomers will have a potent starting line-up comprised of Australian Opals trio Cayla George, Ezi Magbegor and Tess Madgen along with American import guard duo Lindsay Allen and Tiffany Mitchell.

The six Deakin Melbourne Boomers players returning from the 2020 roster to suit up again in 2021 are headlined by George, Magbegor and Madgen were the Boomers three highest scorers during the 2020 WNBL season, each averaging more than 13.0 points per game. Guard Izzy Wright and forward Penina Davidson were part of the Boomers core rotation last season and 2020 development player whilst Rachel Brewster has been elevated to the main roster.

All five members of the Boomers starting line-up have WNBA experience, Magbegor has played two WNBA seasons with Seattle Storm, Allen and Mitchell have each player over 100 WNBA games and were teammates at the Indiana Fever during the 2021 season, George played 95 WNBA games and Madgen played eight games for Phoenix Mercury in 2015. Allen returns to the Boomers after leading the club in scoring and assists per games in both 2018/19 and 2019/20.

Five members of the Boomers 2020 core rotation wont be playing for the Boomers in 2021/22 with Maddie Garrick and Kalani Purcell joining Bendigo Spirit and Sydney Uni Flames respectively. Antonia Farnworth has retired and Ashleigh Karatiana and Stella Beck aren’t playing in the WNBL in 2021/22.

A quartet of players on the Boomers main roster were coached by Boomers long-term assistant coach Paul Flynn at Nunawading Spectres during the 2021 NBL1 season – returning Boomers trio Davidson, Wright and Brewster along with Lou Brown who will be making her WNBL debut in 2021/22. The Boomers 10 player main roster is completed with guard Lily Scanlon who was a development player with the University of Canberra Capitals in 2019/20.

The 2021/22 WNBL season will be Guy Molloy’s ninth consecutive season and final season as Melbourne Boomers head coach. After the 2021/22 WNBL season concludes Molloy will be continuing his role as New Zealand Tall Ferns coach and will also coach the Wellington Saints in New Zealand’s NBL. The Deakin Melbourne Boomers have made the finals in four consecutive seasons and are seeking to win the club’s second championship in their history.  

Deakin Melbourne Boomers 2020 season mini-review

The Melbourne Boomers had nine wins and four losses during the 2020 WNBL regular season to finish two wins behind minor premiers the Southside Flyers and with the same win-loss record as Townsville Fire and University of Canberra Capitals.

After defeating the University of Canberra Capitals 78-68 in a semi final the Melbourne Boomers season ended when they lost a thrilling preliminary final to Townsville Fire 62-65. Across the regular season and finals the Deakin Melbourne Boomers had an aggregate record of 10 wins and five losses, having a winning record against Adelaide Lightning (2 wins, 0 losses), Bendigo Spirit (2-0),  Sydney Uni Flames (2-0), Perth Lynx (1-0), University Of Canberra Capitals (2-1), a split record of one win and one loss against eventual champions Southside Flyers but the Townsville Fire proved to be their nemesis, defeating the Boomers in all three games

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers had a core rotation of 10 players who all averaged at least 8.0 minutes court-time per game comprised of five Australians – George, Magbegor, Madgen, Garrick and Izzy Wright along with five New Zealand Tall Ferns players – Ashleigh Karatiana, Stella Beck, Penina Davisdson, Kalani Purcell and Antonia Farnworth.

Three Deakin Melbourne Boomers were selected in a 2020 All-WNBL team, George was selected in the 2020 All-WNBL first team whilst Magbegor and Madgen each earnt selection in the All-WNBL second team, highlighting the impact this trio had with the Boomers last season.

Deakin Melbourne Boomers 2021/22 roster

Returning:           Cayla George, Ezi Magbegor, Tess Madgen, Izzy Wright, Penina Davidson, Rachel Brewster

Melbourne’s three members of the Australian Opals Tokyo Olympic Games team, Cayla George, Ezi Magbegor and Tess Madgen will all suit up again for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in 2021/22.  Other returning players, guard Izzy Wright and forward Penina Davidson were part of the Boomers 10 player core rotation in 2020 whilst Rachel Brewster played seven games.  

Arrivals:               Lindsay Allen (Indiana Fever-WNBA), Tiffany Mitchell (Indiana Fever-WNBA), Lou Brown (Nunawading Spectres – NBL1 South), Lily Scanlon (Eltham Wildcats – NBL1 South), Tess Heal (Eltham Wildcats – NBL1 South), Sophie Burrows (Diamond Valley Eagles NBL1 South), Charlise Dunn (Knox Raiders – NBL1 South), Jacqui Trotto (Ringwood Hawks – NBL1 South)

After missing the 2020 WNBL season due to COVID-19 restrictions and imports not being eligible point guard Lindsay Allen returns for her third season with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and is joined by Indiana Fever teammate and fellow American import Tiffany Mitchell. Two players that didn’t play in the 2020 WNBL season have been recruited from NBL1 South and will be on the Boomers main roster – forward Lou Brown along with guard Lily Scanlon. Four development players have been recruited from NBL1 South – guards Tess Heal and Sophie Burrows along with forwards Charlise Dunn and Jacqui Trotto.

Departed: Maddie Garrick (Bendigo Spirit), Kalani Purcell (Sydney Uni Flames), Stella Beck (career break), Antonia Farnworth (retired), Ashleigh Karaitiana, Rachel Antoniadou

Half of the Boomers 10 player core rotation from 2020 have left with Maddie Garrick returning to the Bendigo Spirit after six seasons with the Boomers, New Zealand Tall Ferns quartet Kalani Purcell, Stella Beck, Antonia Farnworth and Ashleigh Karaitiana have all departed. Purcell has joined the Sydney Uni Flames, Farnworth has retired, Beck is on a career break and Karaitiana is not playing in the WNBL this season and is spending time with her family in Queensland.

Player                                                   Position                    Date of birth                                     

Predicted Starters:         

Lindsay Allen                                      Guard                                   20/03/1995

Tiffany Mitchell                                 Guard                                   23/09/1994

Tess Madgen                                      Guard                                   12/08/1990

Ezi Magbegor                                     Forward/Centre               13/08/1999

Cayla George                                     Forward/Centre               01/05/1989

Main roster members:  

Izzy Wright                                     Guard                                    09/11/1990

Rachel Brewster                             Guard                                   06/01/1997

Lily Scanlon                                    Guard                                   21/02/2001

Penina Davidson                            Forward                               02/09/1995

Lou Brown                                     Forward                               23/07/1995

Development Players:

Tess Heal                                             Guard                                   04/02/2004

Sophie Burrows                                 Guard                                   31/12/2004

Charlise Dunn                                    Forward                               30/09/2003

Jacqui Trotto                                      Forward                               17/08/1998

Coach: Guy Molloy

Preview of Deakin Melbourne Boomers 2021/22 season

Recent WNBL seasons excluding the 2020 hub season have commenced in October. Due to COVID-19 and border restriction issues the start of the season was delayed until early December and travel between states was minimised early in the 2021/22 WNBL season.

On 29 November Boomers General Manager, Christy Collier-Hill commented to wnbl.basketball on the 2021/22 season “After the hub season last year, we’re so excited to be playing in Melbourne again, back in front of our home fans. We’ve also got the most dynamic roster I’ve seen – genuine superstars of basketball. So if you want to see some of the best in the world, get along to our games. They’re not just great basketballers – they’re great people – exceptional role models for our kids. We also offer an exciting and entertaining game day experience, with plenty for the kids and adults. It’s a fantastic day out at a Boomers game, whether you’re a basketball lover or not!”1 Collier-Hill will be leaving the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in mid-January to commence the role of Head of the WNBL with Basketball Australia.

The Deakin Melbourne Boomers commence their 2021/22 WNBL season with two games in Round 2, playing the Bendigo Spirit on the road at 7.00 pm tonight, Wednesday 8 December and then host cross-town rivals Southside Flyers at 7.30 pm at the Melbourne Sports Centre on Saturday 11 December. Due to redevelopment works at the State Basketball Centre most of the Boomers home games in 2021/22 will be played at the Melbourne Sports Centre in Parkville. In the last third of the season the Boomers are schedule to play two home games at the State Basketball Centre – in Round 12 against the UC Capital and in Round 14 against Adelaide. The Melbourne Boomers will play one home game against the UC Capitals at Gippsland Regional Indoor Sports Centre in Round 6. Over the 16 round regular season each WNBL club plays 21 games this season. The 2021/22 WNBL season will be broadcast on television by free to air network ABC, Fox Sports and Kayo.

In 2021/22 Molloy will be coaching the Boomers for the ninth consecutive season and assistant coaches Paul Flynn and Larissa Anderson are also returning for their fifth and third season respectively in the role. Flynn is also the Head Coach of Nunawading Spectres NBL1 South women’s team which featured four players on the Boomers 2021/22 roster during the 2021 season – forwards Penina Davidson and Lou Brown along with guards Izzy Wright and Rachel Brewster.

In Women with Drive Series 1 Episode 3 hosted by Boomers forward Lou Brown on 21 October 2021,  teammate Madgen commented on their head coach Guy Molloy, saying “Guy has probably had the biggest impact on my game as a coach. Being reunited with him last season I just realised why I love being coached by him so much. He leaves no stone unturned in getting his individual players ready but then the team ready to compete game in, game out and I always feel so confident and capable when he is my coach.” During the Women with Drive episode Madgen reflected on a meeting with Molloy close to a decade ago, commenting “We sat down together in a café and he wrote down a list of goals for me that he thought I could achieve in my career and that definitely helped me believe that I could do that and one of those was to make the Olympics in Tokyo. His belief in me definitely has had a huge impact on my career.”

On 19 November, 2021 the Deakin Melbourne Boomers announced that head coach Guy Molloy was heading to New Zealand permanently after the 2021/22 WNBL season. On Molloy’s ninth season as Boomers coach being his last with the club Cayla George told wnbl.basketball “Guy has been a huge influence in my life, and so many players within our Club, on the court but more importantly off it as well. My respect and love for him will always remain. Although the news was initially a challenge to hear, I am extremely excited for the chapter Guy is embarking on in the near future. However, we still have a job to do here, and nothing changes that.”2

Apart from her rookie WNBL season with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 2005/06 Cayla George has averaged more than 8.0 rebounds per game in each season and ranks third on the All-time list for most career rebounds in the WNBL behind Rachel Sporn and Suzy Batkovic. George is one of only three players to earn selection in an All-WNBL team in both 2019/20 and 2020 long with Adelaide Lightning guard/forward Steph Talbot and Katie Ebzery who earnt the honour as a guard with the Perth Lynx and announced her retirement in early October.

During an outstanding 2020 WNBL season George displayed her all-round skill-set to rank second in the league for rebounds, in the top seven for blocked shots and in the top 15 for scoring, assists and steals. George is one of only two players to represent the Australian Opals at the past four major championships. At the Tokyo Olympic Games George was superb, leading the Australian Opals for scoring and rebounding per game, ranked equal second for steals and third for assists.

B_CG_jumpshot

Playing for the Mackay Meteorettes during the 2021 NBL1 North season George averaged 22.4 points, 16.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game to win the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. In 2021/22 forward/centre Cayla George is playing her fourth consecutive WNBL season with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and 14th season overall, amassing 285 WNBL games to date.

Ezi Magbegor made an instant impression in the WNBL to win the Betty Watson WNBL Rookie of the Year Award in her debut 2017/18 season with the University of Canberra Capitals. Magbegor joined the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in 2018/19 and in all three seasons with the club has increased her points per game by at least 2.0 points in each season. During the 2020 season Magbegor ranked ninth in the WNBL for points per game, fourth for rebounds, equal third for blocked shots and fifth for field goal percentage to finish fourth in the WNBL’s Most Valuable Player of the Year Award.

At junior level Magbegor represented Australia at several tournaments including the 2016 Under-17 FIBA World Championships held in Zaragoza, Spain where the Australian Sapphires won the gold medal. Magbegor played a phenomenal tournament to win the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. Despite being just 22 years of age Magbegor has been a permanent fixture in the Australian Opals team for more than four years.

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During the Tokyo Olympic Games Magbegor ranked second for the Australian Opals for scoring per game behind Boomers teammate George, third for rebounds and first for blocked shots. Magbegor has played 59 WNBA games in two seasons with the Seattle Storm and was part of the club’s championship winning team in 2020.

Guard Tess Madgen is playing her sixth WNBL season with the Boomers and 12th season overall in the league. Madgen returned to the Boomers for the 2020 season and playing predominantly as a point guard averaged 6.2 assists per game to rank second in the WNBL for assists. In the 2020 WNBL season Madgen averaged more than 13.0 points per game for the seventh time of her career to earn selection in the All-WNBL second team, the second All-WNBL honour of her career, having previously been selected in the All-WNBL first team for her 2014/15 season with the Melbourne Boomers.

Madgen was a member of the Australian Opals silver medal winning team at the 2018 World Cup in Spain alongside current Boomers teammates George and Magbegor. Madgen played all four games for the Australian Opals at the Tokyo Olympic Games and is a member of the 24 player squad along with George and Magbegor for the 2022 World Cup in Sydney.

During her basketball career Madgen has played in Europe, the WNBA, and internationally with the Opals in addition to playing in the WNBL. Following two WNBL seasons with the Townsville Fire Madgen returned to the Boomers for the 2020 season, however was unable to experience playing in front of Boomers home crowds again due to the entire season being played in a hub in North Queensland. After signing with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers for the 2021/22 season in early May Madgen told wnbl.basketball “Playing in front of the fans and being able to interact with them after the game is one of my favourite parts of basketball. It reminds me of when I was young and got to meet my idols at WNBL games.”3

American import point guard Lindsay Allen led the Deakin Melbourne Boomers in scoring and assists per game in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 WNBL seasons and finished in the top 10 of the league’s Most Valuable Player Award in each season despite missing four regular season games in 2019/20 due to a knee injury. Allen was recognised for a phenomenal 2018/19 WNBL season by being selected in the All-WNBL first team and finishing third in the league’s MVP award.

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Allen is the only import with previous WNBL experience that is playing in the league in 2021/22. In addition to being familiar with the league and having played alongside several of her Melbourne Boomers teammates previously Allen has also been a teammate of fellow Boomers import guard Tiffany Mitchell at Indiana Fever during the 2021 WNBA season.

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After Allen had signed with the Melbourne Boomers for the 2021/22 season Boomers head coach Molloy commented “I am thrilled that Lindsay is back for the upcoming season, she has made our team better each year. With her pure talent and ability to win games, Lindsay will be one of the best players in the league this season and we are all excited to see how she has continued to improve her game.’4

During a four season College basketball career for South Carolina Gamecocks from 2012/13 to 2015/16 Tiffany Mitchell played 139 games and had 135 starts, averaging 13.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Mitchell was a member of the South Carolina team that made the NCAA Final Four in 2015. The profile for Mitchell on South Carolina’s website says “Most decorated women’s basketball player in program history, including winning the University President’s Award, the highest annual award given to a Gamecock student-athlete for his/her cumulative career accomplishments in academics, athletics, service and leadership.”4

At the 2016 WNBA Draft Indiana Fever selected Mitchell in the first round with the ninth pick overall, Mitchell was selected in the WNBA’s 2016 All-Rookie team. During a six-season WNBA career with the Indiana Fever shooting guard Mitchell has averaged 10.1 points per game, playing 175 games, including 87 starts. Mitchell has played two seasons in Europe, playing for Nadezhda Orenburg in Russia during 2016/17 and Mersin in Turkey during 2018/19.

On her decision to sign with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers Mitchell told wnbl.basketball “What led me to sign with the Boomers is hearing nothing but positive things about the country and the organisation. I always try to find a home away from home, since going overseas is hard for me. So, the culture the Boomers create between competitive basketball and a family atmosphere is everything I look for in choosing a team. Australia is beautiful so of course having time to sight see (will be a great experience). But my main my goal is to help bring a championship back to the Boomers!”5

Izzy Wright (nee Chilcott) made her WNBL debut with Logan Thunder in 2012/13 and also played a season with the Perth Lynx in 2015/16. Impressive performances with Nunawading Spectres in NBL1 contributed to her joining the Melbourne Boomers for the 2020 WNBL season, however another factor was the ability to have more flexible working arrangements in her off-court career.

During the 2020 WNBL regular season Wright ranked third at the Boomers for steals per game, averaged 16.3 minutes court-time and made eight of 16 three-pointers at an accuracy of 50%. Wright played 14 games for Nunawading Spectres during the 2021 NBL1 South season and averaged 18.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

After signing with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers for the 2021/22 WNBL season Wright commented to wnbl.basketball “The club has put a really great team together this year, and I felt like I still had the ability to contribute to the team’s success, so I wanted to be a part of it. Also, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really been able to appreciate that having the opportunity to play at the highest level in the country is only for a relatively short window of time in your life, so I really wanted to make the most of that while I still could.”6

Forward Penina Davidson will be playing her fourth WNBL season overall in 2021/22 and third consecutive season with the Boomers, having previously played one season with the Adelaide Lightning in 2018/19.

During the 2020 WNBL season with the Melbourne Boomers Davidson averaged 5.0 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in 9.0 minutes per game and had a field goal accuracy of 51.1%  – ranked second at the Boomers behind Magbegor.

Davidson is a fixture in the New Zealand Tall Ferns team and plays a more prominent role for her National team then she does with the Boomers. At the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup in Jordan Davidson averaged 15.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocked shots per game to lead the New Zealand Tall Ferns in all three categories.

Lou Brown played most of her junior basketball for the Nunawading Spectres in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and has also represented the club at senior level, including during the 2021 NBL1 South season. At the 2012 FIBA Under 17 World Championships Brown represented the Australian Sapphires, led the team in rebounds, ranked fourth for steals and minutes played and equal fifth for scoring. Brown was also a member of the Australian Gems bronze medal winning team at the 2013 FIBA Under 19 World Championships in Lithuania.

Brown spent time at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and was then in the US Collegiate system for six years, at Washington State University from 2014/15 to 2017/18 and at University of Tennessee in 2018/19 and 2019/20. Brown had two red-shirt seasons at college due to a season ending foot injury in 2016/17 and then a torn ACL in 2018/19. During her college career Brown played 126 games, including 101 starts, averaging 5.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

During the 2021 NBL1 South season Brown played for the Nunawading Spectres alongside fellow Melbourne Boomers forward Penina Davidson, coached by long-term Boomers assistant coach Paul Flynn. In the 2021 NBL1 South season Brown played 14 games for the Spectres and averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.

Brown hosts the Melbourne Boomers show Women with Drive which is shown on Channel 31 at 7.30pm on Thursday night, episodes can also be viewed on the Melbourne Boomers YouTube channel, Women with Drive had commenced as a podcast. Boomers General Manager Christy Collier-Hill commented “We started the podcast to help bridge the gap, even if it’s just a little, in the media coverage of women’s sport, and in particular, women’s basketball. The opportunity to now have this show on TV means we can reach even more people.”7 Whilst Women with Drive has transitioned to TV you can still listen to episodes in podcast form on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For the previous two seasons Rachel Brewster was a development player for the Melbourne Boomers, playing three WNBL games in 2018/19 and seven games 2020. For the Nunawading Spectres during the 2021 NBL1 South season Brewster played 14 games, averaging 14.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Brewster has been promoted to a full professional contract with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers for the 2020/21 season. After signing with the club Brewster commented This will be my third season with the Boomers. It’s a great feeling to be a part of the playing group. I’m just really grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to learn and develop alongside incredible players and continue to do so with the Boomers. I can’t thank the coaching staff enough for their patience and belief in me.”8

Guard Lily Scanlon played her junior basketball with the Bulleen Boomers. Scanlon received a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and represented Australia at under-age level at several tournaments. Scanlon was a member of the Australian team at the 2019 FIBA Under 19 World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand that won a silver medal, losing the final to USA 70-74. At the tournament Scanlon ranked second for the Gems in assists and fifth for minutes played.  

In 2019/2020 Scanlon made her WNBL debut at 18 years of age for the University of Canberra Capitals as a development player, playing nine WNBL games for the Capitals who won the WNBL championship. Scanlon played 21 games in her freshman college season at Gonzaga University in 2020/21.  

In addition to their 10 player main roster the Deakin Melbourne Boomers have signed four development players for the 2021/22 WNBL season that played in NBL1 South during the 2021 season, guards Tess Heal and Sophie Burrows, along with forwards Charlise Dunn and Jacqui Trotto.

17 year old guard Tess Heal has captained Vic Metro at three Australian Junior National Championships. On joining the Boomers Heal commented “By joining a team like the Boomers there is such a vast wealth of experience, talent & leadership. I can’t wait to learn as much as possible from my future teammates and coaches. It has always been one of my dreams to play in the WNBL and I have always been a fan of the Boomers – watching and attending as many of their games as possible with my family.”9

Sophie Burrows has represented Victoria at under age level and despite being just 16 years old made an impact playing 12 games for the Diamond Valley Eagles during the 2021 NBL1 season, averaging 11.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

At under age level Charlise Dunn has represented Victoria and Australia at several tournaments. Dunn was a member of the Australian team at the 2021 FIBA Under 19 World Cup in Hungary that won a silver medal in August.

On 27 November 2021 the Deakin Melbourne Boomers announced that they had completed their roster for the 2021/22 WNBL season by signing Jacqui Trotto as a development player. Trotto was a development player with the Southside Flyers in the 2019/20 WNBL player. During the 2021 NBL1 season Trotto played 13 games for the Ringwood Hawks and averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game whilst shooting the ball well from the field to have a field goal accuracy of 50.7%.

George, Magbegor and Madgen were the Boomers three highest scorers during the 2020 WNBL season, each averaging more than 13.0 points per game. Allen returns to the Boomers having averaged more than 14.0 points per game and finished in the top 10 of the WNBL’s Most Valuable Player Award in her two previous seasons with the club in 2018/19 and 2019/20. New recruit Tiffany Mitchell has 175 WNBA regular season games and averaged at least 12.0 points per game in 2020 and 2021. Having five players that are very likely to average more than 10.0 points per game will be a strength for the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and a difficult proposition for rival teams to attempt to curtail.

Forward/centre duo George and Magbegor have significant experience as teammates having been teammates on the Australian Opals since the 2018 Commonwealth Games and are entering their fourth season as teammates with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers. As well as being the Boomers top two scorers during the 2020 WNBL season they were also the Opals top two scorers at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. With more than half of the players on WNBL rosters for the 2021/22 season being guards and teams having smaller line-ups the Boomers having two front-court players the calibre of George and Magbegor is going to provide a significant point of difference.  At 193 centimetres tall each George and Magebgor will be a difficult match-up for opposition teams due to their size and respective skill-sets with Magbegor’s athleticism complementing George’s versatility and outside shooting ability. During the 2020 WNBL season Magbegor and George each ranked in the top five for rebounds and in the top seven for blocked shots.

Madgen ranked second in the league with 6.2 assists per game in 2020 and now with the return of Allen gets to return to her preferred role of playing off the ball as a shooting guard or small forward. Madgen and Allen have both excelled playing as point guards in the WNBL and whilst it is likely that Allen will be the Boomers primary ball handler there will be times Madgen is the point guard when Allen is off the court and also for some variety at times when Allen is on the court. Several WNBL teams in 2021/22 have multiple players that are adept at playing as a point guard however at 183 centimetres tall Madgen offers a point of difference and will have a size advantage.

With the departure of several New Zealand Tall Ferns players the Boomers are going to have a less experienced bench than in 2020. Only one of the players on the Boomers bench for 2021/22 guard Izzy Wright with 16.3 minutes per game averaged more than 10.0 minutes per game in 2020. Whilst Penina Davidson averaged only 9.0 minutes per game with the Boomers in 2020 she has excelled for the New Zealand Tall Ferns and was her country’s best player at the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. Lou Brown has significantly more experience than your standard WNBL rookie, 26 year-old Brown has over 100 games college basketball experience and led the Nunawading Spectres for rebounds during the 2021 NBL1 season. Most of the Boomers bench gained significant experience as teammates coached by Boomers Assistant coach Paul Flynn at the Nunawading Spectres during the 2021 NBL1 season with a quartet of players on the Boomers main roster all playing for the club – Wright, Davidson, Brewster and Brown.

In each of the past three WNBL seasons a player on the Deakin Melbourne Boomers 2021/22 roster finished in the top of the league’s Most Valuable Player Award – Allen third in 2018/19, George third in 2019/20 and Magbegor fourth in 2020. Madgen was selected in the All-WNBL second team in 2020 and Mitchell has averaged more than 12.0 points per game in each of the past 2 seasons. The Boomers have an incredibly talented starting line-up which will be a difficult proposition for rival teams to attempt to curtail. Whilst the Boomers have a less experienced bench than previous seasons this provides increased opportunity for Wright, Davidson, Brewster, Scanlon and Brown to have an increased role in the core rotation. The Deakin Melbourne Boomers are well placed to make the WNBL finals for the fifth consecutive season and challenge strongly for the club’s second WNBL Championship in Guy Molloy’s final season as coach.

Articles and photographs by Dean Andrews

Twitter – @DeanAndrews7777

References

1 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/live-basketball-is-back-in-melbourne/

2 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/coach-molloy-to-nz-at-end-of-wnbl-season/

3 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/boomers-roster-remains-world-class-with-tess-madgen/

4 https://gamecocksonline.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster/tiffany-mitchell/3282

5 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/lindsay-allen-back-for-boomers/

5 https://gamecocksonline.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster/tiffany-mitchell/3282

6 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/izzy-wright-to-play-on-for-second-season/

7 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/women-with-drive-on-tv/

8 https://wnbl.basketball/melbourne/news/brewster-back-wnbl21-22/

Milestones and Misses

Milestones and Misses publishes articles to celebrate the achievements of sportspeople, mainly in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) and Australian Rules Football (AFL and AFLW). In sport as with life in general it is common that milestones are only achieved after overcoming adversity, so whilst the articles on the Milestones and Misses website celebrate sportspeople achieving milestones they also cover the misses along the journey, such as a player having minimal game-time or spending a prolonged period on the sidelines due to injury. The aim of the articles is to enable readers to gain a greater appreciation of the journey sportspeople have had during their career.

A link to Milestones and Misses homepage is below:

https://milestonesandmisses.com/

The Milestones and Misses website was set up in December 2015. During 2020 and 2021 articles have been published on the following sportspeople:

WNBL

Lindsay Allen

Tessa Lavey

Ezi Magbegor

Maddison Rocci

Steph Talbot

Zitina Aokuso

Leilani Mitchell

Cayla George

Maddie Garrick

Sara Blicavs

Bec Cole

NBL

Nathan Sobey

AFL

Sam Walsh

Jack Steele

Luke Jackson

Harry McKay

Seb Ross

Nicky Winmar

Jayden Short

Clayton Oliver

Lenny Hayes

Tim Membrey

Rowan Marshall

AFLW

Georgia Patrikios

Alyce Parker

Tyla Hanks

Tyanna Smith

Tarni White

Caitlin Greiser

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