SHEFFIELD Sharks captain Mike Tuck insists this season’s team is better than last year’s.
Tuck, who is set to make his 100th BBL Championship appearance at bottom of the table Mersey Tigers tomorrow night, has been pleased with the way Sharks’ newcomers BJ Holmes and Demtrius Jemison have improved the side after a poor start to the campaign.
And he thinks the Sharks could still contend for silverware this season.
“I think we’re a stronger team (than last season).
“We’re definitely better for bringing in BJ and Demetrius - they’re getting better every game,” he told The Star. “We started off slowly but now we’re improving all the time.”
Tuck has been in good form recently and led the Sharks to an overtime victory last Thursday at Manchester Giants in the BBL Trophy.
The 6’8” Canadian scored six points in the extra period but he says he’s still haunted by missing two free throws five seconds from the end of normal time that would have sealed an earlier Sharks victory.
“There was something about their rims (the basket) that I didn’t like!” he joked.
“I’d missed two free throws in the first half and it had got into my head. When I was up there I didn’t feel comfortable and then Olu (Babalola) fouled on a three-point shot and they sent it to overtime.
“After that I just wanted to win the game really bad.
“Usually the team that sends it to overtime ends up winning but we played really well and responded from letting it slip.
“Afterwards Atiba (Lyons, the Sharks coach) was saying we must like making it hard for ourselves because we could have it wrapped up earlier - and I’m not just talking about my free throws.”
It was ironic that two senior Sharks players in Tuck - who is generally reliable from the free throw line - and Babalola could have been responsible for losing the match because the team’s main problem has been a lack of experience.
Babalola had given Sharks a three-point lead with a thunderous dunk seconds before Tuck’s misses.
“I’ve been practising my free throws a bit more since,” said Tuck. “We take hundreds every week and I’d love to know how many I’ve taken in my lifetime.”
Audio courtesy of The New SUNSET Radio - www.mikeshaft.com/sunset
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