Trio of stars announced as MVP finalists

WITH the NBL season in the twilight of the 2022/23 fixture, the year’s best performers have been recognised with the finalists for the league’s individual awards announced this morning.

There is just one round remaining after the conclusion of tonight’s game, so the bulk of the sample size is in for the strongest players and coaches for the season. There have been a lot of contenders across all of the categories, but three have been selected for each.

Kicking things off was the Andrew Gaze trophy for the Most Valuable Player, the three finalists are Bryce Cotton of the Perth Wildcats, Mitch Creek of the SEM Phoenix and Xavier Cooks of the Sydney Kings. Cooks has emerged as the frontrunner over the course of the season, producing some emphatic play and leading his side to top spot in the standings, which is certainly in his favour. The bigman is also coming off a triple-double against the Phoenix so voters will have no problems remembering how good he can be. With numbers of 16.5 points, eight rebounds and 4.3 assists, Cooks is rightfully the favourite. Creek has been a one-man show for the Phoenix at times throughout the season, but his side has failed to capitalise on the veteran’s strong play, and it may work against him. Cotton is still the league’s best scorer, and is in the running for a fourth MVP.

The finalists for other coveted awards were announced on the same day, and for our breakdown and prediction of these, tune into the Got Next Podcast later this week, where we will dive into each individual category.

A panel of Andrew Gaze, Greg Hire, Matt Logue, Jo Healy, Casey Frank, John Casey and Olgun Uluc selected the nominees for a number of categories, and the captains and coaches of each team will then vote one winner from each batch of three.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 7 at 8:30pm.



Xavier Cooks – Sydney Kings
Mitch Creek – SEM Phoenix
Bryce Cotton – Perth Wildcats

Lindsay Gaze Coach of the Year

Mody Maor New Zealand Breakers
Adam Forde Cairns Taipans
Chase Buford – Sydney Kings

Most Improved Player

Sean MacDonaldTasmania JackJumpers
Keanu Pinder – Cairns Taipans
William McDowell-White – New Zealand Breakers

Best Sixth Man

Barry Brown Jr. – New Zealand Breakers
Rashard Kelly – Tasmania JackJumpers
Tyler JohnsonBrisbane Bullets

Damian Martin Trophy for the Best Defensive Player

Antonius ClevelandAdelaide 36ers
Shea IliMelbourne United
Dererk Pardon – New Zealand Breakers

Next Generation Award

Sam FrolingIllawarra Hawks
Luke TraversPerth Wildcats
Sam WaardenbergCairns Taipans

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