NBL RMC Medal Votes – Round 11
ANOTHER week of NBL has wrapped, with Round 11 delivering some big scores around the courts from players young and old.
As is the case every week, there were a fair few rising stars that stood up, and the emerging trend appears to be increased opportunities for some of the competition’s most talented youngsters, with coaches having seemingly more faith in their rookies than the past.
As discussed in the Got Next Podcast, there were three players that stood above the rest, and the Rookie Me Central team have allocated votes in a 3,2,1 format. Headlining this week’s votes is a player whose stats were overshadowed by his impact in the season’s biggest game.
1 vote – Kai Sotto (Adelaide 36ers)
It was a two-horse race between Sotto and 36ers teammate Nick Marshall, who also enjoyed a terrific weekend, but it was hard to go past the former as the team’s best youngster over two games. Sotto was injected into the starting lineup after some serious progression in recent weeks, and made the most of his boost in minutes.
Against Aron Baynes and the Brisbane Bullets, Sotto did not shy away and delivered an eye-catching 13 points and eight rebounds. At seven-foot-two, scoring inside is a massive strength of the big man’s, and he is at his most dangerous when on the court with Mitch McCarron, as the point guard’s vision and execution often gets the best out of Sotto.
2 votes – Sam Froling (Illawarra Hawks)
Seemingly cemented in our votes every week, Froling got it done again in Round 11, making the most of having the most responsibility of any youngster in the competition. Despite being handed the captaincy of the Hawks at such a young age, the forward continues to develop and emerge as one of the competition’s stars. Over the span of two games, he had 31 points and was a key figure in Illawarra’s offence. Head coach Jacob Jackomas has no hesitation to draw up plays for the 22-year-old.
3 votes – Owen Foxwell (SEM Phoenix)
While Foxwell did not post a statline as eye-catching as the previous two players in our votes, but his impact in one of the biggest games in recent memory was what got him over the line. With essentially the entire Phoenix backcourt either injured or in foul trouble, coach Simon Mitchell tasked Foxwell with guarding a red-hot Derrick Walton Jr, who was in the midst of a career game.
Instead of being intimidated or backing down, Foxwell had a hugely important cameo in the final quarter, drawing three offensive fouls and completely flipped the momentum in South East Melbourne’s favour. He had a steal and two clutch free throws to send the game to overtime. While he had just eight points, no youngster had a greater impact than the 19-year-old in a classic contest.