NBL team wrap: Tasmania JackJumpers
THE COMPETITION’S newest side could not reach the lofty heights of its maiden season, but still managed to prove one of the NBL’s most competitive sides when the fixture reached the pointy end.
The Tasmania JackJumpers were able to recover from a slow start to the season to secure a spot in the play-in and subsequently the semi-finals shortly after. Although they were knocked out by a classier Breakers side, the JackJumpers once again surpassed expectations. However, Tasmania was a slight tier below the top two sides all season, and will be eager to make up that gap next time around.
The JackJumpers lost their first three games of the 2022/23 season, unable to initially repeat the heroics of the previous year, where they made the grand final in their debut campaign. They recovered to take some big scalps, and really hit their straps in the final third of the season, storming home to finish in fourth at the end of the regular season. In the play-in, Tasmania took down Cairns to book a spot with the Breakers, but lost in three games in the semi-final matchup.
Although the JackJumpers fell short of a second consecutive appearance in the deciding series, their gutsy attitude continued to serve them well with backs against the wall.
2022/23 record – 16 wins, 12 losses
The JackJumpers stunned the competition in their first NBL season, and the 2022/23 fixture showed that was no fluke.
MVP – Milton Doyle
The shoes of Josh Adams were always going to be tough to fill, but Doyle was arguably a better fit for the JackJumpers. The offensive production was still there, but the import guard was able to do it all on solid efficiency, which was a problem for his predecessor at times. Doyle was the man for Tassie on the offensive end, with Scott Roth and the JackJumpers looking for him whenever they needed a bucket. He was named to the All-NBL First Team thanks to numbers of 17.2 points, five rebounds and 3.7 assists on 44 per cent shooting from the field.
Surprise packet – Sean MacDonald
MacDonald was given an increase in responsibility from Roth as the season rolled on, with his minutes being boosted. The 22-year-old became a frequent member of the bench lineup, and even made his way to the starting squad in the semi-finals. With the ability to attack the rim inside and also knock down a shot from behind the arc, MacDonald proved to be a valuable contributor for the JackJumpers.
One to watch next season – Isaac White
Although an appearance on the JackJumpers is not guaranteed, given the amount of interest he will have acquired over the past few months, but White has emerged as a player with seriously high potential. The developing guard showed signs of putting it all together towards the back end of the fixture, including an eye-catching 18 points in the play-in match against the Taipans, where he played a crucial role. Tasmania will be eager to regain his signature, but there will be other clubs circling.