2023/24 NBL Team Wrap – Perth Wildcats

THE 2023/24 National Basketball League (NBL) season was one of the most entertaining in recent memory, with all teams performing at a high level and making a genuine run at some postseason action along the way.

All 10 teams were in the hunt for a spot in the finals and play-in until the penultimate round, demonstrating the impressive quality of the competition.

Given the season has concluded, Rookie Me Central will be dissecting each team’s campaign, and the key pieces that shaped it.

On the agenda today are the Perth Wildcats, who looked like the best team in the competition at times, but fell in three games in the semi-finals.

Perth Wildcats

2023/24 record – 17 wins, 11 losses
Ladder positioning – 2nd
Postseason result – Eliminated in three games (semi-final)


The 2023/24 season was a bit of a roller coaster for the Wildcats, starting the season in underwhelming fashion as it looked like the glory days may have potentially been over. However, Perth flicked a switch around the one-third mark of the season, and looked back to being the team that everyone feared in recent seasons. On the back of some tremendous efforts from their star players, the Wildcats stormed into second spot, locking in a finals position with a couple of weeks to go. They faced off against the Tasmania JackJumpers, but fell in three games, with the deciding loss coming at home at RAC Arena.

MVP Bryce Cotton

The easiest answer in the entire series, Cotton was not only the best player on his team throughout the 2023/24 season, but also the best in the league. He led all-comers on the scoring front with 23.1 points per game, and overcame a slow start to the fixture by his lofty standards. Once he got it going, the star guard was just about unstoppable, and was having such an impact that opposition teams would have to physically impose themselves when guarding him to try and stop him from delivering match-winning performances.

THE COACH John Rillie

Although it may have looked worrying in the opening batch of rounds, Rillie steadied the ship and managed to take his team to the semi-finals. The back half of the season saw the well-renowned coach get the best out of his team, and continue to push Perth towards the top of the ladder. One knock on his coaching performance was the decisive game three of the semi-final series against the JackJumpers, where he was outcoached by his counterpart. Cotton took just eight shots for the game in a disappointing performance from a gameplan perspective.


The Wildcats will likely be in the market for another big name, with William McDowell-White a target that could benefit the Wildcats. For several seasons, Perth has been looking for the perfect guard to place next to Cotton, but have had no luck. The playmaking skill of McDowell-White opens up teams offensively and he could be a good addition to the team and make life easier for their star guard.

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