November was a huge month for the team; 5 wins out of 7, an epic comeback, two buzzer beaters. Happy days.
There’s no doubt it was a brilliant team effort… but who stood out for you as an individual? Let us know by voting in our November Player of the Month poll!
In case you’re struggling to pick a winner, here are the cases for a few leading candidates…
Danny Huffor (by Andy)
Kieron Achara picked up the BBL player of the month today. It’s difficult to argue with that decision. He’s the man who dumped Leicester out of the cup with the shot of a lifetime. The hometown hero who gave Pantomime Villian, Rob Paternostro, a bloody nose (Not a real one although the look on Rob’s face suggested otherwise) He also double-doubled in four games out of seven this month, so we’ll add that to the plus column too.
But (There’s always a “but”). Take a moment to glance at your watches and check the time. What time is it?
It’s Huffortime. That’s because it’s always Huffortime. Danny Huffor never stops. He’s there when you go to sleep, he’s there when you wake up. It’s impossible to get rid of him. Even when his shot isn’t falling, he’s still a thorn in the side of the opposition. He hustles constantly, forcing turnovers with his relentless and intense defensive play. No matter how things are going at the offensive end, he’s always a force to be reckoned with.
In short, he’s never a passenger.
Players like Danny Huffor get a raw deal when it comes to the team of the week & player of the month competitions. These awards only ever take statistics into account. Intangibles don’t get a look in. The context of a performance ignored. He’s the guy with his hand in the face of the shooter while someone else pulls down the rebound. It’s not glamourous work but it’s often the difference maker.
Danny might not get 12 rebounds per game but he gets more rebounds than he *should*. Given that he’s not one of our main scoring options, he also gets far more points than he should. Top Rocks scorer 3 times this month shows how influential he has become.
The Wolves game will be remembered long in the memories of all of us. Who could forget a last second overtime buzzer beater? What it overshadowed was the fact that Danny Huffor’s stamp was all over the game, just as it had been 2 nights before against Durham. Achara? Smith? They’re the least of Leicester’s worries next week.
Not convinced? Take a look at what a player does *without* the ball. Then come back here and vote Huffor as the Rocks’ player of the month for November.
JaJuan Smith (by Stuart)
When asked who the Glasgow Rocks’ Player of the Month should be for November – one name springs to mind immediately – JaJuan Smith. As someone who has seen every game in the month of November either in person or on BBLTV I feel he has to be the man. To be fair, every player has played their part – and more – in November, but Smith just edges it for me.
Firstly we had the miraculous comeback against Durham – trailing by 21 at half time Smith is said to have rallied the players in the changing room by telling them to follow his lead and we could grab the victory – and lead he did! In that game he was our top scorer with 26, our top rebounder with 11 and top assister (is that the right term?) with 6, what a second half that was.
Next up we had Bristol at home and, as well as scoring 22 points, Smith was also our top rebounder with 9 – his rebounding is a massive bonus that not many could have expected.
Disappointing losses to Newcastle and Leicester followed but JaJuan kept posting decent numbers and showing leadership – playing all 40 minutes against Newcastle and getting 2nd most points for The Rocks.
The Leicester cup game saw us back to winning ways and Smith maintaining his consistency.
The month finished as it began – a Smith inspired nail-biting victory, the 3 pointer with 2 seconds left in overtime is my favourite moment supporting The Rocks so far – part of me thinks he just said to the team at that last time out – “Just give me the ball, I will take care of it!”
So – there we go, Player of the Month for November has to be JaJuan Smith, an exciting player, a reliable player, a hard-working player, a leader and a man that can inspire a 38 year old like myself to go out and buy a headband in tribute to him…
Kieron Achara (by Duane)
He was the Player of the Month for the WHOLE LEAGUE during November, so of course he’s going to be the team’s player of the month! Do I *really* have to say any more?
It’s no understatement to say that Kieron has transformed the Rocks’ season. What he brings in ability (a lot) he also brings in leadership, which can’t go understated. Last season’s team lacked someone to take close games by the scruff of the neck, and this season we’ve got two; Kieron and JaJuan.
But – make no mistake – Kieron is the boss.
I’m not going to bang on about statistics, but for what it’s worth he averaged a near double-double during the month with 20.3pts/9.8reb, led the league in field goal percentage on 72.6%, led the league in blocked shots with an average of two per game, and dished out 2.4 assists a game to boot – and that’s including the game against Wolves where he had an off night!
The only stat that matters is that the Rocks won 5 out of 7 games during the month, and he was the only recognised big man for 3 of those games with Sterling played limited minutes in another two. If that isn’t carrying the team I don’t know what is.